There’s a crysis on the consoles......
Written by Super User
Published Tuesday, 25 October 2011 20:00
It may come as a surprise to you, but I am not a PC gamer. I have never, in all of my gaming years, been a PC gamer, nor do I have any plans to become a PC gamer. I am, however, part of the gaming world as a whole, and as such, when a PC game comes out that blows everyone’s mind, I like to read and hear about it. Such was the case in November of 2007, when Crysis was released. Thus, with a completely virgin perspective and no idea what I was in for, I downloaded the recently-released Crysis from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace to see if it holds up, three years later, and on another platform...
Developed by Crytek in Frankfurt, Germany and published by Electronic Arts, Crysis is a first-person shooter that puts you in control of Jake Dunn, a United States Delta Force operator, codenamed Nomad. Set in the near future and armed with a bevy of current and futuristic weapons, Nomad and his squadron are assigned to rescue a group of scientists who have discovered an alien structure within a mountain, on an island off the coast of the eastern Philippines. The most notable of his weapons is the Nanosuit, which protects him against gunfire and gives him almost superhuman abilities.
Throughout the game, Nomad battles Korean forces as they try to be the first to reach the alien structure. Once inside the structure, the game’s plot takes off and becomes truly engaging. The player encounters alien forces, zero-gravity environments, futuristic machines and extraterrestrial weaponry.
For the original PC version of Crysis, Crytek developed “Cryengine 2”, the next generation of the engine used in the well-received Far Cry; and by all accounts, the game was way ahead of its time in terms of visuals and smooth gameplay. Players needed a supercomputer in order to run it properly, with CryTek even going so far as to say that PC tech hasn’t (at the time) evolved enough yet to run the game at max settings. At the time, the director of Crytek, Cevat Yerli, claimed that porting Crysis over to consoles was “impossible”, claiming that the game would have to be “largely changed to bring it to Xbox 360 or Playstation 3.” Fast forward to 2011, and Yerli tells Gametrailers, "For many years people were asking, can you do Crysis 1 on consoles? We have been secretly working on that for a while. It’s a digital download only. It looks just awesome, I believe."
So what happened? How did the impossible become possible? After all, the Xbox 360 and PS3 are running at lower specs than that of a PC needed to properly run Crysis. Essentially, the answer lies in CryEngine 3. This newest version of the highly-lauded engine has managed to do wonders with compression, not to mention multitasking system demands. For the downloadable console version, Crytek stripped the game down to only the single-player campaign. They omitted the multiplayer content completely. Cryengine 3 (which also powered Crysis 2) works wonders, and does it ever show! Crysis is gorgeous on the PC, and it is equally as stunning on the console, despite the fact that it is running at a lower resolution. The colors are vibrant, the environments are incredibly detailed (right down to the leaves in the trees), and the AI is incredibly realistic. The framerate is pristine, with nary a slow-down or crack in the armor. The sounds of the game are also stunningly intricate. Every footstep, every wild bird call, every crack of a tree branch can be heard in great detail. In terms of graphics and sound, Crytek has left absolutely nothing out.
The gameplay for the console version of Crysis is very straightforward. The controls are mapped out exactly as they are for Crysis 2, and they are very intuitive, taking me only a matter of minutes to understand which action each button performed. It’s hard to believe that this game was originally played with a mouse and keyboard, as I found it very comfortable to use a controller on my couch. As mentioned above, the Nanosuit is Nomad’s most powerful weapon. There are four different modes for the suit, two of which can be mapped to the LB and RB buttons on an Xbox 360 controller: Strength (giving the player stronger hand-to-hand combat skill), Armor (deflecting damage) and Cloak (allowing the player to turn invisible for a short amount of time). The Speed mode is achieved by clicking down on the left analog stick and pushing forward. The different weapons are mapped to the D-pad, which is standard FPS fare.
The one thing that detracts from this version of Crysis is that there is no multiplayer. In the PC version, 32-player action was included. Even a 4v4 or 5v5 for the downloadable version would have been sufficient, and I find it a bit unfair that we don’t get to taste the multiplayer goodness that I’ve heard so much about. Heck, co-op would have even been acceptable. But alas, it’s not to be, but we are still left with a fantastic single-player experience.
Had I not already known that Crysis had been released for the PC almost four years ago, I would be comfortable in saying that this game was made for the consoles. In fact, one has to wonder what took them so long to bring Crysis to the PS3 and the Xbox 360. The game is gorgeous and easy to play, but I can’t help but compare it to another FPS that was released the same month that the PC version of Crysis was released: Call of Duty 4. When placed beside each other , Crysis does quite well. The campaign is more engaging than COD4, and it certainly looks better. The lack of multiplayer nags at me though, and we all know that MP was Call of Duty 4’s calling card. However, there is enough bang in Crysis to justify the $20 price tag, if only to see the amazing Cryengine 3 at work.
Release date : 2011-10-03
Publisher : EA Games
Developer : Crytek Studios
Gameplay : Shooter
Here we are. The next generation of consoles is among us and it is finally time to start thinking about finally unplugging our beloved current-gen systems. Could there be a better swan song for one of these systems than taking a trip back to Rapture?
Let’s face it: buying digital games is significantly more convenient than buying from a retail store. You don’t have to put pants on to go outside, nor do you even have to go outside. You don’t have to drive to the store, nor do you have to wait in line at said store. On top of that, the price is generally the exact same, if not more for the physical version.
Let’s face it: staying in just your underwear, FTW.
Despite the overwhelming advantages of buying digital, I still can’t fully commit to it. While I understand I am more in the minority with each day that goes by, I truly believe I have a legitimate case about buying physical copies of games.
In some sort of cosmic twist, I have seen the future. No, I didn’t find out where/when/why I’ll die, nor did I even find out what I’ll have for breakfast tomorrow (I hope it’s pancakes). But I assure you, I have seen the future.
The future of video games that is. I recently got to test out Morpheus - uh, I mean PlayStation VR - Sony’s answer to the ever-growing interest in virtual reality. Although the headset is currently far from completion, it’s also far from shotty.
Whether it’s a rainy day, a sickness, or some other reason not to go outside and enjoy the beautiful summer air, video games are the perfect way to spend your time - that is, if you can find a game to play. In terms of releases, summer generally isn’t the most fruitful of seasons, and this year is no different. So what games could/should you be sinking your teeth into during the dog days?