I read the first paragraph of the RPS article and then responded here without finishing it. When I went back and read the whole thing, I realized it was a joke, but too late to avoid making a fool of myself here. I am literally sick to my stomach with embarrassment.
Last edited by MSUSteve; 03-29-2011 at 09:41 AM.
I am sorta in the middle of A and B, so what am I????
Anyway, at least the game came out on PC, they could have said console only, and told the PC gamers to drown in their own QQ's with no pirate ship to save them.
Last edited by lordkosc; 03-29-2011 at 09:47 AM.
No, just reacted too quickly.
In my defense, it says something about the complaints I've seen regarding Crysis 2 that I believed someone would take it to task like that with such righteous indignation. I should've realized that RPS wouldn't be the place for that though. Guh.
The feeling to be in the cutting edge of graphics is GLORIOUS.
Graphic candy, is the most sweet of all candies.
The dude on the van, never lied to me.
We need at least one game developer that stress the machine. Is necessary!
I am making a post here, because we are getting too dense and rational, on a subject that is in part about feelings.
Tangent based on the previous page of people commenting on Crysis' gameplay. While it's doubtlessly true that some people purchased Crysis solely as a tech demo, I think it's extremely misleading and disingenuous to say that it was the majority case, or that such a statement has merit in the first place.
Crysis has been out for three and a half years, and it still does a whole lot of more interesting gameplay than most other shooters do. Yeah, if you choose to do so, it can be played in a boring way - using the silencer all the time, using cloak all the time, etc. But the game doesn't force you to play it that way.
It seems like those who complain about the game in that way are expecting to be force-fed every moment of gameplay in the same way they'd be force-fed an on-rails experience in Call of Duty, or even a Half-Life game. But they're missing the point that in Crysis, the gameplay itself is just as open-ended as the design of the levels.
There is so much potential in all the stuff you can do, all the suit powers you have, and that nature in which the AI has the ability to react dynamically - even pathfinding around dynamically destroyed buildings - that if you play the game like Call of Duty and end up bored, you really have no one but yourself to blame.
To me it would be like playing a sandbox GTA/Red Dead/Just Case game and not taking advantage of all the periphery stuff you can do. Or playing an RPG and doing nothing but min-maxing it to death. It's possible to do so, but it also tends to be boring.
There are other things too - people using silencers all the time then complaining that the guns felt underpowered. Or thinking that speed/strength were useless, but never experimenting with them or combining them.
Once you start actually exploring the opportunity offered to you by the game's mechanics, you realize you can do amazing stuff like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CavTPX3ZmWs&fmt=22
And have awesome shootouts like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrMxuWlbkBA&fmt=22
Last edited by LMN8R; 03-29-2011 at 10:56 AM.
Ok, finally my impressions of the game. Well, I began to write this with the start of the game, so part of it are first impressions, but truly I already finished it and I am reediting it to put my final impressions. That maybe will make the text a bit unstructured.
BTW, I use much more time writing the stuff I don't like and complaining and nitpicking than throwing flowers to the games, but that doesn't mean I don't like the game. I just write usually the things I don't like or that it could have been better, leaving the good stuff unmentioned :P.
First, a bit of essential data.
Pc version played, mouse & keyboard used, graphics at maximum (which doesn't mean a lot given the lack of options :P), played in Hard (3 of 4) difficulty, total time played 9hours 50mins. The game doesn't count the retries when you die, the loading times, the videos, etc. In fact it somewhat felt like a 13 hour game, at least.
As I said yesterday, the short version is: the game is a good, solid, spectacular, lengthy fps, marred down by irregular and passive AI, a bit of lack of challenge thanks to the fast regenerating energy, and a pretty crappy plot.
The initial impression is very good: it's like Crysis in the city (as we wouldn't know that already :P). I have played it pretty extensively: in several of the areas where you have various paths and ways to move, I have chosen path A, then came back and used path B, just for curiosity of how it was and to be sure I took all the weapons/nano points/ammo, etc. I killed every enemy on sight. I used stealth... as a way to kill enemies, even if it also can be used to evade big areas of combat (but where is the fun in that? :D).
