A Crysis in Gotham City (Impostors).

Okay, I'll be honest, I just came up with a title that has both of those game names in it, this really has nothing to do with them in any sort of crossover or anything (because that would be weird). So, I'll not beat around the bush and get straight to Crysis.

But that's a weird way to transition into Crysis, because I found that a large percentage of my time with the game was spent hiding behind or inside bushes. But I'm getting ahead of myself here, first I need to address what version of the game I played because, as you may know from my previous posts around the internet, I don't have a computer that can run modern video games (by which I mean anything running on something more advanced than a Dreamcast). So obviously I didn't play the PC version, because if you're going to do that, you might as well go all the way and run it on something that can run the game with everything maxed out.

Instead I saw that the PS3 version was on sale for $10, so I decided to buy it. Then I realized that might be folly to just buy it, given that this is still a world where major, game of the year winning games are significantly worse on PS3 (even if that example did get patched to mostly fix the issues). I went on the internet and did my best to figure out if there was anything horrifically wrong with the PS3 version (in comparison to the 360 version, I mean), and that didn't seem to be the case, so I bought it and downloaded it.

After the surprisingly short download and install process (the game is only about three gigs on consoles), I started playing it. Right off the bat I was impressed to see that it runs at 1080P on PS3 (which I know is probably "low" to many of you PC Master Race Gamesmen out there). Most console games don't do that, so I thought it was a sign of the game being technically proficient on PS3. And guess what, it totally is!

No, it doesn't look as good as the PC version. From what little I've seen of that version, it seems like the primary scaling back in the console version was to remove a lot of the foliage from the PC version. What foliage remains (which is still a good amount compared to most games) is also not as good looking as what I've seen of the PC version. Aside from the lessening of foliage the only other significant graphical change (that I could see based on my limited knowledge of the PC version) is the shortened draw distance (or at least I assume it is). A large portion of this game (at least how I played it) involves using binoculars to look at the area ahead of you. In some cases to check for enemies when creeping along through forested areas, or when near enemy encampments, it's to see where enemies are, and what kind of mounted guns and other things they have. But at long distances, sometimes the stuff doesn't look that great. There were even a few cases where some textures didn't load at all until I got close, which resulted in some ugly checking out of the area. The framerate was decent overall, but there was some slow down in a few spots, and the game would hitch up for a second or two whenever it auto-saved.

Speaking of which, that reminds me of my biggest issue of the game, and one that I assume is only in the console version. There's no ability to manually save. It's auto-save or nothing. That's fine in games that are entirely linear and checkpoints are plentiful, but neither of those are true of this game. Yes, it's linear in the sense that aside from the occasional sub-objective (of which I think there are about ten in the entire game) the game only ever has one thing for you to do. But conversely, most of the environments in the game are enormous, and even if you have only one path to go (such as early in the game when you're moving near a road down the coast to get to some stuff), there are often enemy patrols meant to ambush you. Even on normal death can come fairly quickly if you don't have fast enough reflexes (which I almost always did, even if I only got through by the skin of my teeth). That means that if you spent fifteen minutes crawling through bushes and die from an ambush, you have to sneak through those bushes all over again. Or, to use examples of what happened to me, you have to redo a bunch of sneaking after jumping over a fence and directly onto mines, or redo a bunch of fighting after trying to find out what happens when you shoot gas pumps.

On the flip-side, the decision to have no manual saves means that I had to live with my mistakes. If I got spotted, I couldn't just reload my save and do it again (unless it happened to be very close to a checkpoint). I had to just keep on rolling, even if that meant gunning down a whole bunch of guys. I totally respect that as a game play decision on the part of the developers, but I also feel like potentially losing that much progress is poor design. And I'm pretty sure that the PC version had manual saving and all that jazz, so I doubt it's really some statement on the part of the people at Crytek about just keeping on trucking after making mistakes, and more just an oversight during the production of the console version. I suppose there could be some technical reason as to why, but there are plenty of other console games that let you save anywhere (including large and open ones like the aforementioned Skyrim), so I can't see why it would be impossible to do it, but I'm not game developer.

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I was going to insert a picture of a chicken from the game, but I decided not to for the sake of keeping this weird.

Anyway, now that I've covered everything wrong with the game (or at least everything wrong with the first two thirds (or so) of the game), let me get to the stuff I liked about the game. Which is pretty much everything...at least up until the aliens showed up. But more on that in a minute. I thought the game looked pretty good (aside from some weird shadowing on plants at distances), and the scale is huge. Most of the time you can't really go too far, but later in the game (specifically the harbor attack scene) the amount of area that you can go in a game this detailed (even the console version is very detailed, for the most part) is kind of nuts. Or at least it seemed it to me, I dunno, maybe the PC Master Race Gamesmen are used to such things, but whatever, it impressed me.

