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Crysis Preview

publisher: EA
developer: Crytek Studios
genre: Shooters

PIV 2800, 1GB RAM, 12GB HDD, GF 6800GT or better, Radeon 9800 Pro or better
ESRB rating: M

release date: Nov 16, 07
» All About Crysis on ActionTrip

Crysis, the much-discussed PC FPS from EA and Crytek, is all about next-generation goodness. If we consider the impact Crytek made with Far Cry, it's only fair to assume that Crysis will take things one step further both in temrs of graphics as well as gameplay. Although we were a tad disheartened with the game's performance at the GC 2006 in Leipzig, Crysis has come a long way since then. Don't take our word for it - a mere peek at the screenshots and the DX10 footage will surely make your head spin. Just to get it out of the way, Crytek mentioned the game won't be arriving until it is fully optimized and ready to face the gaming masses.

So, rather than wasting time on plot details, mentioned a while back, we've decided to focus on the unique gameplay mechanics as well as the progress Crytek made with the shooter so far.

Recently, the developers have finally shown the game in full DirectX 10 glory, which makes a world of a difference after witnessing several DX9 based demos. The visuals are exceptional, to say the least. Everything from improved geometry shaders to top-quality texture filtering, now makes for an incredibly believable in-game ambiance. High dynamic range lighting also seems to have done the trick, with accurate and realistic sunlight effects as well as a range of impressive shadow effects and particle effects. Thankfully, on a number of occasions, Crytek simply pointed out that gamers with DX9 based cards will be able to enjoy the game as well. If, on the other hand, your card does support DX10, you'll be able to witness the game in all its visual majesty. During the recent Crysis presentations, the developers ran the game on a high-end single-core CPU (strengthened with the latest Nvidia graphics card) and the results were more than satisfying. In other words, the game's frame-rate was agreeable and it looked way better than any shooter we've seen on the market thus far. Of course, apart from being tweaked for single-core, Crysis is going to be ready for dual-core and quad-core CPUs. But, like I've said earlier, the programming team is determined to tweak the game so it can run on a variety of rigs and, as unveiled recently, Crysis will be playable on 2-3-year-old PCs.

Gameplay wise, there's plenty to expect from this PC shooter. Throughout most of the game, players will run off into action equipped with a highly specialized assault rifle, named the SCAR. Armed with this adaptable and extremely effective weapon, you can customize just about any of its features. It boasts various scopes, different types of ammo, grenade launcher, silencer and more. Commendably, players will get to toy around with other weapons, such as the Minigun, the XM102 Rocket Launcher, the XM2014 Shotgun, the MPXA Sub-Machine Gun, the EM70 Rifle, various pistols and so on. The developers also threw in a variety of alien weapons - the Molecular Accelerator, the Molecular Arrestor and the Singularity Cannon.

Being greatly outnumbered by the enemy, players may often want to plan out each attack. When it comes to tactics, the possibilities are almost infinite. With the open-ended levels (similar to Far Cry), players choose any path they wish towards completing their goal. The usual run-and-gun method is always an option, albeit you are advised to consider each move carefully because the enemy also knows how to make the most out of the terrain and the situation at hand (they plant explosives, set traps and can surround you within moments).

Another helpful ally in your endeavors is the snazzy new-fangled futuristic nano suit that would make Batman and Spider-man fiercely jealous. Allowing you to distribute energy to various features like strength, speed, armor etc. Enhancing the suit's speed, grants the main character incredible velocity, which enables him to reach distant objectives in but a few seconds. Boosting strength means you can grab opponents by the neck and toss them about or simply punch them and watch them fly. While your strength is augmented, it is possible to kick down doors, leap onto higher ground (such as building rooftops) and move around heavier objects. Last, but not least, redirecting power to armor makes you temporarily invulnerable to small arms fire of the North Korean soldiers. As you can tell, the nano suit is definitely a powerful item, but must be used rationally since its energy is drained rather quickly. In time, however, when not used, the suit recharges itself.

Additional tactical options are available on the fly, as you encounter swarms of soldiers. For instance, at any time, you may "tag" enemy sentries, to make them detectable on radar and that, in turn, allows players to come up with a more elaborate and effective strategy before leaping into action. Likewise, enemies can be knocked out by firing undetectable tranquilizers that are placed under their skin. When struck, enemy soldiers collapse, giving you a perfect opportunity to approach them and finish them off. Hardly fair, but very effective. Another tactic is to utilize and throw practically any object that comes your way. Grab hold of a gas canister, fling it straight at a bunch of enemies, aim carefully and then set them all ablaze (sounds familiar... HL2?). Using vehicles, throwing diverse objects around also shows that the developers have pushed environmental interactivity even further.

All in all, be prepared for Crysis later this year. This game now ranks as one of the most wanted titles in 2007 with a potential to forge the way for next-generation gaming. It also has something for multiplayer fans - presumably supporting up to 32 players modes such as Deathmatch and Power Struggle.

We're keeping a close watch for this one, and we see no reason why you guys shouldn't. Far Cry was one of the greatest surprises back in 2004, and with Vista and DX10 moving slowly onto the scene, we feel that Crysis has serious GOTY potential.



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