I live in Arizona, and I hate idiots... I'm also psycho, but most of you know that, or just don't care. Most likely the latter.
Wreckage is one of the greatest, most fleshed out Crysis mods to ever see the light of day. It's true AAA quality stuff. It packs in a whole new story, excellent mapping, and enough crazy set pieces to make Call of Duty and Battlefield blush. Unfortunately, it suffers some design issues that force me to not give it a perfect 10. There's a portion of the game where a Marine will follow you around. He has zero sense of personal space, and the instant you stop moving, he'll be right at your heels, blocking your movement and sometimes preventing you from being able to shoot at enemies, thanks to Crysis' friendly fire lock with an absurd dead zone. Mapping is also painfully linear for a Crysis mod, and ammo caches are hidden as out of the way as humanly possible, though only they will contain the ordinance necessary to move on in the mission. Wreckage tries to be explosive and adrenalin packed, but there are too many "defend this site until a tank shows up that you have to destroy" moments that boil down to an exercise in tedium. Voice acting is also a tad weak, especially from the main supporting character, but damn, they put in so much voice acting, I can forgive a slightly half hearted performance. I can't even understand German anyhow.
The Multiplayer feels like much of the same (Not necessarily a bad thing; I enjoy a few quick minutes of dumb fun from time to time) and Treyarch's texture artist needs to be fired out of a cannon, but Black Ops presents the best, most intriguing CoD campaign yet. If the gameplay wasn't so scripted, I would be all over this game. Unfortunately, the gameplay itself relies too much on popping in and out of sights to pick off dumb enemy AI before you get thrown into explosive QTE's that would make Micheal Bay blush. Also, some missions just seem extraneous and offer zero contributions to the actual story. Aside from the story, the next best thing added to black ops was Combat Training, which throws you into classic Call of Duty multiplayer with bots. It's very basic on the outside, but whoever was in charge of this needs to be given a medal. All of the features of online play are included, sans hackers, quickscopers, and little kids. The AI in this gamemode are also very intelligent. While not being omniscient, the AI will communicate with each other and operate on Last Known Position Tech. They will rush, flank, and provide covering fire. It feels like what Call of Duty multiplayer was meant to be. Zombies aren't my cup of tea, but Treyarch put a lot of work into this gamemode, and it is much improved over the mode's debut in World at War. It's much more akin to the excellent Zombie DLC maps for Treyarch's last game. This mode boasts a hearty dose of humor, and it's just as fun to watch as it is to play. Unfortunately, this mode has a bunch of exploits that ultimately turn into several hours of grinding.
It may feel much different from every other SC game in the past, but Conviction is a great game in it's own right. The stealth is still a major focus, and it handles much more smoothly than the previous installments. The cinematics and story are also incredible, and the game really makes you feel like a badass. Also, the Co-Op campaign is an incredible experience that is arguably even better than the game in single player. If you have friends, I strongly recommend you play the Co-op. My only issues with the game are the enemy AI and the removal of sound management. The AI has to remain in sight of you for an impressive chunk of time, taking away some of the game's challenge, and they will not seek you out if the notice something amiss. The game is much easier than the earlier games, and not in the best of ways.
Shadowmapping, phong, dynamic lights and shadows, impressive animations, and physiscs all rolled into an engine that's about as technically demanding as Left 4 Dead. It's a nice little engine. I think all of the hate for this engine just is sprouted from the hate for Call of Duty.
Naturally, there are some expectations to the sequel. Namely, open world gameplay and a reason to start scouring newegg for a new PC. Crysis 2 doesn't have any of that. Crysis 2 is largely a different game that has the misfortune of having the name Crysis in the title. That isn't a bad thing. I'm sure everyone would be raving about this game if it weren't Crysis and it were instead called... uh... Nanosuit: Manhattan Virus. Instead of an open world with multiple approaches to combat, Crysis 2 opts for a different style. Crysis 2 is a linear environment with a massive number of open world opportunities. The linear presentation allows for a lot more focus to be put in individual areas, which contributes well to Crysis 2's style and tweaked combat, which I say is superior to that of the original. Note I said style, not graphics. In Crysis 2's optimization, graphical fidelity took a hit in some of the less noticeable places, but have gained an edge up over Crysis 1 in other areas. In all, Crysis 2's graphics are different. Not better, nor worse. Storywise, Crysis 2 shines in comparison to the original Crysis. To make cinematic comparisons, Crysis 1 could be compared to a Micheal Bay film. Really damn pretty, but not much for narrative. Crysis 2 manages to be more like a James Cameron or Chris Nolan flick. Pretty as hell, yet it manages to support worthwhile characters and plots as well. It's no Half Life, but it is one of the better FPS stories out right now. Note too, that with Crytek's new DX11 patch that's released at the time of this writing, Crysis 2's graphics have now surpassed anything on the market, past or present, including Crysis 1.
Just prior to Portal 2's release, Valve teased that Portal 2 would be their best single player experience yet. Coming from the studio that brought us arguably the best single player game of all time, this is quite a bold statement. Well, Valve was right. I’m sure many people will hate me for saying this, but not only has Portal 2 managed to best it’s predecessor, but has managed to exceed the entire Half-Life series in quality. Although the campaign is somewhat short (not unbearably so; about the length of COD4), Portal 2 makes the best use of it’s time. Not a single minute passed in Portal 2 that something memorable didn’t happen. When you’re not busting your brains over some amazingly created puzzles, you’re laughing your arse off from some of the best written game dialogue in well, ever. Portal 1 was praised for its subtle story cues and characterization, and Portal 2 expands on that tenfold. GLaDOS’ story expands through out the game to the point where at the end of the game. You actually like GLaDOS. Not like GLaDOS as an antagonist to hate, but actually like GLaDOS as a morally conflicted human being (albeit an intellectually motivated mechanical human being, but I digress). Humor is top notch, not that I needed to explain that, and Portal 2 features an unforgettable finale with a truly massive scope. Note that there is no hyperbole or figurative language in that last part of the sentence. You’ll see what I mean. One last points is the music. Portal earned meme status thanks in no small part to Jonathan Coultans Still Alive. Make no mistake, Jon Coultan created another great song for Portal 2, but it’s no longer the greatest part of Portal 2’s soundtrack. Portal 2 features an amazingly catchy techno soundtrack that has a dynamic role in the game that goes beyond providing some ambiance. As you sprint on gels and soar through the air, you will start to lose yourself in the music that cues with the action in the game. There's Co-op, too.
Suicidal AI, Lone wolf tactics, and horribly outdated graphics for the time make an ultimately "meh" performance. The concept is nice. The execution... not so much.
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