Let’s get in the game!But enough of the graphics, how’s it actually play?
Well, first thing you need to know is that the difficulty levels, easy, normal, hard and Delta not only affect the AI in their accuracy and overall behaviour, but also stuff like on Delta, you lose the crosshair, so you’ll have to use the gun sights for any kind of accuracy. Further, the Korean soldiers you face at the start of the game stop talking in ‘Korenglish’, which gives you audio cues as to their intentions but start talking purely in Korean, so unless you can speak Korean you’ll have no idea what they’re shouting to each other.
The first level of Crysis is the integrated tutorial which introduces you to your nano-suit and weapon modification systems. So you get a crack at using the armour, speed, strength and stealth functions as well as a glimpse of the weapon modding. But this is neatly integrated into your HUD with small tool tips that pop up to let you know what to do and which button to press.
The game really starts once you completed this brief section which is designed to be short to give newbies an idea what to do and seasoned players don’t have to troll through loads of chat and pauses to get to the game proper.
Your first objective, fed to you by the sergeant in your squad, (no, there’s no squad play, it’s a bit like Doom 3 in that respect), orders you to destroy a jamming station that’s playing havoc with your nano-suits built in radar. Working our way over the mountainous terrain heading for the way point gave us a chance to admire the detail and sheer bloody beauty of the game. As we first saw in Far Cry, Crytek are masters of huge outdoor environments but where Far Cry lost a lot of detail in the distance, Crysis just seems to go on and on and on… it’s like the Duracell of terrain engines.
But looking closer to home, i.e. down at my feet, I was honestly boggled by how detailed the ground was. This wasn’t just some flat texture we were legging it over, every pebble and rock was superbly and convincingly bumped mapped and shaded. Ok, so we were running over a flat texture but it sure hell did a very convincing impression of bumpy ground and yes, I could see my feet and legs.
Now we’ve all know about the destructible foliage, where you can blast away sawing trees in half with you gun but the emphasis of the game really isn’t about giving Alan Titchmarsh nightmare with your fauna violation. It’s just one of those little extras that adds to the realism such as the fact that you’re not a 3D ‘block’ in the game world but a proper polygonal model… which is most evident when you’re brushing past the undergrowth and the barrel of your gun is pushing leaves and branches out of the way.
So once I’d finished marvelling at the view and the surrounding shrubbery, we got on with the task of disabling the jammer the Koreans had set up.