My apologies to the ragtag cast of characters in Team Fortress 2. I have forsaken you for a soulless nano-suit grunt in Crysis Wars.
For the past two months, Crysis wars has been the only game I’ve played.
The objective of this team-based multiplayer game is simple: kill other players. But there are a lot extra layers that make it more interesting. First, the maps are vast, varied, and lush. Some are set on tropical beaches, others in the desert, forest, mountaintops, even an aircraft carrier. The trees cast dappled shadows. The thick grass sways in the breeze. Day fades to night. Dust, butterflies, and leaves flutter in the air. Chickens wander about banana groves and plantation shacks. It’s a beautiful game.
Riding a truck in the Battleground map.
Teammate and tank.
Hiding in the bushes as a tank passes nearby.
A VTOL prowls the sky.
Then a tank takes it out with an ion cannon.
Each player wears a high tech nano suit that affords him different abilities: super speed, super strength, cloaking. Speed allows the player to dart out of harm’s way. Strength allows deadly melee punches or high jumps to otherwise inaccessible ledges. Cloaking allows the player to hide in plain sight, either for sniping, applying explosives, or reconnesance. Each ability has a limited amount of energy before needing a recharge.
A teammate runs for cover as a helicopter rain hellfires.
Some maps are straight up nano suit deathmatch, but the better ones have vehicles or territorial objectives. There are a variety of tanks, armored trucks, a hovercraft, an attack helicopter, and a maneuverable aerial craft called a VTOL. The vehicles are deadly against anyone on foot, but are also easy to spot.
Sniping a little outpost.
Tank in dappled light.
Riding as machine gunner.
Bombing the bridge in the VTOL.
My parachuting shadow.
Most vehicles hold more than one person: a driver and a gunner. The tanks are slow moving but good for flushing enemies out from the bushes and taking down aerial opponents. The trucks are fast and have a nice roof-mounted gun, but one shell from a tank and you’re dead. The VTOL is fast fun but not very durable, the copter is worse in both regards. Both can rain bullets and missiles. Once they’ve taken too much damage, there are three options: land in a safe place to repair them, crash kamikaze style into another vehicle, or abandon ship in midair to parachute to safety.
Walking to the waterfall in Savanna.
High on a cliff, scouting the savanna.
Jackpot, a player landing his damaged VTOL to get out and fix it. He’ll be a nice still target.
While the vehicles battle, it creates a distraction to the advantage of the players on foot. Able to hide just feet away from tanks and out of sight from the air, the foot soldier has a lot more flexibility. He can wander the map and launch rockets at tanks or lay mines in the roadways. Sniping is also an option. Lying prone in the underbrush of a hillside, the player can take his time to scan the map for other player’s on foot.
Unfortunately, the internet connection in Shanghai is slow. Lag issues. I frequently get booted from servers for having too high a ping. Luckily, I’ve found a server that doesn’t boot me and cycles two of my favorite maps: Battleground and Savanna. My other favorite maps are Mesa, Tarmac, and Beach.
Sun sets over the dry savanna.
A nighttime nuke seen from the safety of a cave.