Crysis is a science fiction first-person shooter computer game developed by German video game developer Crytek and published by Electronic Arts, and is the first game of a planned trilogy. It was released on November 13, 2007 in North America, November 15 in Australia, November 16 in Europe and November 23 in New Zealand. Well-received by critics, early NPD figures for the US market were taken as a sign that the game had flopped; however, EA has recently reported being happy with sales, reporting that the game has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide.
Crysis is based in a fictional future where an ancient alien spacecraft has been discovered beneath the Earth on an island near the coast of Korea. The single-player campaign has the player assume the role of United States Delta Force operator Jake Dunn, referred to in-game by his call sign, Nomad. Nomad is armed with various futuristic weapons and equipment, most notably a "Nano Muscle Suit" which, according to Crytek senior game designer Bernd Diemer, was inspired by the United States' Future Force Warrior 2020 program and other projects relating from the Natick Soldier Systems Center. In Crysis, the player fights both North Korean and extraterrestrial enemies, in four different locations: a tropical island jungle, inside an "Ice Sphere" (consisting of the same jungle, but frozen), the alien ship itself (with a zero-gravity area) and a United States Navy aircraft carrier. Crysis uses Microsoft's new API, Direct3D 10 (DirectX 10) for graphics rendering, and includes the same editor that was used by Crytek to create the game.
As with Crytek's previous game Far Cry, Crysis is an open-ended game with many ways to meet objectives. An addition to the previous Far Cry formula is that most weapons may be modified with devices such as suppressors, telescopic sights, and targeting lasers.
The protagonist, callsign Nomad, is also capable of selecting various modes in his military prototype "Nano Suit". The suit is capable of four modes: armor (absorbing damage), strength, speed, and cloak. Due to the ability of constantly regenerating health, the game is completely devoid of first aid kits. All of these actions, however, use rechargeable energy reserves that power the suit; health is recharged most quickly while in armor mode. The suit can be quickly switched between modes using a rapid mouse gesture system, which adds a strong tactical element to combat.
The suit's integral mask has its own HUD, displaying typical data like a tactical map and current energy levels. The view is electronic in nature, shown in-game through things such as a booting readout and visual distortion during abnormal operation. Onboard utilities include a two-way radio, PDA and audio-visual logging capability, with features like image zoom and night vision provided by optional equipment (given by default in single-player).
The artificial intelligence (AI) in Crysis also aims to be realistic and believable. Enemy soldiers employ tactical maneuvers, work as squads, hide and ambush amongst the scenery, and adapt to changing environments and conditions. AI soldiers will also respond to sound and subtle movements triggered by the player's movement. While not engaged in combat, the AI soldiers will also exhibit typical and lifelike behavior, such as smoking, yawning, talking, urinating, patrolling, saluting superior officers, etc. Sometimes these actions depend on whether or not the player was detected earlier. If Nomad has not been sighted in some missions, he can find some enemies sleeping upon arriving to his destination. In contrast if he has been spotted they will all be alert.
Attachment options are given a fair amount of leeway even if the end result may seem strange. For instance, a 4x/10x sniper scope can be attached to the buckshot-firing shotgun. Additionally, most weapons have multiple firing modes (single/rapidfire) and different ammo types. Crysis also incorporates some features that have appeared in other recent shooters, such as being able to throw hand grenades without needing to formally equip them first, and accounting for already-chambered rounds when a reload occurs.
Damage modeling is limited in wheeled vehicles, most noticeably the ability to burst their tires. Tracked vehicles such as tanks or APCs have the ability to lose their tracks as well, but maintain their ability to operate via the wheels which would normally drive the tracks. Exposed gas cans on vehicles can also be shot at to detonate their contents, usually resulting in the vehicle exploding as well. Flaming wrecks will cause proximity heat damage to objects and characters. Of note is that a vehicle can still run even if all the tires are gone, slowly rolling along on its rims. Unavailable vehicles shown in-game include jet aircraft, excavator, and for reasons of scale, ships like destroyers. None of the alien machines can be commandeered by players either.
Up to 32 players are supported in each multiplayer match in Crysis. There are two different modes, each with six available maps: Instant Action, a deathmatch type mode; and Power Struggle, which are played by two opposing teams, each trying to destroy the other's headquarters.
