It is weird of Crytek (developers of Crysis) to have graced the consoles with Crysis 2 rather than first give is a go on its massive hit Crysis that was released exclusively to PC for a long time. Then again, Crytek is a developer which does seem to want to go after the PC market quite obviously at times and, although that may be a little discouraging, when I heard the Xbox 360 and PS3 downloadable version of the epic was going to be coming very soon, I was over the moon. For those of you who have lived under a rock eating worms and sleeping in a bed of dirt for the past 5 years, Crysis was probably and indeed still may be the best looking game on every platform ever. It actually became the benchmark for any PC or Laptop to be able to run this beast and you can easily find a product on amazon or ebay saying ‘Runs Crysis at ‘X’ FPS on Ultra settings’. Often though, having a PC that could run Crysis at its true potential would cost you a pretty penny or maybe 20,000 of those pretty pennies. How the game would manage to live up to the Crysis name and not explode into a fireball from the strain of running the game is quite an interesting thing to think about.

Absolutely stunning image. Which means it is probably the PC version. (too mean?)

The game takes place on the stunning Lingshan Islands which are a fictional set of islands of the coast of the Philippines. Your character codenamed Nomad is part of a top secret Delta force armed with the best guns and weaponry around and also the staple of the series, the Nanosuit. This Nanosuit is very advanced war technology adding invaluable abilities to the player and giving them a huge leg up over your Korean (for the meantime anyway) enemies. This is where the two games go on different paths however with how they play out. In the original game, the suit had five abilities. Strength (jump higher, less recoil, punch you enemies into outer space, that sort of stuff), cloak (moving around predator style as an invisible shadow in your enemies eyes), sprint (no need for this bracket), armour (letting you absorb up all those nasty bullets the baddies are firing at you) and an improved weapons mode (better zoom on weapons mainly). These abilities would eat up you suits energy once in use meaning you will have to stop using them at regular intervals to ensure you aren’t left with a multi-billion dollar suit ending up as a pointless weight in the heat of battle. In the console version however, things are a lot more dumbed down (probably the wrong choice of words but oh well) with the strength and cloak ability being located on your bumpers and the sprint ability locked down to your analogue stick. Strength ability would only be considered when jumping or beating the shit out of your enemies face with the flat side of your gun. This is probably because there is only a small amount of buttons on our consoles controllers and the PC has 80 buttons plus (I counted too).

The first mission of Crysis has you jumping out of an aeroplane descending down onto the island itself. I actually had my PC set up alongside my mate’s xbox so we could actually do a screen for screen comparison of the two. The first and biggest thing we both noticed about the Xbox version was the lack of draw distance. As you fall from the staggering heights, you can really tell that it has been watered down a bit to keep the same graphical wow but on a much smaller scale. Not deterred by this however, we continued onwards and played out the set piece and eventually hit the water below with a mighty bang (at around 10 seconds later on the PC version actually- maybe there has been a bit of a cut job in the console version). The water was very nice however and was very reminiscent of how it looked and how it reacted to movement in terms of ripples and such. It was great fun to watch the two together and was quite shocked with how well it actually stacked up. After a quick fiddle with the sensitivity options as well, the character began to feel like less of a tank and more of a speed demon and travelling around the beautifully crafted environments was fluid and very fun and easy to do.

As you stealthily move through the trees around the island looking for your separated group members, you come across the body of one of them hanging from a tree. Hanging from his parachute you see the tattered remains of your comrade hanging there with huge chunks and gashes taken out from his body and his face cast in sheer horror. Your friends eventually meet again and gather around your friend and pay your one last tribute before you move on. Before you move on though, your buddy sends a message to mission control telling them that one of you has fallen and almost instantaneously he burns up turning to ash in a matter of seconds. He may be a human being, but if the Koreans find that suit, the world is apparently going to be in a lot more trouble than it already is (you must know that the Koreans are always the bad guys in video games right?). This isn’t really a comparison, rather an observation about both iterations of the game. They both have great stories. The writing is outstanding especially at the start and even though it fluctuates a bit in the middle (which we’ll come onto in a bit) it is a great plot to follow.

Your journey finally brings you into the Korean territory that has guards moving around patrolling the area looking for any signs of life. The Koreans must be incredibly well trained as they are very difficult to fool out in the open. Make a careless mistake such as not being fully cloaked when you come out of the tree line, they will have no mercy and will fire upon you immediately. The Ai is great in Crysis and in my opinion is actually better on the Xbox/ console version. The PC was amazing for AI but it does seem to be a bit more refined in this version with enemies acting a bit more, in the moment than following a set rulebook they must follow when faced with a man in a very shiny suit of death. The flares are a good sign of this. Often in the PC version, an enemy would shoot a flare into the air five feet away from you when he could just take his chances and aim for you in the face. On the console version, the enemy would retreat if he wanted to use this flare. Very subtle difference that may not even be noticed by some but it is definitely there.

The multiplayer on PC is nothing to write home about. With standard variants on team death and an objective based mode you will not find many hours of enjoyment out of this. On the console version however, you will not have any hours to enjoy at all because it simply isn’t there. It isn’t the biggest of drawbacks as it was never the big standout point of Crysis and for around £14 you are getting quite a bit of worth for you money.

There are a lot of things to see and do in Crysis. The PC version is the stand out game and is better by far in my opinion as it was the original and technically stunning. Beautiful to watch and play and utterly fantastic to play as an actual game. The console version to me seems to be a bit like a tribute to the real thing. Many areas have been cut down to actually get the thing to work on the consoles for sure and it does show when you put the two together. For those of you who haven’t played any Crysis game, it is an absolute blast and the graphics are not just a front for a duff game. If you have played Crysis on PC before then it will feel like scaled back version but very enjoyable indeed.

Score- 8/10- I shouldn’t really give a score but I think  may just persuade some of you to actually buy it. Looks great on console and fantastic on PC. I would rather bump the score up to nine for the PC version but i know most people will not want to get it on that platform.