Ben X

The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

Recommended Posts

Okay, I've done dilapidated abandoned tenement building and metro station tunnels, I'm now onto dilapidated abandoned department store. This is where mannequin guy gets his mannequins.

 

It's feeling a little repetitive already, but there are some new enemies - brutes and wall-crawling weirdoes - to play with. It's introducing more supernatural stuff too, which is effectively creepy - rat-creatures scuttling through adjacent rooms into vents, one guy disappeared into thin air before my eyes and I'm also getting visions of flocks of birds crashing through windows or what the serial killer's been up to. (I think I read a few years ago that the bird stuff never gets explained, but it's still good flavour - they're flocking to certain areas then having brain haemorrhages and die, and these areas are the same that are seeing huge aggressive crime spikes. Presumably the killer and/or myself are giving off some kind of psychic signal.)

 

I'm getting a bit better at blocking. It seems the trick is to wait til the last moment, though this doesn't always work either. I'm wondering if different enemy/weapon combos mean I have to adjust my timing slightly. If so, that's asking for a ridiculous amount of finesse. It's very satisfying when it works, though, and you block a swipe, crack them in the head, kick them to the floor then snap their neck. Combined with the 'tase 'em, steal their weapon' move, you've got a few options. Still some irritations, though, like how stealing someone's weapon causes them to grab you so you have to waggle your mouse to get loose but there's no way to tell when you've succeeded or which way you're facing, so you often end up facing away from them doing a Turner And Hooch impression like an idiot. Or how you're only able to hold one thing, so if you've got a shotgun with 4 bullets but there's one on the floor with 2 you're not able to combine the ammo, and you can't just tuck a pistol into your belt or something to tactically save it for later, you just have to use it on the first mook that comes along until the bullets run out then swap it for whatever comes to hand. The melee system is the focus of the game, so these little quirks glare more than they might in another game.

 

I feel like I might need another game to dip into while I'm going through this, as it's not something you binge-play. The pacing is too methodical for that (not in a bad way), plus like I say there's the repetition. Seems I'm about halfway through, which suggests there won't be much more variety but not much more padding either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Playing L4D, I didn't think we'd get to that feeling we got at the end of No Mercy. And Hard Rain, plus the fucking sugar mill/sugar cane field, that was so stressful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It didn't take long for the reasons I put over 150 hours into Left 4 Dead 2 to come flooding back to me, especially playing Hard Rain. No Mercy was fun, and really bloody tough to get to the end of! We only had one person actually survive and the director was absolutely lethal whenever someone was by themselves which is a lesson I think we learned going forward. Graphically No Mercy looks fine but there's a certain sparseness to the environments which looks dated now, considering it's a 9 year old game though it looks better than I'd expect it to. Next we played Crash Course, which has always been one of the weaker campaigns, it was released as a free post-release download, it's perfectly serviceable but that's about it really. None of the big set piece moments are quite as intense as the main campaigns. To finish off we played Hard Rain, which I reckon is my favourite campaign in the entire series(I probably like the setting of Blood Harvest more). First thing first, it holds up incredibly well. The levels are dripping with atmosphere even before the storms start. Having you go through the level and then backtrack in a storm is genius and the way they play with limiting what you can see and hear adds a whole other dimension to it. The new special infected work really well as the levels are designed with them in mind(I'd quite like to be able to disable them in the L4D campaigns) and the whole package is just incredibly slick and fun to play.

 

The feelings I get when there's a witch directly in your path and you have no choice to take her out(using some gas tanks that set off a car alarm and nearly get you all killed! :D) or when you hear the rumble of a tank and see that you've got 10 shells left in your shotgun and your only other weapon is a bat. Still brilliant, still one of the best multiplayer experiences there is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm bummed I missed L4D.  I actually ended up with some time available right as you were playing but I didn't want to interrupt.  Afterwards Ben and I discussed trying to get some TF2 co-op organized but it's going to be quite a challenge.  You really need at least 4 people to make it work.  And I'm not sure you can do private games without someone hosting or buying a Tour of Duty ticket (the normal mode to the game is free, buying a ticket lets you join the official servers for one game and rewards you with special cosmetic items upon completion).  Of course if we have a full party of 6 we don't need to worry about uninvited guests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, L4D2 was great fun, even though I sucked at it (being a noob)!

