Sun Feb 13 03:07:53 PST 2011

wherein bbot hopes a game will get better

As any foole kno, Crysis 2 was leaked two days ago, more than a month before its March 22nd release date.

I've played a little bit of it, now, and I've got some impressions:

1.) The dev build is disastrously, hideously broken. It took me half a hour of dicking around with configuration files before I could get it to a minimally working state. The intro sequence is pretty thrilling the first time through, less so the fifth.

2.) The intro splash is completely unskippable. Boo, hiss. It also displays a "Press start to begin" screen, the hallmark of a lazy port. Boo. Hiss.

3.) Speaking of ports: Crysis 2 doesn't look any better than Crysis 1. This makes sense, since it has to run on the Xbox 360's 512mb of total system ram, but kinda depressing.

4.) The big, big thing: Crysis 2 was written by Richard Morgan In 2002, Morgan wrote a really spectacularly excellent novel titled Altered Carbon. (click link, buy book) He then wrote a sequel that was pretty good, and then another sequel that wasn't quite as good, then three other novels that were kinda bad but I bought them anyway. And so far, Morgan has failed to impress me with the dialogue in Crysis 2. In fact, some of the cutscenes have been pretty damn lazy, but I'll hold off on coming to a conclusion.

What's surprising, here, is that he was even picked to write the game. Morgan is renowned, above all else, for writing really gritty science fiction. Really, really gritty. Edgier than a fistful of razorblades. He is not, by any means imaginable, a very commercial writer. And yet Crytek chose him to write their $10 million dollar video game project.

And then they hired Dr. Peter Watts (!!!) to write the video game novelization!

If Morgan is famous for grit, then Watts is famous writing bleak, hard-as-nails science fiction. Really, really bleak. Finish book, immediately start drinking, bleak. More depressing than a fistful of valium. He's also the better writer, and the bigger nerd, but that's my amazingly subjective opinion.

Neither of these guys are mainstream writers. They both write hard, (not difficult to read, but Difficult to read, if you get my drift) complex books, and they are Crysis 2's creative team.

So I don't know. Maybe Crysis 2 will suddenly start living up the fearsome reputation of its writers. I can only hope so.

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