The first thing that springs to mind when mentioning Crysis is the fact that the graphics engine for it's time was and is a huge leap forward for the technology. Crysis is the first game I've played where my eyes almost fell out at the incredible detail. You'll need a monster of a PC to play this at high settings, but it's worth the money if you truly appreciate PC gaming. The vegetation, luscious water effects and visceral quality are beyond words. Quite simply, Crysis still has the best graphics you'll see in a video game for a long time, and a year after its release it is still the best.
As for the gameplay, Crysis is not as outstanding as its plantation and landscapes.
But first, the storyline. It really doesn't get more generic than this. A group of archeologists uncovering a new discovery are captured by the Koreans, and the US army get involved in an effort to capture the archeologists. Along the way, an alien army is exposed, and your character, Nomad, with his special high-tech suit, is there to neutralize the enemy. Once you discover an alien spacecraft, you're on a secondary mission to discover what's going on.
As a lone warrior, your suit can be used dynamically to play any way you wish. Stealth players will love the limited invisibility. Others will love toying with the physics with extra-strength. I chose to just rush through the levels and remain undetected, using firepower as secondary. The first third of the game plays entirely like Far Cry, with beaches, palm trees in their thousands, blue skies and sun. It's all pretty generic stuff.
Crysis is one of the shortest games I've ever played. Games in general are a lot shorter than they used to be. But nine hours? There are some really impressive set-pieces which at times rival the great Half Life, but they're few and far between and not enough to give a lasting impression. They could have added some more tank battles, which were fun, to break the FPS action up and improve on the length. They could have added more focus to depend on your special abilities. For example there's an outstanding confrontation early on in which you discover the Koreans have researched the nano-suit technology, and you realize you have three enemies on your tail. Use of cloak is absolutely mandatory in this situation. More stuff like this wouldn't have been too much effort. Crysis has some great ideas, but you'll only see these ideas once. Adding more battles against these nano-suit Koreans wouldn't have got boring.
Not to mention the game is very easy for the most part, even on the higher difficulty settings. I only had trouble in a couple of places, and that's because I got lost.
The AI is decent, if you're spotted it's not unusual to see dozens of guards homing in on your position. The aliens only come in two types, and they have less than impressive AI.
The climax in Crysis is abysmal. The story doesn't end, it just finishes on a cliffhanger and when it does you'll be left wanting more, slightly angry the game finished before it really started.
Gaming magazines would be too scared to give Crysis anything less than a 9/10. Games like these push the industry into creating bigger and better graphics. But when all's said and done, Crysis is an average shooter which comes across as a tech demo once finished. I will definitely replay the game for the beauty of it, but I can't recommend it to anyone who hasn't got the rig to take it. There are more fun FPS games out there that can do a much better job.