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Crysis
Crysis boxart
Developer
Publisher
Director
Cevat Yerli
Composer
Inon Zur
Engine
Version
1.21
Platforms
PC
Xbox 360
PlayStation 3
Release dates
PC
November 13, 2007 (NA)
November 15, 2007 (AUS)
November 16, 2007 (EU)
Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
October 4, 2011
Genres
First-person shooter
Modes
Singleplayer, multiplayer
Ratings
Mature (ESRB)
MA15+ (OFLC)
16+ (PEGI)

Crysis is a science fiction first-person shooter video game developed by Crytek (Frankfurt, Germany), published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows, and released in November 2007. It is the first game of a trilogy. A separate game entitled Crysis Warhead was released on September 12, 2008, and follows similar events as Crysis but from a different narrative perspective. Crysis, Crysis Warhead and a multiplayer expansion called Crysis Wars were re-released as a compilation pack titled Crysis Maximum Edition on May 5, 2009. At the time Crysis was released, and years thereafter, it has been praised for its milestones in graphical design (commensurate with high hardware requirements).

The game is based in a future where a massive ancient space alien-constructed structure has been discovered buried inside a mountain on an island in the fictional Lingshan Islands, near the coast of the East Philippines. The single-player campaign has the player assume the role of US Army Delta Force operator Jake Dunn, referred to in-game by his call sign, Nomad. Nomad is armed with various futuristic weapons and equipment, most notably a "Nano Suit" which was inspired by a real-life military concept. In Crysis, the player fights both North Korean and extraterrestrial enemies in various environments on and around the island.

GameplayEdit

As with Crytek's previous game Far Cry, Crysis is an open-ended first-person shooter game with many ways to meet objectives. The player controls a special forces soldier named Nomad whose weapons can be customised without pausing the flow of time; for example, changing firing modes, switching scopes, or adding sound suppressors. The player is also capable of selecting various modes in Nomad's military prototype "Nano Suit" which draw power from the suit's energy. When the suit's energy is depleted, no modes can be used and the player is more vulnerable to damage before the suit recharges. One of four modes can be selected: Armor deflects damage and recharges the suit's energy faster; Strength allows stronger hand-to-hand combat, higher jumps and more precise firing; Speed increases running and swimming speed, as well as acting speed; and Cloak renders Nomad almost completely invisible and suppresses movement noise.

The suit's integral mask has its own HUD, displaying typical data including a tactical map, health, current energy levels, and weapons information. The view is electronic in nature, shown in-game through things such as a booting readout and visual distortion during abnormal operation. A particularly useful utility is the binocular function, which allows the player to zoom in and electronically tag enemies and vehicles from afar, thereby tracking their movement on the tactical display.

The player can engage enemies in a variety of ways; using stealth or aggression, bullets or non-lethal tranquilisers, ranged rifles or short-range weaponry, and so on. Enemy soldiers employ tactical maneuvers and work as squads. AI soldiers will respond to noise accidentally or purposely caused by the player. If the player has not been detected in the area, enemies will exhibit relaxed behaviour, but if aware of the player they will draw weapons and become combative.

WeaponsEdit

Main articles: Weapons and Attachments

The game features assault rifles, sub-machine guns, pistols, LAWs, shotguns, miniguns, sniper rifles, gauss rifles, an Alien energy-based mini-gun like weapon (MOAC and MOAR attachment), and the TAC gun (a nuclear grenade launcher). Most weapons can be modified with attachments; these attachments may be given to the player by default, acquired from picked-up weapons, or purchased in multiplayer. Attachment options are given a fair amount of leeway even if the end result may seem strange. For instance, a 4x/10x sniper scope can be attached to the buckshot-firing shotgun. Additionally, most weapons have multiple firing modes (single/rapidfire) and different ammo types. Crysis also incorporates some features that have appeared in other recent shooters, such as being able to throw hand grenades without needing to formally equip them first, and accounting for already-chambered rounds when a reload occurs.

VehiclesEdit

Main article: Vehicles

A large selection of vehicles are present, with most being available to players for personal use. Available ground vehicles range from pickup trucks to tanks, while naval vessels range from motorboats to light military hovercraft. All vehicles (Humvees, pickup trucks, and even tanks) have a turbo mode that can be activated via the sprint key. The aircraft selection is limited to one North Korean attack helicopter and a fictional American VTOL aircraft, each of which can transport eight passengers and two crew.

