Crysis (series)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

J: A quantum computer compared to an ordinary computer is like the sun compared to a charcoal drawing of the sun
S: Supposedly the answer will come before you even put the question in.
A: But will it run Crysis?
S: No
J: No

Random chat log, on Crysis' foremost distinguishing feature
"Son, you seem to think this is some kind of game."
Jacob Hargreave, Crysis: Legion

Crysis is a video game series created by Crytek, previously known for Far Cry.

In the year 2020, an alien structure has been found buried in an island in the South China sea. The US army sends Raptor Team, a group of Delta Force soldiers equipped with multifunctional Nanosuits, including the Player Character Jake "Nomad" Dunn, to rescue the archaeologists who found it and then were taken captive by North Korean forces. However, the aliens are not friendly to either side, and Nomad must combat both the North Koreans and the aliens.

Released in 2007, Crysis features the same open-ended style of meeting objectives that appeared in Far Cry. It also is ridiculously future-proof: if you can run it on maximum settings and still get good performance, you probably won't need to worry about the system requirements of another game for a good while. Allow us to express a desire for your computer.

An expansion Crysis Warhead has since been released in 2008, putting the player in the role of Major "Psycho" Sykes through the timeline of the original. A touted feature of Crysis Warhead, turned out to be surprisingly true, is improved performance on higher graphic settings.

Bridging the gap between Crysis 1 and Crysis 2, we have a comic miniseries that follows Raptor Team directly after the end of Crysis. It ties in neatly with both games, and explains quite a bit about the setting and background.

Crysis 2 is set three years after the first game and released in 2011. Written by Richard K. Morgan of Altered Carbon fame, the game opens up with a plot about an alien virus infecting the citizens of Manhattan, riots breaking out, and eventually cuts to the viewpoint of a man codenamed "Alcatraz" and his Marine squadmates sent to rescue Dr. Nathan Gould, who is trapped somewhere in Manhattan. However, their submarine gets attacked on the way, and Alcatraz himself barely survives before being rescued. From thereon, it's up to Alcatraz to figure out what in the world is happening on Manhattan, and why human paramilitary forces are out to kill him and seemingly everyone else that moves in the name of containing the infection.

It's novelized in Crysis: Legion by Peter Watts, which greatly expands on the story and nature of the Nanosuit, and adds an (un)healthy dose of Watts' hard-science Nightmare Fuel.

Crysis 3, the final game in the current trilogy, was released in 2013, with Crytek assuring enthusiasts that the game would not be as graphically neutered as its predecessor and would combine the jungle setting of the first and (what's left of) New York. The story, set in 2047, involves Alcatraz and Prophet fighting the remnants of CELL and new Ceph through the overgrown ruins of New York. There's a city-sized dome and a bow involved.

Crysis: Escalation, another novel this time by Gavin G. Smith, bridges the gap between 2 and 3.

A remaster of the first game came out in 2020. Remasters of the subsequent two followed in 2021.

A fourth instalment was announced in 2022. No further details are available as of this writing.

Tropes used in Crysis (series) include:


  • Abnormal Ammo: The Alien MOAC (Molecular Accelerator) turns water vapors in the air into icicles and launches them at enemies. Yes, it shoots ice. In the sequel, the K-VOLT fired electromagnetically charged pellets, having gone from usually non-lethal far-ranged multi-target riot-suppressing taser to lethal weapon.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Hargreave is prone to this.
  • Aggressive Categorism: In Crysis: Legion, Colonel Barclay refers to War of the Worlds when discussing the Ceph. Gould is Mind Screwed by this: he's a Properly Paranoid Conspiracy Theorist who has feared The Government and especially the military his entire life, and "lifers who read ancient science fiction don’t fit comfortably into his worldview." This worldview is reinforced a few minutes later, when Barclay dismisses his theory on how the Nanosuit could be used to instantly eliminate the Synthetic Plague, along with all the Ceph. He also gets his satisfaction within the hour when Hargreave instructs Alcatraz on how to use the Nanosuit to destroy a Tower.
  • Air Jousting: In the zero-G level during the first game, any aliens not armed with actual weapons would basically fly forward and ram Nomad at high speed, clawing at him in the process. The attacks would do high damage, though it would also put them in range of the instakill jelly grab.
  • AKA-47:
    • Variation in that while "SCAR" is the name of a real gun, it's applied to a futuristic derivative of the Heckler & Koch XM8, not the Fabrique Nationale SCAR. This is a small Genius Bonus, since the XM8 was also a contender for the SCAR trials, but was beaten by Fabrique Nationale. Played straight with the FY-71.
    • Most of the guns in Crysis 2 are futuristic renditions of modern weaponry. The only two that seem to be an "original" mishmash are the SCARAB and Feline.
  • Alien Invasion: They came here long, long before humans existed, and whatever they're doing, it looks like an invasion only from our perspective. It might be more accurate to think of it as pruning or pest control.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: Whatever the Ceph are doing here on Earth, they sure as hell didn't come in peace. Hargreave suggests that they were on Earth first (supposedly as a colony created millions of years ago), and that they view humans with the contempt humans view an insect infestation.
  • All There in the Manual: The real names of the strike team are hidden in the editor. Nomad's name is Jake Dunn, Psycho's is Michael Sykes, Prophet's is Major Laurence Barnes, Aztec's is Harold Cortez, and Jester's is Martin Hawker.
    • Goes for the sequel as well. By reading some special entries on the site, you'll find out that Hargreave was born in 1896, that he, Karl Rasch and Walter Gould undertook an expedition to Tunguska in 1919, and that Hargreave saved the other two by carrying them across the Siberian wastes in an apparently superhuman feat. You also get to read some of the e-mail conversations that you can discover in-game, which leads to a minor spoiler.
    • Barnes' and Sykes' real names were formally revealed and explicitly mentioned in the third game.
  • Already Done for You: In the last level of the original, Psycho has brought back a disabled Alien Scout intact. In Crysis Warhead, we see how it was done.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Though it (thankfully) doesn't become one, Nomad narrating his journey through the lithoship in the first game has all the hallmarks of one. Several times it's implied Nomad really does expect to die in there.

..some kind of outer shell. It seems organic...
I'm not alone in here.
Something just hit me!
Strickland, if you can hear this, you need to get everyone off this island! They're all waking up!

  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • The KPA troops will flank you, flush you out with grenades, and blast through walls to try to kill you. The Elite KPA will switch between armor modes to survive as long as possible, while making your life miserable as they flank you.
    • Both the KPA soldiers and the alien Troopers in Crysis Warhead will use lasers (laser pointers for the KPA and a small LIDAR for the aliens) to check places where you're likely to be cloaked. Since the Nanosuit isn't really transparent and can't reproduce a laser, it will put you in trouble quite a bit.
    • The Ceph soldiers in Crysis 2 have practically unreadable body language, and once in a while they might spontaneously decide to release an EMP burst that drains all of your suit energy: it's the most annoying thing when you're trying to sneak around them. There's also the fact that they use the terrain to their advantage, doing things like wall running or jumping onto elevated positions to get a better angle on you.
    • CELL troops took pages from the KPA playbook and carry laser sights when they know you're in the area. They can spot you even while cloaked if close enough. CELL troops will fire off flares that summon reinforcements and realistically flank and canvas an area for you if cloaked. They're actually smart enough that you can realistically trick out and confuse them; for example, if you're being shot at and run toward cover, and cloak midway then change directions, the AI will initially think you're taking cover behind that object but quickly realize the ruse and start hunting for you normally.
  • Artificial Gravity: Or, rather, an artificial lack of it. It's one of the best sequences in recent gaming and very well done; just be really careful. It's easy to get confused and lost.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • Youtube is filled with funny videos showing flaws in enemy soldier A.I. Thankfully, the more blatant bugs have been patched out, although the KPA are still happy to do stuff like chase you into the water and drown, or simply stare into space when you enter cloak mode.
    • The pathfinding system for Crysis 2 was reportedly unchanged from the original. Basically, the AI thinks they're in a jungle when they're actually fighting in the city. You end up with AI who occasionally gets stuck running into a wall or can't decide which side of a hedge they want to be on.
  • Ascended Extra: Psycho, your squad-mate in the original, is the player character of Crysis Warhead.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • "Can it run Crysis?" is the first achievement/trophy you get in the console versions of Crysis 2.
    • A number of memes pop up during Alcatraz's interviews in Crysis: Legion, including the "NOM" system on the N2 suit that consumes and converts biomass for energy, and references to Ceiling Cat and the Flying Spaghetti Monster by Alcatraz himself. There's some Fridge Brilliance in the latter, as in order to be a Marine in 2023, Alcatraz would almost certainly have to be in his early teens now, so he'd naturally possess some knowledge of internet culture.
    • The MAXIMUM (NOUN).
  • Author Avatar: Take a look at Commander Lockhart's face. Now, take a look at Cevat Yerli's face.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Both played straight and subverted with the North Korean general. Done the same way with the North Korean colonel in Crysis Warhead, but here, the progression of the trope marks either Psycho's crowning moments of awesome or Nightmare Fuel, depending on one's perspective.
    • Ceph commanders from Crysis 2 are significantly more resistant and powerful than the others as well.
  • Awesome but Impractical:
    • The air stomp move in Crysis 2. It's difficult to set up, tricky to hit with (although there is a modest amount of splash damage to make it less frustrating), and doesn't really do that much damage when you consider how hard it is to actually set it up and use it.
    • There's also the powered melee attack. It can kill a standard CELL trooper or Ceph in one hit, but it uses up your entire energy meter, leaving you vulnerable to attack from all the other enemies nearby. Not to mention you can kill humans with two uncharged melee attacks in less time. It also doesn't do enough damage to kill a Commander or really hurt a Heavy.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Completely averted. The SECOND AI in the Nanosuit 2 does its job of keeping the operator informed and alive and the suit functions integrated so well that even its creators are dumbstruck. It's stated that, by the end of the events in Crysis 2, the suit and its AI are so deeply connected with Alcatraz, that most of his thought processes happen outside of his skull. Watts adds that it not only made him smarter and gave him new skills, it altered his mind so he enjoyed the process.
  • Back for the Dead/Dropped a Bridge on Him/Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome:
    • In the comic interquel, Helena Rosenthal is shot by the C.I.A. in an attempt to steal Nanosuit technology, and her body is left on Lingsham Island. Nomad dies under torture because the C.I.A. believes Prophet is jerking them around with stories about aliens. Makes the first game something of a Shoot the Shaggy Dog.
    • Prophet in Crysis 2 is a more obvious example. Subverted at the end of the game though, and he is part of the main protagonist of Crysis 3.
  • Badass Boast:

