Not to rip on the "Games are art" crowd, but is a good story really necessary for a good video game?
People praise series like Silent Hill or HL2 for their story, but frankly it has all been done - and been done far better - long before video games were ever conceived. Silent Hill could play as a updated number of Shakespeare and Poe scenes w/ a touch more blood (Shakespeare can be quite dark and unnerving, given the right play). HL2 is just 1984 spiced w/ a little of War of the Worlds for effect.
Don't get me wrong, I'm as intrigued as the next gamer about the fate of Gordon Freeman and his solo resistance against monolithic oppressors. But is HL2 less fun w/o the (derivative, and honestly uninspired) plot? I don't think so. In fact I'd probably like the series more if a) they got around to finishing the damn thing quicker and b) there were less "Hi, I'm someone who survived Black Mesa, let me tell you very little information about whats going on so this asinine story can have some dramatic tension till it anti-climaxes...again."
Crysis was more or less Predator 1 with more boogy-monsters. But so what? A lot of games w/ bad or next to no story (Anything Mario, for example) are loads of fun to play.
Now, a story can add to a game, obviously. CoD4 was had a very impressive story, but it was about advancing the game, not the other way around. When there's 20 minute cutscenes I can't skip that explain in excruciatingly dumb writing certain plot points that have zero to do w/ the actually playing the game (a la Assassin's Creed, among others), then there's a problem.
What I'm laboriously trying to arrive at is, if Crysis was a NYT best-seller in paperback, then there's a good time to fault it for story. But no video game should be subjected to that critique. Crysis doesn't beat you over the head w/ its story (too much), and as a gamer I can't fault it for the weakness of the plot driving the game.
Crysis was held back by poor coding and repetitive gameplay. The first few hours were great, but when you realized the rest of the game was going to be exactly the same, then the experience is lessened somewhat. And then you realized the rig you've worked so hard on perfecting, and for most any other task is finely suited, failed at running this behemoth. I know that Crysis at theoretical "full" (and that is still only theoretical at this point, as far as I'm concerned) looks better then any game out there. But in reality, to my eyes at least, a much better optimized game like CoD4 actually looks "better," mostly because I can run it at higher settings and have smoother gameplay (that and CoD4 on it's own simply looks fantastic).
So, 7/10 is my arbitrary rating. Competent gameplay, but nothing to be amazed by. There's a lot worse you could do than Crysis (in story and fun factor). Multiplayer could have saved it, but that was obviously a tack-on and not taken seriously by the devs.