|Crytek, Crytek Budapest|
Crysis is a science fiction first-person shooter video game series developed by German developer Crytek and published by Electronic Arts. The series revolves around a group of military protagonists with "nanosuits," technologically advanced suits of armor that allow them to gain enhanced physical strength, speed, defense, and cloaking abilities. The protagonists face off against both hostile North Korean soldiers as well as ice-based aliens who have come to Earth for unclear reasons.
As of 2009, the series consists of one main instalment, a standalone spinoff with a separate multiplayer title, and a compilation. A second main instalment is in development.
Common gameplay elements
Characters in Crysis use nanosuits, advanced suits developed by the military that grant them special abilities. "Maximum Armor" gives the suit wearer heightened defenses to withstand more bullets than an ordinary man; "Maximum Strength" gives the wearer greatly enhanced strength and agility, to the point of being able to punch cars through the air; and "Maximum Speed" causes the wearer to run and act at extremely fast speeds. Additionally, the suits contain a cloaking element to make the user near-invisible.
Currently, both released games have taken place on an unspecified island in Lingshan Islands, off the Philippines. Both series protagonists have belonged to "Raptor Team," a United States special forces operation that is sent to the island to investigate aggressive behaviour by North Korea. The player uses various weapons, including traditional projectile weapons like handguns, submachine guns, assault rifles, and sniper rifles, as well as explosives and the nanosuit's natural abilities. Multiplayer gameplay modes introduce fictional futuristic weapons based on the ice technology introduced by the alien antagonists who reside on the island. In single-player, Raptor Team faces off against both the North Korean military and these alien foes.
- Nomad, real name Jake Dunn, is the protagonist of the first game, a member of Raptor Team. His backstory is alluded to in Crysis Warhead, where it is revealed he replaced O'Neill as a member of Raptor Team. Nomad survives the events of the first game and is, as of its ending, returning to the island with the intent to find Prophet and stop the alien threat at its source. He is also the only confirmed returning character in Crysis 2 as seen through Cryteks Nanosuit 2 trailer promotions, though his role in the game is currently unknown.
- Psycho, real name Michael Sykes, is the protagonist of the spinoff Crysis Warhead and another member of Raptor Team. He appears only at the beginning and end of the original title, and Warhead fills in the intermediary time as Psycho attempts to stop the North Koreans from extracting a captured alien and reverse-engineering its technology. As of the end of the first game, Psycho is returning to the island with Nomad with the intent to find Prophet.
- Prophet, real name Laurence Barnes, is the leader of Raptor Team and only appears in the first game (though he can be heard in Warhead). Prophet guides Nomad throughout the first part of his mission, but is captured by an alien and presumed dead until Nomad finds him in the ice sphere. After being rescued, Prophet begins acting oddly, having unexplained knowledge of alien technologies and a drive to return to the island. He returns to the island during the final battle and is presumed dead again when the military nukes the island, but somehow sends a message to Nomad and Psycho and they head back to find him.
- Helena Rosenthal is a scientist on the island who is captured by the North Korean army. She is rescued by Nomad and returned to the US carrier fleet. She, Nomad, and Psycho survive the alien attack and intend to return to the island to find Prophet.
- Sean O'Neill is a major character in Warhead who is an old friend of Psycho's. He was originally supposed to be a member of Raptor Team, but was replaced by Nomad after failing an evaluation test. He assists Psycho several times despite being told not to by the military, and eventually escapes the island with Psycho. It is not known what happened to him during the alien attack on the carrier fleet.
- Colonel Lee is one of the leaders of the North Korean army on the island and the primary antagonist of Warhead. He captures an alien and intends to bring it to Korea for reverse-engineering, but is stopped several times by Psycho. At the end of the game, Lee is finally defeated and presumably killed by the alien warship.
- The aliens are an unnamed extraterrestrial race that has been dormant on the island in a large mountain. Their members range from small, hopping creatures to enormous warships. They use ice-based technologies and can grow in strength when they absorb energy. The purpose of the aliens on Earth is unclear, but they are antagonistic towards both the American and Korean armies.