Major Strickland: "I'm a Marine, son! I'll walk on water if I have to."

    • Hargreave gets an epic one in Crysis 2 after Lockhart promises to kill him after he's done with Alcatraz:

Hargreave: "Better men than you have tried, son. Better men than you, and things so far beyond men you can't even begin to imagine them."

  • Beat Them At Their Own Game: Crysis: Legion speculates that this is what the NYC Ceph tried to do. It doesn't work very well.
  • Beehive Barrier:
    • Non-forcefield version: When activating your armor mode in Crysis 2, translucent hexagon patterns fill the periphery of the screen, representing your suit hardening itself.
    • While Alcatraz is laying siege to the Prism in "the eye of the storm", Lockhart hides himself behind a transparent window/barrier that stops ordinary bullets (including .50 cal) but not Gauss Rifle slugs (while taking potshots at Alcatraz using a Gauss Rifle of course). When the barrier takes fire, it does light up in a classic beehive/hexagon pattern.
  • Beyond the Impossible:
    • Playing the game on the highest graphics settings. Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation summed it up by saying something to the effect of "Crysis was designed to be played on some kind of futuristic supercomputer from space." Even computers made in 2011, four years later, had difficulty running it unless you sunk a few hundred dollars worth of extra hardware into them.
    • The Sandbox editor officially does not work on 32-bit XP and Vista systems due to the unGodly amounts of memory needed in order to create a map at a speed more than "slideshow".
  • BFG:
    • The TAC, a grenade launcher that fires a tactical nuke.
    • The Gauss Rifle's slugs aren't particularly large, however it's a railgun that fires them at 8 times the speed of sound, dealing very high damage against most targets.
  • Big Applesauce: In Crysis 2, especially after another Ceph lithoship comes out of the ground in Manhattan.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Tara Strickland in Masks Off.
  • Bilingual Bonus: On the highest difficulty setting, the Koreans speak Korean rather than English.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Two black dudes and a Hispanic fellow, actually. All of them die within the first 2 levels. One gets better though. Until he dies during the start of Crysis 2. Subverted: he lives on in the Nanosuit, possibly to the extent of hijacking Alcatraz' body.
  • Bling of War: Colonel Lee in Crysis Warhead wears a stylized Nanosuit with large, shiny gold shoulder epaulets and various officer insignia on the chestplate. In contrast, General Kyong's Nanosuit is completely utilitarian, being indistinguishable from the ones worn by the regular North Korean Nanosuit soldiers.
  • Body Horror: Alcatraz's Nanosuit is revealed to have been growing into his body as a result of his injuries. Watts states that since it can't make biomass from nothing, it's been breaking down damaged tissues and less-used organs to do it. Given enough time, Alcatraz fully expects to become a Ghost in the Shell-type cyborg.
    • And by organs, Watts doesn't mean stuff like his spleen or kidneys; apparently, the suit broke down and absorbed his collapsed lungs and, later on, his heart to use as raw material. Sort of makes one wonder what the defibrillator is doing to wake Alcatraz up then.
  • Book Ends: Crysis 2: "They call me Prophet".
  • Border Patrol: Starting with a shark... then warships... then you getting vaporized.
    • Crysis 2's water is guarded by tentacles.
  • Boring but Practical: Alcatraz is quite straightforward when dealing with enemies he's grabbed. Either he caves in their heads with a single punch, or he slits their throats with a single, economical cut with his knife.
    • As stated under Game Breaker in the YMMV page, as opposed to the Badass display in the demonstration video before the game starts, slow, methodical stealth, and intelligent abuse of the cloak ability, puts the game on easy mode even on the hardest difficulty.
  • Brain Uploading: Before Prophet commits suicide in the second game to give Alcatraz his Nanosuit, his mind is copied into the suit's systems, eventually emerging to protect the marine from Hargreave. Unusually for this trope, this event surprises Prophet as much as it does the player.
    • Watts says it's not so much this as both Prophet and Alcatraz have been psychologically modified to the exact same template.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Averted in Crysis 2. Grabbed human soldiers or Ceph still allow shots through.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Doctor Gould, who is a giant conspiracy nut. This is one of the reasons why Tara Strickland never informed him that she was CIA. According to Crysis: Legion, he's also a meth junkie; Alcatraz notices crystal remains around his house and Hargreave mentions something about drugs reducing his ability to think straight.
  • Character Development: Psycho, who goes from the obligatory 'psycho' in Crysis to the surprisingly sympathetic main character in Crysis Warhead, where he is much less of a Featureless Protagonist than Nomad.
    • Hargreave is... complicated. From what can be discerned, the guy has a gentlemanly, turn-of-the-century code of honor and genuinely cares about the people under him (he briefly sends Alcatraz to look for one of the CELL squads he had sent into an alien hive, and sounds genuinely upset when he finds their bodies), but he allows none of these to interfere with his century-long battle against the Ceph. Also, since he witnessed certain important events like the market crash, the world wars, the Cold War, the 2012 "Double Dip" and the spiraling worldwide chaos that followed it, he has a seething hatred and mistrust of anything government-related.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Or rather, Checkhov's Tactical Nuclear Grenade Launcher.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: The Nanosuit. You would be in trouble without it: you face huge alien exosuits, hundreds of NK soldiers (some with their own Nanosuits), Helicopters, APCs, Tanks, etc. There are environmental hazards too: a zero-G alien spaceship and and an energy sphere so cold that it literally snap-freezes unprotected humans.
    • In Crysis 2, it's hinted at a case of Clothes ARE The Superman: Alcatraz was so badly wounded in the intro cutscene that he can barely walk without the suit, much less kick all forms of alien ass. In fact, when Alcatraz is lying in a Nanosuit scanner Gould requested he use, it's revealed that his injuries are so severe that he would have died if Prophet hadn't happened by. It's even hinted that the suit, and Prophet by extension, is taking control.
    • Watts believes that the suit was so traumatized by Prophet's suicide that it's tearing apart Alcatraz's body to ensure that he can't do the same.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Lockhart loves his F-words.
  • Conspicuously Selective Perception
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: "Alcatraz, over here! Punch it man, let's go! Alcatraz, over here! Punch it man, let's go! Alcatraz, over here! Punch it man, let's go!"
    • Humorously, you can hear Lockhart doing this to his soldiers at one point, interspersed with insults at both you and his men.
  • Continuity Drift: In Crysis 2, the Ceph seem to have changed (evolved?) quite a bit: they're no longer cryophilic creatures native to a world where a balmy day is in the double-digit Kelvin range (Hargreave says they evolved in an ocean and supposedly settled on Earth millions of years ago), and they've traded their squid-like flying robots for Terminator-style bipedal suits. Also, they've gone from freezing people dead to melting them to goo with a nanotech supervirus. In a similar vein, the North Korean superpower from the previous game is never mentioned (though New York is under a severe quarantine and the entire USA is under a government-enforced media blackout, so we don't know anything about the outside world), and the Nanosuit is revealed as a product of alien technology rather than simply an advanced super-suit built by CryNet.
    • This is actually the purpose of the IDW comic interquel: as the Ceph are not truly intelligent, the first wave of attackers use pre-programmed fire-and-forget intrusion countermeasures to drive invaders from their sensitive areas: tools that destroy the very assets they are supposed to harvest (i.e. unique proteins). The Manhattan wave uses rough equivalents of our own weapons and tactics while deploying precision harvesting tools such as the Synthetic Plague and the Ticks.
  • Continuity Nod: Crysis 2 has references to the Lingshan Incident, Strickland and Helena Rosenthal at various points. Also, by the end, another Ceph lithoship (like the one at Lingshan but obviously different) rises out of the ground and prepares to deploy a devastating area-denial weapon (a nano/biotech spore instead of an ice sphere).
    • The whole plot of the second game shares similarities with the first: Botched insertion, protect the scientist, getting captured, being reassigned to a Marine officer mid-way, and the alien area-denial attack at the end. Your efforts throughout the game are to prevent another Lingshan disaster, but in a massively populated area.
    • Crysis: Legion gives us, as expected, some more, and also ties up some loose ends from in between the two games (e.g. what happened to Lingshan Island). Apparently, one side decided to glass the entire island.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Averted. Fire still hurts.
  • Crapsack World: In Crysis: Legion, Alcatraz describes that the world apparently became like this in the years between 2010-2020. There were a couple of economic crashes (the "Double Dip"), multiple wars in Asia and South America, new epidemics (at least one of them weaponized by Egypt against Syria in the "Water Wars") and a number of Secession Riots in Texas, which were quelled with Marine deployment. Things are so bad that the USA is under a DHS-enforced media-blackout, cellphone restriction and a No-Fly zone, all of them voted into long-term law. As for the rest of the world, we literally don't know what is happening after the Ceph awakened.
    • In Crysis: Legion, Watts points out that the Ceph's cryogenic weapon would set off environmental catastrophes worldwide... which corrupt governments were able to spin into Soviet Russia-level authoritarianism. Ceph hives are slowly waking up, causing city-smashing earthquakes. And on top of that, bioterrorism is a growing concern: Alcatraz compares the Ceph bioweapon to enhanced necrotizing fasciitis that somebody turned loose in the Middle East to defend the pipelines.
  • Crazy Prepared: The Nanosuit, which has, among other things, zero-gravity maneuvering thrusters. In case you're accidentally catapulted into space, presumably. The Nanosuit also has a defrosting mechanism. Perfect for temperatures below -200 degrees, as well as freeze rays.
    • The thrusters are actually used for swimming, Speed Mode sprinting and maneuvering yourself in midair while strength jumping.
    • Crysis 2 has a good explanation for this: it's revealed that the suit was originally made with the intention fighting the aliens all along.
  • Crew of One: Although this is averted on the higher difficulties, except for the tank, whose HUD suggests some sort of computer-assisted turret control.
  • Cursed with Awesome/Blessed with Suck: Alcatraz, protagonist of the second game. Bonus: he's wearing a suit that makes him super strong, super fast, super tough, and can turn invisible, as well as scanning the battlefield to mark enemies, strategic points and analyze enemy weaknesses. Minus: he received multiple life-threatening wounds before it was put on him, including fatal damage to his heart, spine, and lungs. At several points in the game, the suit malfunctions and Alcatraz becomes so weak he can barely crawl. A few scary scenes require the player to use the suit defibrillator on his heart. The suit is not only keeping him alive, but it's doing most of the fighting for him. Oh, and if he removes the suit, he dies of said injuries... the suit's also growing into his wounds.
    • The book goes even further: it's been harvesting non-functioning and less essential organs for materials to shore up more vital systems. He probably doesn't have lungs or a heart at all by the end of the game, judging by the fact that he realizes he doesn't need to breathe anymore and doesn't have a pulse. He does, however, possess the ability to see along the length of the EM spectrum, detect when people are lying to him, and resist any attempt by CryNet or the military to disable him, among many other things, having essentially become a through-and-through post-human.
  • Cutscene Boss: Lockhart. Basically, you bust into where he's hiding, activating your armor setting before going in. He blasts you with a Gauss gun, and it bounces off and knocks you back a bit, but you keep coming, grab him by the throat, then throw him out a window.
  • Dead Man Walking: Anyone who puts on a Nanosuit is this, according to Prophet. A little more literally with Alcatraz, at it's stated that, aside from the previous point, his injuries from the Ceph gunship in the opening are fatal and the Nanosuit keeps him alive.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Nomad has one or two of these moments. One conversation via radio is roughly as follows: "Sir, I think the Koreans have Nanosuits." "That's impossible!" "...if it's any consolation, they look like cheap knockoffs."
    • Hargreave is a bit dry when speaking with Alcatraz.