Damage modeling is limited in wheeled vehicles, most noticeably the ability to burst their tires. Tracked vehicles such as tanks or APCs have the ability to lose their tracks as well, but maintain their ability to operate via the wheels which would normally drive the tracks. Exposed gas cans on vehicles can also be shot at to detonate their contents, usually resulting in the vehicle exploding as well. Flaming wrecks will cause proximity heat damage to objects and characters. Of note is that a vehicle can still run even if all the tires are gone, slowly rolling along on its rims.

MultiplayerEdit

Main articles: Power Struggle and Instant Action

Up to 32 players are supported in each multiplayer match in Crysis. There are two different modes, each with six available maps: Instant Action, a deathmatch type mode; and Power Struggle, which are played by two opposing teams, each trying to destroy the other's headquarters.

PlotEdit

Crysis missions
"Contact" • "Recovery" • "Relic" • "Assault" • "Onslaught" • "Awakening" • "Core" • "Paradise Lost" • "Exodus" • "Ascension" • "Reckoning"

DevelopmentEdit

Game engineEdit

Main article: CryEngine 2

Crysis uses Microsoft's API, Direct3D 10 (DirectX 10) for graphics rendering, and includes the same editor that was used by Crytek to create the game. The game runs on a new engine (CryEngine 2) that is the successor to Far Cry's CryEngine. CryEngine 2 is among the first engines to use the Direct3D 10 (DirectX 10) framework of Windows Vista, but can also run using DirectX 9, both on Vista and Windows XP.

Roy Taylor, Vice President of Content Relations at NVIDIA, has spoken on the subject of the engine's complexity, stating that Crysis has over a million lines of code, 1 GB of texture data, and 85,000 shaders.

Crysis is often used as a benchmark in computer tests, as Crysis at the highest settings and resolutions required processing power from computers that was unfeasible when it was first released. In its time, the game was so demanding on previous computer hardware that the catchphrase "Yeah, but can it run Crysis?" was frequently added to graphics card reviews.

DemoEdit

On August 27, 2007, Crytek announced a single-player demo would be released on September 25; however, the date was pushed back to October 26. The demo featured the entire first level, Contact, as well as the sand box editor. On October 26, Crytek announced that the demo would be postponed for at least one more day and was released to the public on October 27. However, on many sites it was provided a day early, and an oversight allowed people to grab the file directly off an EA server earlier than intended.

Shortly after the demo's release some enthusiasts found that, by manipulating the configuration files, most of the "very high" graphics settings (normally reserved for DX10) could be activated under DX9. The "very high" DX9 graphics mode looks almost identical to the DX10 mode, with certain graphical features not being able to be reproduced correctly under DX9, such as Object Motion Blur.

Sandbox editorEdit

Crysis contains a level editor called Sandbox, much like Far Cry's, in which new levels can be created and edited. Such levels have full support in all multiplayer modes. This allows the player to easily build their own levels, seeing everything in real time within the editor. The player can also jump into the map they are working on at any time to test it. The editor is the same one that was used by Crytek to create the game.

As stated in the readme file accompanying Sandbox, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition or Windows Vista x64 are the only officially supported operating systems for running the editor. According to Crytek, using a 32-bit OS can lead to instabilities with production size levels due to the low amount of virtual memory available and is therefore not supported.

Special EditionEdit

The limited or collector's edition of Crysis is called Special Edition. The three-disc Crysis Special Edition contains the following:[29]

  • Steelbook casing (Not available in American Version)
  • Crysis game DVD
  • Crysis Bonus Content DVD including:
    • "Making of Crysis" & "Meet the Developers" featurette
    • Initial Crysis concept video
    • Additional "key trailers"
    • Showreel of original concept and production artwork
    • High-resolution screenshots
    • Storyboards
  • A 28-page game manual
  • A 16-page concept art booklet
  • An exclusive in-game multiplayer "Amphibious APC" vehicle*
  • Official soundtrack CD by composer Inon Zur
  • South African release also included an EA CRYSIS T-shirt.

The Amphibious APC is currently unavailable to most pre-orders and Special Edition owners. Electronic Arts is still working out a solution.

Console versionsEdit

In July 2011, it was revealed that both the ESRB and the equivalent Korean ratings board have rated the original Crysis for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

On September 8, a trailer with real-time in-game footage was released on Crytek's Twitter page. It showed brand new features for consoles including all new lighting, new effects and new Nanosuit controls, fine-tuned combat and full stereoscopic 3D support. This version is download-only. "We are extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish with Crysis," said Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli. "We set out to create a next-generation FPS and delivered a PC experience that became a benchmark for quality- and still is for many gamers even four years later. "By bringing the single-player campaign to console, we believe we are again setting a new standard for quality in downloadable gaming," he added. However, unlike the original, the XBL/PSN versions of the game lack the online multiplayer component. Also, neither Warhead nor Wars expansions are included. It was released on October 4, 2011.

