I did a preview of the game Crysis 2 a while back and was ever so excited when the game was released a few days ago. I had preordered it since last year and was excited to do a What I Played This Weekend review on the game. However, after a few hours of playing, I was sorely disappointed. I had high expectations coming from Crysis 1: high hopes for Crytech’s new graphic engine that can truly put my thousand dollar video card to the test and the thought of a Halo/COD style multiplayer mode.
Upon loading the single player mode up, I was met with a constant flickering on my screen whenever I encountered sunlight, and I realized this was a problem due to the lack of support for running dual graphics card in either SLI or Crossfire. This seemed odd as the original Crysis not only had support for running multiple graphics card, but almost required more than 1 to generate the raw processing power to run the intense graphics. I was more surprised that when I did disable my second video card, the game did not take a hit at all performance-wise, this might seem like a convenience to the casual gamers, but running max setting and high resolution on one video card is a sure sign of weak pixelated graphics. Crysis had always been known for cutting edge graphics that even though released years ago remain one of the best looking games out. The game amassed a cult following of PC fanboys and computer enthusiasts who use Crysis as a benchmark to run their newly built super machines, so much so that a sign of a truly powerful computer is defined on enthusiast sites as one capable of running Crysis maxed out at above 60 frames per second. So you can see how the expectations for a new Crysis game, released four years later, would bring about very high expectations.
The underlining problem to it all is the fact that Crysis 2 is released on multiple platforms unlike the original Crysis which was a PC only release. What does this mean? Much like the new COD games and most other recent big releases, this game is essentially a console port. The game was not developed for PC but rather for the console system and then edited for the PC release. This could be seen in some earlier updates of the game when the intro screen prompted you to press start to begin on the PC. (For those ill-informed, PC does not have a start button on the keyboard) Even in some side by side comparison with Xbox 360 and PS3, you could hardly notice a difference, sure there’s a bit more smoke and the explosions are a tad bigger, but overall the difference is minimal. The hardware inside consoles are far inferior to modern day high end computers and to make the game playable on console a lot of things have to be cut back and in the end, it is the PC gamers that suffer. Now console ports aren’t a new thing, they’ve been around for a while now, ever since consoles became the bottleneck for graphic development, most games designed for multi-platforms begin with the console rendition.
Why did Crytech release Crysis 2 on console as well as PC? The simple answer, money. It’s well known that console games generally generate more revenue than its PC counterparts due to the ease of piracy for PC games, and also the fact that console games will run as long as you have the console, whereas for PC one might need to meet certain hardware requirements. However, Valve, creators of the Half-Life series and also games like Portal, and even Blizzard (Starcraft and Warcraft franchise) can attest that you can be very profitable making just PC games. Crysis 1 was ahead of its time, and the PC community expected the same with Crysis 2; however the release not only failed to meet those expectations but also inadvertently betrayed the very people who supported the developers in the first place. Valve and Blizzard have shown that if you make quality games, games that break the mold and advance the genre, fans will buy it. Crytech had the chance, and the technology and power to really advance graphics and first person shooter to the next level, but instead, they chose the safe route and in turn neglected their most fervent supporters. Am I mad? No, I am disappointed; it’s like watching someone with so much potential and promise choosing money over something greater. Crytech had the chance to make history, to be immortalized in the gaming genre along with the likes of Half-Life and Doom, but instead it just became another modern FPS.
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