Crysis

PC, PS3, XB360 / Action / Release: Nov 16, 2007 / ESRB: M

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Crysis Preview

Related Topics – Crysis, Alone in the Dark

GameSpy has the latest Crysis preview, offering their multiplayer impressions.

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Crysis Q&A

Related Topics – Crysis, Alone in the Dark

Shooting For Perfection: The Cevat Yerli Interview on Game Informer offers a chat with the Crytek CEO about --what else-- Crysis. Questions are about DirectX 10, console possibilities, Ubisoft doing FarCry 2 and more.

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Scaled-Down Crysis on Consoles Depends on PC Version Success

Related Topics – Crysis, Alone in the Dark, Crytek

Console gamers and the world at large might get a taste of Crytek's beautiful shooter Crysis after all, as a version of the game could be coming to consoles--in a downscaled form, of course. Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli told Game Informer the development of a console version of Crysis would depend entirely on the game's success as a PC title, which will render 90% of the computers in existence obsolete when it retails November 16. "What happens next we haven't decided yet, because first we want to see how the game is received, publicly and critically, ratings wise, et cetera. We believe it will be received at least as strong as Far Cry. I hope personally a 5% average increase," Yerli said. "That would give us an argument to, 'OK, let's see how we can bring Crysis to consoles.' The engine right now is running on consoles so there's no reason why we couldn't." Crytek has not begun any development of a console version on any platform, but Yerli said these "derivative" renditions would certainly not have the graphical fidelity of the PC version. "You cannot get Crysis as it is on PC on any console," he said. "What you would have to do is compromise the design and the level design--in order of the PS3 and Xbox 360 regards you have to fulfill the memory constraints." For more on Crysis, check out Shacknews editor-in-chief Chris Remo's recent single-player and multiplayer hands-on previews.

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"UT3 will be out on Nov. 14th with this shipping 2 days later? jeezus, where will I find the time?"
- cell9song    See all 31 comments


Pirates of the Burning Sea Embarks Jan. 22

Flying Lab Software's swashbuckling PC MMO Pirates of the Burning Sea will launch worldwide on January 22, 2008. As has become commonplace, those who pre-order the title will net a boatload of goodies, including a powerful in-game weapon and a parrot, along with early access to the game's servers on January 7. Published under Sony Online Entertainment's Platform Publishing label, the game has players picking one of four factions--Pirate, English, French, and Spanish--and battling for dominance over the open sea. Said factions will constantly battle over ownership of the game's numerous ports, which affects the in-game economy. As with any good pirate-themed outing, combat occurs in both ship-to-ship and personal sword-swinging, pistol-firing varieties. "The vast amount of player-created content and the intense strategy required in Pirates of the Burning Sea sets it apart from any other MMO on the market," noted Sony Online Entertainment global brand manager D Tim Granich, Sr. Global Brand Manager. "Gamers will be donning their captain's gear and eagerly awaiting their next battle on land or sea."

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"Jakc sparoww, Jagg Sprow, Jackk Spparrooww ... clones of the burning sea."
- Lukiopimp    See all 13 comments