Power Struggle features the American Delta Force soldiers fighting the North Korean Army; both sides, however, have nanosuits. All players begin armed with only a pistol and a basic nanosuit, called the "prototype" suit. In order to purchase weapons and vehicles, the player must complete objectives, or kill enemies. The aim of Power Struggle is to destroy the enemy headquarters, a task which is done using either alien technology or nuclear weapons, gained by capturing alien crash sites. Without these technologies, it would be difficult to win, due to multiple automated turrets guarding headquarters; they can be destroyed only by powerful human weapons, or alien technologies. All vehicles in the game are available in Power Struggle, though they must be unlocked by capturing a zone that specializes in manufacturing a certain vehicle—for example, capturing a zone with a port would allow the building of water-based vehicles for the team in possession of the zone. However, vehicles may be stolen, by picking their locks, even if their team has not captured the zone producing that type of vehicle. Depending on the settings determined by the host, a game of Power Struggle could potentially take up to ten hours, which would cover multiple day/night cycles, if playing on a DirectX 10 server. Again, the duration of day/night cycles depends on the host's settings.
Capture The Flag, originally planned to be included in the game, is no longer part of the game mode line up, due to its similarity to Power Struggle. Even so, Jack Mamais, a Crytek employee, stated that Crytek hopes that this mode will be developed by the modding community. Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli also said that Team Action would not be included as a multiplayer mode, because players would gravitate towards either Instant Action, or Power Struggle.
Set in August 2020, the Crysis plot follows United States Army Delta Force operative First Lieutenant Jake Dunn — codenamed "Nomad.As Crysis begins, an American team of archaeologists is taken captive by the North Korean Army as they make an important discovery in the South China Sea. The United States responds by deploying a team of Delta Force soldiers — supported by the USS Constitution Carrier Strike Group — who engage the North Koreans' large military installations.
The game begins with the five-man squad (Prophet, the squad leader; Nomad; Psycho; Jester; and Aztec) being air-dropped over the island. An unidentified attacker tears Nomad's parachute causing him to free-fall into the water and miss the landing zone. Working his way up the beach, he encounters Jester, and together they search for Aztec, whose parachute has got caught in the trees. Before they can reach him, however, he is killed (along with a squad of KPA soldiers), again by an unknown attacker. To avoid the North Koreans getting their hands on the nanosuit technology, Prophet vaporizes Aztec and his suit via remote control. Jester is left to clean up the scene of any remaining evidence of US forces, and Nomad is sent to destroy a KPA radar jammer.
Nomad then moves up the beach, through a KPA checkpoint and a command post, where he learns that KPA operations on the island are being conducted by General Kyong. Nomad then rendezvouses with Prophet, Jester and Psycho at the battered remains of Dr. Rosenthal's research ship, which has mysteriously become covered in ice. Just then, an alien bursts through the hull of the ship, taking Jester and killing him. Prophet now too vaporizes Jester's suit. Nomad, Prophet and Psycho are left to conduct the rest of the operation on their own. Nomad is sent up the coast, to recover an archaeologist from a KPA installation. The archaeologist turns out to be a CIA spy, sent to investigate the KPA's excavation efforts on the island.
Afterward, Prophet and Nomad continue on, only for Prophet to be abducted by the alien that had killed Jester and Aztec. Nomad, directed by Major Strickland, dismantles a number of KPA outposts and attempts to recover Dr. Rosenthal, who is examining one of the alien machines he has exhumed from the rock, and arguing over the monitor with General Kyong. The machine activates itself, freezing Dr. Rosenthal and the inside of the complex. Nomad then makes his way out of the area along the river, towards the ocean. He is directed to move to an area where he will be picked up by VTOL and transported to the fight. The area turns out to be guarded by KPA soldiers in primitive nanosuits, who have all of Nomad's abilities, but whose suits are regarded by him as "cheap knockoffs".
After evac, Nomad is transported to the bay, where he is ordered to disable a number of KPA anti-air units, so that heavy VTOLs can airlift tanks to the area. After a drawn out armored assault, the mountain at the center of the island begins to crumble, revealing a two-kilometer high alien structure beneath the surface, out of which alien machines emerge and begin attacking both US and KPA forces. Nomad is sent into the excavation site to stop General Kyong. Inside the mine, he is ambushed by two KPA nanosuit soldiers and held while Kyong activates the structure. The resulting energy pulse causes Kyong's nanosuit to malfunction, and the two soldiers' suits vaporize, killing them. Nomad kills Kyong, and he and Helena Rosenthal attempt to escape via the lift. The lift fails, and Helena is airlifted out by VTOL. Nomad is left behind, and is forced to enter the alien structure.
Exploring the zero gravity environment, he gathers valuable information about the alien invaders, who try to halt his progress through their sanctuary. Upon exiting the structure, Nomad discovers that it has affected the surrounding area around the island by creating a frigid energy sphere that lowers the ambient air temperature to and flash freezes every living being within it. Making his way through the frozen environment, Nomad encounters Prophet, who wields a weapon he constructed from his own gun and parts from one of the alien war machines. His suit has been damaged, and Nomad must escort him from heat source to heat source in order for him to survive. They exit the sphere by crossing a partially destroyed bridge, as an alien warship flies overhead.
