Last night, after reading that the 'reported' highest pirated game of 2011 was Crysis 2, I figured it would be a good idea to actually finish the game and be done with it.
Unfortunately it appears that they have taken a great game idea and made all the wrong decisions. First and foremost is the graphics: they are fairly photo-realistic textures stuck onto a flat world. In the world of computer graphics, everything is a triangle or cube of some kind; and in Crysis 2 (of all games) this really shows. If you ever stop for a moment of killing things you suddenly notice how flat everything is and it is a real disappointment. I think what is most disappointing about all of this is S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl could product much more lifelike models in 2007 and even more so in 2009 when modder Artistpavel created and compiled "Complete" for the same game.
This has all changed with the eventual release of the DirectX 11 patch and high resolution texture patch (although, interesting enough, the lifelike models used in the aforementioned S.T.A.L.K.E.R. were all done on an engine that only supports DirectX 9. The original Crysis was also a DX9 game and it still managed to breathe life into its triangles and Voxels) and the help of members of the modding community. Playing C2 with all of the official patches and with Blackfire's Mod 2 (which uses MaLDoHD and Quality Mod) is simply breath-taking! MaLDoHD even gives you a launcher which allows you to edit all of the settings that you should have been able to edit but never could without writing .ini files.
The Story is another item on the list that comes across as lacklustre at best. I do not think the plot of C2 is that bad - in all honesty I think it quite good - the problem lies with how it is told. Whilst I cannot put my finger on just why a good plot fell flat (a common theme) I do have plenty of thoughts on why. The first sin was holding my hand from opening cinematic to closing cinematic. It boggles the mind why some if not all of the incredibly influential FPS with single player campaigns completely lack or severely limit story based hand-holding and yet developers - again and again - embrace such a device as if it is the must include feature (along with mouse smoothing/acceleration and auto-aim). Where on earth are they getting this information from?, it sure as hell is not from the greats of their profession.
Another potential destroyer of a good plot that this game employs is the ambiguous 'necessary versus unnecessary' gameplay. By which I mean the game believes it is absolutely vital that you play point A to point B and point C to point D but will automatically skip through all that is involved for B to C and D to E in a dodgy satellite cinematic which leaves you ponding 'why?' whilst tilting your head to the side in a 'Scooby Doo'-like fashion. If the game is going to play itself without the need from your input than it seems peculiar that any input would be required in the first place.
One point it did win on was the silent protagonist. The magic is ALWAYS broken in a first-person game when the character that you are playing either speaks or is viewed from a second or third-person viewpoint in a cut scene. Third-person games, for whatever psychological reason, are okay to use these story devices (I never once has a problem with my Dark Souls lady screaming in agony or Batman/Catwoman doing their chatty, chatty thing, but Resistance's constant talking and third-person and even my mistake of making a female character in Skyrim when I play the game in first-person is a serious story immersion killer) but when you are playing a first-person game, suddenly the rules change complete (I am sure there are exception but are there not exceptions to everything?).
One point the story could have improved on was the only plot twist that you did not see coming was not very exciting. There was another involving something a lot more noteworthy, but you could see it coming by the way that other characters spoke about the said character involved.
The only other things that this game fell short was multiplayer and the actual game release itself. Multiplayer is not as fun as it should be as you play someone who can go invisible and who can turn armour on in an instant. This is all well and good except everyone else can of the exact same thing and such game mechanics in a multiplayer environment give you way too much stuff to think about when all you want to do is simply kill someone or stab them in the throat. The game release was also a joke which CD Keys and Limited Edition code failing to work and MyCrysis logins also failing to work with the only way to fix the latter, on most occasions, is to get the system to reset your password. Hell, I still have not been able to claim my limited edition content (I have tried and tried but I never received a response from the developers - EA do not have access to their servers to be able to fix it although they tried. I even made a complaint with the department of fair trading but they just ignored me as well which makes me angry. Speaking of such, I also reported some really dodgy stuff about an acquaintance to CrimeStoppers and said person is STILL doing their seriously dodgy stuff and that was a couple of years ago now; what the hell is wrong with our system?).
So there it is: Crysis 2 and why it was no where near as good as it should have been. Do not get me wrong, there were some entertaining missions in the package, and the different ways that you could also approach almost any given problem was a nice change in an otherwise linear gaming experience, but I cannot help imagine what this game could have been like if they had simply pulled their finger out and had gotten it spot on in the first place.
Maybe they will learn by the time they make Crysis 3…
Last edited by PinothyJ
on 5 Jan 12, 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total.