And the core game play was quite enjoyable. Whether I was sneaking through grass MGS3 style, sniping dudes at long distance, or racing around buildings and gunning down fools, the game is just straight up fun. I can see how a lot of people might not like the open ended nature of it, or the heavy focus on stealth (especially when playing on Delta, which I did try out), but I love that stuff. I wish there were more games like this, and I really want to try out the PC version with everything maxed out at some point. Someday I will have a computer that can run it, even if only because one day even cheap-o budget computers will be powerful enough to run it, though at that point there may be issues getting it to run at all, and I'll be emulating Windows 7 or something. Or maybe I'll fall into cash and get one next year, I dunno. Actually, now that I think about it, I probably should buy a new laptop, and what I spent last time (several years ago) could buy something way better today, so maybe I'll have some decent in the new future and I shouldn't have bought the PS3 version at all.

As I mentioned above, I did try playing the game on Delta difficulty after beating the game. If you don't know, that doesn't just make the game harder in terms of damage needed to die, it does stuff like remove cross-hairs (which isn't that big of an issue since I usually aim down the sights), removes grenade indicators, and makes the enemies speak Korean instead of English. That also isn't really that big of a deal, because I never really listened in on what they were saying in English to get a read on what was going on, because it was usually very obvious for other reasons if they were looking for me or not. But then I decided not to play the whole game on Delta.

Actually, that's not true, I already knew that I wasn't going to do that. Why? Because I played the late parts of the game with the aliens. They're not very good. I see what they were going far in parts of it, making it more action focused to coincide with the shift in the story and everything, but it just wasn't fun. The fun in Crysis is in using the tools at your disposal (the cloak, super strength, etc.) to outsmart and outmaneuver human enemies in relatively realistic environments and situations. If you're smart and careful, you can get through just about all that stuff without setting off alerts. Yes, there are parts like the tank sequence where you're just driving around in a tank blowing stuff up, but it's mostly slow paced tactical greatness.

Fighting the aliens is little more than just spraying them with bullets. Unless I missed something, they don't seem to have any sort of weakness like the regular soldiers who (aside from some later ones with a lot of armor) can be felled with a head shot, or at most a few shots to the chest. Now, I did realize that the enemies in the zero gravity bit could be shot in their heads and felled quickly, but I didn't have problems until the part after that. I was literally being swarmed with so many enemies that I couldn't defeat them all, so I just had to cloak and run for it.

And the worst part is the game's final boss. Not only is it a giant beast with things like one hit kill attacks (on normal), it summons a bunch of large flying enemies to distract you so it can hit you with the one hit kill attack. And of course to finish it off you need to use a special weapon that you have to wait until certain times in the fight to use against it. I don't know for sure, but I want to say I died during this fight as many times as I died throughout the rest of the game. For a while I thought something about the fight was literally broken, or that I had encountered some sort of horrible bug where the thing kept hitting me with the one hit kill move.

I did eventually beat it, and you know what? The game ends with an awful cliffhanger. I obviously haven't played Crysis Warhead, so I'm hoping that expands on the cliffhanger, because what I know of Crysis 2 has it starting way after this cliffhanger, and it'd be a real a-hole move on Crytek's part to just jump over that.

So, long story short, most of Crysis is amazing, and wonderful, but it falls apart at the end when they make it more action focused, and specifically when the enemies turn from fun to fight to not fun to fight.

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Oh, and I played Gotham City Impostors too. That game is great. It's the most fun I've had playing a multiplayer game online since Black Ops. Maybe more fun, just without Ice Cube doing the announcing. But then again, the announcing in the game is pretty good. The Bats have a good Office Bat guy, and the Jokerz have a pretty good imitation Mark Hamill as Joker (I know it's not him, but a few of the lines are almost spot on). The style is great (especially the cardboard cowl featured in the GB Quick Look), and most importantly it's fun to play.

But it's a team based first person shooter with a few different modes in it, so I don't really have much to say. But I do think making it free for PlayStation Plus was brilliant, because the influx of new players has been pretty massive, and it's been (overall) very easy to find games. Of course, there are occasionally issues finding matches, and I've been disconnected a few times (but that may be an issue on my end). And, in the PS3 version, there do seem to be some almost Rage-esque texture loading problems that make the game look rather ugly at times.

But it's fun, and I like it. And that's it for today. Still playing Just Cause 2. I did a great mission today with Japanese soldiers from WWII that thought the war was still going on and giant Tesla Coils (or giant towers that shot off electricity at least).