 

I finished Condemned. It turned into a little bit of a slog towards the end, as they took away my taser and put me up against a row of really tough enemies. The end fight was just a bunch of them in a room then brawling with the same Pinhead-type guy 3 times in a row, as you strip out his metal spine like you're opening a can of corned beef, and then finally rip his jaw off. It was all rather underwhelming. They did manage to keep the scares and chills up all the way through up til then, though - heroin addicts weaving through water on their backs towards you, or turning around to discover a bunch of mannequins have appeared behind you.

 

The writing throughout was abysmal, and the ending particularly bad. They make sure to tell you one banal bit of information about a million times throughout the game, but then when it ends they leave a ton of plot threads dangling in a way that seems purely due to clumsy dialogue, plus they chuck in "oh, there seems to be an ancient cult involved, bye". Very frustrating, and not in a 'we're leaving this for the sequel' kind of way. Speaking of the sequel, apparently it goes bananas - your character is now alcoholic and has to keep drinking booze to keep his vision clear, plus he's fighting a massive cult conspiracy as well as possessed baby dolls, crazy clowns, and bears.

 

Overall I liked the game, but the block move is flaky yet accounts for like 40% of the game mechanics, plus it's really repetitive and badly written. 

 

Retrospective - I agree with all this, but it doesn't mention a few of the problems

A designer at Raven calls out the good and bad - agreed on all this as well. I also forgot to mention the irritating quirk that if you have a gun and want to get a first aid kit you either have to waste one of your few bullets shooting it open, or run off to find another weapon, swap for that, go break open the kit, then run back to your gun and pick that back up again.

Wrestlevania's review post

Toblix was too scared to play it

 

Next up: Crysis 2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If anyone fancies some online co-op gaming, I'll be free for the next few days at pretty much any time, including more American type timezones. Feel free to PM me, or organise something amongst yourselves and invite me along!

 

(Also, I've edited some links into my previous post now.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there are L4D mods that can allow for 8 player co-op but I imagine we'd probably need someone to be the server host.  I only have 36 hours according to Steam but I probably have a lot more if you count the Xbox 360.

 

We should move discussion this to a multiplayer thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I played the very start of Crysis 2. It opens with the by-now-classic FPS trope a tilting, sinking ship. Then Prophet from the first game shows up and promptly kills himself, which was actually pretty shocking considering he's a character with zero personality. And now I'm into wrecked New York. The game looks really nice. The suit controls have been streamlined a bit - you automatically get speed and strength if you run or jump over stuff, I'm guessing the same will be true of strength. So your only options are armour or cloak. I'm surprised they didn't just put armour on the whole time too, to be honest. I'll have to check if that drains your energy more now or something. The enemies are now slightly futuristic looking marine types. I'm glad they mixed up the setting for the sequel, but I do kind of miss the North Koreans a little.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll take a look!

 

Meanwhile, Crysis 2 is as linear as advertised. Even when it does open up an action bubble, they tend to be slightly wider corridors. Taken on its own terms as a mainly linear shooter, it's fine. Very impressive pyrotechnics and the basic 'cloak-decloak-shoot some fools-recloak and retreat' pattern is still fun. Other differences: you now have to tag your own enemies, which is fine but a strange choice when they're streamlining everything else; there's some light RPG stuff where you kill aliens to get nanopoints and upgrade your suit - unfortunately it's heavily restricted and ineffective so I've basically disregarded it already. 

 

It's fine, it just doesn't stand up to the fun of Far Cry 1 or Crysis 1.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Ben X said:

I'll take a look!

