Thursday, February 18

Game: Crysis (PC) Click for more info

Sure I'm a bit late, but I always had this, the game that redefined so many aspects of the modern FPS, on my videogame playlist. Crysis was infamous for making even the most powerful of PCs cry, and even now it'll take quite a beefy setup to play the game at a decent framerate and quality.

But anyone can make a good looking game. Crysis was also acclaimed for advancing FPS shooters out of what was considered an tired and unoriginal genre lacking in innovation. With so much going for it, when I actually got to play the game, I was actually a bit puzzled as to what all the fuss was about.

I mean sure, no doubt, the game looks good. And the whole deal with the nano-suit makes for some interesting gameplay: strength, speed and armour can all be (temporarily and exclusively) increased, and you can even turn invisible! But not for long, as they all eat into your suit's rechargeable battery. Although limiting at first, you learn to adapt to this major shortcoming and before you know it you're switching between modes like it's second nature to do so. However this multi-dimensional gameplay comes at a cost: my poor fingers are still hurting after having to cover so many buttons on the keyboard.

The story is engaging, if a bit slow burning. It revolves around some kind of alien artefact found in Korea, but in the main it's just you trying to get to point A without being detected (or killing those who do).

Unlike the Call of Duty games (which I seem to adore), Crysis relies less on scripting awesome set pieces and more on allowing you free reign on how you wish to complete an objective. Be quiet and sneak in or kill everyone nosily, the choice is yours. As novel as this is, I find having to do the same set pieces over and over again a bit boring and even tiresome; once you master the suit it's all pretty easy and so becomes more of a chore than a joy.

Which is probably why I can't really see the fuss with this game, ironically despite seeing how amazing it is. Yes the suit is cool, but it's a pain to use. Yes the story is engaging, but it's a bit too slow. Yes the gameplay is innovative and ambitious in its scope, but what's the point if you're just going to headshoot everyone? And yes it looks good... but who cares about that after a while?

Perhaps I've just come to the game too late; it is over two years old after all. Or perhaps I just don't enjoy FPS's enough to appreciate properly the things that make Crysis great; it's a bit like GTA in that sense: an obviously brilliant demonstration of design and technology, all the while being something I just don't see the gaming value in.

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