When I finally got a computer powerful enough to run Crysis on full quality with high anti-aliasing. Just in time for Crysis 2 to come out.
The Crysis 2'Wall' trailer always gets This Troper. The singer sounds like she's broken already, combined with the wall of people looking for lost loved ones, and the look on the soldier's face as he pulls the pin on his grenade...and doesn't throw it...excuse me...
Gould's reaction to discovering Prophet is dead, and the guy he's been talking to the whole time is Alcatraz. The most heartwrenching part is that he barely speaks at all; instead you can see the shock, pain, and numb disbelief in his body language as he sits down slowly, stares at the screen, then eventually gets up and does this numb-looking shuffle-walk through the door into the hallway outside, looking like his entire world has come crashing down and he's not sure what to do.
The ending to the Central Station level. The Humvee you're in gets flagged down by a guy whose wife is trapped under the wreckage while a building is dropping down on top of the station. Just as they get her out and are coming toward the Humvee, the building hits the station with you just far enough away to not be crushed, though everyone that helped to get her out is. What makes it worse is that you can't get out and help, even though you have super strength and speed and not only could've gotten her out but also gotten her into the jeep.
What makes it even worse is that you see them in the beginning of the level, when they are separated under quarantine, due to being infected. You hear the husband arguing with a Marine to let him join her, to no avail. The last time they are reunited, they have a building fall on top of them, just as their last chance at escape runs for their lives.
Alcatraz basically ends up dying at the end of the game. Crysis: Escalation shows his consciousness managed to linger on for a few more weeks, and managed to take control of the body long enough to track down his sister and mother. His sister saw him as a guardian angel, especially after he protected her from her abusive father. His mother, suffering from Alzheimer's, saw him as a demon who needed to be exorcised. Finally Alcatraz's mind expires upon accepting that Prophet needs to complete his mission to wipe out the Ceph. His last words are just heartbreaking.
"They called me Alcatraz. Remember me."
Psycho finding the piece of evidence he was desperately searching for that will allow him to find out who tortured him for months and ripped his Nano suit off of him. He does NOT take it at all well when it turns out to be Claire. Neither does she. And then followed by the scene Psycho tossed Prophet the dog tags of all those people Prophet had fought alongside in the nanosuit team, telling him that everyone has a choice. The whole scene was defintely tugging at heartstrings.
Shortly after this scene, you get a new log where Prophet analyzes Claire's reaction, including biological telltales for duplicity. He concludes with near absolute accuracy that she's telling the truth about how she never wanted to hurt Michael.
Psycho again, when Claire dies in his arms. Doubly so when the last thing she does is to ask him to forgive her for what she did to him, and he quietly answers yes. Moments later we saw Psycho closing her eyes and placing her arms on her body in a measure of peace.
A subtle one at this scene above: Prophet actually called Psycho by his real name, which is Michael, when he tells Psycho that they need to move on, and how sorry he was that Claire had died.
Prophet during the ending, as he is floating helplessly in space as the Ceph colony ship is emerging out of the wormhole, reflecting on the horror that is yet to come since he failed to save the world. The whole scene was simply heartbreaking, as he reflects on memories of what Psycho, Claire, Karl had said to him throughout the course of the game...and he lets the dog tags, the only thing he had in remembrance of his fallen comrades, float from his hands and into space, while in his memories, he hears those people he fought alongside with calling his name, and Karl reminding him that he had something that the Ceph would never have nor understand: HIS HUMANITY. Then Prophet snaps out of his Heroic BSOD, grabs the dog tags, sees the Archangel laser satellite and realizes that he has one last chance to stop the Ceph.
Prophet/ Barnes: What are you prepared to sacrifice? When they came to me with the nanosuit I sacrificed Laurence Barnes, the man I was to become Prophet...maybe the greatest tactical combat machine the world has ever known. But when you have sacrificed everything you had to become a perfect, cold, hard, logical machine, and that machine fails - what's happens then? When Prophet fails...what's left?
The whole music score for the entire scene was simply heartbreaking, the slow score playing as though mourning all those fallen comrades of Prophet's team...and all of humanity as Prophet floats through space.
The dog tags of the fellow team members in Prophet and Psycho's nanosuit squad. Just the dog tags. It just shows how many people Prophet has sacrificed along the way in the war against the Ceph. Looking back at those characters in the past two games as well as the Crysis Comic series makes it so hard not to cry from remembering how each of them went out.
A relatively minor, but recurring one tied to this - after Psycho gives Prophet the tags, Prophet ties them to his bow. Every time you pull that out, you can see the tags on there, and you can tell that Prophet is determined not to forget just what he and everyone else have sacrificed to stop the Ceph.
Hammered home in the Crysis: Escalation novel. One chapter has a team of CELL troops investigating a mine in St. Petersburg that has had Ceph technology found in it. Then their teammates start dying in grisly ways... and it's not the Ceph killing them, it's Prophet. At the end of the book one year later, one of the survivors of the St. Petersburg massacre is the one to take down Prophet after the EMP detonates by pumping a few shotgun blasts into him while his suit is weakened.
We find out that Claire signed up for the Work Away Debt scheme in her relatives place to spare them that fate. A good percentage of CELL's troops are likely there for the same reason, many of whom are now dead thanks to the rebels. According to Claire's ID card recovered in Safeties Off, the WAD Program has been going since at least 2027. Before Prophet comes along after the intervening years, the debts of those listed as KIA would presumably default to their families, who would in turn be pressed into the same military service that killed the previous debtor.