Despite some omissions and a few technical issues, the Xbox 360 version of Crysis is a terrific way of experiencing this game if you don’t have access to a PC.
Once every a generation, a title comes along that sets a new standard when it comes to visual prowess. That’s certainly the case of Crytek’s first-person shooter, a game so advanced from a technical standpoint that when it first came out, no computer on the face of the Earth was capable of running the game on its highest settings. Apart from looking extremely well, Crysis was a terrific first-person shooter in its own right and while the Xbox 360 version of the game isn’t the technical marvel you could play on the PC, this is still a game worth playing and an experience worth having.
The game takes place in the year 2020 after the North Koreans have illegally occupied the Lingshan islands in the Philippines. Dr. Rosenthal and a group of archaeologists are taken hostage and you’re supposed to extract them safe and sound. Apparently, the North Koreans have kidnapped the archaeologists so that they can unearth some sort of alien technology that they can use to win the war against the Americans. But the alien machines are much more powerful than everyone expected and they go around the island killing everything in their past.
To help you on your mission, you have a gadget known as the nano suit which allows you to absorb damage, enable a stealth mode to go unnoticed, run remarkably fast or jump higher than you ever thought possible. Having The nano suit at your disposal makes the first-person shooting part of the game more entertaining and faster than ever before which is more than welcome. In other words, using these abilities is a blast since they spice up a genre we’ve played dozens of times before.
So what does it feel to play Crysis? The most direct point of comparison we have is the Far Cry series which was also developed by Crytek. Those who played those games probably remember the open-world island and of course, the possibility of using different weapons and vehicles. Crysis has all that and more, but it’s worth mentioning that although the different environments are much more varied than those of Far Cry, they aren’t as large and detailed. At no point will you feel restricted, but by comparison, Crysis is much more linear than Far Cry.
Luckily, Crysis is much more than a pretty face. The different abilities allow you to change strategies on the fly, so when approaching a specific scenario doesn’t go as planned, you can always run away, use the shield and go guns blazing and stay out of sight and activate the cloak armor to attack from the shadows. There are certainly some challenging parts in Crysis, but none of them are difficult or anything like that. The game feels daunting at times because you’re always under-powered and outnumbered and when that happens, you need to rely on the special powers of your suit and your arsenal of weapons.
And there are lots of weapons in this game. Apart from your trusty pistols, there are shotguns, sniper rifles, sub-machine guns, rocket launchers and different types of grenades. Most of them are really fun to use and while you might have a favorite, the arsenal doesn’t feel unbalanced or anything like that. Additionally, by going to a special menu, you can customize most weapons. Usually, you can add or remove the scope, laser sight silencer and different parts which is great since this is usually takes a few seconds and lets you adapt to different situations.
Unfortunately, the superb visual style comes at a price. Although the games runs well most of the time, there were definitely instances where the enemies get caught in the geometry, guns sometimes float on top of grass and there were other minor visual glitches here and there. Since the visual standpoint is so amazing, minor problems like these stood out which is definitely a shame, but not very serious.
Both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Crysis, which are only available via download, received some cutbacks. The multiplayer modes are nowhere to be found here, so if you were looking forward to getting the console version to play against other people, you should reconsider the purchase. Also, the second to last mission, titled “Ascension”, isn’t included and neither Warhead nor Wars expansions are available here. To make up for this, the game has new lightning, new effects, new nano suits controls and full stereoscopic 3D.
Despite some omissions and a few technical issues, the Xbox 360 version of Crysis is a terrific way of experiencing this game if you don’t have access to a PC. So if you want to play the single-player campaign to see what all the fuss was about, this version is a safe bet.