Hargreave: If it's at all possible, son, d'you think you could keep my billion dollar suit out of the line of fire for awhile? It'd really be better for all involved if you came back to me in one piece.

"You know that line they feed you in boot camp, "You can rest when you're dead"? Complete bullshit!

  • Destination Defenestration: Lockhart's fate when Alcatraz finally catches up to him. The fall isn't instantly fatal though: it takes him a while to die, unless you decide to be merciful.
  • Diegetic Interface: One of the suit's features.
  • Disney Villain Death: Lockhart. After spending the whole game harassing you, you finally catch up to him and smash him on the pavement out a three-story window. You can see him struggle for a bit before dieing. You can also shoot him to speed up his demise. However, we don't get to see most Disney villains spattered messily all over the pavement.
  • Do Not Drop Your Weapon
  • Dragon Their Feet: You've beaten the alien Exosuit and secured the dead alien in your VTOL. Then Colonel Lee shows up...
  • Eleventh-Hour Superpower: This is actually a recurring thing in the Crysis games:
    • Crysis: You get the TAC Gun and the ability to disrupt the alien drones just in time to destroy a shielded Hunter and the Warrior.
    • In Crysis Warhead, you get the PAX cannon in order to destroy the Red Hunter.
    • In Crysis 2, the final levels have most of the game's MIKE maser canons, which cause the aliens to explode into a mushy pulp very easily. Also, by that time, the suit has finished profiling the Manhattan virus and is capable of turning it into an anti-alien bioweapon, which is how the whole mess gets solved.
      • And although it has no gameplay effects...

Nanosuit: Warning! EMP shutdown! All systems impaired. Switching to core function mode. Life support priority. Warning! EMP shutdown! All systems impaired. Switching to core function mode. Life support priority. Warning! Deep layer protocols engaging. Rerouting systems. Wake up marine! This is no time for dying. Get your ass back in the fight!


  • Famous Last Words: Crysis 2 "They call me Prophet. Remember me." Averted at the end of the game.
  • Fast Tunnelling: The Ceph can, thanks to giant mechanical Combat Tentacles.
  • Floating Continent: Central Park at the end of Crysis 2. Not really floating though. More like kept up by huge metallic tentacles.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: One of the friendly Nanosuit-wearing Delta Force NPCs in Crysis Warhead has "Cupcake" as a call-sign.
  • Foreshadowing: The intro to Crysis 2 shows that the nanomachines are cute little critters based on the "machines made out of protein" school of thought. It's not just stylistic.
  • Four Is Death: Four Ceph Guardians at the end.
  • Freeze Ray: The Alien MOAR (Molecular Arrestor) instantly freezes enemies, though it's rather useless in the multi-player as the frozen enemy could simply move their mouse back and forth to thaw out. It could also freeze vehicles, though the occupants are unharmed [1] and are still able to fire the vehicle's weapons. Unpleasantly surprising when it's a jeep-mounted machine gun, reaches painful status when it's a tank's cannon. Highly satisfying to use against helicopters.
    • With luck or teamwork the freezeray is very effective, making 1-Hit kills.
  • Fridge Logic: In-universe. In Crysis: Legion, Watts's Alcatraz points out two things:
    • 1). Hargreave claims that he knew that the Ceph were in Manhattan all those years, and stayed in a city he hated just to prepare to fight them, but Central Park (which the central hive was hidden beneath) was built in 1857, and left alone for all that time while every other aspect of the city changed around it. If you count back to the colonists buying Manhattan from the Native Americans, New York could be considered five hundred years old. If you count how the Native Americans considered the island valuable for millennia...
    • 2). Stolen Sufficiently Advanced Ancient Alien Phlebotinum changes so many rules that there might as well not be any at all.
      • Conclusion: There's no way to be certain that Hargreave is only 127 years old. With Ceph ubertech, he could be hundreds or even thousands of years old.

