Archive for March 11, 2011

Crysis 2 demo


The aesthetic of crysis manages to nail cyberpunk to its speculative roots, the new york roof top we inhabit for the game is almost exacting in its realism, solar cells adorn a raised roof, a water tower splurges and nature is everywhere, elevated to the heights and just a little more advanced than what you see today. The glass in the greenhouses breaks under your foot, the offices inside lead to fitness machines, the level is not terribly complex, but memorable. On my server the roof wins out over the harbour everytime. The harbour lacks optimism, the roof is a picture perfect depiction of what we want our future to be like, the harbour is rather empty space disintegrating, and also lacks the many by ways the roof has. But what does the roof mean? With its step machines, solar cells, and scenic gardens, it suggests we can replicate the woods in concrete, our bodies contain the sea, our buildings the outdoors.
Crysis is built around the idea inequality, the game offers armour and cloak as mutually opposed accessories, but then throws in “nanovision” and an aerial stomp. Cloak is perhaps the most persistent ability, allowing you to turn invisible for a few seconds and get the drop yr opponent, but this doesn’t last long. At level one i managed to snap the necks of a few ppl while cloaked, but by the time i reached level 5 differences in gun power and nanovision made stealth less appealing, my shotgun wielding scout became less preferable to an asssault rifle wielding custom solider with hushed footsteps and upgradable aim. The demo offers 3 slots to change the attributes of your solider in, and then lets you unlock 3 different power ups for each slot. Hence you can enhance yr cloaking ability or silence steps etc but yiu have to choose one. The branching of abilities makes the game zoom out into the space of possibilities, but i found my steady lead i had from level 1 to 4 evaporate as other players discovered new play styles and the snipers began to shoot. The game’s diversity doean’t favor all and the paranoia people develop towards stealth culminates in a healthy population of players in nanovision. One player in nano though can alert an entire team to yr presence.
The amount of detial in the game is what impresses, crysis 2 takes play style and turns it into.metal, and those little trinkets go along way, equp the heavy gun and increase yr accuracy and you’ll do better than with quick reloads, the various play stylea feel like genuine paths and lack the confines of team fortress 2’s restricted characters, but the game still turns me off somehow. Perhaps its the cawl of that old woman at the losing screen saying you may as well have sent forth graders or the way the game equates military equipment to commodities like running shoes, the game makes war seem neat and tidy like an ipad from amazon, and its nanosuit looks like futuristic football gear. The game in other words is steeped in the design philosophies of today it is rhizomatic, simplified, and elegant, but it manages to make the war machine seem as desirable as running shoes and that’s where the game annoys, i prefer my simulated violence with a layer of abstraction with out the possibility of the real. Crysis in other words comments on the now in its architecture, but is preparing us to desire the military in new ways, lets hope that c.e.l.l. and blackwater do not meet and that violence becomes so commodified and streamlined that a conflict becomes as easy as crysis’ pick up games. The war machine should not be accessible from amazon.

March 11, 2011 at 2:44 pm Leave a comment


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