Unfortunately the second half of the game, where you have to deal directly with the alien threat, is where the game falls apart. It begins by a pretty but ultimately boring journey inside the alien chamber buried under the island. After you emerge from the chamber things pick up in terms of action but the aliens you meet are not as smart as your human enemies you have encountered in the first half; the aliens mostly charge at you or hover above, making them easy pickings for your weapons. The final level (which clearly is meant to set up a sequel) is also a disappointment; not only are the big bosses easy to take down (thanks in part to a special weapon you get access to in the final level) but part of the final battle was revealed nearly two years ago when Crytek first showed off Crysis to the press. Why Crytek would preview the final battle to the press is a bit of a mystery and takes out some of the game's suspense. We do like the fact that the length of Crysis's single player is long; at normal difficulty you should complete it in about 10 hours which is a far cry (no pun intended) from the six hours we got from Call of Duty 4.
The multiplayer aspect of Crysis has two halves; the first half is the simple deathmatch mode where you just run around the levels and kill everyone. The second part of mutltiplayer is a complex team oriented objective mode called Power Struggle. It resembles the "Titan" mode in Battlefield 2142. The teams in Power Struggle battle to keep and hold locations in the large outdoor areas. Teams have to hold onto power supplies to gain access to facilities that can create special alien based weapons; its these weapons that you will need to take out the enemy's headquarters. It's highly strategic and not a mode that you can just jump in and enjoy from the get-go but at least it tries to do something original with the first person shooter multiplayer genre.
Oh, and then there are the graphics. Crysis has been promoted from the beginning as the game that PC fans have been waiting for to upgrade their hardware to play and it doesn't disappoint in this area. Whether you have a Windows XP/DirectX9 rig or a high powered Vista/DirectX10 machine, Crysis will definately give you perhaps the best looking PC game you have ever seen. From photo-realistic jungle enviroments (complete with trees that can be shot down) to lighting effects that can create rainbows from seeing the sun through a waterfall, the game could fool some people they are watching a live action film at times. The game's physics engine is also impressive with some destructible structures and vehicle and weapon physics that look and feel real. As we mentioned before the alien chamber is visually stunning and character and weapons models for both human and aliens are impressive, as is the facial animations when humans chat with you in the game or with in-engine cut scenes.
However it's no secret that the game, however gorgeous it looks, does suffer from the fact that you will need some high hardware requirements just to get the game up to a decent 30 frames per second and even then you will likely have to reduce the resolution down to 1024x768 or even lower to achieve that frame rate if you want to see the game with all of its bells and whistles. It's been a while since a PC game has pushed the high end hardware as much as Crysis; that could be welcome news for some but bad for others.
Mention must be made of the high quality voice acting for the game which is welcome in a medium that usually lacks in that area. Music and sound effects are also first rate and if you want to make new levels and mods for Crysis, Crytek has their full CryEngine mod tools included with the game for you to use.