In the first two levels already they are big parks or avenue crossings or ports where you can traverse using different paths and cover to use for hiding or jump or use in combat, so the fear people could have of the game being too casualized are unfounded. It's never as big as some of the more extensive areas/levels from Crysis, where you had a more open environments to move in lots of directions by hundreds of meters, but they have kept the gameplay in a more medium sized areas. It's all a bit more directed, but without being overly linear or subtracting tactical options to the player.
Later, in the second half of the game, there are levels which are a bit more linear or "corridor-like" than the first ones, in fact that feeling is reinforced as those levels bump up the visual spectacle factor and they include scripted ai npcs (the marines) that will accompany and fight the enemy with you for a bit, all very Call of Dutiesque. But there is still a bit of space for the player to choose how to move and different tactical options to take, so it's never literally like a CoD. In fact it can be seen as a bit of variety injected in the game, some levels alone and some levels accompanied, some levels more open and others more "directed", etc. There is a pair of parts in interior zones, but it always feel more like FEAR than something like Homefront.
The game at first felt a bit difficult, bordering in frustrating (but not really, as the structure of the game gives you different things to try if you are dying in a specific place), as I don't like games without free saves. Sometimes I am too impulsive and... bull-headed? so I died a good number of times in some zones, but after adapting more to the game pace and systems and quirks in general, I didn't have any problems with the difficulty. In fact over the last 1/3 began to think the other way: one of the problems of the game is that is too easy.
In part that was because you gain a good amount of leeway with some suit upgrades in those later stages, in part because the AI while being averagely kind of good, it's slow and buggy, so it's not really a big problem, and in part because the core design of the energy system.
It all depends of the player's actions. It's the same problem of Crysis 1, it's one of the flaws of the game. Let me explain. One of the virtues (in theory) of the game is that allows a good amount of creativity to the player, throwing people around, using explosives, using stealth, throwing objects, using turrets, evading combat, but imo the core design of the game isn't really geared for that. It's a bit hard to explain... I will try another approach.
If you play the game on easy, it's kind of fun, but it lacks challenge to be really fun (again imho). The solution is to bump up the difficulty. But then you die pretty fast, a few shots will deplete your energy, the difficulty is now one where you have to play conservatively, shooting a bit, waiting in cover to recharge the shield, shooting again, waiting in cover, moving in stealth mode to a different cover, and again repeating the same pattern. Most of the combat is played like that. Ok, no, I am exaggerating a bit, but the basic meaning is that one: a good amount of creativity is stifled out in the higher difficulties.
Sometimes it's even worse than in other games: if they got you while you are in stealth you will lose all the energy, if you lose energy by that or just by depleting it in armor mode, you can't use sprint to got out of the mess before they kill you. In the last difficulty it's even worse: Yeah, it's difficult but it's a boring difficulty.
I said before the game was a bit hard at first, that was because I kept trying to do cool stuff like using too much the stealth mode to silently clean an area, trying to throw fuel barrels to groups of enemies, trying to make ideal ambushes and risking then too much and in general really exploiting the suit. When I dialed back my crazy tries and began to be more patience the game got much more easy.
Imo most of the problem is caused by an old enemy of mine, auto regenerating health (here it's both regenerating health and energy). edit: I could swear the energy recharge faster than Crysis 1, that's also part of the probem, the speed of it. They have to balance the game counting for that feature, so the weapons are damage in general are designed for that, high lethality. But then you have to use too much the suit recharging abilities which impair the pace of the combat and affect the other suit powers which aren't the armor mode (the ones where you die fast). But of course if they don't do that, the game will be too easy, so there is no real solution (that is, without leaving behind the regenerating system). One partial solution would be to have a more aggressive AI in the game, one it attacks you and assault flanking in the moment they have pinned you behind cover, and throwing more nades that right now (btw, the AI is pretty bad throwing nades). But as I have said before, the AI is a bit too passive, advancing slowly medium distances, and from times to time they make silly actions (bugs?). Whatever, I won't make another rant about the regenerating health system, but I still don't like it :).
edit: ok one more thing: maybe I wouldn't complain so much if I had quicksave. It kills me to not have it, it makes me to play more in the safe side as I hate to repeat things I already made.
