Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tech & U: Crysis


Well, well, well, Crysis was finally release as a 'pre-release' demo by Crytek. I am sure several thousand people downloaded it in the first 5 minutes of availability. Crysis is touted as the next 'Big' thing. It is referred to as the next coming to PC FPS as Halo is to the console systems.

Truth be told I thought it was possible from all the trailers released to hype it up. That is, even up the the beginning of the demo mission.

You play Jake Dunn, a United States Delta Force Soldier sent to an island in the South China Sea to rescue a group of archaeologists kidnapped by the powerful North Korean army. Things turn sour quickly, as their chilling discovery awakens, proving itself to be history's greatest threat to mankind. Jake must use his customizable arsenal and high tech nanosuit to fend off the North Koreans and the terrifying alien threat.

So I start the demo and get a great CGI movie of the suit that Jake and his team uses. It shows all the abilities of the suit which are Invisibility, strength (for jumping and throwing people), speed, armour and something for aiming. All of these 'powers' are accessible with the middle mouse button. You have unlimited use of you suit's powers but a limited charge. Once you deplete you suit's charge you'll have to wait for it to recharge.

The suit can also heal you over time just like in Timeshift. Other nifty things you can fiddle with in the game are your weapons. You modify your weapons with additional mods to improve functionality. Like add a sight, laser sight, silencer, etc. And finally, you can drive any vehicle you see in the game.

Now with the good stuff out of the way let's strip the Crysis' demo down to what it really is. Which is just a demo showing off the suit and vehicles. There is no physics to speak of, the graphics are terrible and the demo really feels like an early beta unlike what you have seen in the trailers.

Graphic-wise, the demo is horrible. I knew it had high requirements so I allowed Crysis to auto-detect and select my detail levels. Which was pretty damn low. You may say 'hey, just increase the detail level' but no the game actually lags a bit at the level Crysis selected. The texture details are terrible, mipmaping (the level of detail displayed over 'distance' in game) is so low, it just looks bad. The game engine actually will render your enemies first before environment. Which means if you think you spotted a Korean in the open and try to snipe him and wonder why he doesn't go down. It is because actually there is an obstacle in front of him.

Sound-wise the special effects are ok, there is 3D positioning, thank god and the voice acting is top notch. There some environmental effects but just only some.

Overall, this Crysis demo just plain sucks. I never seen a game so hyped up for such a long time and when a demo is finally delivered to the public you get something that feels like it is in its early beta stages. You will have problems during game play when leaves in the game can stop your bullets, you keyboard and mouse seem to have 'sticky' keys (you tap forward and you seem to move non stop) and then you got the wonderful low mipmap level. A 1.5 out of 5.


1st Person Shooter

EA Games


Windows XP:
CPU: Intel P4 2.8 GHz / AMD Athlon 2800+ / Intel Core 2.0 GHz or higher
RAM: 1.0 GB
Hard Drive: 6 GB or more of free space
Video: NVIDIA 6800 GT 256 MB / ATI 9800 Pro or better
Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card

Windows Vista:
CPU: Intel P4 3.2 GHz / AMD Athlon 3200+ / Intel Core 2.2 GHz or higher
RAM: 1.5 GB
Hard Drive: 6 GB or more of free space
Video: NVIDIA 6800 GT 256 MB / ATI X800 Pro 256 MB or better
Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card


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