Crysis Puts Pow Back in PC Shooters

Dennis Faas's picture

Console gamers have been getting it lucky in recent months. With the release of Halo 3, a new Ratchet and Clank, and anything Wii, PC gamers -- despite the impressive history of their platform -- have been left on the outside looking in, at least recently.

That's not the case as of last week with the retail release of anticipated PC shooter Crysis. Some critics are calling it the greatest graphical achievement yet, as the game's overall rating challenges the console world's heaviest hitters. (Source:

Developed by Crytek and published by hegemonic gaming power Electronic Arts, Crysis is a sci-fi first person shooter (in the same style as Halo or Far Cry). Like Halo, its story surrounds the invasion of earth by a hostile alien race, and also like Halo Crysis puts the gamer in control of a superhuman outfitted with a "Nano Muscle Suit". However, unlike Bungie's Xbox 360 release, the player battles more than just aliens in defense of earth; he or she is also tasked with keeping the sinister North Koreans at bay.

As expected, the game is being hailed as a massive, interactive work of art. That's nothing new for the PC platform; similar claims have been made in the past about Crytek's own Far Cry, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and Half Life 2. Even more praise is being laid upon Crytek for Crysis's expansive, open-form environments and artificial intelligence (AI).

Is it the best, ever?

Unfortunately for PC shooter fans, critics are hesitant to classify Crysis as anything more than just a really good blaster. Although the graphics never falter, generally environments progress from huge, lush worlds to cramped, linear spaces by level end. In addition, critics like PC World's Matt Peckham argue that the AI becomes more predictable as the game wears on.

Other complaints are expected, focusing on the game's minimum technical requirements. In the humble opinion of this author and gamer, it's a crucial reason for the rise of consoles in the past six or seven years. Because of the very advanced 3D engine employed by Crytek for Crysis, most average PCs struggle to display the game on very reasonable settings. To some, it defeats the purpose of "going PC" when its costs $1,500 more than a console for only slightly improved visuals. (Source:

Regardless, for those whose systems can swallow the big "minimum requirements" pill, Crysis appears to be one of the best PC shooters of 2007.

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