Thursday, 31 March 2011

Crysis 2 [may contain spoilers]

Holy crap! Is that a REAL tree?

Oh boy was I excited when I heard Crysis 2 was being released. You see, I played the first game and it was awesome.. well, fun to prat around in but the story was alright. So I got the game and started to play. Figured, you know, "Now that I am playing the game, a quick tutorial on what does what and then, I can traverse the entirety of New York city killing aliens and people as I go, being a one man army". I was wrong, so very very wrong. One thing I was right about however, is the graphics. But we don't need to delve into the graphics as we all know Crytek make very pretty games. However, this game is a long shot from the original. The original had you playing as Nomad, part of Prophets team defeating aliens and Koreans. The aliens themselves looked like the aliens from Independence Day that shot ice as its projectiles. However, Crysis 2 has you running around as Prophet killing American mercenaries and aliens which don't, in any way, resemble those from Crysis, nor do they fire ice.

It seems that with Crysis 2, they went to the drawing board making everything not making any sense and then threw darts at different pictures in mystical directions landing on NEW YORK, NANO SUIT and BLACK GUY... and there you have it, the perfect recipe for the sequel. Of course, there are some issues when making a game that involves throwing darts at pictures. Some of them on being how to tackle the story progression, characters and game play. So lets start off with story progression. What you are going to do, as we have scrapped everything to start again, is to place a leading character from the previous game and make it so YOU, the protagonist, have to save him but then OH NO, you're dying, so were going to kill of the only link between you and the original game, then you are going to wake up and become the guy in the suit, but you're not going to say anything, oh no, even when people ask who you are, lets have another character come in and say who you are so you don't have to talk.

I could go on making a sarcastic post but I'm not going to. For your sake and for mine, but it does feel however that this is how Crytek approached the game. The other issue I have with the game is with the severe amount of linearity the game has. Getting from A to B in the 1st game is quite simply: You are A.. point B is somewhere where on the map and it is marked for you and you make your own way there. In Crysis 2, point A to point B is simply: A is where you just came from, B is at the end of street. And this repeated throughout the entirety of the game. [SPOILER]Like on the last level, you are in a risen part of central park, yet you only have one route. Although the structure is massive and appearing that there are many paths to take, you can only take one.[/SPOILER] And it's things like that which kind of ruin the game. To jump from an amazingly looking sandbox FPS with a non compelling story to an OK story which doesn't really make much sense and is linear. What got me excited for this game was the fact that I would of been able to enjoy the free roaming aspect of destroying aliens in New York while upgrading my suit. These dreams quickly whittled away after playing the game.

Which brings me to another point. You don't REALLY upgrade your suit as you might think. I
thought that collecting certain data or killing certain enemies will unlock functions of the suit... nope. Killing the aliens drop catalysts, a normal one is 100 and a bug type one (called a Tick.. how original) is 20 and if you collect enough you can upgrade a total of 12 abilities for your suit and you can only use 4 at a time, one from each column. Yep, that's right, there are only 3 abilities to unlock for each criteria.
I can count to four :D 
And the fact that you can only use 4 at a time is a real downer. That and most of these abilities are pointless, like the Armour Enhance upgrade.. You hardly ever use armour as you can go through pretty much the entire game with just stealth. Stealth kill, been seen? Don't worry, just run away and put on stealth.. rinse and repeat until entire area is wiped clean or you get bored.

You might now be thinking "well, this game is crap, why should I get it?" well.. because it is a good game. It's not a ground breaking game that it could be, or should be, but it's a good game non the less. The story isn't amazingly done, the game play is fun, the graphics are good and not too mention the Crytek Engine 3. Bringing what looks like PC graphics to consoles which is a major leap in game engines. The only thing that could out do this engine is possibly the new Unreal engine that debuted at GDC this year which you can see at the end of this post. It's worth a watch and you should really see it. But I digress... The game itself is well over 8 hours long. I played it for approximately for 2 days, racking up a total of about 12 hours start to finish. So it is a long campaign, just wish it wasn't so linear. With that in mind, it is a really good campaign and well worth your time. You may get annoyed about the linear aspect of it but it's something you look past when you are too busy to think about how you are going to stealth kill a guard and not get seen.

Anyway, here is that unreal video :D

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