 

Meanwhile, Crysis 2 is as linear as advertised. Even when it does open up an action bubble, they tend to be slightly wider corridors. Taken on its own terms as a mainly linear shooter, it's fine. Very impressive pyrotechnics and the basic 'cloak-decloak-shoot some fools-recloak and retreat' pattern is still fun. Other differences: you now have to tag your own enemies, which is fine but a strange choice when they're streamlining everything else; there's some light RPG stuff where you kill aliens to get nanopoints and upgrade your suit - unfortunately it's heavily restricted and ineffective so I've basically disregarded it already. 

 

It's fine, it just doesn't stand up to the fun of Far Cry 1 or Crysis 1.

I literally sprinted through the final few levels because I found fighting aliens so annoying. I never even looked into Crysis 3, wonder if it was better than 2?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard that it is, but it's not on my list so I will likely never find out!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I heard Crysis 3 was more or less a return to form but I never got around to buying it. I probably should! I was pretty down on Crysis 2 compared to Crysis and Crysis Warhead but I still enjoyed it, I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aaaand I'm at a siege section. Can't be bothered with one of these so I'll take a break.

 

I've been exclusively fighting aliens since very early on in the game, and while they're bipeds and basically just tough soldiers, so it's not as bad as the ones from the first game, they are really tough so there's not a lot of scope for messing around with your powers and such. Bit of a slog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found my thoughts on Crysis 2 from another forum.

 

Quote

I'm on the second level and I'm not enjoying it at all. Does it pick up?

--

Right so I think it's more than just it being a bit linear that I don't like now that it's opening up a bit.

The feedback on getting hit and that is dreadful, you just sort of die suddenly because you got shot and you can't see a fucking thing anymore. The AI is buggy, I keep having a guy just start shooting at me suddenly when I'm invisible. Fucking stupid. The guns don't feel meaty, and the accuracy is a fucking joke, so is the damage they do. There's too much clutter and everything is grey and boring.

--

Oh and then there's having to wait for the stealth kill prompt. Loads of stupid shit that seems to have been done in the name of streamlining things but makes it feel clunky.

--

So I'm determined to finish this. I love Crysis and Warhead and the videos of Crysis 3 are looking very good. I installed it the other day and all my old saves were still there which is great, and I was having actual fun with it. I think when it was first released I had finished a replay of both Crysis games shortly before and against them it plays quite differently and that put me off a lot.

--

Ok so I think it was a case that the start of the game is a bit boring and linear and after a bit it opens up. Having a blast now, you can definitely approach situations the way you want to which is great. Still not quite up to the openness of Crysis 1 & 2 but I do feel now that the streamlined suit options are better(I remember pretty much only using stealth in the first since the others were sort of awkward). Also wow it looks incredible still.

--

Actually one thing I don't like is that the checkpoint only approach to saving makes me play way too cautious because the checkpoints are pretty fucking far apart.

--

A couple more annoying things. The suit upgrades as far as I can tell are tied to killing the aliens which is incredibly stupid, makes the idea of sneaking past them pointless. The enemies can be really annoying in how they react since they all look pretty much the same. It's hard to tell when it's run of those melee guys that runs so fast you can't aim at the cunt and he kills you in a couple of hits.

--

It's just all aliens right now and it's fucking awful. Some old man is telling me to do things, it's just after they flooded the city. Does it get better again?

I just hate the alien AI, it's really erratic. Sometimes they keep their distance and shoot at you, other times they leg it over to you in a second and kill the fuck out of you, and with all the effects on the HUD and the cramped levels you don't stand a chance. Then the checkpoints are seriously awful. I played 15 minutes, took out some guy who took 3 rockets and then got killed when I tried to power kick a car because it exploded in my face.

--

I've given up. I might try again some other time. Basically I hit a checkpoint with a sniper rifle and SMG and they are totally useless for the bit I'm at and there's no other guns about the place. I got to the end of it(beat the massive alien as well), then got taken out by a shit alien just before I hit the next checkpoint and I haven't played since.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, that's all pretty spot-on. It's basically "ooh, this bit is some Crysis-y fun... oh no, another annoying bit. Ugh, one of these guys. WHERE ARE MY KOREANS?" I've bought the faster power-recharge and that's pretty much the only interesting upgrade, so I'm just cloaking past as much of the game as I can, much like Cordeos said. The aliens might be bipeds now, but they're just not as fun to play against partly because they have no character.

