Crysis is expected to be one of the biggest games on the PC when it comes out later this year. We were given the chance to have a sneak peak at the new game months before its launch.

So what can you expect from the game that is going to demand more of your gaming time, make your wife/girlfriend/mistress leave you and basically end your life as you know it? Well Crysis for those not entirely in the know is a first person shooter from Crytek, the creators of FarCry.

Updated and using a new gaming engine (Cry Engine 2 for those who care) the game will also take advantage of Microsoft's DirectX 10 also due out later this year. What that means to you and me is luscious graphics and detailed scenery.

Set in 2019 after a colossal asteroid crashes to Earth, Crysis begins amidst a tense military standoff between the North Korean and United States governments for control of the impact zone.

Amid rising tensions, the asteroid suddenly bursts open revealing a massive alien ship, which begins freezing vast portions of the island and altering the global weather system.

Although the game is set in the not too distant future battling Aliens, Americans and North Koreans (in that order), the level we played involved you taking out a series of North Korean guards in a jungle clearing - in what could have been yesteryear with very similar scenery to that found on FarCry - and then fighting against an attack helicopter to finish the level.

To help you on your merry quest you have a number of high-tech features at your disposal including a plethora of weapons that you can pick up along your travels.

The key to the game however is your nano technology suit, which allows you to improve certain areas of your performance at any given time. Performance enhancements include speed, armour and strength among others and by selecting speed, for example, it allows you to run out of trouble as if you are The Flash. Armour means you have greater resistance to bullets, but are slower.

The suit is accessed via an onscreen menu (a click of the mouse) and does mean that you tackle situations that wouldn't normally be possible, like jumping on to single storey rooftops with one bound before changing back to a previous setting.

Following in the footsteps of FarCry you can also jump into vehicles and in our level there was a Hummer to drive (you couldn't fly in the helicopter, it was only there to be destroyed). Driving was very responsive and you will be able to sit in different positions including the gunner if you are playing multiplayer.

While Crytex has said that Crysis is first and foremost a single player game, there will be a multiplayer aspect to the game complete with a new multiplayer game not seen before.

The yet to be named option will see players working as a team to build-up a base rather like Command and Conquer. The idea will be to defeat the other team's base as quick as possible, however the stronger your opponent becomes (kills equal points, points equal prizes) the harder it will become to defeat them. All in all it sounds like something that is going to take hours to complete rather than the usual quick 5 minutes of deathmatch.

First Impressions

In our brief play, Crysis looks like it is going to be the something special we have been promised.

It might have only been a brief play, but the graphics are the best we've seen on the PC (it was running on a suped out Dell XPS however) and everything from the vegetation, to the enemy, to that helicopter when we blew it out of the sky, looked great. Oh and the sound was equally impressive.

Of course it's early days yet, we only saw one level, didn't really get to experience the enemy AI to any great extent nor see how the storyline plays out, but with up to 9 months still to go, Crysis is certainly one to watch.