Pros: Excellent Singleplayer, Multiplayer, Sound and Graphics
Cons: You'll need a powerful computer to get the most out of it.
CRYSIS MAXIMUM EDITION includes Crysis and Crysis Warhead. In Crysis, you play the role of “Nomad” a member of JSOC’s Delta Force, who are sent into the Ling Shan islands to investigate the disappearance of a team of excavators who have happened upon the relics of advanced alien technology. Intent on grabbing the technology for itself, North Korea has sent its own marines to Ling Shan to lock down the island and prevent enemy incursion. Your team parachutes into the island but is quickly interrupted by an unknown alien force which quickly decimates the team and leaves you on your own to hunt, choke, kill and otherwise inconvenience the North Korean forces.
Crysis Warhead tells the same story of the struggle on Ling Shan, but does so from the eyes of Delta Force member Sergeant Michael “Psycho” Sykes. Michael is tasked with stopping the North Koreans from transporting and capturing a container with alien technology in it.
The storytelling is weak, as with traditional PC shooters, but the focus on open-world “sandbox” gameplay, and the dynamic aspects of the combat allows Crysis to rise above the countless other first person shooters. This game makes Call of Duty, Killzone, Halo and other console shooters look childish.
THE NANO SUIT
All of the Crysis games revolve around the “nano muscle suit”. Designed by fictional military corporation “CryNet”, the nano suit is a full body armor made of next-generation carbon fiber based nano-materials which can become harder than bullets – effectively making it bulletproof temporarily; stronger than an unassisted man – allowing him to jump great heights and granting the temporary brute strength of ten men; and even the ability to become almost invisible.
In the first Crysis game and Crysis Warhead, the suit is just a piece of advanced military hardware - which when used in conjunction with assault rifles and explosives- becomes a seemingly unstoppable tactical combat machine. The gameplay of the first two games leaves combat entirely up to the player. Activating the armor mode allows the player to rush into hails of gunfire and kill enemies with guns, melee attacks or vicious chokeholds. A cloaked player might even place explosives at the enemy’s feet and casually retreat to detonate them at will from a safe distance. In many cases the skilled player can avoid conflict altogether by cloaking and walking around the enemy encampments.
Unfortunately, in Crysis 2, the story writers make the suit more than just body armor. It is claimed that the suit is based on evolving organic technology which makes use of symbiosis to assimilate the wearer. Whoever puts on the suit essentially becomes “consumed” by it and cannot take it off in fear of impending death.
This was a huge mistake. The nanosuit would have made an awesome combat device in any setting: war with North Korea, war with Iran, even war in Afghanistan, but it appears that the Politically correct storywriters weren’t willing to go the route of the Soldier of Fortune series and actually have you fighting “real people”. Instead, every single soldier is a helmeted stormtrooper with no personality, no face and no level of gore beyond a blood spray. Making video game enemies and non-playable characters die in blood and gore essentially humanizes them. Soldier of Fortune understood that. Crysis, despite its technological superiority has stayed away from this. Whether you shoot an enemy or blow them up, there is no net effect on their body. I’ve yet to see people who stay in one piece when C4 is detonated beneath their feet.
While Crysis 2 and Crysis 3 ended up becoming “Call of Duty” clones to make them more accessible on the consoles, Crysis Maximum Edition gives you the true multiplayer experience Crysis should have always had. Crysis Maximum Edition comes complete with CRYSIS WARS which is essentially a Battlefield 3 experience offering the combat mechanics of the nanosuits.
32 players are divided up into 2 teams: North Koreans vs. Americans. Each team has their own base and their entire goal is to destroy the enemy’s base. In order to accomplish this, they will need a Tac cannon’s nuclear missile. To get this weapons, the players must capture a “prototype factory” which stores alien power cells. The alien technology grants the capturer’s factory the energy required to build the weapons of mass destruction.
Other capture points may be captured in order to grant the team access to various devices. The Airport will grant players access to attack helicopters, and VTOL aircraft. Vehicle factories grant you access to tanks, and Armored personnel carriers. Spawn points give you places for your team to spawn into the map and ports allow you access to speedboats, hovercraft and assault boats.
First team to use two WMD on the enemy base wins the match. If the host server alters the rules, matches can last longer. Power struggle matches can last for hours upon hours and even longer than a day! Like most PC shooters, the maps can be absolutely massive – I’m talking many, many miles massive.
Yes there are problems. The console versions of Crysis have toned down the power of the nanosuit so that jumping and running opponents aren’t as difficult to kill. On the PC, the nanosuit is ridiculously overbalanced and an opponent who spams jumps, cloaking mode or running is very difficult to kill until you yourself completely understand how to fight their tactics. Server alterations can make the game better by removing nanosuits or reducing damage necessary to kill, but the game can be made even better if you have a small team of nanosuits vs. a large team of North Koreans (like the plot of the game).
TECHNOLOGY/ GRAPHICS/ SOUND
Crysis, Crysis Warhead and Crysis Wars are relatively old in the PC gaming world. If you have a recently purchased Windows 8 PC with at least a Core i3, 4GB of RAM and a video accelerator card with 512 MB of RAM, you can run this game in high graphics settings (if not “ultra-high”) without much of a hiccup. Most off-the-shelf PC towers give you more than these specs for less than $600 this day in age. If worse comes to worse, you can decrease the game’s graphics settings and end up with graphics that still look twice as good as what you’ll find on PS3 and XBOX360.
As with Crysis 3, I am running Crysis Maximum edition on an HP ENVY H8 with a Core i7 CPU, 32 GB of Hyper-X memory and an NVIDIA Geforce GTX 680 with 4GB of video memory. Crysis is still probably the greatest benchmark you can use for a PC game because it’s maximum graphics settings allows every single object to be dynamic while running at maximum framerate. Even though I could run this game on dual 20 inch monitors simultaneously, I’m content running at 60 frames per second on just one monitor.
Crysis 2 and Crysis 3 which run with CryEngine3 were scaled down so they’d be functional on consoles. Crysis 1 is pure. Everything looks considerably better from the enemy textures to the jungle backdrops. There is maximum foliage – with its own shadows, sharp edges and movements. Water effects appear almost photorealistic – complete with realistic translucency and the day/night cycles more than perfectly demonstrate the game’s light source point-shifting.
Unfortunately, the enemy models are disappointing. They don’t feel alive because you can’t injure them. You can kill them outright, but unlike older games such as Soldier of Fortune, you cannot wound them, decapitate them or amputate body parts. The gaming industry doesn’t mind being able to mutilate zombies and aliens but for whatever reason, “regular people” in pain on the monitor is a no-no.
SOUND EFFECTS, fortunately are in no way stifled. Everything is loud and realistic. Gunshots sound like gunshots, rather than pre-recorded sound effects for a gun. Explosions are brutal on my subwoofers and vehicles all offer realistic grinding engine noise. If you want, you can even replace sound effect files with custom effects to change the way weapons sound.
If you are looking for a game worthy of testing that new computing rig you just bought, there are few games on the market that will test it like Crysis can. If you haven’t played Crysis 2 or 3 on the consoles and want to find out what the hype is about, this game is for you. If you’ve never heard of Crysis, but want to play one of the best first person shooters ever made, this game is for you. The package is inexpensive and there’s really no reason not to buy it. The multiplayer is awesome and the Singleplayer will give you more than your money’s worth.