Any gamer out there knows that Crysis 3 comes out in two days. Some will tell you that they’re excited for you, others will blow it off, in favor of another game. Still others will say that they’re going to blow it off, but simply on the basis that it will disappoint. Sadly, I fit into the third category. I’m a huge fan of the second Crysis game, and, though I’ve never played it all the way through, I am also a fan of the original Crysis.
Crysis and Crysis 2 were two extremely different games. The original Crysis was an experience similar to that of the Halo games – you were provided with wide open sandboxes, where you could play how you wished. Yes, the plot is your stereotypical alien invasion plot. Despite it’s simplicity, however, it was executed pretty well, and made for a decent story. In my opinion, though most will not agree, Crysis 2’s plot was a great deal better.
Unlike Crysis, Crysis 2 focused more on streamlined, smaller environments. Still sandboxes, yes, but most were scaled down. Which fit with the setting, you were no longer on a jungle island, but instead in New York City, so the smaller environments made a lot of sense. So, in a sense, you got the best of both worlds with Crysis 2. To me, it felt like a mix of Call of Duty and Halo.
As much as I hate the Call of Duty franchise, it does get one thing right: the enclosed, hallway shooter feel. Sure, it has decent gameplay, which Crysis 2 borrowed and improved upon. So you have that, and then you have the sandbox environments of Halo, and a narrative that is reminiscent of the Halo games, with strong writing backed by an excellent cast of voice actors.
Once I realized that Crysis 2 was, for me, the high point of the franchise, I began asking what Crysis 3 could do that was new. How could they improve the formula that worked so well in Crysis 2? How could they not become another Call of Duty or Battlefield, spewing out mediocre games every 1 – 2 years?
That’s when I realized that they couldn’t do anything new, at least single player-wise. honestly though, who plays Crysis 2 for it’s multiplayer? Yes, it can be fun on occasion, but it kills one of the best aspect of Crysis 2’s single player mode. Crysis 2, in addition to having the perfect mix between military first person shooters and Halo, also added something new to the mix: it made you feel like a super soldier.
This idea was first given to me by a friend, even before I got the game. While I am extremely versed in Halo lore, and therefore know that the Spartans are super soldiers, I don’t always feel like I am one. Crysis 2, on the other hand, gives me that feeling. I can sneak around with a cloaking device enabled, silently putting down enemies. I can maximize my armor’s power, and soak up bullets while gunning down my foes. I can jump to greater heights and hit harder than a normal human.
If the Crysis franchise has done anything new, it’s that. But people complained. And so now, powers are being nerfed in Crysis 3. The exact reason I loved Crysis 2 so much is being removed, in favor of more balanced gameplay. While a smarter enemy AI would be nice, the gameplay isn’t supposed to feel balanced.
I have a super suit that allows me to do things other humans can’t. Therefore, why shouldn’t I be able to eliminate a group of enemy hostiles without much resistance? Batman: Arkham City, despite having a pretty smart enemy AI, isn’t completely balanced. Let’s take a second, and think about why that is.
The answer? You’re the freaking Batman! No one’s supposed to be able to stop you! The same applies for Crysis. Any sort of resistance should be futile. But no, instead, your powers are getting nerfed. So that’s one thing Crysis 3 is doing that’s “new” and “different”. It isn’t at all for the better though.
The one other change is the bow. I’m surprised that almost no one else has picked up on this by now, but bows are a fad. Ever since Hunger Games and Arrow have exploded into the mainstream, bows have become cool. So what better way to attract gamers than to say “Oh look! We have one of those too!”? What was wrong with assault rifles and rocket launchers?
“Oh, but these are silent!” Oh, so you’re telling me that, instead of being able to sneak around, completely invisible for an extended period of time, assassinating people, I get to shoot them silently from a distance? Awesome. That sounds like a lot more fun, doesn’t it?
So there are the two things that Crysis 3 will do that’s new. Neither of them really sound all that appealing, to me at least. For a studio that crafted the first two games in the franchise, I really expected more from Crytek. Sure, I could say it’s all EA’s fault. I probably will, actually. But still, I really expected more creativity from the designers of the game.
Then there’s the issue of the story. You know, the one that kind of ends in Crysis 2? It doesn’t really end, but since Crysis 3 is still set in New York, the foreshadowing at the end of 2 certainly won’t be recognized. Since Crysis 3 takes place over 20 years after Crysis 2, the other spires could have been destroyed in that time, but how is that going to be explained to the gamers? They blew up the towers without us? How dare they!
Granted, following that could have lead to dozens of stale Crysis games following the exact same plot structure – but they could at least have not completely skipped it. And even if they haven’t been skipped, what was the point of the end of Crysis 2? Well, my friends, there wasn’t one. Really, there’s no where else for the plot to go that will keep it from feel stale, old, and boring. Sorry, but it had to be said.
All of this had to be said. Because no one else seems to be saying it, really. Everyone seems to be hyping Crysis 3, when really, there’s no reason to do so. It’s sad, yes. But it’s also true.