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Crysis

Memories of bushwhacking through tropical blast-a-thon  Far Cry's tangled jungles and (sometimes) outdoing the whip-smart AI make us go all gushy inside. However, those fondly recalled moments of 2004's best pure shooter took a beating when we watched the first video of developer Crytek's latest effort: Crysis. Graphically speaking, the jungle shooter Far Cry seemed too big for its britches when it was released, but seeing Crysis in action makes Far Cry seem like a crudely drawn cartoon by comparison.

Here's the setup: in 2019, a colossal asteroid crashes down to Earth on an island near North Korea. Both the Koreans and the United States lay claim to the errant space rock. After brief tensions between the two countries' elite military forces, the asteroid cracks apart and reveals a massive, mile-high spaceship. Apparently, they intercepted a broadcast of Troy and have come here seeking vengeance. In any case, the two human military groups must now band together and attempt to prevent the aliens from kicking the human race to the curb.

Despite being fooled by smoke-and-mirrors, "real in-game footage" by other company's furtive offerings in the past, we have broad hopes for Crysis. This is largely based on its association with Microsoft's not-till-2007 Vista operating system. Crysis is expected to be a PC-only, Vista-exclusive flagship launch title. Vista will support a legion of all-new graphics effects, thanks to DirectX 10, which replaces DX9 as the guts behind Windows graphics. Seeing is believing, so take a look for yourself. In the video, you'll see a litany of never-before-seen graphical elements like depth-of-field focusing and deformable foliage.

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