Alcatraz: I have no idea why, Roger. It’s all just idle speculation bouncing around in the back of a Bulldog on its way to the final showdown. All I’m saying is, maybe Tunguska wasn’t the first time Hargreave got in and got out, and maybe Ling Shan wasn’t the second. Maybe Ling Shan was just the first time the owners woke up and found him in their bedroom.

  • Game Mod: Crymod is an entire community based around these.
    • One of the more well-known mods is Mechwarrior: Living Legends, a total-conversion mod in the BattleTech/Mechwarrior universe.
    • Graphical mods which make the game look even better (photorealistic) and run at the same speed or just slightly slower are very popular.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: The friendly Delta Force Nanosuit soldiers who help you through a couple levels in Crysis Warhead are immortal: being "killed" only knocks them down for several seconds, after which they get back up again to kick more ass.
    • In the Crysis mission "Assault", it is possible to destroy the AA gun in the harbor without being detected, which causes all the enemies to start shooting at Psycho rather than looking for you. No matter how many bullets he takes, he won't even fall down, much less die.
    • Mostly averted in the sequel. Other than a single plot-important named character, your Marine squadmates are mortal and can die, although they are pretty tough and can survive reasonably well. There's even an achievement in the console versions for getting all of them through one of the levels without any of them dying.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Averted in Crysis 2 in regards to the multi-player mode. The Marine and CELL Nanosuits are significantly weaker than the main Nanosuit 2 used by Alcatraz in single-player, with faster Stealth energy drain and a less effective Armor Mode. Without Armor Mode, a Marine or CELL can only survive about as much damage as a CEL Mook NPC from single-player. Indeed, one of the Level 3 killstreak rewards is the Maximum Nanosuit, which boosts the power of the player's Nanosuit up to the levels seen in single-player, and pretty much makes them a walking tank for as long as the killstreak is active.
    • That is because the Cell and Marine Nanosuit are not Nanosuit 2.0. They can be seen stored in glass cases in Hargreave's study, using the Tactical Mode to analyze them will reveal that they are indeed custom made Nanosuit 1.5 and not Nanosuit 2.0
  • Gatling Good: One of the weapons is a man-portable minigun, of course. Justified in that you need a superpowered Powered Armor Nanosuit in order to wield it. And even then, you need to switch the suit to Maximum Strength to actually hold it on target.
  • General Ripper: Lockhart, whose hatred for both Prophet and the Nanosuit program goes right up to irrational hatred to the point that he actively sabotages Hargreave's efforts to save New York City. Crysis: Legion goes into detail regarding Lockhart's hatred for the program, as not only does he consider the use of the technology to be an "abomination" but that he also lost a nephew during the program's early testing phase.
    • Watts actually says that the Straw Man Has a Point: every iteration of the Nanosuit up to 2.0 has killed its user, and From a Certain Point of View, they were designed to do it. He points out that the suits replace every biological function save independent thought; "assume autonomic, regulatory, and motor functions in the event of somatic damage or operator incapacity." The Nanosuit's purpose is to turn humans into "post-human warriors"... except that the users are not told of this until it is too late. Lockhart refuses to see how nothing less will stop the Ceph, and goes insane with his hatred of the suits, but damn.
  • Genius Bruiser: Alcatraz develops into one over the course of Crysis: Legion, becoming a startlingly intelligent and savvy person thanks to the help of the suit and the fact that its growing into his body and co-opting a lot of mental processing power, speeding up his thought processes.
  • The Ghost: Roger, the poor interviewer debriefing Alcatraz in Crysis: Legion. It's clear from the narration that Roger is asking Alactraz questions as certain points, as we'll see Alactraz pause and respond ("So anyway...I'm sorry? Oh, you meant the [x], no, I was talking about the [y]..."), but he doesn't actually have any printed lines of dialogue, forcing the reader to guess at his questions based on Alcatraz's reactions.
  • Giant Mook: Ceph Heavies in Crysis 2. Huge, strong, dual-wielding a heavy machine-gun analogue and a rocket-launcher, along with having an EMP ability like most Ceph. It takes two direct hits of C4 to kill one. On Easy. For comparison, most similar enemies in other FPS games (i.e. F.E.A.R. Heavy Armors, BioShock Big Daddies, or Modern Warfare Juggernauts) usually take about 50-80 rounds of assault rifle fire to kill. The Ceph Heavy can take up to 350 rounds of assault rifle fire (that's 12 full mags) to kill. Fortunately, they're slightly more vulnerable to explosives, special weapons or headshots, but it still take a lot of hits to kill. Their only saving grace is that they're slow. But that can be more terrifying as they amble in your direction, ignoring the massive amounts of fire you pour into their armor as they casually toss cars out of their way. Oh, we mentioned how a short burst from a Gatling Gun will take down a helicopter earlier, right? Well, you can empty out two of these into a Heavy and not have any effect.
  • Good-Looking Privates: Tara Strickland in the second game. Lampshaded in Crysis: Legion by Alcatraz.
  • Grand Theft Me: Turns out, this is why Prophet killed himself in Crysis 2: if he let the Ceph virus fester in him, he'd get hijacked. Implied to have happened to Alcatraz at the end of Crysis 2, though Crysis: Legion indicates things are a lot more complicated than it seems.
  • Gray and Gray Morality: All of the different competing human villains in Crysis 2 actually have generally good motives and are trying to save humanity from the Ceph. It's just that to varying degrees they're perfectly fine with killing marines + civilians, killing each other, and most especially killing you in order to achieve that goal.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: You can Neck Lift enemy soldiers, then throw them at their comrades. And your Nanosuit's strong enough to do this even when you're not in strength mode. Not only do aliens have necks, but Neck Lift is instantly and invariably fatal for them. It is possible to finish The Core chapter (and some levels after that) using cloak and Neck Lift only, on any difficulty.
  • Gun Accessories: You start with an underbarrel tranq gun, a silencer, a EOTech holosight and a flashlight, then you get a grenade launcher, an ACOG scope, a sniper scope and a laser sight. You can mount every accessory on every rifle, but some combinations are more useful than others.
    • Some combinations are hilariously useless: you can mount a sniper scope on a shotgun.
    • Crysis 2 dumbs this system down somewhat: the number of slots has been decreased, the flashlight is gone (made slightly redundant with NANOVISION ENABLED), and there's only a choice between underbarrel shotgun, a late-game gauss rifle or grenade launcher, and the ironsights/scope/laser sights on most guns.
  • Harder Than Hard: Delta difficulty. No aiming reticule, enemies speak Korean, can't drive and shoot at the same time. It also drastically reduces the speed at which your health regenerates. The game files refer to Delta as "bauer".
    • The sequel has Post-Human Warrior, where your health is significantly reduced, to the point you can be killed by just a few bullets. Your Armor Mode shield seems to be just as durable as on Normal though, so as long as you use it correctly, the game's still manageable.
  • Harmless Freezing: Played straight and Averted. The player is fine, everyone else isn't. You can still be shattered whilst frozen if you die in the wrong place. You can also be killed if you are frozen by an exosuit and don't break the ice (rapidly moving your mouse back and forth) though: you'll fall down and shatter.
  • Heroic BSOD: Psycho.
  • Heroic Mime: Lampshaded in the opening scene of Crysis 2, where it's stated that Alcatraz doesn't feel like talking because he's got the mother of all hangovers. Afterwards, it's highly likely that Alcatraz simply CAN'T talk, due to his collapsed lungs, damaged heart, broken spine and other injuries that essentially make him a walking corpse.
    • The book supports this: his larynx was one of the things trashed during the attack. He's figured out how to 'speak' by the end though, by using the suit's voice synthesizing programs and its direct link into his brain... sort of.
  • Heroic Safe Mode: In Crysis 2, the Nanosuit 2 occasionally goes into this, ESPECIALLY when it starts shouting at you to get your ass in gear. Turns out it's Prophet's consciousness back in action.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Multiple:
    • In Crysis, the aliens are defeated by overloading their energy-siphoning systems with a specific coded command.
    • In Crysis 2, they are beaten out of Manhattan by re-purposing their own bioweapon to attack them instead of humans.
    • Hargreave, "the absolute master at using your opponent's strength against him", gets his own when the suit that he had built to perfection refuses to be separated from its dying host.
  • Hot Scientist: Helena Rosenthal.
  • Humongous Mecha/Spider Tank: The Ceph Hunters.
    • And the Ceph Pinger in Crysis 2.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Easy, Normal and Hard are straightforward, but then there's Delta, which the game files refer to as "bauer". Among other things, it averts the Translation Convention with the NK soldiers and makes them speak actual Korean.
    • Crysis 2 renames "Delta" difficulty to "Post-Human Warrior", or Super-Soldier for consoles.
  • IKEA Weaponry: The LAW missile launcher's venturi and scope collapse into the tube when not being used for mobility's sake.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: The Nanosuit. It's pretty much just a Ceph exoskeleton re-sized to fit on a human rather than a Starfish Alien. And the Ceph want their tech back. Multiple times when Alcatraz has been incapacitated, the Ceph have avoided killing him in favor of grabbing and trying to analyze or study him, as if trying to figure out how the mold in their fridge learned to work the TV remote.
  • Impressive Pyrotechnics: Any object that can explode will explode with incredible graphical effects. The pinnacle being A NUCLEAR GRENADE LAUNCHER.
  • In-Series Nickname: "CELLulites" for the PMCs in Crysis: Legion. Ceph, Squiddie and "those alien bastards" are also common nicknames for what are officially called The Charybdis.
  • In-Universe Game Clock
  • Infernal Retaliation: See Nuke'Em below.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Standard Nanosuit feature. Also tends to be a Game Breaker in single-player. In multi-player, savvy players will notice that cloaked players still leave shadows, and the handheld scanner will pick them up and display them on the minimap.
  • Instant AI, Just Add Water: Oddly twisted about in Crysis 2: near the end of the game, in-between cutscenes, the Nanosuit will chew you out and yell at you. It turns out it's Prophet's consciousness.
    • Crysis: Legion indicates that the SECOND AI system is aware and able to make its own judgment calls and decisions, but relies on a human operator to make most decisions. Alcatraz does not appreciate SECOND choosing to.... second-guess him. Eventually, Alcatraz, SECOND and Prophet merge into some gestalt entity within the suit.
  • Instant Sedation: The tactical attachment for rifles in Crysis 1, which fires tranquilizer darts. Subverted: they get back up in thirty seconds.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: In Crysis 2, you can kick a car across a street, but most doors and windows are made of solid Wall.
  • Invisibility Flicker
  • Ironic Echo: "I'm British, you muppet..."
  • Just Hit Him: Inverted: enemies can survive multiple punches but will die from just one throw.
  • Just One Man: Commander Lockhart says this about Alcatraz.