Crysis Single-Player Hands-On

"Crysis is the most advanced game ever built," declared an NVidia representative at a recent Electronic Arts-hosted event showcasing Crytek's impressive followup to Far Cry. Held aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet in Alameda Point, California, the event allowed invited press to play through a level of the single-player game as well as spend some time with its two multiplayer modes. We have already spent some time with Crysis' "Power Struggle" multiplayer mode via the in-progress multiplayer beta, leaving the bulk of that day's impressions to center on what is undoubtedly the focal point of Crysis, its single-player campaign. So does Crysis live up to the title of most advanced game ever built? It's a weighty claim--and in terms of the game's technical graphical accomplishments, presumably the area of merit for a video card manufacturer, one that is tough to contest. Generally, the indiscriminate pursuit of realism in video games is a trend to which I am at best essentially neutral. With Crysis, however, many of Crytek's considerable attempts at recreating reality--at least as much as is reasonably possible within the admittedly limiting scope of a first-person shooter about a nanosuit-enhanced super-soldier--feel not indiscriminate but instead concerted attempts to work alongside the game's overall design aesthetic and, in a few cases, dispense with some nearly ubiquitous video game abstractions. She Was Cold as Ice...Paradise I played through a level entitled "Assault," a conspicuously Far Cry-esque jungle mission tasking my nanosuit-armored protagonist with destroying three anti-aircraft artillery tanks. While Crytek has shown plenty of evidence that Crysis breaks away from its predecessor's iconically tropical locales (check out our brief hands-on with the level "Ice"), most of the substantial preview time has been dedicated to the wide-open island environments for which the studio is known. According to Crytek co-founder and president Cevat Yerli, who was present at last week's event, the alien spacecraft integral to the game's plot will have a growing effect on environments as the plot progresses, resulting in the cryogenic wastelands seen in much of Crysis' media. Last week, though, it was North Koreans in jungles. The game starts out with an in-engine, first-person sequence in an airborne transport, as a fellow soldier wielding a nanosuit and a gruff British accent trades banter with one of the less-exorbitantly equipped conscripts sitting by your character. The level of detail in the characters is truly ridiculous, and fortunately their visual style, dialogue, and voice acting remain convincing throughout, never approaching the supremely dumb level of B-movie cheesiness that permeated Far Cry. Upon landing, Far Cry's heritage--the good parts--become much more evident. The three main objectives are simply scattered across the map, with the route to reach them all up to you, be it by foot, by jeep, by boat, or some combination. This is one of those games that, provided a powerful enough machine, makes you constantly check at first that, yes, you are the one who is actually controlling this in real time and, yes, the things on the screen are actually happening because of the way you are moving the mouse around. Even as a Far Cry aficionado, I had to continually remind myself that it was possible to stray far off the beaten path for any amount of enemy flanking of conflict avoidance. For the most part, video games are not this uncompromising in both the level of top-notch visual fidelity and the level of broad geographical freedom; more of one tends to come with less of the other. Suffice it to say, it all looks absolutely gorgeous. With a delicious color palette and plenty of contrast, a day/night cycle so subtle and effective I hardly even noticed it was happening at all until significant time had passed, and a lack of overreliance on many of the "next-gen" graphical tricks that developers often hammer on in realistic games simply because they can, Crysis avoids falling into the trap of being muddily realistic at the expense of having a style. Rebuilding the Fourth Wall Along with its notable stabs at graphical realism come some interesting facets of gameplay. For one thing, simply as a result of the game's high level of detail and subtlety of texture work, enemy camouflage in many cases works as intended--at one point, a North Korean in combat fatigues was standing several feet in front of me (I could see him on my radar!). While he couldn't see me because of my advanced nanosuit cloak, I couldn't see him simply because he blended so well into the foliage. Firing my shotgun blind straight ahead resulted in a cry of, "Argghh!" and a slumping corpse. One of Crysis' more uncommon design goals is apparently to try and graphically represent, as best as currently possible, what the player character's hands are actually doing at any given time. If you pick up an object to throw, you will see your character's hands grab it and hold it, then throw it naturally. If you climb a ladder, your hands will actually climb each rung, one by one, grabbing each rung at the correct height. Most crucially, if you pick up ammunition or weapons, you actually reach down and