Just got round to revisiting Crysis on my new machine – the torture-test for high-end hardware. And it’s good news: everything on maximum at 1600×1200 purs along at 30fps. I say maximum, I haven’t tried the hack to enable all the DX10 stuff under DX9 yet – I will do.
After I first played it, I wrote a post about how I’d change all the Nanosuit’s augmentation modes if it were up to me, but it was lost in the great hard drive failure of recently. Replaying now, I find that I agree with myself entirely, and repeat my thoughts here for your amusement:
Cloak: the problem with Cloak as it stands is that it provides an extremely effective but rather tedious way to play. Cloak, run forwards ten metres, lie down in the nearest bush, decloak and wait for it to recharge. That’s fine in the middle of tense combat against multiple enemies, but most of your time is spent exploring a new, densely forested area where you don’t know if there are enemies are not. You instinctively want to approach cautiously, as you should, but the cautious option just takes a really long time and often turns out to have been pointless because there was no-one around anyway.
I’d like a Cloak mode that drains suit power at a rate proportional to how visible you are. I.e. how much work it has to do to keep you hidden. If no-one’s actually nearby and looking in your direction, it drains no power because it doesn’t have to do anything. But if you’re right in front of someone and they’re looking right at you, it drains rapidly because it’s having to render you entirely invisible. Your suit already knows how clearly you’re being seen by enemies – there’s a meter for it in the bottom left of your HUD.
It’d let you explore safely when you don’t know if there are enemies around, and when your suit power starts to drain, you find cover and look out for enemies. But if you’re in the middle of a firefight and want to slip by your enemies, you only have a small window to do so. Right now, I can just walk away from any firefight at any time, which makes them all a little easy.
Speed: at the moment this makes you go a little faster, makes your sprint speed preposterously fast, and then has a third, in-between speed for when you’ve run out of energy but are still sprinting. Your super-fast sprint exhausts all your suit energy in a second or two, which makes you feel a bit like you’re running on five year-old Duracell batteries. It’s one of those design decisions where they wanted to give you an extreme ability, but couldn’t find a way to balance it without an extreme nerf, and the result is rather awkward.
I’d want that third fast-but-not-crazy-fast speed to be the normal movement speed in Speed mode. Speed. The super-jumping of Strength mode should be part of Speed mode instead, and I really liked Jedi Knight’s system of being able to charge a jump by holding the key before releasing – so that you can still do small hops. None of this should drain your suit energy, but it also shouldn’t regenerate unless you’re standing still.
Holding the Sprint key wouldn’t make you go any faster, it’d slow down the world around you instead. The only games that don’t need slow-mo are the ones that already have it.
Armour: here the problem is that if I know I’m about to be taking fire, the absolute last mode I want to be in is Armour. Because it’s the only mode in which shots drain your suit energy, which deprives you of the only two effective ways to escape a sticky situation: cloaking or super-sprinting.
Clearly, it shouldn’t. Instead of absorbing damage like an extra health bar, it should work the way armour normally does: full energy means you only take half-damage, no energy means you take full. Energy neither regenerates nor drains when in armour mode.
Except when you press Sprint. This would render you completely invulnerable until you run out of energy, but you move like the walking tank that you are: slowly. It’d let you pull stunts like cloaking to the middle of the road when you see an enemy Humvee coming, then switching to Armour and going invuln to make them crash into you. Or similarly, surviving a head-on vehicular collision that results in an explosion fatal to everyone else involved. Or throwing yourself off a huge drop and surviving. Or wading towards an angry tank, planting a detpack on it, and blowing it up right in your own face.
Strength: so the problem with Strength mode right now is that it outright fucking sucks. It should be the coolest mode, but everything you do in it drains nearly all your energy, and is woefully less effective than simply shooting people. Also, shooting people drains your energy. Jesus.
As I say, jumping has no place in this mode, it shouldn’t be about mobility, it should be about hitting stuff. A Strength-mode punch or melee attack should always kill, obviously, and furthermore should flip a Humvee like it ain’t no thing. Hell, you should be able to flip a tank if you can get right up to it and hold ‘Pick up’ long enough. I have no objection to Strength mode steadying your grip with weapons, as it currently does, but causing that to rapidly drain your vital suit-juice is just the most despicable and moronic form of the Limit Everything design philosophy.
Sprint mode would be a kind of murderous charge, barreling forth shoulder-first and canoning anything you hit flying out of your way – including vehicles and walls.