Crysis (series)

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Crysis
CrysisSeriesLogo.jpg
Official series logo
Genres First-person shooter
Developers Crytek
Publishers Electronic Arts
Platforms Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Platform of origin Microsoft Windows
First release Crysis
November 13, 2007
Latest release Crysis 3
February 19, 2013

Crysis is a first-person shooter video game series developed by German developer Crytek and published by Electronic Arts. The series revolves around a group of military protagonists with "nanosuits," technologically advanced suits of armor that allow them to gain enhanced physical strength, speed, defense, and cloaking abilities. The protagonists face off against hostile North Korean soldiers, heavily armed mercenaries, and a race of technologically advanced aliens known as the Ceph, who arrived on Earth millions of years ago for unclear reasons, and have recently been awakened.

As of 2014, the series consists of three main installments, a standalone spinoff of the first game with a separate multiplayer title, and a compilation.

Common gameplay elements[edit]

Characters in Crysis use nanosuits, advanced powered exoskeletons developed by the military that grant them special abilities. "Maximum Armor" enhances the suit's ability to withstand bullet and shrapnel impacts, "Maximum Strength" greatly enhances the wearer's physical strength, to the point of being able to punch cars through the air; and "Maximum Speed" allows the wearer to run and act extremely fast. "Cloak" activates the suits cloaking device that makes the user near-invisible.

The first two games, Crysis and Crysis Warhead, take place in 2020 on the fictional Lingshan Islands, off the Philippines. The protagonists of both games both belong to "Raptor Team," a United States special forces operation that is sent to the island to investigate aggressive behavior by North Korea. The player uses various weapons, including traditional projectile weapons like handguns, submachine guns, assault rifles, and sniper rifles (all of which can be modified with scopes and attachments in real time), as well as explosives and the nanosuit's natural abilities. Multiplayer gameplay modes introduce fictional futuristic weapons based on the ice technology introduced by the alien antagonists who reside on the island. In single-player, Raptor Team faces off against both the North Korean military and these alien foes.

Crysis 2, the sequel to the original game, takes place in 2023 in New York City, where characters from the previous games appear or are mentioned, but the protagonist is a new character, a US Marine named Alcatraz. The nanosuit in the game (dubbed "Nanosuit 2") is a streamlined version of the original, without separate "strength" and "speed" modes, rather performing context-sensitive acts of enhanced strength or agility, although it retains the separate "armour" and "stealth" modes.

Characters[edit]

Player characters[edit]

  • Nomad, real name Jake Dunn, is the protagonist of the first game, a member of Raptor Team. His backstory is alluded to in Crysis Warhead, where it is revealed he replaced O'Neill as a member of Raptor Team. Nomad survives the events of the first game and is, as of its ending, returning to the island with the intent to find Prophet and stop the alien threat at its source.
  • Psycho, real name Michael Sykes, is the protagonist of the spinoff Crysis Warhead and another member of Raptor Team. He appears throughout the first half of Crysis and then returns in the last level, and Warhead fills in the intermediary time as Psycho attempts to stop North Koreans led by Colonel Lee from extracting a captured alien and reverse-engineering its technology. As of the end of the first game, Psycho is returning to the island with Nomad with the intent to find Prophet. Psycho returns in Crysis 3, as a member of the resistance against CELL. He no longer wears his Nanosuit, as CELL has skinned it from him.
  • Alcatraz, the silent protagonist of Crysis 2, a Force Reconnaissance Marine deployed to New York City to rescue the scientist Nathan Gould. Found near death by Prophet, he is equipped with the nanosuit, still and continues searching for Gould. As he battles his way through hostile CELL mercenaries, he eventually finds Gould, only to be ambushed by CELL operatives and become separated. Gould and Alcatraz eventually meet up again at Grand Central Station, where they plan to evacuate the remaining people left in New York City. After leaving Central Station, Alcatraz makes his way to the Prism, the island where the nanosuit's creator, Jacob Hargreave, resides, planning to find deep layer protocols stored by Prophet. After doing so, he evacuates the island after it self-destructs, making his way to Central Park. There, he completes the "Assimilation" and wipes out all alien forces in New York City. While presumed dead, he meets Prophet in the deep layers of the suit. Karl Rasch, joint creator of the Hargreave-Rasch biomedical company which developed the nanosuit, contacts Alcatraz as he rises out of the rubble of Central Park, and asks who is the wearer of "Jacob Hargreave's Nanoshell." Alcatraz then responds "They call me...Prophet." By the events of Crysis 3, Alcatraz's consciousness has been completely overridden by Prophet's.
  • Prophet, real name Laurence Barnes, is the leader of Raptor Team and appears in Crysis, Crysis 2 and Crysis 3 (though he can be heard in Warhead). Prophet guides Nomad throughout the first part of his mission, but is captured by an alien and presumed dead until Nomad finds him in the ice sphere. After being rescued, Prophet begins acting oddly, having unexplained knowledge of alien technologies and a drive to return to the island. He returns to the island during the final battle and is presumed dead again when the military nukes the island, but somehow sends a message to Nomad and Psycho and they head back to find him. He also appears in Crysis 2 as the Nanosuit 2's first wearer, and gives the suit to Alcatraz before killing himself to break his symbiosis with the Nanosuit 2. However, the Nanosuit stored Prophet's consciousness inside itself, and eventually lets it take full control over itself and Alcatraz. After the events of Crysis 3, the Nanosuit's inhibitors have been removed, allowing it to fully bond with Prophet and take on Barnes' appearance, essentially resurrecting him.