pluck them off the ground. This kind of blatant disregard of a core FPS abstraction in place since at least Wolfenstein 3D has been done by a couple of other games before but feels particularly at home in Crysis. Building a Better Suit Contrary to what Crysis' marketing videos might have you believe, your power-granting nanosuit does not turn you into an unstoppable killing machine. Crysis, like Far Cry (though hopefully not too much like Far Cry) is a difficult game. Using your nanosuit well is what will help you stay alive, not something that will allow you to trample over foes easily. To some extent, Far Cry pushed the notion of allowing players to set their own paths in achieving certain objectives, and Crysis' nanosuit is actually an extension of that philosophy. Crysis attempts to refine and expand on that formula, and the suit, with its one-power-at-a-time functionality, allows the player to essentially amplify a particular angle at any given time. If you're taking the stealth route and infiltrating a camp of enemies, turn on your cloaking. If you're rushing in to grab a lone enemy by his neck and drag him away, activate enhanced speed. If you want to act as a sniper from a convenient vantage point, boost your strength to jump up to tall rooftops and steady your zoomed-in aim. On top of that, your angle is further facilitated by being able to change your weapon attachments on the fly, with multiple types of scopes and equipment such as undermounted grenade launchers. You can even use the suit to help deal with the game's approach to picking up weapons ammo--if you need some bullets, it can be dangerous to run out into an open street and have to individually grab the useful loot strewn around on the ground, whereas in most games you could simply run straight over it and be replenished. Here you can run out with super speed, toggle on your enhanced armor, and dash out again, avoiding staying in the line of fire too long and getting some extra protection while you're there. She Blinded Me with Science In addition to its sense of visual realism, Crysis attempts to push useful in-game physics as well. Just as the manual pickup mechanic ties into the game's power system, so do its physics interactions. Though it cannot be described as any kind of fully destructible world, Crysis does make a concerted effort to allow your strength-augmented fists to punch through roofs and walls, and provide plenty of splintering wood and shattering glass. Foliage will also splinter and shred when perforated by bullet fire, and you can even pick up the realistically-broken branches. Because Crysis is a video game, there is still plenty of asshole physics--objects tend to have that bizarre floaty quality that seems only loosely based on actual physics. And it is, oddly, apparently possible to do more damage to a soldier by hitting him with a box so flimsy that it utterly shatters on impact than you might do with a direct hit from a high-powered rifle--this concession to Video Game Reality is likely a deliberate design choice intended to encourage the player to experiment with as many world interactions as possible, rather than an oversight by the physics team. All that said, it is quite fun to beat down the sheet metal wall of a ramshackle command structure, taking its inhabitants by surprise, or ripping away a roof to throw a grenade down into a hut--and grabbing guys by their necks and beating them senseless always makes for good times. Plus, with enhanced strength enabled, you can throw tanks around! It's Like a Tiny God Much of this, at least on the visual side, is contingent on owning what must border on military-grade computing hardware in order to get the full experience offered by Crysis. For the first time in my various extended hands-on experiences with the game, everything was both visually jawdropping and running at a silky smooth framerate. I'm not sure what the systems on hand were running, but judging by their massive, imposing appearance and unholy processing capability, they were surely powered by some kind of tenuously contained nuclear fission reactors. Hopefully, the game is scalable to some extent, but Crytek has made no bones about the game's intention to ride not only the cutting edge of PC hardware, but probably some more enthusiastic stabbing and bludgeoning edges as well. This is a game that should be played on beefy machines for the full experience--but, with what appears to be careful integration of visual ambitions with overall design themes, that is a goal that seems to be unusually justified. Still, hope remains for those with less monstrous PCs. Back in January, Far Cry and Crysis lead designer Jack Mamais told us that Crysis would be "even more [scalable]" than it predecessor, though surely that comment is relative to the years in which each game is released. "A three year old graphics card should be pretty good. You'll have to turn things down--shadows, particles--but people who get the big machines want to have everything so we're going to be really jamming on those big machines," he said. "But for the guys who don't have that kind of budget, they'll still have a really good experience and have fun. It won't be cutting edge with the graphics but it'll be super good. The gameplay is everything."

