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2:16 PM on 03.26.2011

A fantasy Crysis 2 Dev interview

[This is a work of fiction, designed to get some of the gripes I have about crysis 2 off my chest and to provide whoever reads it with a laugh, and hopefully a bit of an insight into the direction crytek went with their latest title]

Okay so to say I was pumped to get my copy of crysis 2 was a bit of an understatement. I had it delivered to work to ensure I'd get it on release day, I didn't play the leaked copy or watch most of the trailers as I didn't want to spoil things. So when I say that it was a disappointment to me, I mean that in the “son, you had a great upbringing, wtf happened with crysis 2?” kind of parental, great chasm of bottomless sadness, disappointment.

This is how I imagine a chat between me and a crysis 2 developer would go *spoilers inbound*

C2 Dev: So, have you played our latest masterpiece?
Me: Yeah, I got my copy yesterday, played through until the third to last chapter
C2 Dev: Pretty good huh? You get to BE the weapon!
Me: Sooo, about that, why did you kill prophet off exactly? I wouldn't have minded playing as him, the flashbacks would have tied in quite nicely then as opposed to some weird third person flashback that looks like its a pirate copy quality.
C2 Dev: Ha ha, there's some rad filters and stuff with those videos, huh? Totally not reminiscent of prototype or anything like that.
Me: You're right there, the ones in prototype were structured more and were from understandable different perspectives.
C2 Dev: Yeah yeah, whatever, just start playing already. You can BE the weapon!
Me: Uh huh. Except I have no ammo, and my suit functions are offline... and you're taking control away from me and .... waiiittt is this a tutorial level? Seriously?
C2 Dev: Neat, huh? Get used to the suit voice by the way, you'll be hearing a lot from him.
Me: That's fine, I'll just turn it off in the opti- where's the suit voice option? * after a very brief look at all the options * Actually, where the hell have all the options gone?

This is about 4 times smaller than the redonkulous amount of options crysis had.

C2 Dev: Well we figured since it was in 3D you wouldn't want to change any options, and anyway, you can put the graphics settings up to extreme!
Me: Thats nice and all but I don't hav-
Me: Ugh, well at least extreme should mean punching through walls feels meatier this time.
C2 Dev: why would you want to punch through walls? You can BE the weapon!
Me: ...doesn't that kinda mean punching down through a ceiling as some angel of death in my mighty nanosuit?
C2 Dev: Ha ha, next you'll be asking for a save function.
Me: Huh? What do you... wheres my save button?

Save button goes here somewhere?

C2 Dev: C'mon bro, you've got checkpoints instead! BE the weapon!
Me: Well the first game managed okay with checkpoints and a save function.. and graphics options and a turn-off-that-fucking-suit-voice button
C2 Dev: Wait... aren't you happy with it? You can BE the weapon! We even brought in a cover based shooting system which works some of the time! Why not upgrade your suit so you can see where bullets are coming from? Or even.. hit N, go on!
Me: Gosh, thermal vision.. this would be great when I'm in a jungle at night time
C2 Dev: Ha ha, its not thermal vision, its NANO vision! C'mon soldier, get out there and save the world. One soldier against an alien armada with the only suit which can save us all!
Me: So what happened to the idea of you being a trained specialist who just happened to have a level footing against this unknown threat, haphazardly making his way through, against a multitude of threats.
From Koreans packing homebrew nano suits to giant flying aliens and even the incompetence of your own military and its heavy-handed tactics? All of this set in a variety of lush and interesting locations from suffocatingly thick jungle to underground mines and frozen barren wasteland?
Well presented by a game that allowed you to customise it to a very fine degree and to accommodate different styles of gameplay, on-the-fly, while managing to make sure you never feel too over powered and to keep an interesting (yet a little lacking) story going, until the unknown hits and you really live up to the call sign 'nomad'.
Ultimately culminating in an unusual arcade-style stand off against a threat no-one understands apart from a slightly batshit insane squad leader who may possibly have been anally probed but you decide to kill him off in the first level of your 'sequel'?

From floating fish things that fire ice shards at you to an off-the-shelf generic space alien

C2 Dev: ....
Me: Also, why the fuck have nanosuits suddenly become some sort of super-governmental secret? Everyone seemed to have one in the original game and the soldiers were lapping that shit up when they saw you, with many a manly ooh-rah.
Now its gone to “whatcha got yourself there now, tinman? Hyuck hyuck”
C2 Dev: well.. we've redesigned the enemies. BE the weapon!
Me: Yeah, you went from floaty jelly fish things to generic aliens that could fit into any sci-fi universe from the last 15 years or more. Way to advance the genre.
Put generic aliens in a clichéd city with the whole 'only you can save the world' bullshit, what's with the suit anyway, the amount of times its rebooting makes me think its running some shitty 3 man designed OS which was programmed in Japanese by a Russian who only speaks French with support from a person who's never seen a computer before.
C2 Dev: The mulitplayer is great now?
Me: Fuck off

Though this seems like quite the tirade I did find myself enjoying the game and most of it was what I was hoping for: more crysis, more nanosuit and more over the top visuals. I enjoy the multiplayer and think its a good game, but it has as many flaws as a paper nanosuit.   read

5:13 PM on 05.13.2010

Better late than never? (intro blog)

While I'd love to put some sort of disclaimer about possible suckage of this cblog or something about how I've been a long time lurker and gush about my undying love for dtoid its not quite that simple. Plus, frankly, I cant really be arsed to stop and form some coherent disclaimer style precursor for this, so hey-ho.

