The weapons in Crysis are —for the most part— standard military fair including a pistol, a number of different machine guns, a shotgun, a sniper rifle, a missile launcher and more. They all look and handle very realistically and sound very satisfying. The player is rewarded with instant kills for head shots but, on the other hand, KPA soldiers can surprisingly take an amazing number of body shots from a machine gun before getting killed. This leads to situations where firefights at close range with a bunch of KPA soldiers who have outflanked you often result in having to use up a lot of ammo in order to survive.
Like Far Cry, Crysis limits the number of weapons you can carry although you can carry two of each type. For example, you're allowed to carry two 'assault' weapons (machine gun, shotgun, sniper rifle, guass rifle, etc) although you are permitted to switch weapons whenever you find a new one. This then at times requires some careful planning for specific situations where you must decide if it would be more valuable to carry a shotgun (ideal for close range surprise attacks) or a sniper rifle (ideal for long-range stealth attacks).
Of special note also is the number of attachments that can be used on the weapons and the fact that if you find a weapon with new attachments, they can sometimes be swapped onto another weapon allowing for a certain level of weapon customization. Attachments include things like a flashlight, silencer, grenade launcher, sniper scopes and the like.
Although, in my humble opinion, they still tend to oversteer and overaccelerate somewhat, the land vehicles in Crysis handle way, way better than their counterparts in Far Cry and so much so that they are actually a pleasure to use and ultimately of great strategic value. The steering is more fluid, you don't catch ten feet of air every time you roll over a slight bump in the road and the mounted guns have no 'blind spots' (producing that annoying can't-shoot-here red X á la Far Cry).
The tank level was absolutely spectacular. The tanks themselves handle wonderfully and the tank cannons produced satisfying results. It was essentially like playing Command & Conquer from the first person perspective. The ability to jump in and out of your tank at will was just amazing.
Once again, when I first tackled this level, I approached it the wrong way. I thought, okay, I'm invincible because I'm in a tank. Let's just plow ahead and blow up anything and everything. (*buzzer sound*) Wrong! Although it was still a lot of fun it didn't work very well. Once I realized that this was modern and intelligent warfare and the enemy was also armed to the teats with tanks AND soldiers carrying tank busting missile launchers AND helicopters then it became a whole different ballgame.
This was probably the most thrilling level in the whole game for me as it beautifully incorporated everything I'd want to see in a battlefied simulation and enabled me to play an exquisite cat-and-mouse game with enemy forces. This involved, among other things, using stealth tactics on foot to recon the area and then running back to carefully reposition the tank to a strategic attack position.
At one point, I was using a Jeep to race ahead to do recon, then I got out of the Jeep, stealthed ahead in prone position, whipped out my binoculars, got a bead on enemy positions, sniped a few key enemy soldiers wielding tank busting missile launchers, snuck back to my Jeep, drove my Jeep back to my tank and then drove the tank forward to a convenient flanking position that I had scoped out and blew away an enemy tank all without taking a scratch. I was literally a one-man army. Positively one of the best gaming experiences I've ever had.
I've read a few complaints but I personally thought the AI in Crysis is quite good. The enemy will actually execute highly effective flank attacks and quite often take you by surprise. This leads to a lot of Homer Simpson d'oh! moments in the earlier levels where you think you're sitting pretty hidden in the bush with invisibility powers engaged and you come out of it to take a sneaky potshot at a nearby KPA soldier only to discover that you've already been completely surrounded as the enemy suddenly begins firing on you from all sides.
The enemy will also send patrols to investigate a 'disturbance' in your area (which can sometimes can be something as simple as you test-firing a new found weapon) and will flush you out and keep you on your toes (literally) by lobbing grenades at your position. It will also use snipers to kill you instantly from distant guard towers. This is definitely no cakewalk and there is a very real sense of being at war with a ruthless enemy. I found it quite thrilling to be forced to use my own flanking maneuvers and stealth tactics to defeat them.
Yes the stories are true. Crysis will take your PC, smack it to the ground, twist its arm behind its back and make it scream Uncle. It's that freakin' demanding. Take a look at a triple SLI'ed water-cooled rig this guy put together in order to run this game on the very high graphic settings with a high frame rate.
But contrary to what many gamers thought when Crysis was first released, you don't need a $5000 PC to run it because it actually looks quite astounding even on medium settings. I can conceivably run Crysis on high on my budget gaming rig (Athlon 64 Dual Core 5600+, 2 GB RAM, GeForce 9600 GT) although it tends to chug on some of the more demanding levels. But no matter because when I first installed Crysis and it defaulted to medium settings, I was still positively floored by the graphics.
But if you're thinking about what kind of PC to get (or upgrades to make) to run Crysis, I would personally forget all about the minimum system requirements and go for the recommended which are:
- OS - Windows XP / Vista
- Processor - Intel Core 2 DUO @ 2.2GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+
- Memory - 2.0 GB RAM
- GPU - NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS/640 or similar
And I'm not sure what some are saying about Crysis being only marginally better on medium than Far Cry. Crysis blows Far Cry out of the water even on medium. In fact, Far Cry looks like a comic book compared to the photo realistic environment that Crysis presents.
All in all, Crysis is an intelligent and gorgeous looking tactical shooter that is well deserving of all the hype it's received in the PC game arena. Despite the awkward and flagging alien levels in the latter part of the game, this game indeed sets a new reference standard with its combination of photorealistic graphics and unique and thrilling gameplay.