There are still three days to go before the U.S. and European launch of Crytek's next-gen first-person shooter Crysis, but the game came out today in Australia and New Zealand, and already a few sites have gotten a chance to publish its insights about Crytek's latest opus. One of those sites is Shacknews, whose three-page review of the game can be read here.
According to the review, Crysis doesn't stray too far from Far Cry's gameplay, but "every aspect is an order of magnitude or more over its predecessor: the grandiosity, the variety of environments, the storytelling, the customization of play style, the multiplayer offerings, and, of course, the visuals." Despite some folks' expectations to the contrary, Crysis reportedly features an immersive storyline as well as very solid, open-ended, and fun gameplay. "Crysis is about the gameplay. It's about being put in the middle of a dense jungle, being given an objective, and being told, 'Get there however you want.'"
However, for all its efforts to be more than just a pretty tech demo, Crysis does have very steep hardware requirements. (We've seen that first-hand in the Crysis benchmark section of our GeForce 8800 GT review.) And while games like Half-Life 2 retain much of their artistic quality on low-end systems, Shacknews says "Crysis is not one of those games. Its artistic merits are intrinsically tied to its technical ones." Nonetheless, Shacknews concludes that Crysis is an "amazing experience"—at least on the single-player front. The multiplayer, while ambitious, is apparently too overwhelming.
Shacknews doesn't seem to be alone in its appraisal of the game. The folks at Metacritic have collected a list of other reviews from publications like PC Gamer and IGN, who (almost) all praise Crysis' gameplay. The title's critic "metascore" is a cool 93%, too. If you'd like to see for yourself before you buy, a demo of Crysis has been out for the past couple of weeks. It's available from FileShack, Nvidia's Nzone website, and your favorite local mirror.