Instead of painting it too much in negative light, I will say the game is so good that I still consider it a very good game despite this problem. I just had (or wanted) to use a good amount of text to explain it, because it's something I have never seen mentioned in a forum.
Last edited by TurinTur; 03-29-2011 at 01:02 PM.
You have the usual options while playing it: to assault from the center, to flank by left, right (and sometimes above or even below, thanks to sewers). Scenarios usually have a pair of "interesting" features like a shop you can enter, some scaffolds you can climb to access to another part, a broken roof you can use to change heights, it's not only empty streets as big corridors. And of course using strength, speed, stealth, using different weapons with different add-ons, throwing objects, nades or explosives, with two new features: the sliding movement and the climb movement action. The sliding is a bit anecdotic, really, in the other hand the climbing/mantling works very well and feels like should be a standard feature from now. There is also a new third feature, the "using cover in first person" system, but it's not really needed... and thanks god because is not implemented in a neat, polished manner. And you can also kick heavy stuff with strength, which isn't bad, but is only useful a few times. I am trying to think if there is anything new with the suit... of yeah, the new vision system. Which is incredibly casual, it not only marks up all the weapons and ammo, also it will signal "points of interests" that say "ambush", "flank", "stealth", "use", "enter", etc. So people can play while thinking as little as possible! :P. Thanks god it's not really a bother, as you will only see with the special zoomed vision and it can be ignored.
As you already know (surely), the power system controls have changed and now the powers are activated directly with a key or they are context sensitive. I have seen both sides, people who liked the old system and people who like the new one. I think I like to have manual control of the suit, but the easiness of activating it (just one press key) is better. What I don't understand is to put "power" as the default suit mode. I would have preferred it to have armor as default and power as selectable. I suppose it was a question of balance.
Controls are good. Or at least they are once you set up properly, that means using command line or cfg files to deactivate the smooth mouse and mouse acceleration, and tweaking a bit the default controls, as all the keys in x-c-v-b-n are used, sometimes I made a mistake and used the zoom vision instead of hitting with melee someone.
One detail more I didn't liked: you can't run and jump. Try to run, then press or hold and release the jump key. It doesn't work. So stupid and limiting!
Fov is a bit low, typical from console games, I had to add 10º, from 55º to 65º (that's vertical fov). Again thanks god for the tweaking, it's not an options you can modify in the game and the default is not appropriate.
Oh, and it alt-tab without problem. Good.
Aliens are improved from past games. Their design is cooler than it seems at first (at first they seemed like Halo alien clones), they are really exoesqueletons wore or "piloted" by the real jelly-thing alien from the first Crysis. Ingenious way to explain why they changed so much from one game to the other. Their animations are distinctive and impressive, which serves to differentiate them from the normal human enemies, it brings up character to the enemy. Up to a point, after a hour you will understand they are exactly like fighting humans, or very close to it. That's the price to make them just another biped enemies with ranged weapons. They even use the same "flare to the sky" signal to call in reinforcements or instead of using a normal grenade, they will use a charged explosive shot (which works like a grenade, basically).
I also feel the variety of alien types could be better. There is the normal grunt, the sergeant type, which is like the grunt but a bit more aggressive (and it will soak up three times more damage) and the brute type of alien, the big one. And that's it, quitting bosses and one lonely single encounter a with fourth type of alien (why don't they used it more??).
Weapons are acceptable, functional. Of course they look and sound (and shoot) good, this is an AAA shooter. They are solid, but.. a bit boring and typical. Pistols, smg, shotgun, several types of assault rifles (some of them with barely any difference), one type of grenade, one type of planted explosive (c4) and the rocket launcher. There are two (ok, three) more special weapons, but they are not used a lot. A bit more of imagination would have been welcomed in this area.
There is a little problem of balance of weapons with the sniper rifle. It's just very good, against aliens and humans, without barely any recoil and sway, and the real quid: it does have almost infinite ammo. It does use the same ammo boxes of pistols, sags, shotguns, ARs, etc all the normal weapons. Personally, I would have classified it as weapon with limited weapon, needing unique ammo for it.
The limit of only two weapons is pretty annoying, It even counts for the pistols! So you can't even have one pistol, one smg and one shotgun.
