Monday, August 15, 2011

Crysis 2 Retrospective

Having a PC to run the most graphically intensive game on the market seems like such a fruitless effort. The amount of money required just to have a very pretty game, isn’t enticing to most people and me. I’m far more concerned with gameplay, and I find Crysis 2 sorely lacking in that department.

It’s not like it doesn’t have solid mechanics. It’s a very well put together FPS but how far does that get you nowadays?

As the silent protagonist Alcatraz you’re fitted with the Nanosuit initially to keep from dying. The suit practically makes you a god in human terms, but it’s more than a weapon it’s the key to mankind’s salvation.

Crysis 2 has a grand scale; set in New York, an alien virus has taken hold of the citizens and you have to stop…well the story really doesn’t tell you why you’re doing what your doing at first. I don’t know about anyone else but I just went with the flow. From beginning to end the journey isn’t very compelling, doesn’t make you think, and frequently has you saying, “hey?” and “what?”

I just didn’t know what was going to happen from one thing to the next, but not in a good way: more like a “What the hell is going on?” thing. I do know that every level just centers on you having to go somewhere to meet someone. If you’re not trying to get to someone, you’re being swept away from the events forcefully, only to have to start your trek again.

You know how annoying its become in a Call of Duty game when your character dies (it was novel in COD 4, but know its rather shallow) well imagine that, but only it happens at the end of every level! Now you don’t die, but the game is surely trying to get you to feel something…I’m just not sure I cared. Since your super-suit is tied to your vitals anytime it shuts down, you do as well, and by the end of the game you’ll be shut down quicker than someone trying to pick up a chick with a testicle hanging out.

Summer is the dry spell for gamers. And I thought Crysis 2 could be something to keep my interest. But you can’t just be a shooter these days. Sure Crysis 2 is a pretty game, it’s only a shooter though -- a good one, but not at all great.

It took me a month to slog through Crysis 2 -- I was that disinterested. 

A few things led to my complete boredom while playing; one, I never felt like a super solider. You have this Nanosuit, which enhances all physical attributes and senses and I never felt particularly powerful. Are you supposed to run and hide as much as I do? Is that how the developers intended for the game to be played?

Sometimes I would just go stealthy to run by enemies to the next checkpoint. It’s too difficult to run and gun in Crysis 2; you can’t go toe-to-toe with someone, in most cases you get ripped to shreds. It also doesn’t help matters that I never knew when I was about to die, sometimes there’s so much crap on screen you have no idea what’s happening.

And I might be in the minority here but I don’t think Crysis 2 is the best looking game ever. I just don’t. Killzone 2 or 3, Uncharted 2, or even Modern Warfare 2 all look just as good as Crysis 2. The lighting effects are cool, some of the environments are neat, but the character models are dull and lifeless and the textures on the NPC’s aren’t on the same level as the surroundings. Even if it was by a far margin the best looking game of all time, that still doesn’t make the gameplay any better.

If Crysis, as a series, wasn’t a graphical showcase, and had subpar visuals, would anybody care about it at all? I struggle to think so. It’s deceptively average in all the areas that count for a game to be noteworthy. It’s nice to look at, but not nice enough to make me give a rat’s ass about what’s going on.

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