Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why Don't I Like Crysis?

I may get skewered for this but I'm tired of living a lie...a secret so dark that I might have to give up my "Man of the Year" status...if I actually achieved anything like that. IT COULD HAPPEN!!!

I don't like Crysis. There, I said it. Whew! That was much easier than I though it'd be. I'm glad to get that off my chest! You've no idea...

Sorry,  but I don't like you.
Okay, in all seriosity, it's been bugging me for a while. I've always heard great things about the Crysis series. And, of course, there is the all-encompassing PC benchmark--"But does it run Crysis?" Surely there would be more to this game than a graphically-intensive engine, right?

Yes and no. Well, as far as I'm concerned. I'm really going to just skip over the graphics in the Crysis games because they hold no real sway as to why I am not a fan of the Crysis franchise. In this case, the graphics engine is the tasty whipped-cream icing on top of a dry cupcake. Sure, it looks very appealing, and people have talked it up. But, when you bite into it, you realize there is no god.

I wanted to like the games. Truly, I did.

It's been a while since I played the original Crysis, but I just recently bought Crysis 2 because it was in a Steam sale. I figured I'd give it another shot. Maybe the sequel was better? Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me rewind.

Plot: It didn't really grab me. In fact, I can't remember what the original plot of Crysis is. I remember running, screaming like a little girl, from aliens at some point. I'm not sure if that counts as "plot" or not. And, certainly, it took quite a bit of the game to even get to that point. And when I did find the aliens, I was like "Wtf? Where did these guys come from, and what do they have to do with anything?" It was as if the writers got so far into the game and then had no idea where to go from there. They had two choices: aliens or zombies.

No, I don't like you either.
The plot in Crysis 2 is...well, to be honest, I have no idea what the plot is. The game seems like it's just random missions sewn together with aliens to make it look like an actual plot--"go push this button...now get me a cupcake! Now shoot that thing!". In all honestly, I have no idea what I am trying to do overall. Sure, sometimes I'm trying to save a dude, or I
'm trying to get from point A to point B, but there never seems to be anything beyond that. Even if I, at one time, knew what the plot was, I easily forgot. Maybe it was because I put the game down and then later picked it back up. Or maybe it was because of a shiny squirrel piloting a spaceship outside.

Characters: Who now? I can barely remember my character's name, much less anyone else's. I've no idea why, but they're just not memorable. Sure, some of them die so they're easy to forget. But I developed no attachment to any of them. I've really nothing more to say about them as this pretty much sums up my experience here.

Weapons: The weapons are...well, weapons. They're nothing special and they don't stand out from any other games. You'll see the same types of weapons in any other FPS. I'm pretty sure even Pong had a couple of similar weapons in it.

Game Mechanics: So the meat of the Crysis series is the Nanosuit. The Nanosuit turns ordinary soldiers into...um...ordinary soldiers who can do a couple of cool things for an extremely limited time. The functions vary slightly from Crysis to Crysis 2. The suit allows you to turn invisible, be stronger, have more armor, or sprint (because you can't apparently run without a Nanosuit), or jump high...etc. I'm pretty sure the suit allows you to pick your nose with great intensity, but I've never used that function.

Pretty sure I don't like you.
So, while this all sounds great...it's really not. Again, Crysis 2 differs a bit from the original and the suit has upgrades that allow it to operate better. In the original, however, the suit's energy ran down extraordinarily quickly. In the second, it's slower but you're still not the super soldier that the hype would lead you to believe.

The Nanosuit is the selling point for the franchise and, frankly, it falls flat for me. It was a decently cool idea but, for me, it wasn't enough to save the games. I played the first one because I felt I should. I played the second (well, I haven't finished it yet) because I wanted to give the franchise another chance. But, even if the third one gets really cheap, I am not so sure I'll go for it.

I've never felt compelled to finish either of these games. I never said to myself "Ooh, I wonder how this plot turns out!" or "What happens to these characters??" It's sort of reminiscent of the original Doom--you had no idea what you were doing or why. All you know is, you had to kill stuff and push buttons. Crysis and Crysis II feel much the same, only with a Nanosuit and prettier graphics. Oh, and the weapons aren't sticking out of your stomach.

I'm not one to say "this game sucks" and, even if I was, the Crysis franchise doesn't suck. It's just not my kind of game, I suppose. I want to like Crysis, but I don't.