  • Kaizo Trap: Commander Lockhart is, by all accounts, an anticlimactic Cutscene Boss. However, if you don't burst into his room quickly enough to trigger the cutscene where you kill him, he will blast you through the door with his gauss rifle.
    • After the first Pinger boss fight, three marine squad cars suddenly plow through a wall and, should you be even remotely close, your energy will be wiped out and, (if you're unfortunate enough to be insta-killed) thrown back a checkpoint to before the boss battle. Even on supersoldier, which means we're talking about restarting an extremely difficult boss battle because your allies don't have the fucking decency to brake or look where they're driving.
  • Kick the Dog: The Aliens' sphere freezes everything. Even turtles. In Crysis 2, they kill a lot of civilians, in a very slow and painful way.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: Ceph Heavies and Grunt Commanders are Back Stab-proof. Grunt Commanders need to be softened up before the Neck Lift-and-throw can be used, while Heavies being Giant Mooks are understandably immune.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In Crysis Warhead, one of the Marines comments on the large number of VTOLs that get shot down.
  • Large Ham Radio: Radio Free Manhattan, complete with your obligatory self-appointed wisecracking overeager motormouth DJ making light of the situation, Eddie "Truth" Newton.
  • Lightning Bruiser and King Mook: The Ceph Guardians fought at the end of the game. They're as fast and agile as the basic Ceph Stalkers, have as much if not more health than a Ceph Heavy, and can cloak. And you have to fight four of them at once.
  • Living on Borrowed Time: Alcatraz.
  • Lowered Monster Difficulty:
    • The Alien Scouts demonstrate superhuman speed, strength and a cloaking device while wiping out your nanosuit-wearing Delta Force teammates in the game's first few levels. When you actually fight them later in the game, they display none of these abilities, and behave pretty much like attack helicopters.
    • In Crysis, the Hunter Exosuit is able to wipe out an entire platoon of U.S. Marines due to possessing an invincible energy shield, and is only defeated at the end of the game via Applied Phlebotinum that allows the scientist girl to hack his shield and disable it. In Crysis Warhead, for some reason, the Hunters no longer have this energy shield, and can be fought as standard boss battles whenever you encounter one. Crysis Warhead also inverts it with the smaller alien 'infantry' exosuits, who now use squad tactics instead of just rushing in from up front and jumping into the air for no reason. Crysis Warhead is chronologically before Crysis. To put it more clearly, the shield appeared later after you blew up an unshielded one.
  • Made of Explodium: Most vehicles detonate spectacularly if shot in the correct location (i.e. the fuel tank, or any fuel tank). Jeeps have a small fuel can on the back, presumably used for refuelling them in an emergency. Guess what happens when it's shot...
  • Made of Iron: The North Korean General can survive several sniper rifle shots to the face (despite not even wearing a helmet) or even a full extended mag of SMG fire. Although he's weak against thrown barrels due to a surprisingly common physics exploit (see Wreaking Havok below).
  • Magnetic Weapons: The Gauss Rifle. One-Hit Kill, practically Hit Scan, has low ammo availability, leaves a trail that the enemy will trace to you if you miss, and is extremely expensive when playing multiplayer Power Struggle.
  • Meaningful Name: Alcatraz, as it's revealed, cannot leave the Nanosuit due to grievous wounds... and then it's implied Prophet hijacks his body. The rest of his unit is similarly named after prisons.
  • Mega Corp: Hargreave-Rasch, as stated in Crysis: Legion.
  • Mercy Invincibility
  • Mistaken Identity: Crysis 2 starts off with Prophet rescuing Alcatraz (the player character) and giving him his suit before dying. Prophet's suit is one of the last known in operation, so naturally everyone assumes you're Prophet for the first third or so of the game, including your Voice with an Internet Connection as well as (unfortunately) all the mercenaries trying to kill Prophet. Alcatraz is unable to correct anyone on the matter, mostly due to them all trying to shoot him (and possibly not being able to speak at all).
    • The comics indicate that the reason why Aztec and Jester got eviscerated by alien Scouts early in Crysis is because the alien machines mistook the reverse-engineered nanosuits for alien technology, and tried to interface. If you pay attention, you'll notice that the same thing happens in Crysis 2 when you first meet a Ceph Grunt, but the Nanosuit 2.0's more advanced systems resist more effectively.
  • Monumental Damage: Well, it's New York we're talking about. Over the course of the second game, you are treated to the sight of quite a number of famous landmarks collapsing in a spectacular (and devastating) manner; hell, one of the first things you see in Crysis 2 is a somewhat untouched Statue of Liberty. On the plus side, it seems you do manage to avert the nuclear strike so at the end some of the stuff is still standing. Talk about happy endings...
  • More Dakka: The Swarmer is this applied to missiles. And yes, it reduces Ceph Heavies to a nice paste in seconds.
  • Nanomachines: The game would end four minutes in without them.
  • Nerf: The shotgun has been reduced to a standard FPS Short-Range Shotgun as opposed to the long-range one-hit-kill weapon it was in the first game, though it is still effective at medium range.
  • New Game+: In Crysis 2, all Nanosuit Modules and weapon attachments are available from the start in subsequent re-runs of the game.
  • Nintendo Hard: Even if you're playing on the easiest difficulty setting, every single enemy in the game is capable of killing you in one shot. It's very rare for any of the Korean enemies (at least the ones without sniper rifles) to get the necessary headshot, but they're certainly capable of doing it. Then, when the aliens take over as the main enemies, even one of the smallest mooks can easily one-shot you... and you often face at least four or five of them in one go!
  • No Body Left Behind: To prevent anyone getting their hands on the nanosuits, they self-destruct in an immolatory fashion, taking with them the body of the wearer.
  • Norio Wakamoto: In the Japanese version, he's the voice of the suit (Mashimam shpeedo!).
  • North Koreans With Nodongs: A high-tech version! In-universe, China's been selling to them.
  • Novelization: The second game has a novel adaptation called Crysis: Legion. It expands on the setting, characters, technology and enemies. The book is written in the form of an after-action interview of Alcatraz, occasionally interspersed with reports and interviews with other characters. However, for all information revealed, almost all of it is in-universe speculation. It was written by Peter Watts... who applies his nightmarish genius to it in so many ways.
  • Nuke'Em: Played painfully straight. Backfires when the alien 'shield' absorbs the energy from the nuclear detonation and expands suddenly, just like a scientist had predicted. Oops!
    • Comes up again in the sequel, though thankfully, it's prevented. You'd really think they'd have learned better by now. Lampshaded multiple times.
  • One Hundred Percent Completion: In Crysis 2. In fact, there's a separate completion percentage for multiplayer as well. Oh, and to get 100% in Single Player, you WILL have to beat the game on its highest difficulty, Post-Human Warrior. Good Luck.
  • Only Sane Man: Hargreave considers himself this. This is why he wants to kill you and take the nanosuit for himself: he thinks he's the only one who can save humanity. Strickland mocks him, saying he believes he's "the only competent person on the planet." Not unjustified, given the astronomical stupidity of every government that ever discovered the Ceph. Attempting to take the Nanosuit back from Alcatraz is pretty much the only mistake he ever makes... and perhaps that was because it was a purely selfish decision; only a fully operational Nanosuit could sustain his life outside of his People Jar.
  • Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future: Almost completely averted.
    • Except with the Swarmer from Crysis 2: the thing is basically a crate of rockets with guidance and launching ports.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: In the third issue of the comic series, Nomad, Prophet, Psycho and Helena are forced to go through a portal inside the Ceph mountain base, ending up on a moon of Jupiter.
    • Hargreave, as well as a few others, seem to think that all of the Ceph installations have a portal somewhere inside, for bringing in help from off-planet.


