Crysis: From Silent to Talkies ?

This game has confused me. Don’t get me wrong. It has outstanding design, direction, voice acting … you name it. The works. But more of a phenomenon, in my opinion, is the cultural noise surrounding it. From the obsessive discussion of hardware profiles, to the obvious fury when it doesn’t run properly (believe me, get a console. PC users are used to this !). Right down to the strange forum messages that this game seems to breed. I’ve seen it all. Youtube slang. Forum flame wars, and identity masquerading (“Sock Puppets”). The inability to listen or follow any social rules at all. Ha! Ha! Anyone would think the “virtual” internet has as much social variety as the “Real World” ™. But some of it is just plain peculiar. Why rush through playing this uber production we call Crysis, only to say “it sucks”, because you couldn’t find a particular weapon ? I’m not going to say that some of these messages come from very young people. I’ve found that even the youngest can appreciate the amount of work that has gone into something.

I think what we’re talking about is “identity theft” ! Where is the personality of some people on these forums ? I don’t want to single people out. In fact I prefer the creative chaos of many boards as opposed to the “fenced off” ultra security of some forums, where you daren’t break wind in case you have your account suspended.

But personality ?

So many of these messages sound like they are from the same person ! Could a few people be afraid to express themselves, because it can so often turn into …” LOL. You’re retarded. It’s obvious. Yadda Yadda.”. Who even wants to talk to these people ? So they never have a proper engaging conversation. So they never find out. Catch 22 ?

So I find it quite revealing that this kind of behaviour seems to surround Crysis. Are we talking about some envy going on here ? Maybe. I think overall though Crysis has caused quite a stir and what we’re seeing is a lot of social thrashing around. Hey, thrashing can be good !

I’ve been doing my own. I could hardly take in some parts of Crysis because I was constantly picking out the symbols and film references . I’ll play it again at some point. Presumably younger players weren’t handicapped by this awareness ! Oh. Ignorance is Bliss ! Talking of which. The Matrix. Crysis is similar in some respects. It at first appears to be original. Then you uncover the mish mash of influences, nicked ideas, glaring plagiarism. Then you realise it’s all fused into something new anyway. Some of the Aliens even look like creatures from “Machine City”. The characters have Biblical names, as do the various acts (?), of the game.

Martin Lancaster at Crytek is one of the writers, and seems to have done some kind of Media / Film Studies course, at least according to my research. It shows. From the aforementioned Matrix, to The Abyss, to Quatermass, and many others. There’s even the movie “Contact” in there at one point. As the nuclear strike hits the island, we’re there on the bridge of that Contact ship looking at an imminent Alien response.

In fact that’s what Crysis IS. A bodged Alien Contact attempt. Wouldn’t you get a bit edgy watching, well, another load of aliens setting up military camps around you and giving you ample proof of how war like they are ! Who can blame them really. Earth invasion my ass !

Yes, it’s B-Movie. Hey, B-Movie’s are good ! Ya know … Fun ? If I read one more sophomoric review of Crysis on the net, or comment for that matter, I’m going to have to go into Ego Deflating Nano Suit mode and start throwing people around, so you have been warned.

So the Crysis story is hardly going to be an exercise in the writing of Shakespeare. Video games have developed their own language over the years. From the original Arcade Classics, to Doom, Heretic, Quake, Unreal, and onwards. The trend has been to, once the real-time engine was basically refined, to add more and more “movie like” … read “scripted“… aspects. This is beginning to write it’s own rules. Look at the way a Crysis cut scene flows seamlessly in and out of the gameplay. Sometimes all there is there to tell you it’s a “cut scene” is a letter boxed screen, and that’s it ! Maybe a title.

The point I’m trying to make is that these video games, although technologically advanced have simply not had time to develop their own language to the level of sophistication of the Movie industry. The skill of some film photographers and editors is way out there. It’s not always discussed because we just want to watch the film. But there’s a fearsome amount going on there. All those subtle ways of editing, cutting, dialogue. The whole feel of the thing that comes together to tell a good story. There’s a whole language there that video games can borrow from. But why does the video game even have to ape up to it’s big brother .. the Movie Industry ? Even if revenues rival it ? Don’t they both do very different things, very well ? I don’t think video games will become “the new films”. I think that’s nonsense. But I could be wrong.

Video games have always been about the visceral experience. Reactions. Instincts. I don’t know what it is about Crysis. I suspect the “it’s like a film” analogy is off the mark. Sure, there’s acting, and dialog. An aspect that seems to have suddenly gone from the equivalent of the silent movie, to an actual “video game talkie” in this case ! But I think it would be a mistake to over extend this game / movie comparison. Creations like Crysis can do things that no film will ever do, and vice versa. I hope to see completely new ways of doing things, instead of this “it’s like that or this” mentality. This is, after all, the Twenty First Century.

dj

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One thought on “Crysis: From Silent to Talkies ?

  1. Pingback: A-ha » Crysis: From Silent to Talkies ? ?

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