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Nega-review: Crysis

Kyle Orland

"Crysis is imperfect in a number of ways." (3) "The acting and story aren't spectacular." (5) In fact, "the story ... is pretty standard background fodder for a FPS," (7) and "the game is pretty linear for the story's sake." (4) "I'm sure some people will be disappointed by the eventual alien-powered denouement, or mystified or bored by turns as they discover what lies inside the mountain." (3) "Don't start expecting any narrative cleverness or characters who do much beyond move the plot from one stage to the next." (8)

"When was the last time you upgraded your system? It doesn't matter because you'll probably have to do it again: Crysis is that demanding." (5) "Crysis may very well kick your computer in the balls at Very High settings;" (1) but "results are a bit mixed at medium and low settings. ... At the lowest detail settings, objects pop in and out with a fair degree of consistency. It's annoying at best and frustrating at worst, as it can impact gameplay." (6)
"The constant tweaking of system specs needed to get the game running optimally is also a drag, and the average PC gamer will probably find that their system is nowhere near powerful enough to get this beast even up and running to standard." (5) Without a strong enough rig, the game "may very well turn into more of a slideshow than you'd probably prefer and in some cases become completely unplayable." (1)

"The human AI in Crysis isn't perfect." (4) In fact, "there are some major inconsistencies behind some of the enemy artificial intelligence." (2) "Bad guys sometimes don't know what's going on down the road from them" (6) and other times the enemies "seem to give up on being smart and shoot endlessly at walls." (2) "Every now and then you come across a soldier who just clearly doesn't know what he's supposed to be doing." (8) What's more, "the occasional clumping of human enemies does happen." (4)

"Other AI issues include attack choppers with psychic powers, since they always know our positions, even as we lay on our stomachs in grass among tall trees." (2) "Choppers clearly bird-dog cloaked and evasive players and resume attacking the split-second that nanosuit camouflage power peters out." (1) "Even the briefest flash of your hide can have klaxons blaring, distress flares being fired far into the air and a collection of badasses being ferried in by helicopter." (8)

"The first couple of hours [are] fairly unremarkable" (3) but "in the final fourth of the game Crysis ... blinks out and goes brain-dead." (1) "Everything you learnt and loved in the first half of the game becomes a sequence of ally-protection missions, sitting in the back of jeeps firing at the air-squids overhead, sitting in anti-aircraft guns and knocking even more of the threat from the sky, a truly awful level in which you pilot a craft that handles like a bin van with wings... the list goes on." (8)

"The flying-squid shooting gallery stuff at the end is ... rather less interesting than fighting gangs of human enemies in the first two thirds of the game." (3) "By the end mission, the solution to pretty much every encounter is 'find the biggest gun in the area and use it.'" (7) "I found myself sitting there wondering what exactly had happened to all the fun I used to have with my Korean friends." (8) What's more, "the story ... leaves you screaming for more. ... You ... don't want the game to end on the note that it does." (6) "The Halo 2 type of ending for the single player left a bad taste in my mouth." (4)

"The multiplayer mode leaves a little to be desired as games can last way too long." (5) "Only two modes are available," (4) and "a team deathmatch mode is missing, which seems odd. [It] would have been a welcome addition." (6) As it stands, "I can't see this multiplayer offering making too much of an impact on the general PC scene. It's too clinical to compete with the heavy-duty franchise-empowered design monsters like Enemy Territory, and too complex to appeal to the rest of PC gaming." (3) "I don't know that it'll steal me away from Team Fortress 2 or Call of Duty 4." (4)

Welcome, PC Gamers, to the latest Joystiq Nega-review. We've scoured the insanely positive reviews for this groundbreaking game to collect the small negative bits into an entertaining-to-read evisceration. We're not console fanboys .. we just know that no game is perfect and that the negatives can be easy to miss amid the glowing, hype-fueled reviews.

It's interesting that the passage of time will actually get rid of one of the major negatives cited in the above review. In five years, even a mid-level computer will probably be able to run the game flawlessly at its highest settings. If you don't want to wait, though ,we'd definitely recommend upgrading your system to the fullest extent allowed by your wallet before playing Crysis.

(1) 1UP
(2) GameDaily
(3) EuroGamer
(4) IGN
(5) GamePro
(6) GamSpot
(7) GameTap
(8) CVG

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