February 3, 2012

Review: Crysis for the Xbox 360

 

 

Adapt.Engage.Survive

Video source: Game Trail­ers

Sto­ry: Ten­sions between the U.S. and North Korea have reached crit­i­cal mass as they square off on a small island locat­ed in the South Chi­na Sea. Why? A team of U.S. arche­ol­o­gists have unearthed an arti­fact of unknown ori­gin that may pre-date the exis­tence on humans on earth! North Korea moves in and takes con­trol of the dig so the U.S. dis­patch­es an elite Spe­cial Forces Unit out­fit­ted with the lat­est in Nanosuit Tech­nol­o­gy to assess the sit­u­a­tion and try to res­cue the trapped archae­ol­o­gists. The ensu­ing bat­tles trig­ger the arti­fact to come to life releas­ing a new ene­my bent on all our destruc­tion!
 
 
Back in Octo­ber EA and Cry­tek re-released the mod­i­fied and enhanced ver­sion of the game that killed your com­put­er Cry­sis. If you want more info. check out my arti­cle HERE. I down­loaded Cry­sis short­ly after it was qui­et­ly released onto Xbox Live and start­ed play­ing; I’m only now post­ing my review due to the glut of  Hol­i­day sea­son game releas­es, work and well… Skyrim delay­ing me fin­ish­ing this excel­lent cam­paign.
 
 
Visu­als: The first thing I noticed was that for a DLC title this games visu­al­ly rivals that of any new­ly released game that hit in the last year! Re-mas­tered using Cryengine3 this game looks stun­ning right down to the expres­sion on an ene­mies’ face while you gab and crush the life out of him! This trop­i­cal land­scape looks amaz­ing, and if it weren’t for the bad guys bent on my demise would be a great vaca­tion spot. When the game tran­si­tions from: trop­i­cal to “alien” and then to frozen waste­land the envi­ron­ments real­ly come to life with stun­ning light­ing and water effects, and envi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions that change almost on the fly. But, not all is per­fect in the­land­ofCr­y­sis, watch­ing some explo­sions (BIG BOOM, yes please!) I noticed some pix­i­la­tion and blocky-ness. Also in dark or low light rooms the gam­ma is pre­set way to dark but this just my per­son­al opin­ion because I love to see as much detail as pos­si­ble.
 
 
Sound and Musi­cal Score: The sound was re-mas­tered as well giv­ing com­plete sat­is­fac­tion to every pull on my RT trig­ger but­ton and toss of every grenade. Voice overs were ok but noth­ing amaz­ing the Kore­an sol­ders would speak some Kore­an but most­ly Eng­lish with a gener­ic asian accent. Musi­cal score was as epic as it should have been adding depth to the sto­ry and alert­ing you to upcom­ing large engage­ments and sto­ry pro­gres­sions.
 
 
Con­trol Scheme: Con­trols are tight and well layed out for the most part. The usu­al but­ton apply LT aim, RT fire, Y change weapon, X reload, A is jump, B is used for menu options like inven­to­ry, map and quests, LB and RB are your nanosuit abil­i­ties, the BACK but­ton has dual pur­pose of weapon load­out and map, the start does it’s nor­mal fuc­tion and the D pad does as well. My only real com­plaint is that there is no way to quick­ly throw a grenade with­out equip­ping it first by going into your inven­to­ry or hold­ing Y for the pop­up menu ala’ por­tal and Halflife. The down side try­ing to grab fast-mov­ing ene­mies or melee’ can be a major chore are times
 
 
 
Game­play: I tend to play sin­gle-play­er cam­paigns on hard­er set­tings just so I have more of a chal­lenge and, in this time of the six hour sto­ry, so the game takes longer to com­plete. My play-through clocked in some­where between 8 and 10 hours (on hard dif­fi­cul­ty not Delta I’m not man enough of that) so, above aver­age length for the cam­paign. The game is fair­ly open world but you are moved in the lin­er fash­ion of:  receive a mis­sion, then a sec­ondary  mis­sion, engage, clear, and move on which works well for pro­gres­sion of the sto­ry. Now, you think that with all the com­plain­ing and since the game was being reworked any­way that, well, maybe Cry­tek would do some­thing with the freak­ing A.I. and they didn’t! Sad­ly the A.I. is just as retard­ed as in the orig­i­nal PC release lead­ing me to believe that the hel­mets the sol­ders wore were not to stop bul­lets but to pro­tect from walk­ing into walls…. I would shoot an explo­sive bar­rel next to a group of sol­ders and the few that sur­vived would not react and say “what was that?” or “Is any­one there?” and start skulk­ing around until I was in their line of sight. One final gripe and this is more the aging hard­ware more that the game but when there was a lot of action on-screen at once the game would drop down to less than 10 FPS it  seemed but this only hap­pened a few times.
 
 
Over­all: Cry­tek has done a awe­some job in “enhanc­ing”  Cry­sis and squeez­ing some juice out of the ole’ Xbox 360. Cryengine3 looks great and this PC port is a clas­sic that deserves some props! The A.I. maybe still the same but Cry­sis has very much to offer and for the $19.99 price tag (1600msp) it is so very worth it!
 
 
PROS:
+ looks great Cryengine3 makes this game look fresh and wor­thy of being com­pared to full retail releas­es
+ Sound design and music score are top notch
+ Sto­ry is inter­est­ing and com­pelling
+ Con­trols are tight for the most part
 
Cons:
— Great visu­als come at a price of some blocky-ness and pix­i­la­tion
— Ho-hum voice act­ing at times
— Tru­ly short-bus A.I.
— Would have liked eas­i­er access to grenades and the grab/melee can be very frus­trat­ing
 
 
In the Grey Zone:
~ The old Xbox 360 is still breath­ing but it some­times drags this title down with its obvi­ous­ly aging hard­ware
 
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