  • Passing the Torch: At the start of the second game, Prophet is dying, but knows the Ceph are still out there, so he transfers the suit to the marine Alcatraz. He then kills himself to sever the link, leaving the saving of the world in Alcatraz's hands. Maybe.
  • PC vs. Console: Needless to say, a formerly PC exclusive series infamous for kicking even the most hardcore PC's ass getting ported to consoles sparked a lot of flame wars.
  • Pet the Dog: Alluded to. Alcatraz helps a mother and child in Crysis: Legion and, when his interviewer expresses suspicion, makes a crack about shrinks and mommy issues.
  • Powered Armor: A bit of it.
    • It's interesting to note that, given their rather frail constitution and likely inability to function at all in normal gravity, the Ceph themselves are dependent of Powered Armor and autonomous drones for combat purposes. In the first game, their machines are squid-like, tentacled in appearance, and most are autonomous. By Crysis 2, however, they're using humanoid(-ish) robotic suits that are visibly manned by some kind of alien organism, though one that looks different from the aliens we see in the first game.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: In Crysis 2, it's revealed that the Nanosuits are not the cool next-gen Powered Armor that everybody thought they were. Instead, they're a sort of symbiotic techno-organic machine/organism, and it's hinted that the reason Nomad and Psycho don't appear in Crysis 2 is because Very Bad Things eventually happen to anyone who puts on a Nanosuit. Hargreave conveniently left out this little detail when assigning the prototype suits to Prophet's team in the first game.
  • Power Fist: Strength Mode.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Crysis: Legion isn't a perfect adaptation of Crysis 2. There's a note in front that points out the need to change stuff for the prose experience.
    • Possibly the best demonstration is the fact that Alcatraz, in the interview he's narrating, tends to gloss over the combat sequences. It seems like saving space, until one realizes that Peter Watts is perfectly capable of writing combat sequences, Alcatraz has perfect memory, and the skirmishes he is describing in a few vague words involve killing dozens of CELL and Ceph. He simply doesn't think they're worth mentioning.
  • Precision F-Strike: Crysis: Legion has Gould describing the intended purpose of the Nanosuit (corrupting the Ceph virus and delivery system) as gay rape on hanging flies. It Makes Sense in Context, but every conversation within hearing distance ends abruptly. Even the wounded stop moaning.
  • Prequel: Noname Island, a Game Mod from Crytek.
    • The comic miniseries serves as a prequel to Crysis 2, connecting the plot with that of Crysis.
  • Present Tense Narrative: In Crysis: Legion, Alcatraz narrates this way. Oddly, he's recounting the events of the game, so he's talking about things in the past. This is even lampshaded when the unheard interviewer debriefing him asks why he's talking that way and Alcatraz essentially just shrugs and says that with his nanon-augmented-memory, he can recount everything with crystal clarity and as such feels like he's reliving it.
  • Press X to Not Die: Crysis 2 has quicktime events. They're tolerable though because they're limited to only about three or four key scenes, you have a very generous timeframe to perform the action before failing, and the buttons you're required to press always correspond to the actions your character is trying to perform on screen (i.e. pressing the jump button to jump up to a helicopter). Furthermore, due to the way cutscenes are woven into the game, the player is always able to continue looking around with the mouse, so you'll pretty much always have your hands on the controls ready to Press X.
    • One of these events is pressing a button to activate your suit's built-in defibrillator. Literally pressing X to not die.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Hargreave is at least 127 years old. Alcatraz suspects that he is even older, possibly hundreds or thousands of years old thanks to Ceph ubertech.
  • Removable Turret Gun: In the second game.
  • The Reveal: ...after reveal after reveal after reveal in the second game. It ranges all the way from the revelation that the wounds Alcatraz received during the attack on the sub are fatal, and he'll die if he takes the nanosuit off through the fact that the Ceph aren't really invading, they're just waking up to take back what was originally theirs, all the way to Hargreave being in a semi-vegetative state to allow him to live for more than a century, then to the fact that Prophet's mind was saved by the nanosuit, and finally that Karl Rasch is still alive. Heck, even the pirate radio DJ Eddie 'Truth' Newton has his own small reveal if you're listening to his broadcasts.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The Majestic revolver in Crysis 2.
  • Scenery Gorn: New York looks pretty beat up from the start of the second game, especially when you get into Ceph-controlled territory, but things really get trashed after the military floods the city. Initial impressions of the third game seem to be leaning heavily in this direction as well, with image after image of New York ruined and seriously overgrown.
  • Scenery Porn: Crysis is infamous for this: in fact, one could argue that in many ways Crysis is Scenery Porn With Plot.
  • Sculpted Physique: The Nanosuits.
  • Secondary Fire: Most weapons can be toggled between the usual single, burst and full auto fire modes. If there's a tranquilizer launcher or grenade launcher, the same key selects that. For the shotgun, it switches the spread between close and wide. Vehicles have both a machine gun and either a main cannon, dumbfire rockets or homing missiles.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Everyone "Mistakes" you for Prophet in the beginning of Crysis 2, when it's revealed at the very end that his consciousness was uploaded into the nanosuit on his death.
  • Semper Fi: Plenty of Marines in the first game, including the aforementioned Major Strickland. Played with in Crysis 2 a few times:
    • After the government pulls support for CELL and orders them disarmed, one asks his guard to let him out of his cell and give him a gun. When the guard refuses, the CELL trooper pleads with him on the basis that they're going to need everyone they've got to fight the Ceph, adding, "I'm one of you, I did nine years in the Army!". Before the guard explains that the CELL trooper's previous service record is irrelevant in light of his current status as a private contracter, he says, "I'm a Marine".
    • A pair of CELL troopers discuss the prospect of seeing action soon, one getting moto and saying "oorah!". The other chastises him, saying "You're not a Marine anymore." Given the first speaker's lack of protest, this can be another sign of how villainous CELL is for anyone familiar with the Marines' particular brand of espirit de corps.
    • In one of his broadcasts, "Truth" Newton drops the bombshell (as he admits it probably is to the type of people likely to tune in to him) that he's an "old Semper Fi Alumnus", assuring his listeners that they can trust the incoming Marines to get them to safety just as much as they can't trust CELL.
  • Sequel Hook: In the first game, Nomad, Psycho and Helena Rosenthal going back to the island for Prophet. The IDW comic picks up from there, with them quickly losing the dropship and going on a whirlwind tour of the fully awakened Ceph infrastructure, now filled with the Crysis 2 exo-squid and including a ride through their Portal Network to one of Jupiter's moons: a Derelict Graveyard filled with lost human craft dating back decades.
    • At the end of Crysis 2, Prophet tells Alcatraz that he's not allowed to die yet, and reveals a map showing even more Ceph bases, all over the planet. As you wake up, you get a call from Hargreave's old collaborator Karl Rasch (who should be well past 100 as well).
  • Shell-Shock Silence: Present in Crysis 2 once something explodes neat you (especially the devastator units energy cannons). The nanosuit quickly repairs the potential damage that would technically leave Alcatraz deaf otherwise and the classic whistle and muted sounds rapidly disappear.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Averted. Just like in real life, a well-aimed shotgun blast can one-hit-kill a human soldier at distances of a little over 100 feet (assuming you're using the "narrow spread" fire mode as opposed to the more standard FPSy "wide spread" fire mode). The game even allows you to mount a short-range scope on shotguns... and for good reason.
