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You Cheat, You Lie, You Make Me Wanna Crysis 2

May 29, 2011

Standing wounded in the moonlit sCry.

You don’t know how to play the game. It’s CTRL to crouch.

A problem for anyone trying to listen to a brilliant pop song.

This was the series of events that brought us up to this point.

Me, 26th March 2011: “I’ll feel good about paying €15 for Crysis 2 eventually.”

Me, 20th May 2011: “Ooh, Crysis 2 for €15. I’ll have that.”

Me, 28th May 2011: “Ooh, Crysis 2.”

I was a fan of Crysis and its Warhead expansion, despite it never really running quite right on any PC ever – it was huge and fun and PUNCHY in every sense of that word. But once you got past the bits where you could  just wander aimlessly around the beautiful jungles (occasionally pausing to punch men in the face or grab them by their pencil-necks and launch them 40 feet in the air with OX-LIKE POWER) and got into the Nanosuit vs Stupid Floaty Bulletsponge Alien Crapbaskets bits, things got a little less fun. Why do video games insist on introducing entirely useless enemies into their games? Crysis: Stupid Floaty Aliens. Uncharted: Zombies Pirates. Tomb Raider: ALL OF THEM DAMMIT CRYSTAL DYNAMICS YOU KNOW THIS. Stop doing this.

(Slightly less annoying – but only slightly – is the Totally Incongruous Boss Battle. See Bioshock. (Speaking of Bioshock, and since we’re discussing FPS sequels with a lot to live up to, man, there’s a game I loved whose sequel just irritated me to death. YOUR DEATH. Eventually, I gave up on playing it properly, cheated myself infinte Eve and invulnerability, and became a superhero known to his adoring, terrified public as ELECTRIC VENGEANCE: just constant lightning bolts and wrench whacks. Playing like that should be used in anger management classes.))

Anyway. Crysis 2.

I haven’t finished the game, so far all I know, it could all yet go turd-upwards like what Crysis did (although Crysis 2 has already introduced its aliens, and they are categorically not stupid floaty things so I guess it’s safe on that count at least). But from what I’ve played, my favourite part isn’t the man-and-alien-shootery, even though that’s all hugely fun and exciting, even if it’s not quite as open-ended as Crysis at least gave the illusion of being. My favourite part of Crysis 2 has been what happens what the shootery goes all of the wrong, and you’re forced to improvise your way out.

Two separate occasions leap to mind from what I’ve played so far. At one point, after surviving a shootout on an earthquake-addled highway, you’re instructed by the omniscient and annoying VOICEINYOURHEAD to hop in an armoured vehicle and tear off down a tunnel to come rescue him from his lab. So I hopped in the car and sped off down the tunnel (the game actually gave me a speeding ticket, which was cute) and shot down some men and some helicopters and some jeeps and some more men, until I came to the end of the tunnel, where two equally armoured vehicles were waiting for me. They exploded me. RELOAD.

Come to the end of the tunnel – disembark from the vehicle and stealthily creep to an enemy checkpoint to stock up on explosives and ammo and stuff. Because, explode them instead. Brazenly approach first vehicle, with a view to planting some C4 on its rear end and detonating from a safe distance. Get shot to death. RELOAD. Try again. Get shot to death. RELOAD. Hmm.

Come to the end of the tunnel – disembark from the vehicle and engage the CLOAK. Leap off a ledge, and hide behind some big ol’ metal containers. Keep on sneakin’, till I’m safely out of view of both armoured vehicles. Snap neck of nearby perambulating soldier to celebrate HEROIC VICTORY.

The other moment is slightly less practiced. I was supposed to distract about two dozen guards by exploding a fuel dump. Always with the exploding, these games. So: I’m on a rooftop. There are many many many soldiers in between me and my goal, which is on a rooftop across the street, near a church, because iconography and deification of gunweapons. I remember my lessons learned previously, and cloakily sneak across the street. I’m nearly at the top of the walkway to the rooftop when my suit’s energy – and thus my cloak – dies out.


The soldiers react as most soldiers would upon noticing a organo-spandex-suited supersoldier materialising in front of their ugly faces: shooting me in my pretty faces. So I run like the dickens, spraying machine gun fire every which way, and hide behind some cover and wait for my energy to build up enough to cloak again, because I’m a cowardly supersoldier at heart. Suitably hidden, I headshot two or three prying soldiers, and duck into the tent containing the fuel reserves. I plant some C4 on the tank, sneak outta there and hide behind some gravestones, and BAMDETONATE. Nothing happens, except now the soldiers have found me and are shooting me again WHY DIDN’T THE FUEL EXPLODE.

Again, I dive for cover, and shoot and survive until I can hide from the mean men again, then creep back into the tent, and angrily survey the uncooperative fuel tank. It’s at this point I realise the game needed me to press a specific button to light a fuse on the fuel tank itself, which seems like a stupid thing to leave lying near a fuel tank, and hey why didn’t the C4 ignite the fuse, but anyway I do what the game tells me, and run cloakily to a safe hidden distance. The tank explodes this time, and the soldiers all gawp at the spectacular flame effects, but those effects eat up 25% of my framerate so I point my head in the other direction, and sneak away past about eighteen soldiers.

Basically, I’m playing the game like it’s about being a massive idiot who’s barely surviving this massive pitched battle betwixt soldiers and aliens that he’s caught up in, scraping through thanks to the equipment that he doesn’t quite know how to use properly. It’s entertaining, but probably not what Crytek intended. I mean, the game’s easy enough to play properly, but it’s so much more fun to have things go horribly wrong in entertaining ways, and to just give up halfway through a firefight and sneak off to kick some crates over or something.

I have more thoughts on the game, but I think I’ll wait to make sure they make sense, since they’re pretty plot-specific, and maybe my questions are answered later on. (Not that I’d notice, because I’ve had to start ignoring all the dialogue and exposition to save what’s left of my fragile brainparts.)

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