Crysis Demo For All

By John Walker on October 27th, 2007 at 2:18 pm.

The Crysis demo appeared last night, in an effort to confuse everyone. It’s a whopping 1.77Gb (123.8 Peggles), and can be downloaded from all sorts of places, helpfully gathered together here.

Time for some deforestation.

And it’s really rather good. This is a huge chunk-o-game, which if explored gleefully could take you well over an hour to play through. (I’m sure idiots could rush through it in minutes, but I care not for the antics of idiots). And finally, we can believe in the powers of the suit. But there are some problems. So, in the interests of not being a miseryguts, here’s what’s good about the demo:

Jumpy jumpy!
Punchy punchy!
Throwing a metal box at a corrugated iron hut and watching it collapse with Proper Physics.
Doing that again to another hut.
And another one.
Punching over a building.
Jumping on a building, then punching the roof in.
Shooting trees.

FISTS!

Now, this may all seem rather similar, but seriously, it’s awesome. Things break so beautifully, exploding and collapsing in spectacular style. And for once that hoary old lie developers tell about things breaking where you shoot them, but really actually only breaking in one place with a pre-programmed animation? It’s true! Shoot a palm tree anywhere on its trunk, and that’s where it’ll splinter. Shoot it midway, and then as it starts to fall shoot it further down? That works too! Crytek have actually delivered on a genuinely destructable environment.

Now for what’s less good:

Power suit needs better batteries.
Koreans are apparently bullet proof.
It does get a bit Max Payne Do ‘Ave ‘Em at times.

Whoever designed the suit might have wanted to spend a little less time on the glowing lights, and a bit more time on making it energy efficient. From the designers of Gordon Freeman’s old torch, every ability lasts for about 0.004 of a second before needing to be recharged. I want to be a superhero! Not Captain Waitalot. Punching with Strength on is especially ridiculous, lasting only three or four punches before it’s exhausted. Or the Speed mode, which does up you to a decent pace for no cost, seriously lasts about a second on sprint. The Armour is pretty useless too, able to take about two bullets before you did to have a sit down. Could we get a really long extension cord and just plug it in? The problem is, it leaves you feeling really underpowered. Which isn’t helped by the teflar-coated Koreans.

My new pet crab. I shall call him Otis.

Further immasculating you is the seeming invincibility of your opponents. If I’m sneaking up on a regular dude with no special hat on, I think a couple of bullets in the head should polish him off. But these soldiers brush off such mortal wounds, requiring you to empty clip after clip into the absorbant bodies. It’s pretty bloody rubbish really, and seriously Crytek, fix this if there’s still time. The armoured aliens to come can be as difficult as you like, but since I apparently need hospitalisation after a couple of hits to my armoured future-suit, why the hell don’t regular, unprotected humans drop when I fire at their faces? It makes what’s otherwise a really fun demo feel a bit embarrassing.

As for the Max Payne style clumsiness, as much fun as knocking down buildings definitely is, they do seem a bit keen to go down. Occasionally just a tap, or knocking over a box can be enough to see the walls and ceiling come crashing to the floor. This is a minor niggle, of course, because who cares? It still fell down!

If tweaks are still an option for Crytek, I’d really hope to see the suit abilities extended to the point where they become practical. I’m sure they don’t want the player to be Superman from the opening moment, but I’m also fairly sure the player does want to be Superman from the opening moment, and making him feel a bit rubbish is a huge disappointment. That, and how about some realism when it comes to murdering those pesky enemies?

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34 Comments »

  1. drunkymonkey says:

    I’d download this if my computer could run it, but seriously, what the hell is that last screenshot all about? What’s going on there?

  2. Arathain says:

    He seems to have picked up a crab, presumably with the intent of hurling it at someone. Commendable, really.

  3. Dot says:

    I don’t think the suit abilities are as useless as you make them out to be. Playing on hard, I don’t think I would survive even five minutes without switching suit modes.

  4. CrashT says:

    See I’d heard about the supposedly immortal Korean’s before I played the Demo and I never really saw it myself. I managed to kill several by sneaking up and firing a single burst and once you get the shotgun it’s pretty much a one shot kill… hell I even got a one shot two kills at really close range.

  5. Seniath says:

    Bah, why didn’t I set this downloading when I left for uni instead of STALKER. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow I guess (yay for mass deadlines and weekends spent in the labs)

  6. CrashT says:

    Urgh no Edit etc…

    I’ll admit that I did notice the accuracy on the rifle is pretty shit at distance, and even close range it seems to spray a little too much. I’d often see sand getting kicked up behind my target instead of blood getting blasted out from my target.

  7. roBurky says:

    I’d had almost no interest in Crysis before, but I really enjoyed this.

  8. Saru-sama says:

    Totally agree with you’re write up.

    Another thing is that even on low-settings, it manages to run like a slide show on my PC (which is fairly well-powered). While the Orange Box titles look 100 times better and run smooth as butter.

    Crysis: meh.

  9. Perko says:

    Looks like someone finally got demo distribution right. They even have torrent links to Mininova and IsoHunt.

  10. Monkfish says:

    I quite like the duck-n-dive gameplay the suit offers as is. While I don’t feel like Superman, I do feel as if I have a distinct tactical advantage. The way the game seems to reward stealth is sublime – the cloak on the nanosuit being by far the most useful of its abilities.

    I don’t seem to have encountered any soldiers with kevlar noggins yet – much of my play follows this routine:

    Cloak on. Pop up from behind cover. Look around. Spot the Bad Guy. Take aim at bonce. Fire. Back down behind cover. Job done. Next n.

    I do agree about their uncanny ability to absorb bodyshots, though.

