Is Crysis 2 Pretty Vacant?

Crysis 2 has attracted attention for two primary reasons. It looks amazing but has badly implemented A.I.

What Crysis 2 looks like is largely irrelevant. I’ve heard it dismissed as a tech demo and I’ve been told it’s the best looking game on console. It doesn’t make my jaw drop. Maybe playing on 360 doesn’t mean I get the benefit of the extreme PC specs. Crysis 2 envelopes you in 5.1 with an immersive bubble that wraps around you and subliminally pushes you eyes front and centre. The gun sounds are sublime. Its orchestrated chaos. Does it look better than other games? At this point who cares … We are so far into the console cycle that HD gaming has become a homogenous mass with jaded players difficult to astonish.

Only one game I own does that. Uncharted 2 and I haven’t even finished it. I was a graphics whore (as we all are) but the jump to HD satiated my desires. What I want now is photo realism.

Forget the looks. How does it feel?. Playing Crysis 2 makes me feel like a predator, empowered by tech and a gruff voiced nanosuit that has pimped my DNA just enough to push me into the category of Official Badass™. Crysis 2 gives you a couple of options. Disappear or stand and fight. It’s best when it encourages a chaotic mix of the two. But how does it empower? Primarily by making your abilities overwhelm your enemies. This is where the A.I. argument kicks in.

Nobody wants A.I. that is actually more intelligent than they are. That would be a game that kicks your ass, learns how you think, outwits you and then kicks your ass ad infinitum. Playing a game like that is like Nigel Short playing Garry Kasparov.

Multiplayer (MP) works for the super users as their rote learnt knowledge of maps and the failings and innate errors of humans make them easy prey. The ones who don’t enjoy MP are the ones who haven’t invested enough time to learn how to execute the stupid. To that end the skilled MP player is playing against stupid irrational A.I. that is human-powered. That’s the kicker for the trash talking mainstream fuelled by braggadocio, Mountain Dew and Cheetos dust. They scream ‘pwned’ into headsets with no hint of irony, crying out for ‘noob juice’ like fevered hyenas feasting on the weak.

The A.I. gamers claim they want is a lie. A.I. lies to you, fooling you into thinking you have outwitted the machine. Machines are cleverer than we are, with the ability to preempt and predict a multitude of variations.  That’s why we use excel to do our sums. Gamers complain when they don’t understand the dimensions of the experience they actually enjoy, everybody wants to feel empowered,  Officially Badass™.

Why does A.I. fail? Because it’s created by humans, game A.I. fails as it’s an entertainment experience not a simulation where life and death are absolute.


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