The next game I want to talk about is Crysis.
“What? You went from Shadow of the Colossus to Crysis?”
Yeah, just hear me out! Crysis was the game that really got me into PC gaming. At the time Crysis was amazing, I still look back on the multiplayer and think, “I wish there was a game like that!“.
You’re basically a super hero
What set Crysis apart from other shooters were the Nano-Suit powers that you had.
If you haven’t played Crysis, the defining factor (Other than the still jaw dropping graphics) was that you had a Nano-Suit that provided you with super human strength, speed, near bullet proof armor, and limited cloaking.
The best part about having these abilities was that the dudes over at Crytek knew that having super powers was all well and good, but it didn’t mean anything if you didn’t have cool ways to use them. So they designed many of the encounters as pseudo-sandboxes. Meaning you could approach ‘most’ of them however you saw fit.
Oh you like running in and killing people with your super secret punch them in the face until they die fighting style? You’re good.
You prefer to sneak in and eliminate them one by one? You’re good.
You don’t care for stupid super powers and want to Call of Duty it up? That works too.
Better yet, many of the structures… well, shanties you come across were destructible. So you could lure every one into a shanty after putting a claymore and five bricks of C-4 on the ground…
It’s pretty darn cool.
The mechanics had depth
Despite what you might think, there was actually depth to the super powers mechanic. Not as much in the single player campaign, but in multiplayer… Everyone had the powers; albeit they were down graded somewhat.
You had to know how to manage your energy, as there was a finite amount. Although it regenerated, if you were to waste all of it you were a sitting duck. Lets just say you are hiding behind a wall, you know there are two North Korean soldiers hiding inside the garage. You have to cover the entire length of the parking lot without being seen in order to infiltrate the garage, take out the enemy and claim it so your team can start using tanks.
How do you go about this?
You have several options.
You can either use your speed to try and run past through the garage fast enough that they might not see you. (Things like this could work, you were that fast.) Or you could try and crawl to a rear entrance with your cloaking. However, when you were cloaked your energy would not regenerate and you still cast a shadow. Good players would know to look for the refracted light and random shadow crawling on the ground.
So let’s say you get to the garage, after making your way through the parking lot using your preferred method. Now you actually have to get inside. There are three entrances you can use, the front, the back, and the roof. You then have to assess where they are in the building (without being seen) and then actually get there.
All the while worrying about claymores.
So you have decided it is in your best interest to use the roof (my personal favorite), the North Koreans are directly below you. What now? Well you have one frag grenade, a flash bang and four super powers.
“Okay, okay. These are just a lot of choices. Choice doesn’t mean depth!”
It’s all in how you use it, check this out.
You drop that flash bang through the ceiling; let it go of blinding your enemies. You then cloak and jump in, immediately going prone and lying on the floor to quickly assess where they are in the room. You notice one of them is down a hall, grenade. The other is behind a counter blindly shooting his AK-47 into the room. You switch to armor and run over to him, BANG!, the grenade explodes lowering the armor of the other opponent. You switch to strength mode, punch your opponent in the face killing him. You then switch back to armor and have to duck behind the counter as your other opponent starts lobbing grenades towards your position. BANG!, BANG!, BANG!. All three grenades go off, each one taking off a chunk of your energy lowering your potential to survive. Your enemy now comes around the corner looking for you; you stand up, your shotgun in hand and take him out.
All that and it only took like forty-five seconds real time.
Well, good job, you just took the garage. Now you have to defend it while you “take it over”. So not only to you have to assault, you also have to defend. Because those North Koreans you just took out, are going to respawn in about fifteen seconds and they don’t want to lose that garage.
So imagine that kind of scenario, but with sixteen people all with super powers fighting each other trying to kill the other team’s players before they were killed themselves. Sounds hectic right? Well it was, and in the ‘instant action’ mode it was basically a death match. Not very interesting… Thankfully that wasn’t the only multiplayer mode.
So take that same idea, sixteen people all trying to kill each other with super powers and guns. Except all sixteen people are now on a single team. Pitted against another team of sixteen… On a massive battlefield.
A battlefield complete with respective teams HQ, power nodes, weapons facilities, military garages, research centers… and the entire point is to control the research center, while using your resources to accumulate enough power to develop a tactical nuke… or black hole. And use it to destroy the enemy’s base.
It was fantastic…
Basically imagine a Battlefield game, but with superpowers… and nukes….
“Well that’s all well and good but games like this rely on team work”
Yeah, for the most part if you’re team wasn’t working together you would lose. But if you were good enough and knew the right way to move around, and ambush your prey. You could turn the tide of a battle.
When everyone starts fighting over control of a specific area and you have one guy who knows his stuff. You could watch him disable the other team and pick them off all while they try to find him, or are worrying about the other players.
You felt powerful
This might sound odd, but playing Crysis is the only time I have ever legitimately laughed maniacally…
More on that later!