With a week off, I figured I’d catch up on my backlog of games. Some old, some new. Some borrowed, some… blah
First up, Crysis.
I wanted to love it, I really did.
My most anticipated game of the year turns out to be my biggest disappointment. The people that gave it such high reviews must either dig the multiplayer or have stopped playing about mid-way through the game. Because for its first half, it’s the greatest sandbox combat simulator ever, 100% worthy of its 98s and 5-stars, and 10/10 cups of drool.
You can create these amazing stories, like the time I was being chased by a helicopter, cloaked, ran into a building… and then the helicopter started launching rockets into all the buildings, eventually hitting mine, causing it to collapse on my head and kill me. That’s not a scripted scene like you find in Call of Duty 4. (More on that one later.) Another favorite was driving my Hummer into a village, hop out, let it roll into the middle, then shoot out its rather conveniently placed above-bumper-placed gas can and have the vehicle explode into a fiery ball, taking out half the soldiers. I did that twice.
But once it hits the “zero-g” segment, crikey. That entire stretch is a total momentum killer. (And to think I’d signed up a cover story just to reveal this segment; it would have been our June issue, I believe.) Poor controls, vague objectives, confusing and boring layouts. There’s even a stretch where you get to sit around for a few minutes waiting.
And once you emerge from this boring stretch, you’re hit with chaos. And not the good kind of chaos, like you get in a firefight. It’s the kind where you die and have no idea how or why. You also get stretches where your framerate dips into the single digits. You get boss fights that are comically bad. You get a horrible flying segment. You get… oh, forget it. It’s just terrible from start to finish. Some of the gameplay segments appear to be engine showcases more than good design decisions. (“Look, see? We can do that! Sign up our engine today!”)
Why doesn’t Crytek trust the brilliance of its core gameplay? This game could have been escalating military action from start to finish and been “Game of the Year” material. Instead, it’s just another shooter too obsessed with throwing “new stuff” at the player every hour.