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features /  game column
editor content by: editor
games: crysis
A far cry from Doom.

Back in the early 90s, when the FPS was first finding its feet, this was the kind of game that both gamers and designers would dream of. A violent epic told across vast non-linear environments rendered with a graphical technology that approaches photo-realism in depth and detail. The characters alone are exquisitely designed and animated, while the jungle environments of Crysis exhibit among some of the most impressive visual effects ever seen. Light wavers through the leaves on the perfectly-textured trees, leaves whip and rip as they are torn up by bullets, rickety buildings collapse as they are gutted by grenades. The world of Crysis is one of sublime, engineered reality.

All this comes at a price, of course, in the form of the PC required to make it function at its best: even the high-end quad-core beasts struggle with the game on its most advanced visual settings. It'll run on something that could cope with Half-Life 2, to be sure, but seeing the finest levels of detail means forking out on a £500 graphics card and plenty of other upgrades.

Hardware requirements aside, this is shaping up to be a legend of a game. It resurrects much of what was best about Crytek's previous game, Far Cry, and discards much of what failed. Most of the action takes place with huge, open locations, allowing you to take the attack from many different angles. The overall story is straightforwardly linear, but the way in which you play out the action sequences can take on all kinds of tones. This is facilitated by the fiction of the "nano-suit" - hi-tech armour which your character can instantly configure to suit your tactics. He can dash at high speeds, use super-strength to demolish buildings and leap onto rooftops, become cloaked to hunt your enemies like the predator, or simply buff up to soak up damage.

Crysis is big and very bold. We can expect great things of its creators in the future.

Jim Rossignol 18 October 07
Crysis, out now on PC.
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