Every so often – not even often, but just every so often – I pray my prayers, and something gets through.
I can guarantee that just this one time, it wasn’t the 15 minutes of sprint intervals that had my heart hitting 180 BPM on the treadmill. It was reading via the @totalgaming Twitter account that a remastered update of the EA PC-shooter hit Crysis will be downloadable for a song next month on the Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network.
CVG reports this morning that the remastered Crysis will be the same stellar first-person shooter PC users know and love, but with just a little extra polish. The premiere trailer that EA released this morning shows off some touched-up lighting and effects (as if that’s ever been a Crysis weak-point), and the announcement promises fine-tuned combat and optimized Nanosuit controls, plus stereoscopic 3D support.
Most attractive of all, CVG reports that the title will download for a scant about $25.00 on the PSN, and 1600 Microsoft Points or about $22.00.
“We are extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish with Crysis,” said Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli. “We set out to create a next-generation FPS and delivered a PC experience that became a benchmark for quality- and still is for many gamers even four years later.
“By bringing the single-player campaign to console, we believe we are again setting a new standard for quality in downloadable gaming,” he added.
If I seem a little excessively jubilant, blame it on an ongoing conflict I’ve experienced as a dedicated console gamer. Sequels in venerable PC franchises that have received years worth of rave reviews and reverent praises keep making their way onto consoles, but by and large, rarely their predecessors. Sure, I hold Mass Effect 2 and Fallout 3 among my most cherished gaming experiences. But I sometimes feel a touch isolated. I’ve never played either game’s respective predecessors, but have heard again and again what masterpieces of modern game design they are. My frustration comes in that – in, say, Fallout‘s case – I must accept that the games preceding Fallout 3 were built with engines that just don’t translate well between the PC and console platforms, and thus can’t really be properly adapted. And honestly, I’d just as soon a game not be ported at all, than feel short-changed by being given an inferior, inauthentic imposter of a remake.
In Mass Effect‘s case, by all accounts that game’s absence from the PlayStation library can be attributed to Microsoft’s exclusive publishing rights. That makes that instance just a matter of cold, hard business of Microsoft rightfully protecting a lucrative exclusive title, unlike the Fallout conundrum of technical logistics and cross-platform translation issues. Neither case can really be criticized, just understood.
Nevertheless, I feel I’ve been cheated of a complete experience with Mass Effect. Now, I readily accept what a spoiled whiney-butt this is about to make me sound like, but no matter how clear, concise and thorough the motion comic was that came with Mass Effect 2 and summarized the first game’s critical events while letting the player still make all the pivotal decisions that would impact the second game’s course if one had uploaded a Mass Effect save, it’s just not the same. You could play Kingdom Hearts II with me by your side and you having never played Kingdom Hearts, and I could perfectly explain the critical back-story. But it would never replicate tearing up just so at the strains of “Simple and Clean” as Sora’s hand pulled from Kairi’s at the first game’s end.
Hell, Robin Williams explains it so well . . .
And when your universe feels so thoroughly fleshed-out from the first game that, as GamesRadar once summarized it, it feels as complete as a decades-old franchise, it’s so disappointing that I can’t share in the full appreciation for the storytelling that the Windows and Xbox 360 audiences that got in on the ground floor have to themselves.
Crysis . . . doesn’t present anything so dire as far as continuity. But hear me out.
I played Crysis 2 this past spring, and to call it arguably the year’s finest FPS wouldn’t be an exaggeration. From its immaculate textures, through its deeply adaptable-to-player-style game-play, right down to its challenging environment and fairly cunning enemy AI, it kicks the ass of Call of Duty: Black Ops in just about every single sense.
But for all that I loved the urban guerrilla warfare, I’ve craved a crack at the first’s jungle survival. This has nothing to do with having the whole story; by all accounts, the key link between the two games is that a side character from Crysis is ultimately the one that passes down the Nanosuit to the Crysis 2 hero, as a sickness consumes your predecessor’s body and he takes his own life. From there, it’s all a fairly stand-alone story.
This is about just wanting a full appreciation for how far Crysis 2 improved upon Crysis – maybe even taking that perspective, digesting it, and reaching a glorious conclusion that those improvements make me regard where Crysis 2 went even more highly, having seen where it came from.
Last but not least, have a gander at EA’s first trailer. Even for being a four-year-old title, I’m betting it holds up just fine.