Other protagonists[edit]

  • Helena Rosenthal is a scientist on the island who is captured by the North Korean army. She is rescued by Nomad and returned to the US carrier fleet. She, Nomad, and Psycho survive the alien attack and intend to return to the island to find Prophet.
  • Sean O'Neill is a major character in Warhead who is an old friend of Psycho's. He was originally supposed to be a member of Raptor Team, but was replaced by Nomad after failing an evaluation test. He assists Psycho several times despite being told not to by the military, and eventually escapes the island with Psycho. It is not known what happened to him during the alien attack on the carrier fleet.

Antagonists[edit]

  • General Kyong is the leader of the KPA military detachment to the island; he intends to use the aliens' technology to turn North Korea into a world-dominating superpower.
  • Colonel Lee is one of the leaders of the North Korean army on the island and the primary antagonist of Warhead. He captures an alien and intends to bring it to Korea for reverse-engineering, but is stopped several times by Psycho. At the end of the game, Lee is finally defeated and presumably killed by the alien warship.
  • The Ceph are an initially-unnamed extraterrestrial race that has been dormant on the island in a large mountain. Their units range from small, robotic creatures and powered exoskeletons to enormous warships. In the first game they use ice-based technologies and can grow in strength when they absorb energy. The purpose of the aliens on Earth is unclear, but they are antagonistic towards both the American and Korean armies. They remained unnamed until the 'Prophets Journey' trailer and the multiplayer demo. In the second game it is revealed that they possess multiple buried structures around the planet, like the ones in the Lingshan islands and beneath New York City.
  • Commander Dominic Lockhart is the primary antagonist of the first half of Crysis 2 and the leader of C.E.L.L. (Crynet Enforcement & Local Logistics), he is attempting to kill Alcatraz, whom he thinks is Prophet. Lockhart is a sociopath who will do anything to achieve his goals, including betraying his employer and going against orders given to him by his superior officer. He is killed when Alcatraz throws him out of a second story window.
    • C.E.L.L. Agents are members of Crynet, the Company behind the quarantining of New York City. They, along with the Ceph, are the main enemies that Alcatraz faces in Crysis 2. They are human and use armor along with a wide variety of guns. Though they are generally weak foes, they have more powers in numbers. They can use vehicles, such as trucks, tanks, and helicopters.
  • Jacob Hargreave is the main antagonist of the second half of Crysis 2. he is one of the co-founders of Hargreave-Rasch and at first guides Alcatraz through many of the levels following Gould's capture until Alcatraz kills Lockhart, then it is revealed Hargreave is attempting to take Alcatraz's suit so he can fight the Ceph himself. He is betrayed by one of his subordinates, Tara Strickland, who was in truth an undercover CIA operative; she reveals to Alcatraz that Hargreave was the one behind the events of the original Crysis, orchestrating the encounter between the US military and the Ceph, and that he came in contact with the Ceph in Tunguska over a century ago. Alcatraz confronts him in his office, where it is revealed that he is actually in a vegetative state and floating in a green fluid filled chamber. He is presumed dead when the Hargreave-Rasch building collapses after an attack by the Ceph.