The plot is bad. Not bad like Crysis, where it was kind of plain, typical and simple, but not really bad. No, here I mean bad, bad. The voiceless main character (though I admit there is a bit of explanation for that), the retconning of the first game, trying to make it all a big conspiration, the focus on the suit (sorry, but the suit is boring, so what if it is a nano-alien-thing), the way of how is the suit and not you the player/main hero who solves the day (see, you don't really defeat the alien invasion, you only get close to the alien towers, press "use" and the suit does his thing), the aimlessly change of plans (twice) of a character I won't name, and Gould is a horrible, horrible support character. And the final surprise of the... uh... suit new personality is also pretty stupid and even embarrassing.
And all that is when there is plot. Another problem is that for a good amount of the game there isn't any kind of plot except going from point A to point B because the guy you don't know says it so in your comms (or directly you are ordered to "help around the marines" while the plot is stuck in ice for a time).
Graphically, the game is generally outstanding. Top of the line. The scenario, the special effects and the new lightning system are the best part. The global illumination gives a richer texture to the general aspect of the game. The bad part is the textures, at least some of them, as they lack a good resolution (you can notice they have good artists, it's just the limitations of texture sizes). This can be noticed usually in secondary textures, the textures of the important objects/characters are pretty good. I suppose another lacking area is the lack of customizability in options, if someone have a really good computer he should have the option of pumping a really good AA filter, instead of the (a bit blurry) filter used by Crytek. One curious detail is the AA, it changes when you are in movement or you are still, in movement is everything more aliased.
But in the end, you will remember the game as having some incredible graphics, as they are some scenes later in the game which are incredible (the first four levels are a bit more discrete).
Speaking a bit more of the AI, as I have said at first is good, or good enough, the level is already normal in big AAA games. They move from cover to cover, fire from there, they will flank you sometimes, maybe throw nades if you are in cover, search for you if they lose you, etc. Like Crysis 1. But like Crysis 1 they are a bit... irregular in their behavior, and I have to wonder if maybe the code have a fair amount of bugs, because sometimes they will got stuck trying to walk in a wall, or looking at the emptiness ignoring you, bizarre behavior like that. And they are pretty bad throwing grenades btw, lots of times they will blow themselves up. As I have said before, the design of the game also would have benefited from a more aggressive AI. Right now they come for you... but you have time to shoot at them a few times more, recharge up, and get away with the invisibility.
Audio is pretty decent, again as one will expect from an AAA release but imo is that... decent. It doesn't jump out of the game like in Dead Space 2, or Bad Company 2, or even Stalker. There are games with better sound design. Specially I felt that sometimes they game felt too quiet, it lacked more environmental audio, things like cats or dogs in the distance, wind blowing, trees swaying, gulls doing.. whatever is said in English, cars with still the engine running (the aliens just attacked, right?), etc. In the other hand the music is very good, pretty cinematic affair with some unique touches.
In destruction and physics, let's say the game is pretty far away from BC2 or Red Faction Guerrilla. There isn't any destruction system in the game(in fact, it's step back from Crysis 1, where the wooden shacks could be destroyed with physics), if you see something being wrecked in a video, it's a script. Hell, in one short level where you drive an armored IFV you can be stopped by a mighty lamp post (even if you were pushing without problems the cars on the street).
It does have normal ragdoll system for the deaths, like in other games it can produce glitches with corpses "dancing" or getting stuck in ceilings or walls.
One of the last things to comment, the suit upgrades. It's a new feature of Crysis 2, but imo it's both underdeveloped and unbalanced!
There is only a few upgrades, you only can use at the same time even fewer, a good part of the total are boring (but useful) passive upgrades, and others are stupid things you will never use in the game. There is useless stuff like show the enemy patrols (the previous steps, as if you couldn't see them with your own eyes) or air friction what nets you a bit more of distance of every jump and little else. Even the "air stomp", the jump finishing stomping the ground it can't be used a lot in the game, only in a few occasions so it's not very good.
Last edited by TurinTur; 03-29-2011 at 01:12 PM.
