Revisiting Crysis, did it really deserve the hype?

I’m sure I can safely say that I’ve been in the same predicament as most other PC gamers out there have for the last year or so. That is, up until the last month I’d been happily making do with a video card that was two generations old already (GeForce 7950 GT to be exact). To be honest, there wasn’t a single game it couldn’t play at a respectable frame rate with pretty much all details turned to high.

If you’re in a similar situation and you’ve been wondering to yourself, “Is it worth it? Is it really worth upgrading for the likes of Crysis if given the chance?” Or, “Is Crysis all it has been hyped up to be?”, read on.

The days of my video card being adequate to handle anything I threw at it all ended the moment this GPU-devourer known as Crysis showed up on the scene. I was torn, on one hand I was looking forward to this game showcasing the most realistic foliage I’d ever seen; on the other hand, I knew it would destroy my video card even though it still ran every other game well. Yes, I was sold on pretty foliage, but no single game can justify for me dropping $200-$300 on a video card. I was so eager to play Crysis, that I even pre-ordered it and picked it up right after it released. Ever since that day it sat on my shelf in its unopened box for months. After I got the game home I realized that I really wanted to enjoy the game in its full glory, instead of ruining the immersive experience by watering down the graphics in order to achieve a playable frame rate.

Last month I was charged with building another computer within my household, which opened up an opportunity to affordably upgrade my own video card. I thought to myself, “Finally…Crysis here I come. Oh, and Age of Conan or whatever else looming on the horizon, won’t be a problem either, great.”

So I spent a whole day playing through Crysis and my initial reactions were as I expected. “Wow, this is pretty” and “wow, I don’t know if I’ve played a game with graphics this detailed before.”

As I encountered my first enemy encampment, I sat atop a cliff cloaked invisible like a scene from the movie Predator, plotting the fate of those poor souls below. Zooming in and tallying each enemy, one by one, watching them go about their business on their patrols, unaware of what was about to become of them. With my plan laid out, I descended below to wreak havoc. It was at that point that my “ooh’s” and “ah’s” started to be slowly replaced by lots of obscenities.