Archive for January, 2010

A diary of my attempt to play Crysis Wars

Posted in Random Rants with tags , , on January 1, 2010 by Baggie

Day 1:

Finding myself with a new Terabyte hard drive and nothing to put on it, I decided to go through my games and see if there was anything that might jump out at me. Low and behold, I saw Crysis Warhead, but what I was interested in was its multiplayer component, Crysis Wars.

Now the original Crysis’s multiplayer wasn’t exactly populated, possibly because of Crytek’s attitude of “throwing enough graphical requirements in the game most of the public can’t play it” was a bad business strategy. It wasn’t bad multiplayer though, and I could definitely see myself getting into it if there was people playing it.

So I figured what the hell, and installed it on my new drive, while it effectively stole my headphones for half an hour with what can only be described as “elevator music without anything but percussion”. Not a great start to want me to get into the game.

Then it wasted another couple of minutes with advertising and a rather boring intro movie, neither of which could I skip. Which yet again suggests that Crytek doesn’t have a department for making the player actually want to play the game. I mean the intro for left 4 dead 2 is awesome, and I sometimes watch it before I play the game, which it seems means they’ve done something really right, as opposed to a bad intro that you don’t want to watch but you have to anyway.

(You can skip these after the first time you play, I found later)

Finally got into the game, and unsurprisingly it asks me to download a patch. Not really suprising, good they keep everyone on the same version.

Buuuuttt… 500 meg is kind of asking a lot. I don’t really mind, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this download isn’t really efficient when I looked at the patch notes and they basically remade and included the Software Developer Kit in the patch. Logically, that could be one of those optional things.

So far, the entire game hasn’t really been enthralling. I realised I’ve not technically played any of it yet, but I at least expected something that told me, in no uncertain terms, that this game is awesome and you should feel privileged for being allowed to buy it. As it stands, this game feels like the development team gave up somewhere along the line.

After the patch downloaded I gave up for the night, and decided to head for bed, cause frankly it wasn’t looking too good.

Day 2:

Found some time to play some online today, and found there was one server on australia that was pretty much the only one that was ever populated. Normally it’d be pretty annoying in a game like Tf2, but the gameplay is pretty much the same experience in all maps.

The combat is largely capture point based, you can capture more spawns, vehicle bases of ground, air and water variety, power nodes, and a research base. Basically the main game an objective map where either one or both teams try to destroy the enemy’s base, mostly involving the alien weapons you can earn by filling your power bar with the power nodes around the map.

You gain weapons by a rewards system, where on spawn you can spend requisition points on a variety of guns, upgrades, and other toys. You get points by completing objectives, and you can increase the amount of points you get at spawn by gaining ranks, which only last for the map.

The rounds themselves take quite a while, with a lot of back and forthing with the capture points, and I was amazed at how deep the experience could be. It felt like a battlefield game where everyone was a superhuman. The gunplay is tight, and the sniping is incredibly satisfying.

Though I didn’t spend more than an hour on it, I already have a good couple of moments I really enjoyed, chiefly when I saw a guy speeding towards me with his jeep. I shot randomly with my sniper rifle, and accidently blew out his tire. He then spun out around me and regained control and drove away. So I shot the gas tank at the back of his car and he politely exploded in a big fiery ball. Not only did this make me laugh, but the guy then accused me of using hacks, which made me laugh even more.

Though he had a bit of a point, there seems to be a bit of hacking going on around the place. I’ve not seen anything concrete, but there are some pretty BS headshots happening and there was that guy who somehow played and survived by punching people in the face a bunch. Though I’ve learnt to give people the benefit of the doubt in these situations, I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw something really horrible later on.

Day 3:

Played a couple of rounds today, and didn’t enjoy it so much. Could have been the players that have been playing for far longer and kept dominating me, or it could have been the fact that the game has a nighttime mode on the server’s local time, so you can’t see much.

The rounds were pretty boring, ran around, captured stuff. I’m starting to think the weapon balance might be off, as I often noticed that people would often kill me while I was trying to snipe.  At first I thought it was because I was crap, however I found myself in a similar situation only I had the SCAR, and I killed the sniper pretty easily.

I’ve also noticed the mouse controls feel a bit off, though I’m not sure if it’s the mouse, the speed control being a slidebar, or because my frame rate is a bit shit. I don’t claim to have an awesome computer, it’s about midrange at this point, but I can run practically everything on high. I’m running this game on low, and I still get occasional problem for seemingly no reason at all.

I’m also a little annoyed they decided to make the bullets travel like actual bullets, as opposed to the standard instant bullet travel you normally see in most videogames. It makes sniping difficult, especially when everyone can automatically turn on “I’m so fast the air catches fire” mode at will.

I’m kind of annoyed, but I’m determined not to stop playing now, as I’ve not really fully grasped the game entirely. For example, I bought an aircraft today and because looking is also how you fly the thing, I got it stuck on a building about 30 seconds afterward.

Day 4:

Didn’t actually play any today, didn’t find the time. However, I did play Tf2 last night and I was quite shocked how much better the game seemed. Everything feels like it’s totally fair and everything is balanced on a pinhead, gameplay wise. If nothing else, at least this exploration will give me an appreciation of the really good things I play.

Day 8:

I think I fully understand why the game has such a small fanbase. At first I thought it might be due to the practically non-existant marketing going on, but now I can see something much bigger behind that. The weapon balance is definitely off, the game encourages play styles that makes people feel like crap, and other assorted small issues.

I’ve played for a bit over the last couple of days, though nothing really changed since the 3rd day, guns seeming unfair, vehicles driving like crap, spawn camping on practically every occasion.

Though strangely enough for all it’s badness, it can and will be fun on occasion. You can play incredibly strategically, and even get some crazy BS stuff happening on occasion.

Unfortunately though the time that I spend having fun vs the time I spend NOT having fun on that game isn’t  worth it for me anymore. I avoid playing it, and when I do I find myself getting spawn camped or sniped from across the map. Everything is fair game, but not everything is fun, unlike Team Fortress 2 or Left 4 Dead, which have fun leaking out the pores. Mainly I feel the developers either didn’t put enough effort in, or didn’t care enough to try to make is a really good game. Every turn I feel like the game is encouraging me not to play it.

I’m going to give up on Wars I think. There’s no point in playing something when there are better alternatives I’ve already purchased. I kind of find it sad because there’s a definite feeling that the premise could have been extremely fun if they just made everything a bit better. I guess it was a bit optimistic to expect a game to be fair when everyone can turn invisible.