There is one more really bad: Cloak tracer, to see cloaked enemies. It's fucking expensive: 16000 nanite points (the alien boss gives you 3000, an alien brute 500, a grunt 100). And surprise: there is only one encounter in all the game where it's useful, and it's not even needed, you can shoot at them and they will be visible.
In multiplayer, well, it's not really a multiplayer focused game and it shows. Even if they used another studio to do it. It doesn't feel as a game with complete single player and multiplayer.
-Map sizes is usually too small for 16 players.
-In some maps/some game modes, camping, snipers and stealth mode annoy me too much.
-Rounds are too short.
-Weapons are a bit too lethal. Too CoD style. They will kill you with two bullets if you are without armor mode.
-Server browser is awful. Slow, it doesn't save your filters, it will never show the correct amount of players, it doesn't make an accurate ping to lots of servers, etc.
-When something fails in the connection with the server, the server browser will lose the list and will have to request it again.
-Of course multiple connection issues.
-And lag. "Hey I was firing at him what happened" /looks replay, you were really shooting at the wall behind.
-The graphical configuration is different in multiplayer, more exactly it doesn't have graphics as good. This affects the gameplay because part of it is the bad AA filter it applies on multiplayer, which makes the image a bit more muddy and with ghosting. That's in the highest level.
-DM and TDM are ewww, Crash Site isn't bad but in full servers it's too much of chaos in a single point, Capture the Relay is decent in some maps (it's really ctf), Extraction and Assault are the best ones. Even then they aren't really polished and balanced as they would have in a good multiplayer game.
-Oh yeah, in team games like Assault and Extraction it seems there are some bugged spawn points and sometimes you will spawn at the beginning of the round with the enemy team. Great.
-As I have said before, the pc version suffers even more for lack of anticheat systems.
(Did i break a record with these 3 posts?)
Naeblis, I agree with everything you've said in your review. Good stuff.
You agree with everthing? Wow, that's the real record. I mean, it's kind of hard to agree with everything, given the amount of stuff i have written :P
I already touched on the multiplayer game's weaknesses and it's general CoD flavor. Obviously, if that's something people like, then more power to them. Personally, it just isn't for me.
The singleplayer is great overall. There certainly are weaknesses (like the awful narrative) and I think a hardcore fan of the way the first game worked may be really disappointed by the changes, but I prefer almost every mechanical change in Crysis 2.
Oh yeah, i forgot to add one point about the multiplayer.
The leveling in the multiplayer is sooo slow. I am level 12 already as right now it's already very slow, i will need to play a good amount to level up to 13. But even then, at level 12 i barely unlocked stuff. I only have 2!! custom class slots to use, three weapons unlocked and 2 weapons addons. Pathetic.
And it seems there are "pro" versions of the perks to grind up, like in in the last CoDs. Great.
Playing devil's advocate on the graphics:
Far Cry and Crysis were a lot more than eye candy -- they both featured groundbreaking, open-ended gameplay that many current shooters (I'm looking at you, Black Ops) could still learn a lot from. Both games suffered from some inconsistency, but when they were clicking, it's no exaggeration to say they featured some of the best FPS combat of the past decade.
The problem was that the technical demands for these games turned a lot of people off. At launch, I remember dialing Far Cry down to 800x600 on high-end machines and still having slowdowns. Crysis wasn't much friendlier -- it took some tweaking to get it running smoothly at 1280x, and then performance still went down the tubes on the the last level or two.
So compare this to Crysis 2, which I installed on a machine that I haven't updated in 3 years. I set the resolution to 1920x1080, didn't touch any other options, and nearing the end of the single-player I've yet to have a single hiccup. Isn't this the way we WANT PC games to work? Wouldn't PC games be in a much better place if they all "just worked" like that?
I can understand people feeling their graphics may have been watered down a little and being unhappy about it, but I also can't begrudge Crytek for looking at how well IW did when they brought Modern Warfare to consoles and thinking they could increase sales x10 by migrating to console development. And at the end of the day, it's not like Crysis 2 is a bad looking game -- it's still pretty damn impressive.
So I guess the question is: at what point are graphics "good enough"? Does Crytek really deserve to get raked over the coals for making some small graphical consessions to sell a ton more games when Crysis 2 still looks better than almost anything on the market? I wouldn't mind having an extra option for "ubertextures" or something, but I can't really get that worked up over it.
