Hindsight : Crysis
Cab: PC / Xbox 360 / PS3
Enough with all this beating around the bush crap: you’re not a proper gamer unless you’re a full-blooded graphics-whore; period.
We can all wax-lyrical about gameplay mechanics, social-connectivity, retro vibes, meaningful narrative and of just how close we are to being ‘art’; at the end of the day there’s only one thing that takes your breath away in the time it takes Vin Diesel to do a quarter-mile in a Mustang: visuals.
A game can have a story that an illiterate teenager wrote, music born of ham-fisted power chords from your mate’s band, difficulty spikes from Satan himself, cost you a week’s wages and last for less than three hours but if the graphics are honest-to-god mind-blowingly amazing, you’ll be jabbering on about it for days, weeks, months and years to come.
Why do you think Crysis has aged better than perhaps any other game known to man?
We’re talking about a six-year-old title here that still holds its own today. We’re talking about code that was conceived before my eldest son that’s still used as a graphics benchmark today. We’re talking about the one title that was likely as not responsible for the majority of rig-upgrades in the years following its launch.
No other title has punched a hole that big in the technological dartboard of gaming history. Even if you’ve never played it or even seen it running, its reputation precedes it:
“Can it run [how many games can you actually insert here?]”
But do clothes really maketh the man?
Critics would have you believe otherwise. Read between the lines of any of their works in any creative medium and you’ll find a common subtext striving for a deeper level of consciousness; a more rounded picture of the human condition; a more forward-thinking approach to the farcical ballet of life. And that shit flies; for a time. If you really absorb yourself in it, you can even start to believe it; for a while.
And then you let your guard down.
You might be tired. Or getting old. Maybe even a bit drunk? Perhaps just in an unusually good mood. And from out of nowhere comes an archetypal right hook; a deliciously mundane tick box; a reassuringly predictable chord progression; a perfectly clichéd line, and boom: you’re floored by age-old pleasures and that climb out of the pit of normality that you so prided yourself upon is brought to a jarring, intoxicating holt.
It’s the moment that rare shiver shoots up and down your spine; it’s the hilarious innocent comment from some toddler to his mum in the street; it’s the last time you fell for someone; it’s when the majority of the world relates to your simple joys as opposed to the minority relating to your leftfield pains; it’s learning that profoundly meaningful life-rule that’s nowhere near as deep or elusive as you thought it might be.
Is Crysis deserving of its status? Absolutely. Is Crysis a great game? Perhaps. But that depends entirely on how much you’ve let others convince you about what a great game should actually be.
Check out all our Crysis 3 covergae at our Crysis 3 Central
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Husband. Parent. Gamer. Go figure.