I'm pretty certain that you release a demo of a game to demonstrate how great it is, not to put people off buying the full thing.
Crysis has been hyped to death, with some developers saying it will be the last big game of the decade, due to the huge amount of effort and resources that have to go into such projects these days. The single player demo was released a couple of days ago (and it weighs in at a fairly mammoth 1.8gig!).
I sat down this morning to install it, after having downloaded it the night before last. I also needed to install new drivers for my rig in order to play it. First annoyance was that the install was zipped (15 minutes to unzip), and then it had to self-uncompress (15 minutes), before it actually got round to installing (5 minutes). I've done OS installs faster than that... Once in, my first job, as always, is to do some key re-binding, and bump the graphics settings up a bit (I normally aim for native resolution of 1280x1024, and medium/high settings). Then I sat back and let the game run me through the opening CGI...
...but as soon as it hit non-pre-rendered sequences, I was diving back into the menu settings to turn everything back down. It ran like a pig on Kitkat;
- 3800+ Dual Core Athlon
- 2 Gig DDR RAM
- 7900GT SLi
OK, this is not a new system, but its hardly decrepid! Given that yesterday I had a silky smooth run through Unreal Tournament 3, this 2-3 frames a second I was getting was a bit of a shock. I turned down the resolution to 1024x768, and settings to Medium/Low, then went back in...
...and everything vanished...all the textures, the lot! I wondered if this was because I had reset the textures without restarting, so gave the game the benefit of the doubt, and restarted, to no avail. Only after a fair bit of fiddling did I find out that if the Shader option was set to anything but high then these horrendous graphic issues would occur. Nice. I managed to get the game to run at 20-30 fps (so long as nothing too exciting was happening) and tried to move on with the story. Which was a little tricky as the sound gave out after going into one of the menus...
Now Crysis is supposed to be the ultimate eye candy game, and I have no doubt that if you have an epically powerful rig then it will indeed look like the mutts nuts. Most people, however, don't. My machine is probably above standard in that respect, and as I had to run it without anti-aliasing, low texture detail and out of native res for the monitor it all ended up looking a bit muddy. The framerate was never great, and this alone took out a lot of the fun...you have irritating moments of lag when turning. A game can look good on a low end system, and can be playable, so why developers persist in bringing out polygon-breaking epics without considering this I don't understand. One of the prime reasons Counter-Strike is one of the most popular games in existance is that it will run on anything. You can have as many ground-breaking innovations in gameplay if you want, but if performance is not there, then no-one will ever appreciate it.
OK, rant over. Without trashing the storyline too much you are guided through the jungle by a radio voice (which as I mentioned was lost after accessing the menu one too many times to try and sort out the video settings) and waypoints on your map. You have a primary (or plot driven) main waypoint, as as you move round the map can be given secondary missions in the vicinity. The video below is of me completing one of the secondary missions, to destroy a "GPS Blocking Device" (often referred to as trees, bridges, tunnels etc in the UK). Even with the low settings, you see some performance issues (when the jeep arrives there is a lot of screen lag as I turn around) and some issues with the chickens (yes, those big black bars waving everywhere are chickens...thats why I shot them...). I can see the openness of the game showing itself, there were lots of ways I could have cleared out the camp rather than sniping (for example, I could have swum out to the boat, cleared it, and then used it to assault the base), and this is the selling point of the game...freedom of choice.
The weapons themselves are much of a muchness (or the ones I saw within the demo were anyway). A variety of real-world-esque rifles, pistols and SMG's. The suit your character wears is supposed to boost you (the intro video shows some of its abilities such as speed-up, strength boost etc etc... fairly standard powerup abilities), however I never really got a chance to try these out within the confines of the demo.
Overall, I'm not sure I can recommend this. If you have a monster gaming rig then by all means try it out (I'd start downloading it now, and you may have it by the weekend), however if your rig is not absolutely at the top of the league then I think you're going to have to downgrade everything to the point where the gameplay itself is affected. the combination of graphic glitches and stuttering put me off even getting to the end of the demo...
Attacking an enemy camp. Sniped guards and boat crew, then came in to check location and destroy objective. Jumped by jeep.