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Crysis Multiplayer Beta Impressions

With Crytek nearing its release of what is arguably the most graphically intensive video game yet developed, hardware manufacturers (as well as Windows owner Microsoft) are hoping Crysis will fuel interest in PC gaming and high-end gaming hardware. Over the last couple of years, the game's visually groundbreaking single-player mode has been showcased extensively, making the game one of the most exciting upcoming PC exclusives. Less publicized, however, has been Crysis' multiplayer mode--and, as I recently found during the multiplayer beta currently being operated, there's a lot more to it than one might have guessed. Crytek's debut effort, Far Cry, didn't generate a long-lasting, robust multiplayer community, so with Crysis the company has gone back to the drawing board, crafting an ambitious Battlefield-esque mode called "Power Struggle" that encapsulates large-scale teamplay with land-sea-and-air dynamics and plenty of control points.

Essentially, each team vies for control of a factory, which allows production of a nuke-equipped tank capable of destroying the enemy team's headquarters. To make the battle more interesting, players can also gain control of defensive bunkers as well as optional factories producing helicopter-like aircraft, boats, and other such useful equipment. On top of all that, alien crash sites litter the map; they must be controlled in order to create advanced alien technology to aid in the battle against the opposing team. As in Counter-Strike, players are not assigned to specific classes but are rather able to buy new equipment and weapons at the beginning of every round, with more kills and captures conferring more money with which to suit up in purchase zones. All of this is combined with Crysis' nanosuit featured in its single-player game. With the suit, players can apply one enhanced effect to themselves at any given time: great speed, enhanced strength, toughened armor, or a personal cloak. Particularly useful in multiplayer is the ability to augment weaponry with various types of zoom scopes and other attachments. Cloaking seems like the most useful nanosuit ability to employ in multiplayer, since it provides obvious advantages when attempting to infiltrate and acquire an enemy-controlled structure, while speed is useful simply for traversing the large map included in the multiplayer beta, particularly early in the game.
As teams capture more bunkers, which contain forward spawn points, they are better able to push the enemy back from the crucial central factory and spread outward to grab the peripheral factories. Crysis' Power Struggle mode is very much dependent on teamwork, and requires each player to have a fairly good understanding of what is going on and where it is useful to be at any given time in order to be most effective. If playing against an uncoordinated team (or one not up to a sufficient player count), it can be fairly easy to capture territories with little resistance, since there are so many to capture. In general, the game demands a lot of coordination to really work. It is not enormously difficult to sidestep most of the game's large scale dynamics and simply go straight for the nuke tank, which is possible for teams earning a lot of money through kills and less ambitious captures. Of course, if your opponents have been doing their jobs, they will have plenty of their own equipment to stop you in your tracks. The bottom line is that, from my experience, Crysis' multiplayer is certainly enormously full-featured, but it requires a lot of effort and coordination put in for it to really give all those features back. Compared to a somewhat similar game like Enemy Territories: Quake Wars, with its dynamic per-player mission system, Crysis' multiplayer may simply be too complex for its own good.
Considering the game is already targeting a niche audience with its fairly steep system requirements (on my slightly out of date GeForce 7800GTX and Athlon 64 X2 4200+ with 1.5GB of RAM, the game recommended the lowest graphical settings across the board, with a resolution of 800x600; trying to boost that resulted in chugging framerates), it may have a tough road ahead of it, with such notable multiplayer offerings as Team Fortress 2, Quake Wars, Halo 3, and more jeopardizing gamers' free time. Gamers with machines able to do the game justice and a love for large-scale team-based gameplay may find exactly what they want in Crysis' Power Struggle, which is undoubtedly extensive, but for most gamers, the showcase will continue to be Crysis' single-player game--which, it cannot be overstated, is truly incredible. Check back later this week for hands-on impressions. Click play on our audio player below for an excerpt from ShackCast 11 discussing Crysis

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Crysis Preview

Related Topics – Crysis, Alone in the Dark

There's a Crysis preview on IGN, offering impressions of the multiplayer beta that's currently out.

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Crysis Preview

Related Topics – Crysis, Alone in the Dark

GameSpy has the latest Crysis preview, offering impressions of the Core level.

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MechWarrior Crysis Mod Given Legal Clearance

Related Topics – Crysis, Alone in the Dark, Crytek, Legal

In a move that will no doubt bring light to understandably joyless PC BattleTech fans, Microsoft, owner of the MechWarrior license, has granted the MechWarrior: Living Legends mod team the legal clearance to use assets and properties drawn from the BattleTech universe (thanks Landrosradick). In other words, Microsoft has okayed a fan-created MechWarrior game. Seeing as Cease & Desist orders from property holders are a very common and real threat for mod teams, the Living Legends team has, essentially, dodged a major bullet. All the more exciting, and at the same time disheartening, is the fact that Living Legends is a mod currently in development for Crytek's upcoming PC shooter Crysis. On the upside, it will most likely look really, really pretty. On the downside, that means that the team has yet to get their hands on the actual code, and with such mods being voluntary free-time projects, it could be a few years out. Still, lots of excitement to be had, especially with the recent closure of MechWarrior 4 developer FASA Studios, the only internal Microsoft studio to utilize the property. Now to wait. "Robot boners across America," exclaimed the currently medicated Shacknews founder Steve Gibson as he shook his three different bottles of pain medication. "No wait, the world! Robot boners across the world!" "Squishy foot hurts," he added.

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"Please, please, PLEASE copy everything about Mechwarrior 2 and just make it purdier. Thank you ..."
- PlanetPerfecto    See all 35 comments


Crysis Q&A

Related Topics – Crysis, Alone in the Dark

Gaming Heaven has the latest Crysis Q&A posted. Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli is asked about Crysis engine features and performance.