Games[edit]

Main series[edit]

Crysis (2007)[edit]

Main article: Crysis

After Helena Rosenthal sends a distress signal saying the North Koreans are invading the seemingly unimportant island on which her team is working, the US government dispatches Raptor Team, a group of nanosuit-clad soldiers. After arriving on the island, however, Raptor Team's ranks are thinned by mysterious flying creatures, eventually leaving only Nomad, Psycho, and Prophet, who is subsequently kidnapped by the organisms later called the Ceph. Nomad rescues Helena but is eventually trapped in the alien ship after it unleashes an "ice sphere" on the island, freezing a great deal of the island. Nomad escapes the island with Helena and an oddly-behaving Prophet, and returns to the US carrier fleet, where he finds Psycho. Prophet returns to the island, which is subsequently nuked in the attempt to kill the aliens. However, they only grow stronger from the energy. The aliens launch a massive attack on the carrier fleet, successfully destroying it. Nomad, Psycho, and Helena escape and receive a distress signal from the still-alive Prophet, and decide to return to the island.

Crysis Warhead (2008)[edit]

Main article: Crysis Warhead

During Psycho's own mission, he was sent to retrieve a captured alien from Colonel Lee and the Koreans. After numerous setbacks and the assistance of his friend O'Neill, Psycho successfully defeats Lee, obtains the alien, and brings it back to the carrier fleet. At this point, the story continues in the original title.

Crysis 2 (2011)[edit]

Main article: Crysis 2

A sequel set 3 years after the original game, Crysis 2 takes place in New York City in 2023, which is infected by an unknown virus. The player controls Alcatraz, a US Marine who is found almost dead by Prophet, and given the upgraded Nanosuit 2 before he (Prophet) commits suicide. He is then tasked by Prophet to rescue a scientist named Nathan Gould. At first, Alcatraz has to face Crynet's CELL agents, a mercenary force who is hired by the US Department of Defense to police the chaotic Manhattan, still thinking that Alcatraz is Prophet who is infected by the virus. After discovering Ceph capsules and Catalyst, the Ceph take over as the main antagonists for the rest of the game. Alcatraz and Gould team up with Tara Strickland, an undercover CIA lieutenant, and Jacob Hargreave, the original creator of the nanosuit. Alcatraz eventually enters the Ceph core spire and wipes out all the Ceph in New York. Now facing death again, he meets a memory pattern of Prophet, whose DNA is merged into Alcatraz's. The game closes with Alcatraz being contacted by Karl Rasch, a nanosuit scientist, and vowing to continue the war against the Ceph.

Crysis 3 (2013)[edit]

Main article: Crysis 3

As with its predecessor, Crysis 3 again takes place in New York. Set in 2047, the game sees Prophet return to the now nanodome-encased New York City, on a mission of revenge against CELL, having uncovered the truth behind CELL's motives for building the quarantined Nanodomes.[1]

Other Games[edit]

Crysis Wars (2008)[edit]

Main article: Crysis Wars

Warhead also contains Crysis Wars, a separate multiplayer game that improves upon the original game's multiplayer.

