Before i begin my self admitting manlove ramble about Crysis, let me state a few things. Yes, i know Crysis is a VERY hardware demanding game and Yes, i know most of us gearheads won’t be playing it until it is most definitely released as a port or brought to life from another team’s perspective. But just because a lot of people cannot experience the game now, doesn’t mean it wont impact their gaming in the coming years.
Needless to say, Crysis is going to influence the way game’s are designed. The layout is unbelievably immersing and on a massive scale. You literately feel like you are dropped on this island. The game gives me the sense that i got from Half life 2 all those years backs (a design formula most games use now). Crysis will influence games in the years to come.
Let me break down the demo in terms of design. You sky dive onto the island, your landing place is controlled because something happens. (Any other free landing options as seen in Medal of Honor airborne are to be seen) After recovering from your fall you approach a beach from the water. The path you are to follow is linear but the use of rock head high give a good illusion and the LUSH environment in the distance keep a sense of scale (all of the island is rendered in real time, so there is no noticeable pop-in) After proceeding through the cave, there is a beach and lush jungle. Being wise men, you obviously have no choice but to go deep into the jungle instead of the open beach with endless ocean in eyesight. After making your way through the jungle (and getting introduced to some completely badass plot ideas) you reach a way out of the jungle and in front of you is nearly 9/10 the rest of the demo level all rendered in front of you. From this point on, it is do as you please, your commander gives your things to do (deactivate a transmitter, infiltrate a camp etc) But the way you do it is completely up to you.
There are TONS of ways to approach a situation in Crysis. Your core features are; Super Strength (high jumps included), Speed, Armor, gun changes, and my favorite cloaking. The first big conflict your given is this. There is a building, a bit of farm land, and a lot of water in front of you. A lot of men are scattered around this area and the minute one spots you, everyone is out to kill you in the area. There are men patrolling in front of the buildings, a guy on the dock taking a piss, and two boats patrolling the water with heavy fire power to boot. How did i approach this situation? First, i turned on cloaking and went straight to a stray bogey in the first house. After killing him, my cover was blown and relied on super strength and fire power on the rest of the guys.
Playing the demo (which i have done ALOT) the experience is always different, and things happen the way you would expect things to in real life. Which is what makes the game so damn immersing and fun.
Now to the graphics. I won’t ramble. The Crytek engine 2 is the most unbelievable engine in terms of realistic visuals and most importantly realistic interactions and physics with the environment. The game would still be the most impressive game visually if it featured none of the advanced physics, but they are the icing on the cake. I literately shot a single tree trunk into 20 different pieces, and every tree features this level of destructibility. The smaller pieces, i could pick up and through at enemies, another layer of realism. If you can grab it in real life, most likely that object is grabable (so not a word) in Crysis. After plowing a building to rubble with super strength, i could pick up the piece of the building all individually.
People complain about the hardware demands, but honestly i was surprised it ran so well on a current high end rig (8800 and duo or quad core). Very high settings (and “ultra settings unlocked”) my rig runs at 30FPS+, which with the high end motion blur feels somewhere between 40-50 in other games. I am extremely pleased with Crytek in that a rig could actually run the game on high settings (but still this is without high AA or Kranked up resolution considerably higher than 720p)
Basically, the point (if there actual is one :p) is that the game is more than just mindf***ing visuals. Gameplay, level design and physics/environment interactivity make this game the complete package of what i expect games to be in the next few years.
I hate to rub this in the faces (maybe i love it?) of those without PCs nice enough to run the game at any decent setting, but i expect 360 games to play and be designed similar to this in the future.
Back to the roller coaster ride that is COD4.