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Crysis Demo Delayed, Now October 26th

Related Topics – Crysis, Alone in the Dark, Delay

Bad news ladies. Looks like the much anticipated Crysis demo will not be hitting the internets just yet as was originally scheduled. Word from EA has just come in that the Crysis singleplayer demo is now slated to be released on October 26th. If you're dying for a fix of Crysis though you can check out our recent Hands-On of the Ice level. Here is the note from the Crytek CEO:

Hi everyone, We have some news to announce. First, I am sorry for the bad news - the Crysis single player demo will now be available everywhere on October 26th, 2007. We are taking some extra time to make sure you that you have an amazing experience but also we did not want to risk the release date of Crysis at this stage. To get the game into your hands by November the 16th, we had to make this call. Now the good news - the big surprise. The SP demo will be released with our CryEngine 2 - Sandbox 2 game editor, giving the community the opportunity to get familiar with the vast amount of tools they will have at their disposal four weeks before we ship, something we have always wanted to do. This is an exciting time for us at the studio as the development of Crysis comes to an end and we are only a few weeks from Gold Master. We appreciate your patience and are looking forward to getting Crysis into your hands on November 16th. Thanks Cevat Yerli CEO & Crytek

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"haha sweet, now all the crysis lovers gotta wait even longer."
- angel5465    See all 68 comments


Crysis Preview

Related Topics – Crysis, Alone in the Dark

FiringSquad has another Crysis preview up, offering impressions of the game's Core level. You can also find impressions at IGN, and at GameHelper.

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Crysis Preview

Related Topics – Crysis, Alone in the Dark

GameSpot has been updated with yet another Crysis preview. This article offer impressions of the Core level and its zero gravity combat.

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Crysis Impressions

Related Topics – Crysis, Alone in the Dark

More 'Ice' level impressions from Crysis can be found at GameSpot and FiringSquad. You can find our thoughts here.

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Crysis "Ice" Hands-On Impressions

After months of Crytek showing off Crysis' war-torn island paradise locations--undeniably gorgeous but also geographically reminiscent of the studio's previous game Far Cry--the studio has fully unveiled a later level depecting a vast, flash-frozen rocky landcape. Crysis boss Cevat Yerli demonstrated the level, to which he referred simply as "Ice," during Electronic Arts' recent studio showcase event. We've seen glimpses of the large-scale cryogenic tied into Crysis' alien invaders, but with Ice I was able to see an expansive example of it in real time. Everything in Ice's massive valley is frozen with a slight semi-transparent sheen, an effect that is applied universally with an ice shader, according to Yerli. The effect is impressive, particularly because towards the beginning of the level, the environment is devoid of apparent life or movement--it looks not only like a valley frozen over in a crystalline glaze, but like a valley frozen in time. Soft snowflakes fall from the sky, and a fine icy mist swirls throughout the air. It is impressive and enjoyable simply to look around and take in the magnificent sights. Sheer cliff faces extend to dizzying heights, complex root systems jut out from semi-frozen dirt, visible texture tiling appears to be nonexistent, your suit's visor has intricate tinges of frost in a Metroid Prime-esque effect--and, for the first time among the many instances I have seen Crysis, everything ran at a smooth framerate. Yerli noted that this was the DirectX 9 version of the game--and it still looked incredible. "People have been criticizing us for always showing DX10, so we wanted to show DX9 to prove it still looks good enough," he explained. "Good enough" is an understatement. Of course, the aliens are slowly emerging from their deep freeze, and it is not long before this frigid peace is disturbed. Soon, your character encounters robotic octopus-like scouts that float through the air, looking and moving like the sentinels from the Matrix films. As always in Crysis, you can access your slate of nanosuit-provided abilities to fight your foes--boosted armor, enhanced speed, great strength, or cloaking, as well as firearm modifications. Most of them work as you'd expect, but the enemy AI kicks up a notch once you cloak. While the automated octopi can't visually detect you while cloaked unless you are within a range of about a meter, they will home in on your last known location once you go invisible, then listen for sounds and track newly-created footsteps to try and pin you down. In a nice touch, you can actually physically grab the enemies by their "tentacles" in the same way you would grab an inert object if close enough, after which you proceed to punch it in its cold, unfeeling, mechanical face with your nano-enhanced fist. Just as picking up crates, weapons, and ammo is fully animated, with your arm actually reaching out and grabbing items, so do you literally pluck the slithery robots out of the air to dispense some five-fingered fury. Of course, your enemies anticipate this as well--hang on too long without administering a killing blow, and it will self-detonate. While I wasn't able to see the entire level, I certainly saw enough of Ice to be blown away, and glad to see some more variety in the game after having had plenty of hands-on time in the past with jungle environments that. Check back a week from now for more impressions of another non-jungle Crysis environment.

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