Archive for Crysis

An attempt to play the Crysis 2 demo

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 3, 2011 by Baggie

Seeing as I did one for the previous game, and hey, free demo, I figured why not, though to be honest I’m not expecting much. The info given to the public has lead me to believe a few things.

1) The graphics quality will be worse than the first one, which I might add was in 2007. Not because they ran out of juice or decided to take the art style in a different direction, but because their primary platform is the console. They’ve also decreased the field of view enough that the gun takes up about a quarter of the screen and increased the bloom enough to be detrimental to gameplay.

2) The multiplayer gameplay will play more or less like Call of Duty, with something weird done to the nanosuit modes. Might actually be an improvement to the multiplayer gameplay due to the first Crysis’s multiplayer functioning like a bad Battlefield clone but it does mean it’s not going to anything amazing and new.

3) Everyone can turn invisible and can kill enemies instantly from behind whilst melee. Whilst it remains to be seen if this is something that will screw up everything the very concept hurts me deep inside for some reason.

So how is the demo? Well honestly it’s not bad. But it’s nothing as special as the first Crysis was.

When I first started the game I saw the 3D moving menus, which was kind of cool. Then I spent a few minutes trying to get my gamespy account working. Annoying, but I’ve heard a lot of people have had much more trouble than I did, waiting hours for new accounts etc, but hey it’s a free new release, it’s to be expected.

So fine so far, I went to the graphics options to raise my resolution and graphics options considering I have a computer actually capable of running anything on high. Kind of an enthusiast if you will. I like things to look pretty, and Crysis set the bar extremely high in that respect.

So you can imagine my despair when I saw this.

Really?  4 options, not even an ability to customize texture quality or AA?
And the graphics options include “Gamer” “Advanced” “Hardcore”. What the hell do those even mean? Which one should I choose? You’ve assigned values to arbitrary terms without explaining what they are! This isn’t good design!

So after 30 seconds of trying to figure what I should set it to I searched around for a bit trying to find some more options, instead I found this.

So. Aim Assist in a PC multiplayer game which is automatically on. It’s like the menus alone are designed to make people who enjoy games on the platform not want to play. I can understand specifying your game for consoles because hey, that’s where most of the money is. But you can’t bring over the ENTIRE platform onto the PC, it can’t be done. The crosshair option kind of irks me too, it’s like they expect people to get annoyed with it or something.

Okay, turn auto-aim off because I’ve used a mouse before and don’t feel like cheating, leave the options menu before I find the audio is 16 bit mono or something, and went searching for a game. Servers are everywhere of course, it’s a free game right now, so I sorted by ping and chose one with an empty space.

Okay, loading now, not feeling too great about the experience so far. Oh, the header for the server has a .de domain name. Interesting. (On later investigation I found that many servers were labeled with 0 ping. Probably should watch that)
Oh well, this should make for a interesting test of the lag compensation in the game.

So I finally got in, and I was greeted with this:

Actually this isn’t too bad right? Except I’m coming from crysis 1 and warhead, which looked like

So basically they’ve basically given the game a different lighting engine, toned down the textures and turned the motion blur up to maximum. Also that picture is the most colourful place in the entire demo. Now it’s not a BAD looking game, but it’s the sequel to a game that was boasted the best graphics yet, so it’s a little disappointing. Also the blur is slightly overdone which can be quite distracting at times.

So now we get to the gameplay.

My gods the gameplay.

(You might notice a change in tone at this point)

After a slightly shaky start, the game became this amazingly fluid fps. I was climbing walls, throwing grenades, ambushing people and picking them off with ease and style. The lag of being on a german server was almost nonexistent. The gameplay annoyances like everyone being invisible at all times or tanking with armor and being completely impossible to kill just weren’t there. Everything was functional, everything performed as expected.

There’s only two gamemodes to start with, team deathmatch and king of the hill, though both well done and balanced for the two maps, skyline and pier, both of which accommodate any playstyle you can think of in the game, which is also encouraged by the custom class feature that gives you many interesting alternatives to the standard 4 base classes.
The weapons are surprisingly well balanced at this stage, with just 4 weapons. The Assault rifle is decent at any range, the shotgun is good at close range, the sniper rifle is good at long range and the machine gun is effective but rather difficult to use in most situations.

So I’m in a bit of a confused what to think of this game. It’s a shooter that’s unashamedly a Call of Duty clone. The weapon damage is similar, the playstyle is mostly the same, killcams are present, heck, it even has killstreaks COD4 players might find remarkably familiar.

Original idea, do not steal

It’s clearly a cash in for the console Modern Warfare crowd, quite boring graphically, and utterly generic in most places and yet for all the things I feel I should dislike about it, it undeniably delivers a good experience that has completely changed my stance on the entire game. Kind of reminds me of COD before they kept making the same game but kept putting more unbalanced weapons and random junk in it. It’s beauty is in it’s simplicity, but you can use it to do exceptionally complex things.

Now it should be noted that this was only a demo, and even the game boot screen warns “THIS IS NOT A REPRESENTATION OF THE FINAL PRODUCT” (Which I feel is rather counterproductive really, make a good demo and say “You get more of this if you buy the game”), so some of the annoyances present could get better or everything could get worse. Could be the game was full of bad players at this stage so I had a lot of fun. Could be they plan to dump a whole load of unfair weapons in the mix just for laughs.

So I guess I’m cautiously saying this could be something good, though I can’t help but feel doubt the final product may have some changes I don’t like. Only time will tell. If you’ve got the time and space for download just under 2 gig and a system that can run it this is definitely worth a look. I know I’ll be keeping an eye on the full game.

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.