Crysis is a highly anticipated first person shooter developed exclusively for the PC by Crytek, the makers of the award-winning Far Cry. Besides the expectations for quality gameplay, Crysis has been hyped for being a true DirectX 10 game - despite of the mandatory DX9 support for widespread compatibility - and as a game that will bring next-generation graphics to the PC. Some of the technology used in Crysis includes dynamic day/night cycle, fully interactive environments, sun ray and diffuse transmission, real-time soft shadows, soft particles, interactive/destructible environments, volumetric clouds, and advanced shader technology. The full retail game will be published by Electronic Arts and is set to be released next November 15th.

While that release date has been set for some time now, Crytek had initial plans for a single-player demo scheduled for late September. As we all know the demo did not come out on such date as Crytek said they needed the time to keep the full game release date intact. But you know what they say, better late than never, and the demo finally made it to the net last Friday which gave us enough time to play a bit with it before preparing this article.

The demo offers PC gamers a quick look at what will possibly be the most advanced FPS ever created, you just have to swallow the huge 1.8GB download first. I'm sure many will agree that the demo is well worth the download though, offering the entire first level of the game which represents "roughly 45 minutes" of pure gameplay.

Gamers will take the role of Jake Dunn, a United States Delta Force Soldier sent to an island in the South China Sea to rescue a group of archaeologists kidnapped by the powerful North Korean army. Things turn sour quickly, as their chilling discovery awakens, proving itself to be history's greatest threat to mankind. Jake must use his customizable arsenal and high-tech "nanosuit" to fend off the North Koreans and the terrifying alien threat.

Today we are going to see how the various mid-range and high-end graphics cards handle this new and exciting first person shooter. There will also be some brief visual quality comparisons along with some CPU scaling and DX9 vs. DX10 performance charts. The single-player demo supports both DX10 and DX9 rendering in Vista while Windows XP users are limited to DX9.

Update: We have added some preliminary benchmarks comparing 32-bit to 64-bit performance in our conclusion.