Is there anything in the gaming world more awe-inspiring than the amazingly rendered, DX10 world of Crysis? One of the things I really love about the game is the way the open world nature of the maps complimented with your nanosuit abilities, give you multiple paths ensuring you don’t really feel like you are on a gamers conveyor belt and experiencing the same exact experience over and over again. Having several intertwining paths to an objective really lets you strategise effectively and doesn’t force you into the same old experience that the developers wanted to create, which is not after a play through or two what you want to experience. Here is an example of my in game experience of this...
As I sidestep a North Korean patrol, giving them the slip as Shaun in SOTD would say, the internal voice of the nanosuit sang out, "maximum stealth". Just as successfully as Shaun I managed to give them the slip, and for a short while a lay prone in some rustling bushes watching the waves crashing on the picturess beach, before I heard the familiar Korean noises been yelled at me. With a quick MMB click and swish of the mouse "maximum armour" sang out. The bullets were flying and tree limbs falling as my silenced scar zeroed in on their craniums. "Peuw," one Korean fell to the ground his cap flailing through the air, "peuw" another hit the dirt. My iron sight blurred in my vision building the tension as enemy bullets slapped into my nanosuit’s thighs. "Peuw," I missed! The crafty bugger dodged my shot, "peuw - peuw - peuw," my shots became more desperate and a lot less accurate. "S**w it!" I said to myself as I whipped out the nade launcher I lovingly dubbed 'Chee-unk' on account of the sound the nade makes as it is propelled through the barrel. "Boom" said the nade as it exploded, "Bleurgh," said the korean as he flew through the air and "woosh," said the bushes and trees in the blast zone as the games physics engine swung them like a crazed child trying to dislodge his terrified cat from the top branches.
As the silence settled on the beautiful tropical environment, and by silence I mean the regular ambient sounds of waves crashing, birds squawking and hermit crabs making whatever sound they make when I’m not picking them up and throwing them at North Koreans. A quick glance at my map showed that I had several options of attack. I could swim to the targeted town, avoiding the patrols that were sure to be in the jungle. Or I could trek through the said jungle introducing my fist to the said patrols. Another option I could use could be using my strength mode and some objects that I could pile on top of one and other, get onto some of the nearby cliffs and snipe the little propaganda spreading bastards between the eyes. All of which would offer completely different gameplay and experiences. Unable to decide I compromised. I decided I would go for a quick dip in the ocean where I would snatch myself a Hermit crab. Then race to the nearest cliff face; grab nearby objects like cars and boxes pile them on top of one and other jump up onto the cliff. Where I would snipe Charlie and throw my hermit crab at him then continue on to the objective through the jungle canopy. Barring slight alterations to the plan caused by the accidental loss of my hermit crab on the jungle floor as I dropped him to build my jump platform to reach the cliff top, returning to him but realising he had legs to scuttle away with. And the creative use of a rock instead to an enemies face, things went to plan.
It is this kind of 'mess about' attitude that open world games create that makes them so memorable to me. I love how Crysis can be taken seriously and un-seriously depending on what mood you are in. The ability to do stuff like shoot apart a tree, then pick up a piece of the said tree to throw or bludgeon an enemy to death with is good fun. Everyone remembers moments of creative madness in games like GTA. Another good example of creative madness in a game is while playing Joint Operations at a LAN with friends my team abused the fact that the physics engine is a bit 'suspect' and managed to get HMMWV’s on top of attack little birds and preceded to terrorise the enemy faction. There is nothing quite like a game that encourages players to go a little off the reservation and games that do deserve to be lovingly replayed. I can only hope Crytech has managed to keep the multiple path, crazy gameplay and interesting features of Crysis and implanted them into the open world environment of New York City. Imagine leaping from rooftop to rooftop, stalking your prey with your trusty scar only to decide at the last minute to forgo sniping in exchange for throwing the nearby air vent at your enemy. In the mean time I have hermit crabs to bash the enemy with and cliffs to scale, so I am content for now.