Hands On with the Crysis Single-Player Demo
In my mind, game demos should do three things: show me what the gameplay is like, give me a little bit of the story, leave me wanting more, and (adding an optional fourth) completely blow me away. Unfortunately, it’s rare that a demo accomplishes more than the first two, and more often than not I wish I hadn’t even bothered playing them. But that’s just what makes the Crysis single-player demo such a treat, since just this one little demo is more fulfilling than a number of complete games I’ve played. It’s honestly more fun replaying this demo multiple times than playing through the entire game of Crash of the Titans…not a difficult feat admittedly, but impressive nonetheless.
The game kicks off like so many other great first-person shooters, with you parachuting out of an airplane. Unfortunately, you chute malfunctions, and you take a face plant into the water beside a beach, surviving due to your high-technology protective gear. From there, you soon learn that most of the awesomeness of the game can be summed up in one word: nanosuit. Your nanosuit allows you to have a variety of enhancements that can be changed easily on the fly. You’re given a recharging energy meter, which you can devote to four different abilities: armor, speed, strength, and cloaking. The armor enhancement will soak up some of the damage you take, the speed enhancement will make you run super-fast for a short time, and the cloaking enhancement will allow you to go invisible briefly. The strength enhancement probably offers the most fun though. Besides being able to jump higher and throw objects farther, you can deliver one wicked punch. See a few enemies inside small building? Well you could walk in the front door and try to blast them all without getting killed, or you walk around behind the building, punch the wall, and bring the whole thing down on top of them. Basically, if you see a guy glowing red in multiplayer, stay the hell away from him. You can also tweak any weapon you have on the fly, though it may take some practice to do it quickly. You can add silencers, scopes, laser sights, different ammo, and the like without even stopping.
Like Crytek’s previous game, Far Cry, you’re basically on a vast tropical island with multiple routes to take to your objective — in the case of this demo, regrouping with your squad. You can fight your way through dozens of enemies or just avoid them altogether; it’s all up to you. If you choose to fight though, you can take down the enemies is a variety of ways. Snipe them from the bushes, cloak and shoot them from behind, toss barrels at them, or, my personal favorite, pick them up and throw them over a house. The demo has a few vehicles available too, like a gunboat and a Humvee, which you can drive around shooting enemies with. Just make sure to bail out before it blows up.
I was mostly amazed that my computer was able to handle the demo quite well, with only a couple of minor audio flubs. Everything looks great as well, from the facial animation to the way the foliage constantly sways in the breeze and moves as you pass through it. Hopefully, all of that holds up in online multiplayer as well. It shouldn’t take you long to run through the demo if you just go from objective to objective; maybe a half an hour. However, if you decide to test out just what you can do in the game and try to kill all the enemies, as I did, there’s probably a good couple hours of gameplay just in this one demo. Besides which, even after you play through it once, you’ll probably want to play through it again just to try out all the cool abilities once more.
If you want to check out the Crysis demo yourself, go to this link to download it. Or you can just wait until November 16th to play the full game.