A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is a mature-rated science-fiction shooter filled with a good deal of blood and strong language. Its military violence is on par with most other mature shooters, but the game's bar-raising graphics serve to intensify the combat experience by making everything seem hyper-realistic. Note also that its innovative visuals require high-end PC hardware, which means you may need to upgrade your computer in order to play it.
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What's it about?
CRYSIS' is straightforward: You take the role of a soldier of the future who dons a high-tech nanosuit that augments natural human qualities like speed, strength, and fortitude. Your mission is to find out what happened to a group of American archaeologists who have stopped communicating with the outside world. Turns out the North Korean Army has invaded the island. But, before long, it becomes apparent that the true threat is something decidedly less terrestrial.
Firefights typically take place in massive environments with believable geography that allow for diverse strategies of attack. Will you sneak around an enemy encampment, or hop into a truck and barrel through the front gates? If enemies are hiding in a hut, you can roll a grenade into it, or shoot out load-bearing timbers to make the roof collapse. You can jump in any vehicle you run across, grab any weapon you find, and choose how gung-ho or stealthy you'd like to be.
Is it any good?
This adult-oriented sci-fi shooter is a dazzling visual achievement -- indeed, it is among the most visually realistic games ever made. And by virtue of this unmatched verisimilitude, Crysis immerses players in its world like no other game that has come before. But all of this comes at a price: the cost of a state-of-the-art gaming machine. Play without a technologically advanced rig and you'll have no choice but to run the game at the lowest visual settings, which unfortunately makes it feel more or less like an average PC shooter.
The almost limitless gamut of possible tactics is impressive, but it's not unprecedented. From Assassin's Creed to the Grand Theft Auto games, open-ended play is de rigueur these days. And since most people don't own machines powerful enough to take advantage of Crysis' bar-raising graphics, most players probably won't find that it stands out from the pack.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the difference between playing games on home computers as opposed to consoles. Which method of control do you prefer, a keyboard or a gamepad? What do the game's hyper-realistic graphics do for this game? How does this story line compare with other sci-fi shooter games?
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