One good turn deserves another, right? Hey! Crysis was awesome! Crysis Warhead is also awesome! My biggest complaint is that there's literally too much story. The protagonist in Crysis was a faceless (but not voiceless) dude who ran around and defeated the North Koreans and invading aliens. The game was the story. Warhead suffers from side characters who are meaningless to the game, whom you never get attached to, and are too much the focus of drawn out cutscenes. I would've been much happier if the game took the approach of "Here's Psycho, remember him from the Crysis? Here's what he did on the other side of the island! He kicked ass and brought back a dead alien." and left it at that.
But that's really my only complaint. The action ramps up much faster in Warhead but that's most likely the result of the devs expecting you've already played Crysis and thus were already adept at switching suit modes and exploiting your own style of gameplay. There are a couple of not-exactly-on-rails segments which are fantastic, in particular a train that you are free to hop off of whenever you like, if you feel like hoofing it back to where ever it went, through North Korean checkpoints and machine gun nests.
Crysis Warhead has a couple more weapons, seven more missions, and Korean train full of action. Just skip the cutscenes and you'll be in for a fantastic six hours.
I suppose this is as good a time as any to announce that I have my early Army release date set. As of January 22nd, I'll be officially out of the Army. That's 90 days early and I start my terminal leave (using up some vacation days) on January 8th. I could've started terminal leave a lot earlier but I've been telling everyone in my unit January 8th and if I spent all my leave time, I wouldn't have any to sell. Selling leave isn't a great trade but I'd rather have a big bundle of cash right before I start school than two months of not working and still getting paid.
So if I wasn't doing much work before I'm definitely not doing much now! I start the out-processing rigmarole on December 15th, which will either be super easy because not a lot of guys are getting out the same time I am or absolutely impossible because everyone will be on Christmas vacation.
In case you don't know me at all, I am super excited about getting out of the Army and finally moving on with my life. Ever since the beginning of my last deployment (November 2007) I've felt like I've been stuck in an enormous rut; unable to progress in my career with nowhere to go and no help to look to. I've been doing the same goddamned job for my entire enlistment in the same unit on the same post. I've gone nowhere and seen nothing but 1-32 CAV and Iraq. It is well past-time that I start something new.
Of course I've been told for years that there's plenty of other jobs and places in the Army but I never saw any of them and even if I were to stay in I wouldn't have seen any change until at least 2011. I showed a few people I knew a few things early on and they held on to me as long as they could and then handed me off to the next guys who did the same thing, my own career be damned. I think it's safe to say that, like all soldiers, I've been used up and abused and now I'm ready to be cast aside.
So what the hell am I doing anyway? I'm going to school! Southern Illinois University Carbondale! I'll be studying aviation flight for two years before moving on to finish out the two years for a bachelor of science degree in aviation management, and since I have so many existing credits anyway, I may take a minor in computer science. In four years I'll be flying planes for a living. I really couldn't be more excited!
I didn't see this one as my next finished game but here it is. Last weekend it was on sale on Steam in a $30 pack with Crysis Warhead. When Crysis was released two years ago it had the reputation for being a game with system requirements ahead of its time. Without spending an exorbitant amount of money, no desktop machine could run it on full detail at a decent framerate. I knew mine couldn't so I decided I'd wait till the day came when I could.
I'm proud to say Xerxes 3 handled it like a champ and it only suffered some slowdown during some very intense fights with the aliens at the end. The game, even by today's standards, is absolutely gorgeous. No game, except for maybe Far Cry 2, comes close to looking as good as Crysis. It is an absolute monument to PC gaming superiority.
The whole game is absolutely balls out insane. You run around in a nano-machine powered super-suit, killing North Koreans, blowing shit up, and then fighting off aliens. It ramps up from sneaking around in the jungle, escaping patrols, to assaulting enemy fighting positions and rolling through their battlespace in tanks, to grabbing some sci-fi weaponry and blasting aliens. It just gets more and more intense as it goes along. I've read a lot of complaints about the last sections of the game, in which you're fighting just aliens, as being boring and too straightforward. Straightforward yes, but definitely not boring. It just happens to be a rather sudden shift from sneaking and scouting to running and gunning.
I've got Crysis Warhead queued up and downloading. I'm going to be playing more Left 4 Dead 2 in the meantime, and maybe finish Borderlands.
Last night I beat Dead Space. I don't know why I waited so long to get it. It's exactly the kind of game I get hooked into and don't want to stop playing. That's also the third game of the five I bought last month that I've finished. The only two left now are Far Cry 2, which I'm halfway through, and Red Faction Guerrilla, which I've barely started because I've been spending all my 360 time on Dead Space.
I used to buy every "good" game that came out, unless it was a sports game, and I'd play them for about an hour or until I got stuck and I'd shelve it. I've got mounds of games that are technically fantastic and I'll never finish them. Because they're not my type. I have learned now that I have a specific type of game. There are certain genres that when presented alone, or sometimes merged with other genres, that I will play right through. Sometimes regardless of whether or not they're worth playing.
And my wallet has suffered for it in the past. I'm usually rather good about waiting until a game goes on some insane sale before I get it though sometimes I'd buy a title outright that I had no business in buying. I think if I finish all five of these games I'll have shown to myself that I know what I like. Even if I only manage to get four of the five (because Red Faction Guerrilla might get dropped), I'll at least be able to say I'm familiar with what I like but need to work on my spending control.
Here's some games that I may recognize as "OMG AWESOME" but I'm never buying (unless they're ultra cheap, or gifts): Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, any future Grand Theft Auto, any Final Fantasy.
I may not get Dragon Age, even though it's awesome, because it's a Bioware RPG and even though I love Bioware RPGs, I've only beaten one of them. I'm getting Borderlands, even though it's a loot game, because it's a first-person shooter.
Anyway, I'm rambling now. Point is, some video games are awesome but I don't need to own them. Some video games are awesome, and I love them. Some video games are garbage but I love them anyway because they're my type.