After exiting the sphere, Nomad and Prophet link up with some of the survivors of the attacks. The men, commanded by Lieutenant Keagan are soon ambushed and are forced to leave their temporary base behind. The two are later forced to rescue a trapped Helena Rosenthal in a downed VTOL, after, intense battles with the new alien attackers outside the sphere, Nomad and Prophet are given time to escape the sphere's expansion using a VTOL by Major Strickland, who deliberately chooses to sacrifice himself. Flying back toward the USS Constitution, and escorting a flight of VTOLs as they evacuate stragglers. Once aboard the carrier, Prophet repeatedly tells Admiral Morrison, the commander of the USS Constitution Carrier Strike Group, that they must go back to the island. Morrison does not listen, and after having a few repairs and upgrades made to his suit, Prophet returns to the island in a stolen VTOL, with the weapon he constructed. During this time, Nomad also receives some upgrades to his suit, allowing Helena Rosenthal to broadcast a signal through his suit to disrupt alien defensive systems. A nuclear strike is then ordered on the island, despite Prophet. The strike only fuels the alien machinery, expanding the sphere and prompting a massive attack on the fleet by alien forces. Prophet is presumed dead. The attack destabilizes the ship's reactor, and Nomad is sent belowdecks to fix the problem, lowering a few stuck control rods and shutting it down. During this time, he also watches as several aliens attempt to drain the core of its energy. They are defeated when the "upgrade" to his suit disables them. Nomad then returns to the flight deck after acquiring a prototype nuclear TAC cannon from the weapons lab, just as the carrier is attacked by an alien Hunter exosuit. Helena then uses the upgrades to Nomad's suit to disrupt the Hunter's shielding, allowing him to destroy it. The brief victory is overshadowed by the appearance of the alien warship Nomad and Prophet had witnessed inside the energy sphere. Helena again uses Nomad's suit to deactivate the warship's shielding, and Nomad is able to destroy it using the TAC cannon obtained from the weapons lab. The warship's destruction sinks the Constitution in a massive whirlpool. Helena informs Nomad that a United States Navy fleet is en route from Japan, and will arrive within the hour. They then get a transmission from Prophet, who is still alive, and inside the Ice Sphere on the island. The final scene sees the camera pulling back from Nomad, and the VTOL with him, Helena and Psycho on board flying back toward the sphere.
In terms of offensive technology, most of their weapons are portrayed as being centered on coldness, shown in-game by the presence of weapons that either freeze targets outright or launch ice shards at high speed. These weapons do not require ammunition in-game, merely having a short "cooldown" time after periods of prolonged firing. They do, however, have weapons outside of this type, such as the sci-fi "Singularity Cannon", or more traditional implements such as directly built-in blades and spikes. Some unarmored aliens, which Nomad encounters in the alien ship, also use smaller, weaker versions of the larger aliens' MOACs that have a traditional blaster-like design. These aliens also use melee attacks.
Roy Taylor, Vice President of Content Relations at NVIDIA, has spoken on the subject of the engine's complexity, stating that Crysis has over a million lines of code, 1GB of texture data, and 85,000 shaders.
Shortly after the demo's release some enthusiasts found that, by manipulating the configuration files, most of the “very high” graphics settings (normally reserved for DX10) could be activated under DX9. The "very high" DX9 graphics mode looks almost identical to the DX10 mode, with certain graphical features not being able to be reproduced correctly under DX9, such as Object Motion Blur.
Crysis contains a level editor called Sandbox, much like Far Cry's, in which new levels can be created and edited. Such levels will have full support in all multiplayer modes. This will allow the player to easily build their own levels, seeing everything in real time within the editor. The player can also jump into the map they are working on at any time to test it. The editor is the same one that was used by Crytek to create the game.
As stated in the readme file accompanying Sandbox, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition or Windows Vista x64 are the only officially supported OS's for running the editor. According to Crytek, using a 32-bit OS can lead to instabilities with production size levels due to the low amount of virtual memory available and is therefore not supported.
The three-disc Special Edition of Crysis contains the following:
Note that the Amphibious APC is currently unavailable to most pre-orders and Special Edition owners. Electronic Arts is still working out a solution. Also note that the Australian release includes a small ad for Logitech products.
PC Gamer awarded Crysis Game Of The Year and Action Game Of The Year in its March 2008, Games of the Year Awards issue. PC Gamer also remarked that "Crysis has pushed PC gaming to a new plateau, marrying the most advanced graphics engine ever created with phenomenal gameplay. From the cinematic opening to credits to its cliffhanger ending, Crysis is mesmerizing."
Gamereactor — who gave Crysis a perfect ten — awarded Crysis Best Action Game of 2007, saying that "the action genre is forever changed."