    • Played painfully straight in Crysis 2 though, with the shotgun behaving more like the one from the Halo series, and failing to kill a CELL trooper with a single shot at more than 10-15 feet.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The small and medium-sized alien war machines, once seen moving in-game instead of screenshots, bear a striking resemblance to squiddies from The Matrix.
    • In the game configuration files, the Delta difficulty is referred to with a "bauer" tag.
    • When you activate your cloak in Crysis 2, you hear the clicking noise the that the Predator makes when it's pissed.
    • In Crysis 2, in the electrified tunnel near the end of the second chapter, the first time you get shocked, the suit discreetly warns you that the electricity is 1.21 gigawatts.
    • The intro to Crysis 2 is an almost word for word homage to 2007's I Am Legend , two Newscasters debating baseball teams and playoffs, interspersed with news footage.
    • During the beginning of Crysis 2, one of the marines makes a reference to the aliens being "illegal aliens" which is a reference to another marine's comment in Aliens.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The Wall, what with the version of "New York, New York" being sung by British singer, Polly Scattergood, amidst the carnage and alien/human war raging around the deserted streets of a decrepit New York city.
  • A Space Marine Is You: Hits most of the checklist... except of course the "Space" bit. Also, Nomad actually has some lines during gameplay in addition to cutscenes. Crysis 2 plays it even straighter by making Alcatraz mute, sticking him in levels that are considerably more linear, giving him increasingly unstable and untrustworthy Mission Controls, and Tomato Surprise about the nature of the suit.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Far Cry. Both are made by the same studio. Heck, Crysis has more similarities to Far Cry than Far Cry 2, the latter of which is almost In Name Only.
  • Stable Time Loop: The reason Prophet went back to Lingshan against orders. After he was separated from Nomad, he spent about a dozen hours running around under Lingshan through Ceph tunnels with a reasonable KPA soldier. Then stepped though a Portal Network to one of Jupiter's moons and back only to find that those hours had rolled back. He spent several of those hours following himself around before reconnecting with Nomad, then ultimately returned after receiving a radio message from himself to return.
  • Starfish Aliens: The aliens look like bioluminescent elongated jellyfish with Predator-like quadruple jaws and finned tentacles for legs. The overall impression is that of an aquatic organism that lives in zero gravity instead of water.
    • In Crysis 2, people call them the Ceph, as in "cephalopod". Hargreave states that there's little doubt that they evolved in an ocean. Crysis: Legion indicates that the Ceph are as we know them might not even be the "true" aliens, but rather their "gardeners" who woke up to find humans running rampant all over the lawn they're supposed to be tending... and Alcatraz takes a step further down, theorizing that the Ceph aren't the gardeners, but rather their specially-engineered tools.
      • In the comic, Psycho is dumbstruck for a good few hours by the notion that he's had his ass repeatedly handed to him by what he essentially sees as seafood.
      • Crysis: Legion also reveals that their "official" designation (in military reports and such) is actually "The Charybdis", after the mythical sea monster. "Cephalopods" is a moniker people came up with because... well... they look like squid.
  • Static Stun Gun: The K-Volt submachine gun in Crysis 2 knocks CELL troopers on their back with a single bullet, and stun-locks Ceph with sustained fire. It's described as a crowd-control stun weapon being misused by CELL as a lethal weapon by applying multiple shocks instead of just one to the victim. It is, in fact, the key to making the Ceph Heavies manageable: the K-Volt will stun-lock them just like the other Ceph, and does extra damage per-shot. With a good angle on a Heavy's soft bits, the K-Volt will drop one in less than one full mag, on Post-Human Warrior.
  • Status Quo Is God: At the end of Crysis 2, there is almost nothing left of C.E.L.L. Every employee who isn't dead is on trial for war crimes, their main base has been blown to smithereens, and all their hardware has been confiscated by the US Marines. Crysis 3, however, reveals that not only are they still collecting government funding after their "gunning down civilians" fiasco, but they have enough resources to try a standard Take Over the World plot.
  • The Stoic: Nomad is awfully calm about encountering aliens. Psycho, less so. Prophet knew what to expect.
  • Strong Flesh, Weak Steel: Obvious when you throw an NK grunt through a scrap-metal hanger, damaging everything but the mook. Averted in the sequel with non-human enemies: the Ceph, being boneless, take damage far easier than the armor they're wearing and explode into clouds of goop when shot between the seams.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Crysis: Legion points out that, given the Charybdis' frankly staggering technological ability, we can barely guess at their true motivation, and the Manhattan attack certainly makes no sense from a strategic point of view; a comparison is made with humans building an ATM over an anthill: it doesn't even register with us if some ants are left after we're done with our job. By the end of the novel, it's outright stated that whatever they're doing, it's almost certainly not an Alien Invasion or conquest. Hargreave theorizes that what we're actually fighting aren't really "soldiers", but rather gardeners. The mass-slaughtering technology they deploy is the ultra-tech equivalent of tongs and shears. He states that their sole interest in the planet is likely scientific: they're interested in what unexpected things evolution might churn out in time, and that they've set up a small presence here to wake up every few million years, in order to investigate. Humans, with their expansionism and their radical reduction of biodiversity, are a weed to be pruned. Peter Watts, cheerful fellow that he is, has an even worse theory: the Ceph are a species that can teleport macroscopic objects—including, apparently, living organisms— over interplanetary distances. The Nigh Invulnerable "soldiers" which Hargreave theorized to be near-mindless "gardeners" might actually have been the dumbest, most primitive of Ceph gardening tools. The only provable fact known about the Ceph is that Hargreave stole their technology. Maybe the Ceph just wanted it back. The plot of the games may have been comparable to a human being bending over to retrieve a dropped set of car keys... and getting bitten by a few ants. Resulting in a short(to them) period of annoyed stomping.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Which the NK possess.
  • Superpowered Mooks: The NK soldiers in nano-suits. Nomad quips that they're cheap knockoffs, although other than a lack of Speed Mode and fairly average enemy A.I., they don't seem all that different from your own suit. In multiplayer, the US and Korean Nanosuits are identical for fairness reasons.
  • Super Strength: Nanosuit Strength Mode. Power Mode (a more on-demand version of Speed and Strength mode) in Crysis 2.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: You absolutely know you're about to get your ass kicked if you find a rocket cache. And if there's C4, it's even worse.
  • Synthetic Plague: The "Manhattan Virus", identified by Hargreave as an "area-denial bioweapon beyond your wildest dreams". It doesn't just kill people, it melts them into sludge. Worst part is that it's not technically a "weapon": Hargreave compares it to the BSE cullings; the problem was not killing the cattle, but disposing of the remains without creating a vermin population explosion. The "virus" breaks us down to sludge that most terrestrial fauna can't eat, but that the Ceph Ticks gobble right up.

