Thursday, August 26, 2010

Time for a Crysis

That's right my loyal reader's, I have finally devoted my playtime to the game Crysis. I have started this title about six times, never progressing further than the first time Nomad reaches the beach. I don't have a real answer as to why I never went any further than that. Perhaps it was the fact that I knew that Crysis was to one to beat when it comes to top notch, this is what is possible, graphical quality. And I wouldn't be able to experience it that way it was meant to be played, no Nvidia pun intended.

I am a budget PC gamer, and I always have been. I played Crysis Warhead, you know, the one expansion that was released for Crysis that took lower end PC's into consideration and with it's optimized code allowed for a broader audience to witness the power of the CryEngine or whatever the fuck they call their proprietary shit. When I played it, the system configuration was a bit weak, and no I am not a PC literate, I know the very basic stuff related to PC gaming, just enough to get by and do minor upgrades. But this is what we were dealing with. A single core 3.2 ghz Pentium 4 processor. Four gigs of cheap, going out of business Circuit City ram. The currently installed in my new system Nvidia 9500gt 512mb video card. A SoundBlaster Audigy Gamer sound card that has to be five or six years old if I remember correctly? All of this was, not to mention, in a base model, Wal-Mart PC bundle. Yep, the ones that line the center isle that separates the electronics department and the school supplies. The ones that are hidden in blank boxes under the rack of printers they have on display. The ones that have the huge Rollback sign above them that says $599. This PC was cheap, and with my cheap additions, I was playing Crysis Warhead!

Albeit at a whopping 1024 by 768 resolution, on LOW everything! I recall toward the end of the game, when I was fighting the godzilla sized alien thing, I bet I wasn't even getting 15 frames in that final battle! It was horse shit. But, I played the entire game like that. Some moments were better than others. Sometimes I even though about cranking up the effects a notch, but then a huge screen tear or some unloaded or shitty looking textures told me it was best to remain seated and keep playing.

Now here is where we stand. My new PC was intentionally bought to function as a budget gaming rig with some of the newer tech available like more than one core and a larger amount of ram. It has an i5 Pentium processor which was a fairly good rated product when it first hit the market, however there is the i9's out now... Coupled with my 9500gt Nvidia graphics card, alot of the PC games that I had bought and was forced to play on minimum settings just to chug along still, were finally able to be enjoyed at a decent resolution, and most importantly to me, with the flashy and pretty stuff turned on!

Some games, some of the older ones like Doom 3 and Far Cry, I could really enjoy with the resolution at 1920 by 1080 and every possible effect and texture maxed the fuck out! These games were finally being played how they were meant to be played...uh, once again, no pun intended.

Games like recent releases Dirt 2 and BioShock 2 and FallOut 3, all could be played at a decent resolution with the graphics on high or in some cases like BioShock 2, very high. Crysis is still, even at three years old, the king system hog that I own. Well, maybe Metro 2033 gives it a run for it's money (I still can't get that game to play enjoyably well...). But yesterday I began a play through of the game for about the seventh time. I let the system auto detect the optimal settings based on my system specs. I started the game fresh, losing my age old save that was at that beach I spoke of earlier. Within minutes after dropping into the water of the coast of the small Philippine island I knew that it was going to run nicely, playable, enjoyable even, at the auto detected settings!

And so into the jungle I went. As the sun began to rise I emerged at a cliff overlooking the beach I haven't been passed yet. After taking out the objectives, taking a few Koreans with me, I ran once again into the jungle and then I started jacking with the settings. I'll just turn one up at a time until I notice a drastic drop in frame rate. Another tweek, another test run. Another tweek, another test. I adjusted about ten times total, settling on what I believe is about what my system can handle and manage around thirty frames per second. Some of the textures are on very high, and some things are on just high. The majority of the detail is set to medium which really boosts the performance, as does keeping the AA off and the v-sync off. Allot of gamers cringe at having those items low even so to have them both turned off I know some people question my PC gaming ethics. To be honest, jaggies and screen tear don't frustrate me as much as they do aot of people. I can get by without those functions if the picture is pretty enough and moving smooth enough.

I'm several hours into the game now. It's not the most excellent first person shooter I have experienced. I liked Crytek's Far Cry better than this I already know without finishing it. It really doesn't do anything special. Yea the suit is neato and what not but really, you can avoid using the thing and they game play really doesn't drastically change on you. The cloaking ability is rendered almost useless by the shear amount of energy it consumes. If you want to remain invisible to the Koreans, you better stand still because even talking a walk while invisible really drains that fucking meter ridiculously fast. I don't mind the cloak shutting off when I shoot my gun, that's fine. But how can I play the game stealthily, no, enjoyably stealthily, with this fucking setup? I refuse to walk ten feet, let the meter recharge, walk ten feet, let the meter re- you get the fucking idea.

So it has it's looks going for it and they are so good one easily looks past any of the games flaws (vehicle controls get the fuck outta here) and enjoys the game for it's visual bliss. There are many things, like a crab walking up the beach, or a frog jumping around some hut's backyard, or the fish that will swim with you in the lagoons or the surrounding seas or the many creeks and rivers throughout the island. Many things that will keep a player trudging along through the jungle, and nothing grabs you better than an out of nowhere alien invasion, which is about where I am in the story right now. It's getting interesting finally. Other than pretty flowers and trees to cut down with my shotgun, I have a plot twist, and one that is right up my alley. Had I not already played Warhead, I would be blown away at this point in the game and likely would rate it higher that I currently do, but in all honesty, I can't go over a 7 of 10 for the title as is.

I admittedly have allot of game to go, but I try to give my opinions on shit as I progress and normally don't have shit to say once I beat I game because I am fast to move on. I don't see many opportunities for the the game to change much in it's form. I can't imagine the story to be written so much better then next few hours of play that I would change my mind on the seven I dished at it. All I can say is I am glad I gave the game another chance. I may end up finally getting through it this time, and since I have a better PC than the first go round with it's Warhead expansion, I may just run through that sucker as well.

The only thing that will stop this from happening is if God is in my side and I can finally land a friggin job. I have a few prospects going right now, and I really hope they pan out. That would make the perfect excuse the end up quitting this game again and possibly having an eighth try down the road!

I'm out, heading off to fire up Crysis once again for another hour or so. Take care America, and take care of each other.

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