    Verdict: Well, I downloaded this at around half one-ish this morning, and was still playing at four. That hasn’t happened for a while. A definite purchase.

  11. Monkfish says:

    Damn. I just looked at what I posted there. I fail at italics.

    :)

  12. Theory says:

    I’m with Samu here. It runs like crap and the art direction is forgettable (I do like the suits though). Gameplay is hard to judge because of the low framerates I’m getting, but it seems like the kind of thing where you’d replay each area several times to try different approaches…partly to see what happens, but also because it isn’t a particularly fun game if you don’t.

    Looks like someone finally got demo distribution right. They even have torrent links to Mininova and IsoHunt.

    That site is unofficial. Good on them anyway of course. :-)

  13. roBurky says:

    I just played through the demo again. This is really good if you use the cloak lots. Cloak, out of cover, find enemy jeeps, lob grenade, back into cover, grab dead chicken, out of cover, turn on strength, fatal chicken to the face, cloak, back into cover, recharge energy. Glorious.

  14. Jim Rossignol says:

    It’s probably worth pointing out that John is rubbish at games.

  15. Roman Levin says:

    The system requirements don’t seem to outlandish to me. I mean, except for a slightly aging X1950/256MB video card, I meet the recommended reqs and my machine is hardly cutting edge.

  16. Thomas says:

    I find it weird.

    In my game the only thing that will kill buildings is if i load the game up in devmode and use the portable nuke gun.

    I got the same issue with shooting the koreans though, it’s most likely a geometry issue, atleast for me.

  17. Roman Levin says:

    Then again, Crytek could be simply lying through their teeth.

  18. JVGP100 (Katsumoto) says:

    rape cock dick! I spend all day downloading it, just got back from town and Vista has done its traditional “hang when copying files at 99% completed and 0 seconds remaining” thing it likes to do. Anyone else experienced this?

    It finally finished and now the zip file is corrupt. OF course. Trying it from a different site now!

  19. roBurky says:

    Ok, I just played through the demo a third time. This time, using no guns. Just cloak or speed to get up close, grab a guy, switch to strength and throw. Either into someone else or through the nearest wall. Immensely satisfying.

  20. Theory says:

    just got back from town and Vista has done its traditional “hang when copying files at 99% completed and 0 seconds remaining” thing it likes to do. Anyone else experienced this?

    Nope. Did you install the update that improved copying performance? Also, use Firefox.

  21. Tom says:

    JVGP100 – I recommend a quick trip to windows update land.

  22. JVGP100 (Katsumoto) says:

    Windows update you say! And yeah, normally i’d use firefox- I only just bought this pc, and I thought IE seemed to have copied all the essential features (well, tabbed browsing). It seems not! Firefox here i come! and also windows update. cheers guys

  23. Lou says:

    The game is already quite easy, even on hard (easier than FC was), so making the suit more powerful and enemies easier to kill wouldn’t be the best idea – unless they dramatically reduce the health recovery, which is the main point why the suit seems overpowered to me.

  24. Lou says:

    Great, forgot to agree with the article that it would be more fun if some of them lasted a bit longer. So read my above post as my thoughts to why it wouldn’t or how it could work. :)

  25. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    Bah, im getting an awful fps even on my new 2gb e6550 overclocked and 8800 gts system. Bah!

  26. spirit7 says:

    Getting pretty meh fps here too on a C2D E6600, 4GB RAM, 8800GTS 640….

  27. Leeks! says:

    Great assessment. And I agree: I like to feel like I’m being rewarded if I’m able to shoot someone in the face, though I suppose this might just be an obtuse way of encouraging fisticuffs, thus showing off the AWESOME POWER of the suit.

    And mixed agreement on the powers:

    Only getting a few Strength Punches in didn’t bother me half as much as the wait time between jumps. I never really needed to hit something more than a couple times throughout, but I constantly found myself waiting at the bottom of a sheer cliff, whistling a tune, twiddling my thumbs.

    Speed. Passive boost is great, but, yeah, the uber sprint needs to last more than a breath if it’s actually going to be useful. Sure, it encourages us to try out the vehicles, but honestly, who’s cooler: A guy who drives a Datsun or the Flash?

    Armour. Actually found it pretty useful.

    Cloak. Badass. It might be overpowered if it lasted a bit longer, but gosh would it ever be fun.

    Maybe a blanket fix for all of this would just be reducing the recharge time. That way you could still get the faux-realism and sense of vulnerability, but you’d feel like you had more of an edge.

  28. H says:

    I agree totally with John’s comments; the powers hint at so much and yet deliver only in tiny doses. However the recharge rate is pretty good, and the Cloak is fairly good if you want to just sit still and watch for a minute.

  29. Apoca1yps0 says:

    After playing the demo, I’m left feeling rather non-plussed and fairly disappointed.

    So much so that I’ve cancelled my pre-order.

  30. itsmeagain says:

    what are the config to run this demo btw?

  31. David says:

    My computer, has a 2 ghz SINGLE CORE(!) processor, a gig of ram, and an ATi Radeon X1300 512mb. It’s fairly weak. But, I can run Crysis on medium settings and it runs fairly smoothly. I still get the experience of the suit, I get to cut down trees in my way, and “give” people crabs just like all of the others. It doesn’t look perfect, but it looks better than a lot of PC games out there. Maybe one day I will be able to run it on very high… Anyone want to donate a computer?

  32. Sina says:

    Another thing that’s strange to me is when you throw an enemy against another enemy, they both just die….
    Even if the enemy you throw at gets hit in the leg he just dies. And sometimes you have to empty clips to kill them. A headshot does work fine though.