Naeblis, interesting comments about the suit powers. I remember you (or someone else) suggested playing Crysis 1 on max difficulty and tweaking the health/energy to make it more of a fun sandbox. I think like you, I'd be too afraid to try much in a checkpoint save system. We'll see.
Can someone explain the global illumination system? Is this different from Crysis? What's the background on it and how does it work better? I've said before that I wish the graphics whores would contribute some technical explanations of good graphics for me to read and understand. (Wait, did I already ask about this lighting system?)
I don't know the economics of releasing better textures, but it seems like a good investment to keep the core graphic whores happy. Heck, even Bioware had a texture pack for DA2 at release.
Crytek is talking A LOT to the German videogame press much more than they do with other magazines / websites.
Contrary to Peter Molyneux who is known for promising too much and talking too much simply because he gets so fascinated about his ideas and doesn't realize that he promises stuff that will never happen with Crytek people have the feeling they might simply lie through their teeth and that it's all calculated misinformation.
Crytek bitched about the limited power of the consoles and Crytek said that the PC version will be the best version of the game.
Now if you bitch about the limitations of the console how about underlining these claims by releasing a PC version that blows the consoles out of the water and clearly undeniably show their age compared to a recent PC rig?
Sure it might piss off some console players BUT Crytek would have a good argument for their bold claim.
Without this PC version it's simply more bitching by Crytek and that pisses PC gamers off.
Even the other way would be ok: Telling the PC crowd that the money is made on the consoles these days and they can be happy to get a PC version at all.
Both is way better than the current situation and the graphics discussion is in reality about this behaviour of Crytek.
Anyway, just that (open ended combat) in itself doesn't do it for me. For example, I'm not a big fan of the GTA series. But if you actually create an interesting world with locations and people I care about, then I'm sold (see Mafia). That aspect is sorely missing from Crysis.
Of course, the game is still pretty entertaining, it just that i feel that it could be slightly better, it's like a little nagging sensation at the back of my brain. There is a little piece of the puzzle that is the game design that doesn't totally fit in its place: in one moment the game seems to want to be a superhero with the suit powers, in the other it will punish you if you actually try to do it.
As you say the checkpoint system affect a bit all this, but i suspect that part will be highly subjective. I personally don't like it, as i don't like the health sytem.
But hey, still worlds betters than Black Ops or Homefront :D
Can someone explain the global illumination system? Is this different from Crysis?
I am not a graphic whore but i like natural physics!
Global illumination is a system where is tries to simulate the fact that in the real word EVERYTHING is a light source. Not only the sun or a bulb, but everything. Because the sun emits light, that light travel and it collides with the wall in front of me, and then it bounces to another wall, and then some rays bounce again and hit my eye, and that causes me to see the wall. When it bounces from an object, it's like that object is emitting photons also, that's why the walls and objects that didn't recieve direct light from the sun because there wasn't a direct straight line can be seen (they are illuminated).
It's hard to explain (at least in another language :P) and easier to show in real life. Right now i am in a room with only a window at my right. But the sun from there illuminates most of the room, not only the left wall. Because as i was saying photons bounce (that's an informal way of saying, before anyone tries to correctt me, i know about excitation levels and emission of photons) and really every object emits a little bit of light, causing the transmission of light from one surface to other.
See the areas with shadows? That's why the photons didn't reach there as much. Stupid columns blocking their way!
Of course that's the theory. In practice in games it's very very dumbed down version without lots of "photon bounces" (edit: in fact, Crysis 2 only uses one bounce!) and some stuff preplanned and tricked up. It's needed because GI is very very expensive computionally speaking.
You will be saying "But Naeblis, i don't understand, i have seen that effect in every game ever, the play of shadows here, that corner with few light, the light coming from that windows, etc". Well, 99.99% of games uses a fake lightning system. It's (almost) all PAINTED. As in, the light and the shadows are painted in the texture of the walls. An automated system "bakes" the light into the textures and calculates some values to be used later in the game.