After Helena Rosenthal sends a distress signal saying the North Koreans are invading the seemingly unimportant island on which her team is working, the US government dispatches Raptor Team, a group of nanosuit-clad soldiers. After arriving on the island, however, Raptor Team's ranks are thinned by mysterious flying creatures, eventually leaving only Nomad, Psycho, and Prophet, who is subsequently kidnapped by the organisms. Nomad rescues Helena but is eventually trapped in the alien ship after it unleashes an "ice sphere" on the island, freezing a great deal of the island. Nomad escapes the island with Helena and an oddly-behaving Prophet, and returns to the US carrier fleet, where he finds Psycho. Prophet returns to the island, which is subsequently nuked in the attempt to kill the aliens. However, they only grow stronger from the energy. The aliens launch a massive attack on the carrier fleet, successfully destroying it. Nomad, Psycho, and Helena escape and receive a distress signal from the still-alive Prophet, and decide to return to the island.
Crysis Warhead (2008)
During Psycho's own mission, he was sent to retrieve a captured alien from Colonel Lee and the Koreans. After numerous setbacks and the assistance of his friend O'Neill, Psycho successfully defeats Lee, obtains the alien, and brings it back to the carrier fleet. At this point, the story continues in the original title.
Crysis 2 (2011)
A direct sequel to the original game has been announced and is in development; its story is unknown.
Crysis Wars (2008)
Warhead also contains Crysis Wars, a separate multi-player game that improves upon the original game's multi-player.
Crysis: Maximum Edition (2009)
Crysis: Maximum Edition is a compilation of all titles in the Crysis series released at the time: Crysis (2007) and Crysis Warhead and Crysis Wars (2008) published by Electronic Arts. Crytek states that the package is "the ultimate Crysis experience."
The game does not feature any extra material. The package is primarily focused to be a low-priced combo pack. All system requirements remain the same.
Crysis was awarded a 98% in the PC Gamer U.S. Holiday 2007 issue, making it one of the highest rated games ever in PC Gamer, tying with Half-Life 2 and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. The UK edition of the magazine awarded the game 92%, describing the game as "A spectacular and beautiful sci-fi epic." GameSpot awarded Crysis a score of 9.5 out of 10, describing it as "easily one of the greatest shooters ever made." GameSpy gave it a 4.5 out of 5 stating that the suit powers were fun but also criticizing the multiplayer portion of the game for not having a team deathmatch. X-Play gave it a 3 out of 5 on its "Holiday Buyer's Guide" special episode, praising the graphics and physics, but criticized the steep hardware requirements as well as stating that the game is overhyped with average gameplay. GamePro honored Crysis with a score of 4.75 out of 5, saying it was "a great step forward for PC gaming," but criticized the steep hardware requirements. IGN awarded it a 9.4 out of 10, hailing it as "one of the more entertaining ballistic showdowns in quite some time."
Crysis Warhead received largely positive reviews. Most reviewers praised the improvements over the original Crysis in areas like AI and gameplay pacing, citing the original game's criticism that battles were few and far between. The new protagonist, Psycho, was also received better than the original's less developed Nomad. The revamped multiplayer mode, Crysis Wars, was also praised for adding a team deathmatch mode, the lack of which most reviewers criticised in the original game. Criticism of the game by reviewers includes the short story mode and a lack of new features over the original game. Some continue to cite the game's high system requirements as unacceptable even a year after the original game, which has the same requirements. Indeed, some reviewers did not see any significant performance improvement with Warhead compared with Crysis, stating that only high-end GPUs could handle the game comfortably at decent frame rates.
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- Metacritic: Crysis Warhead. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2008-10-03
- PC Gamer reviews Crysis: 98%. play (2007-10-31). Retrieved on November 13
- PC Crysis Review. GameSpot (2007-11-13). Retrieved on November 13
- Kosak, Dave (December 5, 2007). Crysis Review (PC) (English). GameSpy. Retrieved on 2008-07-28
- Crysis Review. G4tv.com (2008-01-06). Retrieved on January 6
- Morell, Chris (November 14, 2007). Crysis review. GamePro. Retrieved on 2008-01-09
- Adams, Dan IGN: Crysis Review. ign.com (2007-11-12). Retrieved on November 12
- Crysis Warhead performance in-depth. techspot.com (2008-09-23). Retrieved on 2008-11-23 “Realistically we do not believe the performance of Crysis Warhead is any better than the original, and we failed to see any substantial optimizations. Ideally gamers are going to require a current generation high-end graphics card to play this game in all its glory”