The Infinite Zenith

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Crysis- Core

“Major Strickland, if you can hear me, you’ve got to get everyone off this island. There’s thousands of these things that are waking up!” -Nomad

Nomad becomes trapped inside the former Excavation Site and has to find his way out on his own. The VTOL pilot begins losing radio signal upon Nomad’s entry to the cave. Nomad finds that the cave is abnormal, having the characteristics of an artificial structure. Moving into the cave, he spots a damaged alien Scout, which subsequently retreats. Suddenly, the gravity is lost, forcing Nomad to use his thrusters to move around. He passes through a tunnel and soon realises that he is not alone. Further into the tunnel, a strong current prevents his progress: Nomand takes down a generator and removes the current, allowing him to move further into the tunnel, where he comes across several of the aliens. Upon reaching a large generator chamber, Nomad learns that the aliens are in a stasis state, waiting for further order. He destroys all generators and escapes, causing the aliens to become aware of him. Deeper in the vessel, he finds that the aliens have been gathering objects from outside, and there are electrical biologic tentacles around the ship. Nomad stumbles across a rapid-transit tunnel, and he is whisked through the bowels of the alien vessel before existing in a control room. Large gates open and allow Nomad towards a large chamber: upon fighting off a large number of aliens, he reaches the gate leading back outside.

  • The first order of business after the elevator crashes, is to gather as much ammunition as can be physically carried. I recommend grabbing the shotgun and FY-71 assault rifle: the minigun may be tempting, but its long spin-up time and ammunition scarcity means that it is not particularly useful against the fast-moving aliens. Ideally, one should also try to find a laser sight and reflex sight, since those attachments make it far easier to take down any opposition encountered.

  • Now that we have all the ammunition we’ll need, it’s time to take one small step for the Nanosuit and enter the alien complex. The last time I played Crysis, I had medium settings, and this level was not particularly pleasing.

  • Proceeding into the main structure and seeing the alien crystals in full quality changed my mind about the mission. Players should opt to take the pistol with them as a side-arm, since the pistol doesn’t occupy another slot for the main weapons and as such, offers (albeit a small amount of) additional firepower.

  • Gravity disappears at around this point, but the Nanosuit has thrusters and will make it reasonably simple to navigate in this environment. It is quite easy to become disoriented inside the alien structure, so the key here is to use a landmark as a means of acquiring one’s bearings.

  • These glowing energy tubes are generators that power currents: a few rounds from the assault rifle or shotgun will disable them, allowing Nomad to pass through one chamber into the next without significant resistance.

  • The quiet of the corridors in the alien vessel are broken when the aliens show up. They’re called Ceph in Crysis 2, but because that isn’t known yet in Crysis, I’ve simply decided to continue calling them aliens. It also minimises the instances of spoilers (although those reading this article in its whole will come across the mention and probably already knew this anyways).

  • By this point in the mission, players may have exhausted a small amount of ammunition fighting the first of the aliens. Fortunately, there are stockpiles in this room: it appears that various objects from Lingshan have floated in as well. It adds a nice touch to the level, and I spent a few moments exploring before moving onwards to a small chamber in the side to enter the next room.

  • There are several points in the mission where Nomad enters a large room with multiple generators: disabling them will often result in the aliens appearing and attacking the player. Some aliens will ram the player and blow away their suit energy, while others carry weapons that fire ice shards. A single shotgun blast or several assault rifle rounds will end them. Alternatively, aliens foolish enough to stick around can be grabbed and pummeled to death.

  • Nomad enters a long passageway that whisks him seemingly to the bowels of the alien structure. Fortunately, the chamber he is deposited into is actually quite close to the end of the mission. The trick here is to try and find a small passageway to the side, leading to a pentagonal door. After entering the next room, there will be no choice but to kill everything that moves.

  • Some of the upcoming enemies are seen here: the large alien exosuits will require heavy firepower (i.e. the Gauss gun) to take down, but for now, they aren’t a problem. Once the player enters the final room, they must wait for the doors to open. There is a series of energy grids that will power-up: once they do so, the doors will open, allowing Nomad to exit the structure and end the mission. I’ve seen some guides where the player is equipped with a sniper scope, but I’ve yet to find one myself (hence my exclusive usage of the reflex sight here). Similarly, there is supposed to be incendiary ammunition somewhere, but I haven’t found it yet. This means…a third playthrough!

Core is the loneliest of the missions in Crysis, and is also the most claustrophobic, being set in the bowels of an alien vessel. Owing to the lack of clear landmarks, and the fact that any support from JSOC or Nomad’s HUD is gone, navigating this level is a nightmare. The first time I played through this mission, I was playing on medium settings at 1024 by 768 and had desired nothing more than to get through the mission as soon as possible: on a smaller screen, navigation was next to impossible. In short, I hated the mission, but my opinions of it have now shifted thanks to being able to play the game at full settings at 1080p. Of course, the mission itself has remained unchanged, but at high resolutions, the alien architecture is strikingly beautiful and cold. Instead of trying to rush through this mission, I took my time looking at the alien constructs and structures in the absence of any objectives (besides getting out of here, but even then, there really wasn’t any rush to). This is the only mission where we get to see the aliens in their natural form; it is quite satisfying to grab and pummel an alien with strength mode and fists. Having now played through on highest graphics settings, Core is perhaps one of the strongest examples about why Crysis should be played on the best possible settings.

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