Doom 3 was the first or almost the first game to skip that system and use a real time illumination system where lights are dynamic light emissors. But the light didn't bounce up so it was all very dark, the shadows were black, in some points the light wasn't doing what it would be doing in RL, etc. GI does it better.
GI is then a system to produce in a realistic way all the ambient shadows of the scene.
Ok, enough lessons. In practical terms you will have a faint colored light in a wall if nearby there is light of that color, even if parts of it are not recieving light straight. Which it seems like a small effect (and well, it is), but is applied to every light and every surface, so globally it gives the game like a softer, more cohesive look.
But Crytek couldn't be happy with overusing their new toy, so you will also see fucking big light bleeding. You will understand when you play the game...
As far as i know, this is the first game it uses GI. Battlefield 3 will be the second one.
...or you could totally skip my explanation and read this one!
The truly important this is this one:
Advantages to real-time GI:
"Lighting and time of day changes can happen in real time, or procedurally and still look natural."
So it will be really seen when it's a game that changes the light over time.
Cool, that makes sense, especially applying it back to Doom 3. (Do we know what they're doing in Rage yet?)
How did Crysis 1 do their day/night transitions? Was it a different lighting system?
If that's covered in the link I'll see it when I get home.
Never mind that - the awesome story is also a book!
I think Rage's specific 'thing' involves baking lights into the megatexture so it's quite a different direction from Doom 3.
I dunno guys. I'm 40 minutes in and so far I'm impressed with the graphics and not much else. The world is so visually busy it's hard to ID enemies, and I hate the suit highlight with a fiery passion. My eyes also feel a tad strained. There's also a bit too much shit going on with the filters and highlights and hit indicators and more during firefights. I find it really easy for enemies to get lost in the visual noise. I just end up firing at their basic area, spraying and praying. It's sloppy and I don't like it.
Half-Life and HL2 were linear games, but many of the firefights were not. You'd get dumped into a room or a small outdoor area with a bunch of enemies, and it was your job to figure it out from there. In fact, this was one of the things that people loved about Half-Life in the first place: that first fight when the marines burst in, it wasn't about how fast you reacted, it was about tactics. HL2's combat was even less linear: at points, you could play through entire levels exclusively with the gravity gun, or you could ignore it altogether. The path through the world may have been linear, but the combat options were anything but.
I think IW's COD games are similarly underappreciated for being open-ended. Yeah, they were loaded with on-rails tank fights and jeep chases, but there were also large chunks where you got dropped into a little sandbox and got to make it up as you went along. Here's a giant field with a few houses at the end. Should you go right or left? Which house should you approach first? You were constantly presented with choices, and the AI would respond differently depending on the choices you made.
Black Ops had virtually none of this. You're running through the jungle or across some rooftops, some enemies run out and take cover, and that's about all they did. It was just a shooting gallery with little room for improvisation. It's a boring an FPS design I can think of in any game over the last 15 years.
When I think of Treyarch's COD games, I think of a quote from Studio 60 when Matt Perry is making fun of a cast member who can't tell a joke correctly. "Like a young child, you hear the joke, get it, but can't reconstruct the moving parts." That's how I feel about Treyarch and Black Ops. It's like they copied all the broad strokes -- big firefights, scripted sequences, regenerating health -- but couldn't come up with anything better than an uninspired cover version.
So I think the comparison is perfectly appropriate. Black Ops could have been vastly improved had they cribbed just a little bit from Crysis and/or Far Cry in the level design and AI departments. I'm not saying they should have made a sandbox game, but some semblance of freedom and tactics would have been nice, instead of Duck Hunt 2010.
Last edited by sluggo; 03-30-2011 at 12:44 AM. Reason: I hate typoes.
Yeah, it still make sense to skip complex dynamic systems like GI and faking it, in lots of games the average gamer won't notice the difference. It seems that with GI you have results a bit more natuarl looking, but that's it, at least that's it if you don't have destructability or day/night changes.
Being honest i don't know how most of games with the day/night system works without using a pure realistic real-time lightning (say, Fallout 3, or Arma), i suspect is a mix of different systems that together creates a convincing illusion: texture blending perhaps?, a separate shadow system, global ambient light value changing with time, and/or on top of it color grading.
Here we could use a real game dev to report about the issue :).