The Beauty and Action of Crysis
Crytek's spiritual sequel to Far Cry, Crysis is an action first-person shooter based on a massive "Lost"-like island, the mysteries of which are revealed to you in naturally occurring areas (or levels) that can take several minutes to sprint across and hours each to polish off. (Read PCW's full review of Crysis.) The game's graphics engine is so sophisticated that bullets fired through sun-streaked foliage cause leaves to shiver, while massive explosions thousands of meters away can produce clouds of dust that settle gradually over jungle canopies like smog. Oh, and as you can see in this screen, you can also expect epic skirmishes with anti-grav aliens. --Matt Peckham and Danny Allen
Remarkably, everything is interactive, from coffee cups and barrels to destructible shacks to the trunks of felled trees, which you can pick up and wield.
Two Worlds Collide
"Power Struggle" multiplayer mode weds Battlefield-style theater objectives (e.g. destroy the enemy's base) to a sophisticated resource-control tactic that has teams jockeying for control of alien energy at crash sites, which in turn feed prototype centers that yield advanced weapons and vehicles.
Try shooting oil barrels at the top and bottom, and you'll discover that the game even models interior fluid levels--oil barrels drain accordingly.
The flying minigame near the end in which you pilot a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) craft through increasingly catastrophic weather is just plain sloppy. Fortunately it's over before it gets too irritating.
Pop Goes the Destroyer
Getting here after protracted gunfights in hangars and across crate-covered docks--and at one point actually boarding this thing--is one of the most rewarding assault sequences in the game.
Final Level on Aircraft Carrier
The action here is beautiful and entertaining in a perfectly conventional fashion--but contrasted with the rest of the game, it violates everything you've learned to do up to this point.
Even without a gun, you're a lethal weapon, kitted out with special nanotechnology that lets you hit, run, and jump like a superhero.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Light passes through spray off a waterfall to form a rainbow.
Even the close-up detail on such objects as computer screens is razor sharp. You can zoom in on this screen or the CD drive next to it, and the text stays crisp and remains instantly readable.
Every Area a Virtual Playground
Pick your entry point and assault fishing villages--such as these, full of enemy soldiers--any way you like.
It's hard to see in this shot, but you're underwater here. Those wavy bands of light showing through swaths of alternating darkness are light rays, which the game models so well that you'll want to stay submerged just to ogle.
No game has ever attempted to model botanical life as Crysis does. Every branch sways, every frond moves when you bump or shoot it, and every tree trunk below a certain thickness can snap and collapse.
That purplish impression that looks like an arm holding a gun? That's you in your nanosuit's cloaked mode (here, after shooting a helicopter out of the sky).
Set a spark in gas pumps to distract the enemy in a village, and the concussive explosion shatters overhangs and base-level concrete, sending fiery plumes skyward that gradually burn down to a smolder.
Multiplayer "Power Struggle"
The long knives (and nukes) come out. In multiplayer "Power Struggle," two teams battle to upgrade tech and eventually take out the other base's turrets and towers. Getting nukes takes a while, but they do the job nicely.
Can't Always Climb the Highest Mountain
Whatever you see you can explore. Well, almost. Most of the highest terrain is off-limits because it's too steep to climb, but always in a naturally occurring capacity.
Mission by Moonlight
In this area, you have to get across the channel and over to the far side to take out well-guarded antiaircraft vehicles, clearing the skies for a U.S. assault. It's as large as it looks and takes as long as you think it would.
Shoot Your Name in the Snow
This is the second most visually stunning level in the game--and yes, that really is snow falling from the skybox.
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