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The new Halo game comes out in five days, and those jerks over in Player Affinity’s XBox department won’t shut up about their little space opera. I’m happy that the console crowd have their new game, but those of us who play games on the PC know that first person shooters were intended to be played with a keyboard, mouse and four gigs of VRAM. To help my fellow PC gamers shrug off the relentless Halo hype machine, I’m going to remind everyone of a few PC exclusive shooters that you can play while your XBox pals are waiting in line to get their copy of Halo Reach. We’ll be detailing one game a day, right up to Halo launch day on Tuesday.
First up is Crysis. Although Crysis 2 is coming out for XBox, the first one is only available for PC. It was released in 2007, developed by Crytek using their CryEngine which was originally seen in their first game Far Cry . When I mentioned four gigs of VRAM up above… that’s not an exaggeration. The CryEngine will suck the life out of lesser gaming rigs, but when you have the hardware to run it properly, Crysis is a right purdy game.
Like Halo, Crysis is a sci-fi military shooter where you play a super soldier in a high-tech exosuit. You can turn invisible, you have an energy shield and the suit augments your strength and speed. Unlike Halo, these powers can be switched on and off at will. You can turn invisible whenever you want; you don’t need to find a power up. Need to run at 60 miles an hour? Just hit a button and you’re good to go. Feel like throwing a giant cargo crate at someone? You can do that any time you want. You can also carry more than two guns at once. Like any proper shooter, you have an arsenal of weapons, and can customize each one with the special scopes, silencers, and accessories picked up from enemies during your adventures.
It’s set in the near future, and puts you up against North Korean soldiers, this avoiding the generic “Johnny Hero and his ray gun save the universe” cliché. A plot twist early on throws in mysterious foes for you to fight, but Crysis draws its inspiration from the first Predator film, rather than space-faring adventures.
Most of the levels are set outside in the jungle, giving players the option of dealing with missions in a variety of ways. Stealth, brute force, and sniping are all viable, as is simply carjacking a humvee and storming right in with your rooftop gun blazing away (And yes, you can drive a vehicle while shooting its gun at the same time, unlike that damned warthog in Halo).
There is also a stand-alone expansion pack called Crysis Warhead that tells the same story from the perspective of one of the supporting characters. It isn’t intended to be a true sequel, but rather gives players a chance to get more of the same while waiting for Crysis 2. You can grab a copy of Crysis or the Warhead expansion for about fifteen dollars and it’s available from most download services.
Click HERE for another PC shooter you can enjoy while those XBox fanboys are camped out in front of Best Buy waiting for Halo.