One of the games I'm naturally good at and enjoy playing is the L4D games.

Imagine this scene if you will. 11pm and I'm swaddled in a blanket laying in the dark on my bed, my head cocooned by my headphones with only the occasional blundering thuds of my brutish house-mate to disturb my unwinding.
Despite trying to calm my brain down enough to allow me to get an early night, seemingly hundreds of thought are flying through my head. Things from my opinions on work today (third day at new job and I wish to hell they'd give me a minute to catch my breath, before they give me new equipment and routines to learn, still job = money = rent) and what kind of shit headed housemate starts playing his rape metal at half 11 at night when he knows my alarm gets me up at 7am (it wont stop until about.. 1 - 1:30 usually, one nigh- morning when it reached 6am even the neighbours joined in banging on the wall) also an errant, fleeting thought is to post on dtoid.
This last thought is one I'll elaborate on.

I had a bloody good time with BF2142 despite the numerous problems and cock-heads on there

Sometime in 2007 I figured I might as well sign up for an account after realising that.. y'know.. my opinion will totally have a profound effect on peoples thinking so I should start leaving comments if only to enrich peoples lives and make gamers that read my stuff better people. This same logic also caused me to launch into writing a couple of blogs, sometime later (and viewing them in the harsh light of day) I promptly found the hide button and they've remained in hiding ever since.
This didn't however stop me from planning articles I'd love to write in my head and inevitably asking my girlfriend what she thought of them and whether she felt I should post my ideas. She almost always suggested I go ahead with my idea and for some reason said blog idea was never heard of again.

Tonight I thought, fuck it, lets do an intro blog and pack in loads of stuff and hope that of the, likely, 10 people who read it, 5 enjoy it. 50%... that's a good cblog enjoyment rate to hope for and hey, maybe ill get a positive comment left!
So here goes:

This a painting my girlfriend did for an art exam, the small size doesn't do it justice by far. I'm the guy in the top part.

My name is Chris and I've been gaming properly since about 8/9 when we got our first pc and it came bundled with 6 or 7 games. Born in the late 80's in a town called Ipswich in England, it took me 3 days to be born but surprisingly I get on well with my mum, who I'd imagine would bear a grudge against me. You could argue I was even born a lazy little git. (for any possible mums reading this; I obviously understand nothing about how painful birth is but I understand 3 days is pretty long!) For my 6th birthday I got a game boy and a star wars game, plus a mega fun Legend of Zelda: links awakening game that I've kept. As I acquired the occasional extra games my tastes leaned towards adventure games and anything that had an rpg or exploratory aspect to it.
When we got a pc I was 8 or 9 and was fast on my way to becoming a solid gamer with my game tastes forming hot on the heels of such mundane things such as morals and self identity.
The pc came with a bunch of games which included Quake 2, M:DK, Pod and Earthworm Jim among others.
From these my love of sci-fi and adventuring while putting my own flare onto the character was cemented in my mind. Quake 2 taught me to love aliens and having a variety of ways to eviscerate them; while M:DK taught me about humour in a game and quirkiness and paired quite nicely with E.W.J. Pod rounded it all off with having the ability to customise cars to your liking and some un-worldly tracks.

These guys were beyond shit scary when you realise that theres no option for your 9 year old self to evade them.

As I grew I'd like to say my tastes matured with me as I found myself drawn to stories which focused on story and the characters; as opposed to the amount of bloody carnage that could be displayed onscreen at one time. Some of my all time favourite games are still: Deus Ex for its narrative and open ended approach to a single player game, Max Payne for a story that tugged at my heart strings (completed the sequel enough times to unlock the graphic novel ending where Mona lived) and Kotor for teaching me than lesbianism is a brilliant story twist near the end of a game. Fallout deserves a special place for all round awesome, though I wasn't as fond of the third one.

Props to whomever drew this fan art, I am soooo eagerly awaiting Deus Ex: Human Revolution

In my late teens I developed a penchant for games that had a strong sand-boxy, shit-dude-just-go-out-and-explore-the-game-world element.
The undeniable leader of these SDJGOAETGW genre was S.T.A.L.K.E.R and to this day I haven't found a game, past or present, that can beat them for a combination of atmospheric horror and survivalist exploration. The flaws with the games are all forgiven by me (apart from the second game but everyone makes mistakes.) and I could spend countless hours roaming the endless wastes with a suitable mod that made the game tougher to play and longer to acquire enough gear to progress. Many a dreary day outside has been spent sitting inside guiding my little Ukranian buddy through the bowels of Chernobyl NPP or some anomalous field or maybe even just tracking a pack of blind dogs to pick them off from a way away to ensure my safe passage coming back from an expedition to get some precious, precious artefact or other.

When at 20 my girlfriend asked if I wanted to move in with her I didn't really need to think about it. There's 4 of us sharing the house, the other 3 are at the same art uni here which left me with an excess of free time unlike anything I've had before apart from summer holidays, so my consumption of games increased dramatically and I found myself trying more and more game types that I'd usually not consider.... but that may be another story for another time as I just glanced at the time and holy shit its 1am, work in 7 hours.
Hopefully the occasional stranger that stumbles across this will enjoy the story of just another person in this big ol' world. If someone notices this intro post and would like to know the rest of the story then I'll post it. If not, I shall fade once more into the ether and this will likely be hidden, left to digitally molder away until nothing but a faint memory is left.   read

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