 

I'm about three quarters of the way through the game, so I don't think this will get any more fun. The difference is glaring when I compare this to my recent Crysis 1 replay where I was loving it pretty much all the way through - even the bits I had got stuck on originally (tank level, zero-g level, escort guy to various fires level) I was able to race through to more fun sections.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ugh, this has devolved into purely siege sections and fight giant mech sections, both of which are incredibly dull. The mechs in particular highlight just how under-powered your super-soldier is - you have to flank them and shoot their big glowy weak spot (of course) at the back with a rocket launcher or similar. Problem is, as soon as you get a shot in, it immediately throws an EMP at you so you lose all your power and have to limp off as quickly as possible hoping to get cover before it shoots you. Then wait for your power to regen (assuming it's not constantly throwing more EMP area attacks at you), then spend 3 minutes trying to flank it again because you move so slowly and it will turn around on a whim. It also seems to be able to hear your lightest footstep which makes it all extra difficult. Meanwhile you've got infinispawning enemy foot-soldiers running around too. Plus, like Paul said, the checkpoints are a pain in the arse - you always have to kill two grunts and run around picking up all your weapons at the start of each attempt before the mech shows up. This may be where I quit the game...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finished! I got past that mech fight using some tactical hints from a walkthrough and a lot of patience, but it wasn't fun. After that, though, the game picked up again. It went back to human enemies, gave me some nice stealthy sections and even a 'limited battery flashlight' section where you need your heat-vision ('nanovision' here, nonsensically) to navigate and smoke fools but that means you can't have any of your other powers on. Apart from that it was mostly bombast, which frankly I was quite relieved about. I was able to cloak through most enemy groups so it basically turned into a very impressive action movie simulator, where you're running over collapsing bridges, jumping between buildings as they collapse, and navigating a levitating, crumbling Central Park. I power-kicked a NY taxi-cab off the side, then a few minutes later I saw an alien doing the same so I indignantly chucked a red barrel at him and blew him over the edge.

 

The story was mostly science men and army men shouting at me or each other. It did some cool transhumanism stuff though, where it revealed that all the people wearing nanosuits are basically walking corpses (or 'robocops'), kept alive by the suits but too damaged to live if they ever leave them. It's also implied that the suit overwrites your personality with Prophet's at the end, and also the guy speaking to you through the game turns out to be a >100 year old dude in a cryo tank who's communicating through a computer simulacra of himself - all very Bioshock. AND it turns out that the aliens have built a ton of subterranean stuff across the planet centuries ago, not just the ones from the first two games (which reminded me of the route the Spielberg War Of The Worlds adaptation took). The storytelling isn't too sophisticated, it's overstuffed, and the ideas aren't super-original, but I quite like the unfolding mythos.

 

So basically, looks gorgeous, impressive action setpieces and occasionally recaptures the Crysis glory, but far too much annoying stuff, dull stuff and linearity.

 

Contemporary review - agree with a lot of it, but it's far too generous

Making of from a few weeks after release (almost completely technology-related. One interesting snippet: "'I'm a strong believer that we should already be at Avatar quality in real-time, but the mass market (not everyone has the highest end cards or CPUs for example) is significantly delaying this next step,' observes Tiago Sousa.")

Forum thread

Retrospective vid (haven't watched this yet, can't vouch for quality): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA9MHcpEeQo

And that vid that Roderick linked to previously:

 

 

@Jutranjo mentioned he had a Crysis franchise vid to link to as well, though it may be the same one...

 

And while I'm bringing up stuff people previously posted, here's @aoanla's E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy review at a closer chronological point, as promised.

 

 

Next: Sanctum. Not sure how I came to own this. It's a tower defense FPS. No idea if I'll play it for more than 5 minutes, but it got good reviews apparently, and looks nice and cartoony and bright which will be a nice change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now