Hargreave: What do you do with the millions of rotting corpses? Well, there you see the answer the Ceph have evolved. They wipe us out, they break us down, they reduce the environmental impact almost to zero. Exemplary.

    • Peter Watts' contribution: it's not even designed to kill humans... it's just a quick-and-dirty Terraforming agent, meant to keep existing microfauna from infecting Ceph tissue. It's alien DDT.
  • Take Cover: Crysis 2 has a Killzone-style cover system that lets you stick to walls and peek over/around them to fire. It triggers automatically when you try to aim while near a wall, instead of occurring when you press a specific button, so it sometimes causes you to get stuck to a wall when you were trying to strafe around it and shoot.
  • Take That: In Crysis: Legion, Alcatraz says that the way the nanosuit keeps rebooting makes him think Microsoft made the OS.
  • Take Up My Suit: At the beginning of Crysis 2, Prophet rescues the Player Character, codename "Alcatraz", and bestows his nanosuit upon him before taking his own life before The Virus does something worse.
    • He gets better. Sort of.
  • Take Your Time: Averted at least once in Crysis 2, during "Power Out" where a Ceph spear appears, and you must interface with it within a certain amount of time or die.
  • Tech Demo Game: Trope Codifier by far, even if other games were typically used as real-world benchmarks.
  • Ten-Second Flashlight/Infinite Flashlight: The night vision mode on your nanosuit lasts only a few minutes at most, but rapidly recharges. On the other hand, the tactical light weapon attachment never runs out of power, while making you highly visible to enemies.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: During the Mission Briefing before each chapter of Crysis 2, some variation of the game's main theme always plays to get you ready for the next chapter.
  • Theme Naming: In Crysis 2, the Marine Force Recon team sent in at the beginning of the game are all named after famous prisons: the player is Alcatraz, one of the other soldiers is Folsom, etc.
  • Too Awesome to Use: The Gauss Rifle in Crysis 2. It's essentially a railgun, with all the advantages of the rocket launcher and none of its flaws: deadly accurate, rapid-firing, quick to reload and enormously powerful, dealing a ton of damage even to heavily armored targets. However, good luck finding any ammo for it (other than the paltry 8 rounds you get with the weapon itself...).
    • ...unless you get the Gauss attachement for the SCAR, which allows both weapons to share ammo. Since the Gauss attachment will now hold 16 reserve rounds that are shared with the Gauss Rifle, and since the Gauss attachment can be reloaded from any ammo box, it turns the Gauss Rifle into Awesome but Practical. Unfortunately, this is really only feasible on the last mission, provided that the player picked up a Gauss Rifle in the previous mission.
    • The MIKE as well. There are only about five of them in the whole game (one of which is a prototype that can't have its battery replaced), but each one is extremely satisfying to use, since it makes those octopus aliens burst like popcorn inside their armored suits.
  • Too Dumb to Live/What an Idiot!: The US Military Command come off as this repeatedly over the course of the series, blatantly ignoring rather obvious facts about the alien threat. In Crysis, they authorize a nuclear solution against the energy-siphoning alien structure despite warnings from Helena Rosenthal (who didn't even get the chance to speak with the Joint Chiefs or POTUS). In Crysis 2, they top it off with the ludicrous decision to bomb the Manhattan flood barrier in order to drown the aliens. Though even that stroke of sublime genius may pale against the Clock Alcatraz has to Race Against at the climax of Crysis 2: yet another nuclear strike. Despite the results of the nuke in Crysis 1. Quote Benjamin Franklin's definition of insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Gah. Alcatraz says it best in Crysis: Legion:

Alcatraz: "Let me repeat that, Roger, for the benefit of your chickenshit bosses behind the mirror. The Pentagon. Decided. That the best way. To take out. Super-advanced. Aquatic. Aliens. Was to drown them."


  • Uncanny Valley: Invoked In-Universe. It's stated in Crysis: Legion that most people who meet Alcatraz are dead-scared of him, either irrationally or because they are confusing him with an alien unit; a priest calls him a devil [2] and a mother and little girl that he'd just saved can't leave his presence soon enough. He gets quite pissed about it sometimes, since he's obviously humanoid and doesn't get why admittedly futuristic-looking Power Armor makes him an outcast even among his fellow Marines.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change:
    • "Onslaught", where you drive a tank. However, due to its moderate durability and lack of repair kits in singleplayer, you'll most likely end up abandoning it near the middle of the level. You can find a parked Korean tank near the train station, but it doesn't last very long.
    • "Core", you fight the aliens in their zero-gravity ship.
  • Unique Enemy: In the original Crysis, only 12 enemy Nanosuit Soldiers appear throughout the entire game. While this somewhat makes sense from a storyline perspective (Nanosuits costs about 1 billion dollars each), it's a bit underwhelming from a gameplay perspective since they're only about as tough as a Covenant Elite, so they could have easily been used more often without being unbalanced, especially in the later levels.
    • There's a type of alien trooper that has a different head crest and is equipped with a freeze ray instead of an ice gun. There are only about three or four of them in the entire game. Again, they're a fairly standard enemy, so it's not like they make up for their rarity by being much tougher than normal or anything like that.
    • In Crysis 2, there's the quartet of stealth-capable Ceph "Guardians" that appear at the end of the final mission, with black armor, glowing white visors and black jelly. They are startlingly durable, able to casually tank multiple hits from JAW missiles.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Central Park in Crysis 2. It's a lot more epic and exciting than it sounds. Part of this is because the whole park is suspended half a mile into the air by that point. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Starting with choking Korean soldiers and tossing them off cliffs, into enemies, into each other, or through roofs. With proper modification, one can fling troopers clean into the air... from where you can shoot them out of the air with a weapon of choice, if you're quick on the draw. Turtles, frogs, chickens, quails and the like can all be rifle-butted or used as thrown weapons.
    • Then there's Commander Lockhart's death by window in the second game. Will you shoot him to put him out of his misery? Or will you let him slowly and painfully bleed to death?
  • The Virus: A key part of Crysis 2's plot is the citywide infestation by an alien plague. The aliens also deploy a more powerful version, instantly lethal from their Spears and Hive towers.
    • In Crysis: Legion, it's revealed to be far more than just a deadly bioweapon. It turns out that every single piece of alien technology is covered in receptors for the spore, which is why the Nanosuit, being reverse-engineered from that technology, can interface with and manipulate it. It's speculated that it might be a sort of "portable ecosystem", or an "external immune system" for the aliens.
  • Walk It Off: The game wouldn't last long without the Nanosuit's regenerating power supply and healing function.
  • The War Has Just Begun: In the first two games.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The PAX (Plasma Accelerator) in Crysis Warhead, an infinite ammo weapon with a somewhat short range. No explanation is given about its mechanism, the game basically just tell you:

"Here's the PAX. It fires plasma. Don't ask how. Now blow up that alien Spider Tank over there."

    • Crysis 2 has the X-43 Mike, basically a jumbo maser gun that would never be authorized for human warfare by any sane ethics committee. Since your enemies are genocidal aliens in armored exoskeletons, however, none of the ethics regulations apply, and you are free to make them explode like water balloons to your heart's content.
  • We ARE Struggling Together!: In Crysis 2, there are three distinct human factions: the main C.E.L.L. forces under Commander Lockhart and the Board of Directors, the small splinter-faction still loyal to former CEO Jacob Hargreave, and the U.S. military. All have the general goal of fighting the Ceph, but spend a huge amount of time fighting each other due to disagreements over the exact manner in which the war against the Ceph should be conducted.
  • Wham! Line: Crysis 2 delivers two of them in its last seconds:

Strange accented voice: Karl Ernst Rasch, at your service. And you are...?
Alcatraz: They call me... Prophet.

  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Nomad, Psycho and the secondary team of Nanosuit-wearing operatives from Crysis Warhead. However, see Powered by a Forsaken Child above.
    • You catch a glimpse of another Nanosuit wearer in New York in one of Prophet's flashbacks, but even though he sounds somewhat like Nomad, it's virtually impossible to confirm who it is.
    • The interquel comic book shows that Nomad and Helena were murdered by the C.I.A., while Psycho survives along with Prophet but simply plays no part in the events of Crysis 2.
  • Wreaking Havok: The amount of stuff that can be picked up and thrown into other stuff is really quite impressive. This includes being able to bring down houses by tossing grenades or driving vehicles into them (or simply punching the walls down), or cut down palm trees with machine gun fire. Some enemies and certain objects are extremely vulnerable to thrown objects. Thrown driftwood can cause truck-sized jamming devices to explode. This extends to players as well. Getting trapped by a pile of cardboard boxes can be unexpectedly lethal.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Well, it's called Crysis.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: In Crysis Warhead, while fighting your way through the ice sphere, you can find several abandoned tanks, and you can even climb into them! Naturally, they're all flash-frozen, so you can't actually do anything with them.
  1. At least until you hit them once, at which point, they'll shatter into pieces.
  2. Although he did catch him in the act of... er, recycling battlefield biomass with the suit's N.O.M. function.