Just under four years after it debuted on PC, Crysis finally, unexpectedly sees the light on day on consoles. Even in lieu of Crysis 2's unsuspected banality it may seem bizarre to proclaim this cheap-as-chips, download-only effort the superior title - but then your beige box-owning pals have been yapping on about that for ages. Time to shut them up.
Crysis' console release throws up three points of contention. First up: visuals. Is it as pretty as PC, or even console Crysis 2? The answer is: no. Far from it. In vindication though - and seeing as this original is a roaming sandbox beast rendering frankly enormous environments - even managing to port it to a console is some technical achievement. Bolstered by snazzy new particle effects and rejigged lighting, this sprawling world still contains its share of postcard-perfect vistas.
Second point: gameplay. Crysis console feels born for the pad, Crysis 2 proving a fine practice run when it comes to getting to grips with the Nanosuit's 1.0 powers. This get-up, though, has also seen some notable battery-life tweaks - significantly improving your aura of Michelin Manomnipotence.
Combat feels as military-gritty as ever, scoping out an enemy installation without too much intel retains its edgy thrill instead of the frustrating handholding proffered by Crysis 2. The AI is (mostly) intelligent, the amount of environmental destructibility striking, the tactical options available manifold, while the frequent, fierce firefights tend to play out even more dynamically than we remember.
Okay, so the final third of the game - When Generic Aliens Attack! - still feels like a let-down - but it was never quite as tepid as the naysayers claimed. Overall, it's a bombastic, lengthy campaign which stands the test of time.
Finally, should FPS fans buy it? Probably. The lack of multiplayer is a blow - especially considering its sequel shone in that department - but at £15 it's competitively priced and the true sandbox nature provides a rousing glimpse into some of the ideas and themes that could well drive next gen shooters forwards.
Unexpected, then, but warmly welcome... nice to finally see you on consoles, soldier.
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A very solid shooter, which finally brings bargain sandbox blasting to 360, ironically beating out its own castrated sequel in the process