So JSOC’s got us chasin’ Archeologists now? Now this will be a cake walk. ―Aztec
In 2020 when North Korean forces led by General Ri-Chan Kyong take control of the Lingshan Islands. A team of American civilian archaeologists, led by Dr. Rosenthal, send out a distress call indicating that they have discovered something that could change the world. Thus Raptor Team is dispatched to the islands, with the core mission of evacuating them and securing any valuable information that they have. The team consists of Nomad, Psycho, Aztec, Jester and team leader Prophet (all under code names); they are outfitted with Nanosuits, which help protect them from gunfire and explosions, as well as giving them superhuman strength and abilities. As they perform a high-altitude jump onto one of the islands, an unknown flying entity disrupts the jump by smashing into Nomad, and the team is separated. The crash deactivates Nomad’s Nanosuit and destroys his parachute, but he is saved because he lands on water and his suit absorbs the impact of the landing. After he makes his way to shore, Prophet is able to reset Nomad’s suit remotely, restoring its normal function. As Raptor Team regroups after the jump, Aztec is killed by an unknown entity. When the team finds him, they discover that whatever killed him also killed and dismembered a nearby squad of KPA. The remaining members of Raptor Team proceed with the mission. Along the way they discover the hostages’ boat frozen on a hill near the coast of the island. They also get their first look at the aliens who have been attacking their team, when a flying alien machine sneaks up on them and snatches Jester, killing him shortly thereafter.
- When I first played Crysis, it was when I was supposed to be studying linear algebra and completing an assignment. Instead, I spent the afternoon shooting at palm trees and watching them collapse to the ground, before realising I had a tutorial I needed to attend. When I played the game next, it was in March 2010.
- The default key-binding in Crysis maps “f” as the primary action key, meaning that every time I made to melee someone, I ended up grabbing them. This allows for some rather cruel laughs, as one can toss KPA soldiers around like ragdolls, but it does serve a more practical purpose: grabbing a KPA soldier and throwing him into a crowd will knock them down, buying one some breathing room to clock, recharge or reload.
- Armour mode is the most commonly fielded mode in the game, behaving similarly to the Mjolnir Armour from Halo. However, it takes fewer hits, making it more important to make use of cover. As such, it is actually less time consuming to use clock than to go in guns blazing: the latter means firing, alerting everyone and instigating a prolonged firefight. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a good firefight.
- The first sunrise in Crysis is now iconic, and it is here that the capacity of my current-generation video card really comes into play: one can see the volumetric lighting effects here. Later on, I’ve supplied a link back to my old website and the collection of screenshots I have from the XPS 420 days.
- Granted, this is a beautiful morning on a tropical beach, and I’ve pretty much cleared everything here with the SCAR; the SCAR is the American assault rifle all players start with and, compared to the FY-71, has superior accuracy and damage-per-round. Moreover, it has a superior magazine capacity, but ammunition for this rifle is relatively rare. Nonetheless, I like to stick with this weapon for as long as possible.
- Clock is perhaps the most-praised Nanosuit function, being recommended by all expert players as the means of getting through concentrations of enemy soldiers. The rate at which the clock drains is proportional to how quickly the player is moving, depleting slowly when the player is standing still or prone, and depleting quickly when the player runs. Getting hit will cause the suit energy to drain to zero, rendering the player vulnerable to enemy fire, even in armour mode. As such, the most common trick is to manually switch back into armour mode before firing.
- The HUD in Crysis is more intricate than in Bad Company 2, but the layouts are similar enough, with the minimap on the lower left, and the status indicators on the lower right. The minimap is unique in that it includes a threat indicator that glows green when the enemy forces are unaware of Nomad’s presence, and grows to red to indicate that Nomad’s been spotted and may be taking fire. Were it not for the fact that the KPA were swarming the Lingshan islands, this screenshot would suggest a remote South Pacific island, perfect for getaways.
- The cruiser on the horizon will bombard the player with missiles should they attempt to leave the combat area. It’s more of a habit now, more than anything, but after gathering intel on the KPA from a terminal, I always stop by up here to enjoy the view before continuing with the mission.
- Players of the demo will have access to most of the first mission and the XM2014 Shotgun, a close-quarters weapon used by the KPA and US Forces. Where needed, the weapon can fire a narrow pellet spread for increased effectiveness at longer ranges.
- A frozen boat in the middle of the island foreshadows the nature of the mysterious enemy on the island. A quick player may be able to catch a glimpse or two of these mysterious entities, but for now, the first mission draws to a close.
Crysis was released in 2007, but when I bought the Dell XPS 420, Crysis was not on my radar, and as such, I did not bother building it with a better video card. However, in my first year as an undergraduate, one of my friends bought an Alienware m17x laptop. At the time, this laptop completely blew the XPS out of the water, and was equipped with the NVIDIA GTX 260M SLI, giving it unparalleled performance. Of course, my friend wished to test the system’s performance, and decided to play Crysis on it. It was during a lunch hour that we hung out in a study hall engineering students and watched as he played through the first mission, showing off the game’s graphics on full settings. Subsequently, I obtained a copy of the trial and eventually, the full game. The Dell XPS 420 managed to run the game on medium settings at 1280 by 1024 reasonably well, at least, until the last mission was reached and the particle effects overloaded the HD 2600 XT I was running at the time. After beating the game and getting a review out for my old website, I removed the game to save disk space, playing the trial on occasion for amusement, but my curiosity in Crysis was partially re-ignited by Girls und Panzer and the presence of a brand-new system. Thus, I decided to play through Crysis again at higher settings for the experience, and an experience it was. The first mission felt completely different in that it was more alive than anything I had experienced previously. The differences aren’t really apparent until after reaching the KPA jammer and watching the sun rise. After this, the game is one long visual journey, with a distinct emphasis on the “do it how you like it” approach. In gathering most of my screenshots, I went with a stealthier approach, avoiding checkpoints and enemy patrols where I could, all the while admiring just how gorgeous this six-year-old game looks even when compared to games in this age.