Thanks to the success of Far-Cry, Crytek has become a well known and highly regarded game developer. Mainly due to its beautiful graphics, the endless delays in the release of Half-Life 2 also helped, the company's first game became the poster boy for DirectX 9 and took the company that one step closer to global recognition. But now the game is on and Crytek have to prove that they were not a one hit wonder. So did they shy away? Did they try to downplay the importance of their next title? No; they decided to ditch their successful franchise and their publisher and to raise expectations even further by claiming they are working the first true DX10 game. That should have been enough to drop any developer into Crysis.
No, it's not a holiday destination
Much like its predecessor, Crysis promises to define a new generation of gaming technology and from the first previews we've seen we think it's right on track to do just that. The game will include many of the features that made Far Cry such a success, you'll get a tropical island, open-ended gameplay, fights with humans and creatures but you should not mistake it for a sequel or a game that is connected in any way to Far-Cry. Crysis has its own story to tell; 20 years from now a comet crashes on the Spratly Islands, a groups of islands that actually exists and has its sovereignty disputed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam. In the game it is North Korea that quickly invades the island and secures the crash site which is believed to contain an alien craft and its technology. Enter you; an elite Delta force commando who is sent in to recon the site and discover what the North Koreans are hiding. You will quickly discover that humans are not your only enemy and your mission will gradually evolve to a save the world affair.
If you would like to get a taste of the game before you read about it follow the download tab above for links to a variety of in-game movies and trailers.
Read on to discover how you will be able to enjoy Crysis…
One of the most exciting aspects of Crysis is the technological enhancements it will introduce. Being the first true DX10 game will be an important achievement but it will also mean that the game will be scrutinized to a much greater extent than other titles.
Well, to get things straight, enjoying the full Crysis experience will not be cheap. First you will have to buy the actual game but then you will, almost certainly, need to upgrade your rig. A DX10 graphics card is a pre-requisite and those are not widely available yet and are bound to set you back a good 300-400 dollars. If you are not breaking a sweat already then consider the final expense, a copy of Windows Vista as, controversially, Microsoft has decided that its new OS will be the only one to support DirectX 10.
If you decide to upgrade your setup as necessary, you will be getting the best technology in gaming that the industry has to offer. Much like Crytek's previous offering, Far Cry, Crysis will be the game to introduce you to a new era in gaming.
The best expression to describe the technology behind Crysis is cutting-edge, as the game will feature the latest developments in graphics, lighting, animation and physics. Using deformable vegetation, individual leaves on a plant will bend when a player pushes past them or when the wind is blowing, your surroundings will blur (motion blur) when you turn quickly, while all objects in the game will have distinct physical properties which will change as environmental conditions change. The importance of all this technology is not only decorative but Crytek has plans of incorporating it into gameplay; the bending leaves for example could alert the player to the presence of an enemy taking cover in the foliage, while the developer hopes that the interactivity of the world will also allow room for players to discover their own uses of the environment.
The leaves tell tales…
Advanced lighting will also be utilized by Crysis, high dynamic range lighting will, of course, be used while the developer is also working on a way to have lighting and colors interact in order to create more realistic lighting effects. Finally depth of field will also be used so that when a player focuses on a nearby object, those in the distance will appear blurred. Additionally Crytek is working on a method of altering the way colors are perceived according to the intensity of a situation, so in action packed moments colors will appear grittier in an attempt to mimic the effects of adrenaline on perception.
Putting the graphics to one side, you will also need a decent CPU to run the game while 64-bit and multi-threading support in Crysis are a given. All this technology may fire-up the imagination but it, in no way, offers a guarantee that Crysis will be a good game so let's examine what you can expect from the…
Crysis is billed as a Sci-Fi shooter so you immediately know that it is based in some form of future and more than likely involves aliens. There is however, much more to the story than that.
As described earlier you find yourself on a tropical island fighting Koreans and then have to change your definition of enemy in order to combat a much bigger threat. If by reading the word island you became concerned that Crysis may resemble Far Cry, rest assured that Crytek will not allow that. The island remains tropical for a short time as it, almost instantaneously, freezes over in an event which forms part of the storyline of the game. The 2 KM alien ship responsible for the weather anomaly is the real enemy and the one that is hardest to dispose of.
This change in weather, will also affect gameplay. Leaves and branches will not bend when you pass but will shatter making spotting enemies that much harder. Weapons and mechanical objects will also not work as well in the biting cold. You will be able to survive the cold thanks to your advanced nano-suite, a piece of kit which will also help you in other situations. Your nano-suite features power support which you will be able to utilize in order to increase your strength, speed or stamina according to your tactical needs. The suite will also protect you from the alien weapon of choice, the freeze-ray.
Hell Just Froze Over
The way you choose your weapons will also be important as you will have to increasingly rely on incendiary weapons as you begin to confront the aliens.
The final part of the game will take place on the alien spaceship and we are told that zero gravity conditions will be predominant during that stage while other alien conditions will also apply although Crytek are saving that information for the game's launch.
Overall Crysis will rely on the open-gameplay approach introduced by its predecessor but will add much greater environmental variety and will attempt to utilize new technologies in order to introduce new gameplay possibilities; the potential for a great game is definitely there.
Following the success of Far Cry any game that Crytek is working on is bound to be the focus of attention and gamer expectation. In that respect Crysis does not disappoint as it will introduce DirectX 10 and a multitude of gaming technology firsts.
In many ways the success of Far Cry owed a lot to the delays and problems that Half-Life 2 faced as it managed to release before Valve's game. That is not to say that Far Cry was not a great game, it is however unlikely that it would have received the full attention it did had H-L 2 been released during the same time period.
Crysis has the unique opportunity to release unchallenged in the high-end graphics field and may even help Microsoft push more of its Vista OS due to the DX10 feature.
Crysis Promises Action On A Grand Scale
The graphical quality of the game promises to be unsurpassed and we have no reason to doubt Crytek as they have the track record and expertise to deliver while the movies and images we have seen of the game so far are nothing short of stunning. The challenge for the developer is to embrace the technology but utilize it in order to offer an improved gameplay experience. A lot will depend on how smoothly all these new features such as physics, lighting, motion blur etc. will be incorporated into the gameplay. Will the player feel overwhelmed by all the activity or will it be an intuitive transition? Will spotting rustling foliage be instinctive, as in real life, or will you need to focus all your attention on watching the leaves running the danger of missing other on-screen events? Will the open-ended approach introduce innovation or will the player end up running around in long circles around the island?
The answers to these questions will also answer whether Crysis will be a good game or a great game and a worthy ambassador of a new gaming era.