There are only 2 words that apply to the Crysis Single-Player Demo: F$#k!ng Amazing!
Where to be begin, the graphics I guess. Stunning, just stunning! The lighting, the foliage. I honestly felt like I was there. Those guys programmed one helluva beautiful rendering engine. You better believe you need one heck of a rig to run this bad boy to any of it's credit.
For the sake of a frame of reference, below are the specs to my main machine, this is where all the magic happens, especially the gaming, and it by far is the *baddest* box I own currently. Not a God system by any stretch but it does ok for me:
I should mention when I play it, I switch on SLI mode (what a waste of cash that is, do yourself a favor and just drop the cash on a sweet single card). Crysis auto-determines that I should use the “Medium” setting. And it's pretty playable, but oh lord beware of cranking up the options. They look awesome and cost a ton in terms of performance. Don't even think about Anti-Aliasing.
I kinda wonder what these fellas are developing these games on. But my guess is by summer of 2008, your average high end system ($3000+) should run it pretty well.
That said, the game is brilliant. And I've only run through the demo a few times. The UI enhancements are genious. And by believeably handling the not needing to pick up health pellets along the way, removed a HUGE stumbling block of scalable difficulty settings. How many times have have you found that making the game harder simply removes hald the armor and healthy pellets? Far far too many in my book my friends!
Like it older brother FarCry, there are sneaking elements of the game whereas one might need to eviscerate a small platoon of enemy soldiers and not get heard whilest one sneaks. Generally, I find these scenarious to be an annoyance in games, regardless of how realistic it actually is (i.e. I would expect to have no clue of the natives when thrown from an airplane, it still pisses me off to have to stumble on them.) but it felt liveable in Crysis, which I attribute primarily of not having to follow the path explicitly so that I may gain my health pellets… Brilliant I say.
I can't wait for the full blown version to come out, better yet when I can own a machine that lets it sing in 16x AA 😀