When the current generation of consoles came out, people always held up Crysis as the game that would never be possible on them. A PC exclusive through and through, the wide open environments and stunning landscapes promised a multitude of ways to tackle each obstacle, even if the best way is always “cloak”. Well, several years and a whole generation of Cryengine later, and lo and behold, Crysis is sitting here on the PS3.
If you boil Crysis down to its core elements, it’s a first person shooter set on a relatively open island. This means that you have your typical FPS objectives, but in a setting far more interesting than a destroyed cityscape or a selection of corridors. Traversing forests, climbing up hills and generally experimenting with your surroundings are the keys to success here. If you charge in to battle with a shotgun in hand, you’re generally going to find yourself dead rather sharpish. The enemy AI has ludicrously good aim, even when you’re sprinting very quickly away from them. However, it’s outsmarting these enemies that provide the most thrills in Crysis. Rolling a jeep strapped with C4 down a hill and then detonating it in an enemy base is satisfying every time you do it, and the game doesn’t penalise you for playing it in your own way. Want to kill a Korean with a live Chicken? Go for it, but be warned that they’re not very reliable as an ammo supply, nor are turtles for that matter. When I say that the game is wonderfully replayable, I mean it. Trying missions again just to check if a crazy plan will work is all part of the fun of Crysis, and it isn’t something you get to experience very often in a game. The only other title with this level of experimentation in encounter design in mind that springs to my memory is Red Faction Guerilla.
Of course, Crysis can’t sustain this wonderful sense of anarchic creativity for the duration of its running time. While their introduction is excellent, with a zero gravity jaunt through a spaceship, your alien foes in the second act of the game are far less entertaining to fight, owing mostly due to the fact that their only strategy is to stay still when attacking you and wait for you to blow them out of the air. It’s fun, but nowhere near as fun as the earlier portions of the game, and this all culminates in a final boss fight that is nothing short of frustrating. In fact, there are two boss fights in the closing moments of the game. They’re both terrible, with nonsensically overpowered attacks and with a frame rate that can’t handle the pressure bestowed on it combined to create a tornado of aggravation that will only have you finishing the game through a combination of sheer force of will and the knowledge that the end is in sight.
Speaking of endings, Crysis’ can barely constitute one. It leaves the door open for a climactic final mission that never materialises, choosing instead to end on a cliffhanger that sets things up for a sequel. However, with Crysis 2 already out, we know that the sequel to this game takes place in an almost completely unrelated location, with barely any characters returning from the first game to order you around. With that knowledge in tow, the ending seems even sillier. It doesn’t help that the characters aren’t memorable in the slightest, with the one exception being token British character Psycho, who was memorable enough to actually get a whole game based around his exploits on the island.
Terrible plot and awful final bosses aside, Crysis’ PS3 rendition is a joy to play. It’s a testament to Crytek’s new engine that the game was able to finally be brought to a console in a form that isn’t severely mutilated by the limitations of the hardware. It’s a great romp through a beautiful location, and it’s mostly a fun one. It’ll kick you all over the place if you don’t think about your actions, but when you take the time to plan your attack, you’ll discover a game with enough depth to keep you coming back for multiple playthroughs. Just remember that on delta difficulty, the enemies all speak in Korean.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- Incredible graphics, that run smoothly... most of the time
- Wonderfully replayable scenarios
- For the price, you get a good amount of game
What I Dislike:
- Nonsensical plot and characters that aren't memorable in the slightest, save for one
- Horrible ending and frustrating final bosses