Crysis Maximum Edition (2009)[edit]

Crysis Maximum Edition
Developer(s) 3000AD
Series Crysis
Engine CryEngine 2
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows 98[2]
Genre(s) first person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Crysis Maximum Edition is a compilation of all titles in the Crysis series released at the time: Crysis (2007) and Crysis Warhead and Crysis Wars (2008) published by Electronic Arts. Crytek states that the package is "the ultimate Crysis experience."[3]

The game does not feature any extra material. The package is primarily focused to be a low-priced combo pack. All system requirements remain the same.[3]

Reception[edit]

Aggregate review scores
As of June 9, 2012.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Crysis (PC) 90.23%[4]
(X360) 83.98%[5]
(PS3) 80.90%[6]
(PC) 91[7]
(X360) 81[8]
(PS3) 81[9]
Crysis 2 (PC) 85.68%[10]
(X360) 85.50%[11]
(PS3) 85.21%[12]
(PC) 86[13]
(PS3) 85[14]
(X360) 84[15]
Crysis 3 (X360) 76.73%[16]
(PS3) 76.53%[17]
(PC) 73.50%[18]
(PS3) 77[19]
(X360) 76[20]
(PC) 76[21]

Crysis was awarded a 98% in the PC Gamer U.S. Holiday 2007 issue, making it one of the highest rated games ever in PC Gamer, tying with Half-Life 2 and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri.[22] The UK edition of the magazine awarded the game 92%, describing the game as "A spectacular and beautiful sci-fi epic." GameSpot awarded Crysis a score of 9.5 out of 10, describing it as "easily one of the greatest shooters ever made."[23] GameSpy gave it a 4.5 out of 5 stating that the suit powers were fun but also criticizing the multiplayer portion of the game for not having a team deathmatch.[24] X-Play gave it a 3 out of 5 on its "Holiday Buyer's Guide" special episode, praising the graphics and physics, but criticized the steep hardware requirements as well as stating that the game is overhyped with average gameplay.[25] GamePro honored Crysis with a score of 4.75 out of 5, saying it was "a great step forward for PC gaming," but criticized the steep hardware requirements.[26] IGN awarded it a 9.4 out of 10, hailing it as "one of the more entertaining ballistic showdowns in quite some time."[27]

Crysis Warhead received largely positive reviews. Most reviewers praised the improvements over the original Crysis in areas like AI and gameplay pacing, citing the original game's criticism that battles were few and far between. The new protagonist, Psycho, was also received better than the original's less developed Nomad. The revamped multiplayer mode, Crysis Wars, was also praised for adding a team deathmatch mode, the lack of which most reviewers criticised in the original game. Criticism of the game by reviewers includes the short story mode and a lack of new features over the original game. Some continue to cite the game's high system requirements as unacceptable even a year after the original game, which has the same requirements. Indeed, some reviewers did not see any significant performance improvement with Warhead compared with Crysis, stating that only high-end GPUs could handle the game comfortably at decent frame rates.[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley Crysis 3 confirmed, set in New York, first story details Eurogamer, 16 April 2012,
  2. ^ Crysis - Maximum Edition
  3. ^ a b "Crysis Maximum Edition on Sale from May 5th". 
  4. ^ "Crysis Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Crysis Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Crysis Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Crysis Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Crysis Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Crysis Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Crysis 2 Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Crysis 2 Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Crysis 2 Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Crysis 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Crysis 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Crysis 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Crysis 3 Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Crysis 3 Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Crysis 3 Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Crysis 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Crysis 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Crysis 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  22. ^ "PC Gamer reviews Crysis: 98%". Play. 2007-10-31. Retrieved November 13. 
  23. ^ "PC Crysis Review". GameSpot. 2007-11-13. Retrieved November 13. 
  24. ^ Kosak, Dave (December 5, 2007). "Crysis Review (PC)". GameSpy. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  25. ^ "Crysis Review". G4tv.com. 2008-01-06. Retrieved January 6. 
  26. ^ Morell, Chris (November 14, 2007). "Crysis review". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  27. ^ Adams, Dan "IGN: Crysis Review". IGN. 2007-11-12. Retrieved November 12. 
  28. ^ "Crysis Warhead performance in-depth". TechSpot.com. 2008-09-23. Retrieved 2008-11-23. "Realistically we do not believe the performance of Crysis Warhead is any better than the original, and we failed to see any substantial optimizations. Ideally gamers are going to require a current generation high-end graphics card to play this game in all its glory"