SoundtrackEdit

The Crysis Soundtrack was composed by Inon Zur, and released on November 27, 2007.

ReceptionEdit

CommercialEdit

According to The simExchange, the NPD Group reported that Crysis moved 86,633 retail units in the first two weeks of its release in North America, but while it beat their expectations, the sales were considered disappointing overall. Two months later, on Electronic Arts' earnings conference of the quarter, it was reported that Crysis had reached the 1 million units mark, and that it had exceeded their expectations. On the other hand, Cevat Yerli stated during an interview with PC Play in April 2008 that he was disappointed to see the game leading the charts in piracy and because of that his studio would not produce any more PC exclusives, as he believed a game such as Crysis would sell four to five times more copies if it was released on consoles. Piracy figures released by TorrentFreak indicate that Crysis was indeed one of the most pirated PC games of the year. In June 2008 Cevat stated that while their hopes have not been met, the game has reached their real expectations and in August he added that despite of its $22 million budget the game has turned profitable for them. By May 2010 the game has sold over 3 million units (and its standalone expansion about 1.5 million units) making it one of the best selling PC games of all time.

Critical receptionEdit

Upon its release, Crysis was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews. The game was awarded a 98% in the PC Gamer U.S. Holiday 2007 issue, making it one of the highest rated games ever in PC Gamer, tying with Half-Life 2 and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. The UK edition of the magazine awarded the game 92%, describing the game as "A spectacular and beautiful sci-fi epic." GameSpot awarded Crysis a score of 9.5 out of 10, describing it as "easily one of the greatest shooters ever made." GameSpy gave it a 4.5 out of 5 stating that the suit powers were fun but also criticizing the multiplayer portion of the game for not having a team deathmatch. X-Play gave it a 3 out of 5 on its "Holiday Buyer's Guide" special episode, praising the graphics and physics, but criticized the steep hardware requirements as well as stating that the game is overhyped with average gameplay. GamePro honored Crysis with a score of 4.75 out of 5, saying it was "a great step forward for PC gaming," but criticized the steep hardware requirements. IGN awarded it a 9.4 out of 10, hailing it as "one of the more entertaining ballistic showdowns in quite some time." A retrospective review for bit-tech.net in June 2010 criticized the game for failing to deliver on its pre-release promise, saying that the art direction was "boring and monotonous," that the nanosuit was underwhelming and that the plot could be summarized as "Rescue these people who look to be being held captive by Koreans. Oh no Aliens!" The review concluded by saying, "Crysis was the epitome of style over substance."

AwardsEdit

GameSpot awarded Crysis Best Shooter in its Best of 2007 awards, saying that "It was this open-ended, emergent gameplay--the ability to let us tackle our challenges in whatever way we wished." They also awarded it with Best Graphics: Technical and Best PC Game stating that "The firefights in the game are beautiful to look at, but extremely intense affairs that force you to think quickly--and reward you for doing so. It's a dynamic game, one that you can play several times to discover new things and to experiment with different approaches."

PC Gamer awarded Crysis Game Of The Year and Action Game Of The Year in its March 2008, Games of the Year Awards issue. PC Gamer also remarked that "Crysishas pushed PC gaming to a new plateau, marrying the most advanced graphics engine ever created with phenomenal gameplay. From the cinematic opening to credits to its cliffhanger ending, Crysis is mesmerizing."

Gamereactor — who gave Crysis a perfect ten — awarded Crysis Best Action Game of 2007, saying that "the action genre is forever changed."

IGN awarded Crysis its Editor's Choice Award, saying that "the Halo 2 type ending... wasn’t enough to deter me from heartily recommending action fans pick this one up."

Crysis
Media
CrysisCrysis Warhead (Crysis Wars) • Crysis 2Crysis (comic)Crysis 3
Main characters
NomadPsychoAlcatrazProphetJacob HargreaveNathan GouldTara StricklandHelena RosenthalSean O'Neill
Supporting characters
Ji-Sung LeeDominic LockhartSherman BarclayChinoRi-Shan KyongStricklandRichard MorrisonEmersonDr. RosenthalKarl RaschJesterAztec
Locations and factions
Locations: IslandAlien shipIce sphereUSS ConstitutionNew York City
Factions: United StatesNorth KoreaCeph (TrooperScoutHunterWarshipSoldierDevastatorPinger) • Crynet Systems
Gameplay
TimelineNanosuitWeaponsAttachmentsVehiclesPower StruggleInstant Action
Development
CrytekElectronic ArtsRemoved featuresCryEngine 2CryEngine 3

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