BAM. Reviews – Crysis (PC)

It’s Fall 2007, my X1800XT is ready for battle and wait… okay so it’s not 2007 it’s 2015 and we’re putting Crysis x64 through the paces in a fresh review that’s heading toward 8 years too late. Recently I picked up Crysis on Steam because it was on sale for $5 and it’s nice to have digital copies of things that were once on disc.

For those late to the game, Crysis was the first project by the Crytek team after departing Ubisoft and the Far Cry series, keen to make another visually cutting edge island adventure we saw Crytek go to extreme lengths creating a cinematic PC engine that would tax hardware for ages to come. Crysis takes players into their own action film, powered up with a nano-suit that enhances defense, strength, speed and even offers camo to slip around the jungle and bypass opponents or allow for stealth kills. It’s campy, it has some holes in the story and odd pacing but it’s the whole experience of this story. The cut scenes and the visuals are sharp and real-time which wasn’t all that common for consistency back then that really made Crysis stand out.

2015-03-25_00037

Because of the innovations and coding at the time with Crysis as one of the first Direct X 10 titles out there it was a monster for PC’s to take on and it brought about the reputation as a benchmark for raw power in a system. Oddly enough it still is that demanding, on a R9 290 OC I was able to appreciate breakneck speeds hovering up to 100fps but also witness particle and shader effect moments that went into the mid 20’s at random. Part of that could fall under optimization issues but still it’s a moment that takes anyone back at the fact that Crysis can still throw those blows.

2015-03-23_00015

Story wise, players take on the role of Nomad, one of an elite group of nano-suit powered soldiers taking on a power mad general on a remote island. The goal of course, to investigate and diffuse the situation but what would that be without a bit of tension and unknown to mix things up. Right out of the gate it’s impossible miss the twist ahead, a random flying object disrupts the drop to the island sending everyone apart . As the team tries to get back together the death and chaos start surrounding them, it’s a dash to sort out what’s really going on in the middle of Korean soldiers laying waste to the jungle to catch you. As things hit their twist the story gets a bit slower and honestly a bit sparse, players take on zero gravity and alien hives with a sudden change in plot to survive at any cost. It’s a shame since it had some good potential to do more but there’s a ton of action and enemies to continue experiencing so I guess that was the filler.

2015-03-25_00031

Gameplay is one of the memorable aspects of Crysis, it’s a throwback to Far Cry in this massive open world experience, diving into the ocean, swimming for attack boats, combing through the jungle and essentially taking any path desired to get the job done. It’s still rewarding even now, not just because of those options but what happens when you mix it up with the physics of the game, punching apart houses, blowing up stacked cars, leveling trees in the forest and sucking it all in. Sadly once the midpoint of the game hits, this sense of wonder and exploration dies in favor of a linear progression, it’s one of the biggest pitfalls for me with Crysis when playing. The experience is enjoyable but you’re left hanging after so much freedom and it lingers in the mind while taking on the rest of the story.

2015-03-25_00023

For those used to traditional shooters there’s a learning curve to handling Crysis, the game works to mimic motion and physics so shots aren’t just “aim, shoot, kill, next” tracking players and planting shots ahead of movement to take down active opponents is a critical part of the experience and learning how to conserve ammo as it gets very limited. The rest of the game is fast to pick up on, learning when to use power, defense and how to maximize camo usage without falling into exposure mid-run.

2015-03-23_00017

Graphically Crysis is obviously a very impressive game, when cranked to very high the presentation is competitve to modern titles. Textures are sharp, water behavior and physics are impressive and the experience is just so well honed for those who see it the first time or come back through again to suck up some of the environment. For those running lower end hardware the grading on Crysis is a bit unforgiving though, Low – Very High is a tough comparison even if many of the features are still there just in very crude form. It’s still best to experience Crysis with at least higher resolution textures if your system allows for it.

2015-03-23_00006

So what’s the appeal if the game is just passing 7 years in age and a bit of a mess when it comes to the complete package? It’s that first experience and coming back around to screw around in the world. Unlike other games, Crysis offers full power out of the gate, as a result players can dominate the landscape if they wish especially after a healthy experience through the campaign. Knowing how to shoot, when to use camo, how to punch someone into the sky and appreciating the ability to wreck a house and leaving the patrol to panic over it. There are also console commands to really mess around with the game and at that point the replay value just keeps going up as players maximize the sandbox experience in the first half of the game and master how to handle every possible scenario.

For me Crysis will never be the perfect action game, but it goes just far enough to stand as one of the shooters I can always come back to and appreciate while passing some of the day. Coming back to it after a few year hiatus was a rewarding experience as I hadn’t completed the entire game for some time. Anyone with the PC power to swing the game should give it a look, it’s usually on sale for $5 on Steam so it’s really hard to avoid the purchase, there’s incredible value for that kind of money.

With that wrapped, it’s on to the next roll of the dice in the Steam list.

An adventure of sorts awaits, BAM. reviews

There’s little doubt BAM. has been pretty idle lately, being someone who writes for other sites, works a regular job and manages other network sites there’s not a ton of time to divide for personal projects like this site. Recently I’ve made some adjustments and I’ve realized that instead of chasing down the latest releases I’d just take a look through Steam instead and spend essentially the next year at least going through 300+ releases I own, not including older PC games, Origin, Uplay and anything else.

Will all the games be new? No, not really. Some might be super old but the point is to take a look at gaming a whole or at least games that I own . If I have to mod them to work I’ll note it and if I can recall how I came about the game I’ll note it as well, some of these were review samples ages ago and some were bundles that I bought, others were gifts from friends or family and honestly it’s kind of messy backtracking.

We’ll see how things go after the dust settles, for devs or publishers hoping to join into adventure… I have no idea what to say really. The contact page is there, my game selections will be at random (basically what I feel like taking on any specific day). I promise nothing for places in line, this is more about the experience and the adventure than getting someone launch day coverage, if it was I’d be like 15 years late on some  of these games.

What will coverage entail? Right now I’ll start with writing, if I can get some time to record vocals and edit footage I’ll also include video, ideally I’d have video and text articles going up at the same time but I’m trying to manage expectations and reality now.

That said, let’s get this going, the first game up will be… well, why would I show that? I don’t even know yet but I will soon. Stay tuned.

-VeGiTAX2 / VX2

Gamebalaya Podcast 46: 08-01-14 – Drop a Sample Into The Reactor

This week we are joined by David, Lydia and Gabe as we talk about our adventures at San Diego Comic-Con! We also talk about GameStop, the types of people you see in pre-order lines, Homefront 2, Deep Silver, Crytek, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Battlefield Hardline, Google buying Twitch, Escape Dead Island, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, Youtuber controversy, Destiny, The Crew, MechWarrior Online and more!

Check out this episode!

Gamebalaya Podcast 45: 07-18-14 – Free Range Sims

This week we are joined by David, Lydia and Gabe as we talk about the lack of sadistic torture methods in the new upcoming Sims 4. We also discuss objectivity and subjectivity in video game reviews, the state of the MMO industry, Valve, Destiny, Doom 4, Battleborn, Microsoft Layoffs, Tekken 7, the EVO tournament, Cliff Bleszinski, Blue Streak, and more!

Check out this episode!