Crysis is based in a future where an alien race has invaded Earth. The campaign has the player assume the role of United States Delta Force operator Jake Dunn (Nomad). Dunn is armed with various futuristic weapons and equipment, most notably a "Nano Muscle Suit", which was inspired by the United States' Future Warrior 2020 program. In Crysis, you fight both North Korean and extraterrestrial enemies, in four different locations: a tropical island jungle; an American aircraft carrier; inside an "Ice Sphere", which consists of the same jungle, but frozen; and the alien ship itself, some parts of which are in zero-gravity.
As with Far Cry, Crysis is an open-ended game, with many ways to meet objectives. An addition to the previous Far Cry formula is that most weapons may be modified with devices such as suppressors, telescopic sights, and targeting lasers. The game features the standard gamut of first-person shooter weapons such as assault rifles, along with sci-fi additions such as the Gauss rifle.
The protagonist, Jake Dunn, is also capable of being modified, as he wears a military prototype "Nano Muscle Suit." The suit is capable of four modes: armor, strength, speed, and stealth. These modes allow him to absorb and heal damage, lift and throw heavy items and enemies, reload and run faster, and become partially invisible and reduce noise output, respectively. Due to the ability of constantly regenerating health in armor mode, the game is completely devoid of first aid kits, a staple becoming more common in the first-person genre. All of these actions, however, use rechargeable energy reserves that power the suit; energy is recharged most quickly while in armor mode. The suit can be modified in-game to meet the playing style of the player.
The suit’s features really separate this from being another FarCry; they're fun to use but after a couple of hours it almost feels like the feature was thrown in to hide the fact that the game is a fairly standard shooter.
The artificial intelligence in Crysis also aims to be realistic and believable. It may not live up to the claims Crytek has made but it's still quite impressive. Enemy soldiers constantly employ tactical maneuvers, work as squads, hide and ambush amongst the scenery, and adapt to changing environments and conditions. AI soldiers will also respond to sound and subtle movements triggered by the player's movement. While not engaged in combat, these AI bullet-magnets will also exhibit typical and lifelike behavior, such as smoking, yawning, talking, urinating, waxing cars and patrolling, which really adds to the atmosphere.
Up to 32 players are supported in each multiplayer match in Crysis. There are two different modes, each with six available maps: Instant Action, a deathmatch type mode; and Power Struggle, which is played by two opposing teams, each trying to destroy the other's headquarters.
Power Struggle features the American Delta Force soldiers fighting the North Korean Army; both sides, however, have nanosuits. All players begin armed with only a pistol and a basic nanosuit, called the "prototype" suit. In order to purchase weapons, vehicles, and the "production" nanosuit - which has better armor, strength, and some cloaking capabilities - the player must complete objectives, or frag enemies. The aim of Power Struggle is to destroy the enemy headquarters, a task which is best done using either alien technology—gained by capturing alien crash sites, and taking the alien "core" back to one's base—or nuclear weapons. Without these technologies, it would be difficult to win, due to multiple automated turrets guarding headquarters; they can be destroyed only by powerful human weapons, or alien technologies. All vehicles in the game are available in Power Struggle, though they must be unlocked by capturing a zone that specializes in manufacturing a certain vehicle. For example, capturing a zone with a port would allow the building of water-based vehicles for the team in possession of the zone. However, vehicles may be stolen by picking their locks, even if their team has not captured the zone producing that type of vehicle. Depending on the settings determined by the host, a game of Power Struggle could potentially take up to ten hours, which would cover multiple day/night cycles, if playing on a DirectX 10 server. Again, the duration of day/night cycles depends on the host's settings.
Unfortunately, Capture the Flag never made the cut due to its similarities with Power Struggle, but there's always the modding community to look to if you really think you need it.
No review would be complete without mentioning just how good the game looks, but you know that already. This is one of those games with graphics that even under a microscope is hard to justifiably scrutinise. However, though the game looks great it doesn't run so well. Make no bones about it, Crysis won't run smoothly on your computer; perhaps in a year’s time, sure, but not right now. You'll need a lot of grunt to get this one to move decently and as enjoyable as the game is it's hard to say it's worth upgrading for just yet.
Crysis, like Halo 2, is like foreplay without sex. The journey is great but its abrupt ending leaves you speechless and annoyed. But it's a good ride, and one worth experiencing - even if you do have to play it on low to medium settings.