Monday, December 31, 2007

Crysis Review

My wife gave me a video game for Christmas - a game called Crysis from electronic arts / Crytek. I must say, it was a blast playing through the first person storyline. Games and movies are starting to intersect - the last game that I got hooked on like this was Half Life 2. The graphics in this game were actually more intense than Half Life 2, but my hardware and video drivers certainly weren't optimized for the experience. I could run Half Life 2 at 1600 x 1200, 32 bit color, max detail with no problems. (my main rig is a Core 2 Duo 2.6Ghz, 2GB Ram, Win XP Pro, GeForce 7900 GTX 512MB video). But I had to run Crysis at 1024 x 768, medium detail, and it still stuttered on me from time to time.

My two criticisms of the game: I got to one point near the end of the game where I kept dying and having to go back to a saved state. The 30 seconds that I kept repeating had one of the other game characters it in saying "F!#k" really loudly ... there were people over at my house downstairs visiting with my wife, and eventually I realized what audio pollution the game was adding to my family experience and put on headphones. The game would have been just the same without the swear words mixed into the script - I'm sure there will be more than enough swearing in the multi-player mode (which I haven't tried yet).

Criticism two: the end-game was lame. The whole game unfolded with a fun plot, had challenging missions, let you drive tanks, fly VTOLs, use sniper rifles, etc. But at the end, it suddenly felt like a cheap old '80s game. A big mothership that looks like an ice covered dog shows up, and you have to go to station 1, shoot out 2 turrets, got to station 2, shoot out 2 more, then pretty much you're at the end of the game. The rest of the was incredible flexible, let you accomplish your missions with either stealth, overwhelming brute force, or anything in between. So just a warning to anyone out there playing Crysis - enjoy the journey, because the end is pretty anti-climactic.

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