Sitting with your mates in the VTOL as you hurtle across the skies of Colorado, packed full of parachutes and fully loaded weapon kits. The objective? A war factory on the far right hand corner of the map spewing out enemy tanks. Your closest buddy explains the plan over Ventrilo; night time air drop, pop chutes at 200 metres to get past anti-air, spike the skylights and drop in flash bangs to disorient the hostiles while bravo team dashes to seize the spawn point. Before you can get in range you hear everyone groan suddenly and say they’re dead, but to your confusion you’re very much so still alive with nobody else inside the ship in sight.
Suddenly, you notice the VTOL is looking a touch…. crispy, your HUD is freaking out and you turn to your left: The hatch is blown wide open, and the hull is doing barrel rolls fast enough to make you hurl. With lighting quick reflexes, you mash the E key and plummet down to Terra Firma, deploying your chute right before you hit the ground.
You think to yourself, “I did it!” as a sense of victory washes over you. Both for outsmarting the glitch and managing to land far behind enemy lines by a total fluke. *CRUNCH* Oh, looks like the fuselage just caught up with you, care to pick your new spawn point?
Powerstruggle was a real gem of a gamemode, giving us so many wonderfully memorable glitches that often times made the game stand out head and shoulders above its contemporaries. Whether it was turning a tank into a convenient landing pad for your VTOL, crawling prone up the barrel of a tank sending it into a fuming rage, or popping tires to gain prestige points faster back at HQ, Crysis was just full of odd little gameplay quirks.
Sure, the game had an annoying looping gunfire glitch that forced the game to restart, notoriously locking day/night cycles behind “Direct X 10” exclusive servers, and an assortment of hackers ruining the game, but it also served up some of the most unique multiplayer ever seen.
Crytek‘s later releases just never had quite the same level of charm, opting to pursue a vastly more Call-of-Duty-esque style of gameplay in order to compete in a saturated market of shooters. Powerstruggle’s nerfed return in the multiplayer expansion Crysis Wars ensured the gamemode would never really make a comeback down the line, frustrated players would protest server rules by spamming tank nukes inside the prototype factory for 40 minutes until a victor was permitted. No more sunset raids, no more sniping with gauss rifles from the rooftops of VTOLs, and no more hunting down sniper’s on the colorado hills with your parabolic microphone scanning for the trademark tell-tale hiss of a cloaking device.
If Crytek is smart, they’ll restore the multiplayer to it’s former glory for a brand new audience. It’s about time to answer and move past that age old question of, “Yes, but can it run Crysis?”
Emily Rose is an indie developer who writes for rebind.io and resides in the pacific northwest. She’s often seen in the local VR arcade and developer community participating in pushing the medium’s horizons. You can find her on twitter @caravanmalice