Crysis 2

Crysis is a game with a reputation; sadly, though, it’s a reputation with very little to do with the game itself. The game reviewed well and was praised for its stunning visuals and physics but famed for needing a serious beast of a PC to play it. So when Crysis 2 was announced for consoles, I’ll admit I was curious as to how they would keep this legacy going.

Having played Crysis 2 for over a week now I am still wondering. The visuals are, in the truest meaning of the word, stunning. I was stunned. It feels like I am doing the game an injustice by harping on about the visuals first, but I’m going to anyway. We’ll get this bit done and then I can tell you about how much fun the game is to play.  Then you can go and buy it to see for yourself. So, I said stunning. Crysis 2 is a really cracking looking game.  The environments are vast and detailed, beautifully sun lit in some places and eerily dark in others. Fire and water effects are omnipresent through the game but are never obvious or garish; they are just there, and look a lot like fire and water. There is all kinds of stuff to pick up and throw for seemly no purpose, enemies are detailed and move well, and your heads up display does a wonderful job of keeping you aware of what’s going on without ever getting in the way of the action.

There is a lot going on in Crysis 2. Perhaps I am suffering from not having fully played the first game but essentially you have been given a suit that turns you into a one man army. Most people are after you but some are out to help you. New York , and I assume the rest of the world, is getting attacked by some aliens that are intent on killing every single human they find, and you should probably stop them. It’s engaging enough but I was never really sure what was going on. Pretty much every objective you are given ends up not working out and leading to the next but it is an interesting ride all the same.

The suit is very much the core of both the story and the gameplay. You are given full control of the suit early on and can activate and switch modes very quickly to meet your needs. Stealth and armor are switched on and off with the bumper button and will be your most commonly used button. Stealth mode will make you near undetectable to enemies whereas armour mode will allow you to withstand an explosion and survive a long fall. In addition, speed/strength modes are used when running and power jumping. You also have a data visor that offers tactical advice, and nanovision to view the world in infrared. All of these modes have a limited usage time as they drain your energy meter. The key here is that they all drain the same meter so you are left choosing how best to use the suit without getting stuck with no energy. Stealth mode is very interesting in that it drains faster while you are moving or shooting. While you can easily fire off a single round in while cloaked without too much bother, if you open up on a guy you’ll soon be uncloaked and seen by him and all his mates, and you’ll also have no energy with which to make a quick exit. Choosing how to move from one objective to the next is where the fun lies in Crysis 2. Sneak or fight, you’ll still have to make smart use of your energy. Each of area of the suit is upgradable in several ways using the energy harvested from alien enemies, allowing for a little customisation to suit your play style. Weapons are also customisable with various accessories that, once found, can be added and removed very easily during play. The weapons themselves feel good and while there are only a few available, like the suit modes, they each serve a purpose and you will quickly learn the correct situations for each.

However, all that aside you may have already noticed that I’ve given Crysis 2 a 9/10. Why? I hear you ask; it sounds dreamy! It’s a shame but Crysis 2 is not without it’s problems; they are not huge but they consistently impacted my experience with the game. Firstly are the extremely distant checkpoints. You will be given a fairly basic objective of traversing an area and getting something done. These missions are never very hard but they will contain many opportunities to get caught in an unwinnable firefight, especially as you near the objective. If you make a mistake and uncloak at the wrong time you can easily get killed and you’ll be sent right back to the start of that objective area. Just a single half way checkpoint in each area would have removed this issue but as it stands it’s a pain in the arse.

The other problem was with the enemy AI. The human and alien enemies patrol areas and, once alerted,  pursue the player with meaning and purpose. They take cover, flank you, and work together to take you down in a persistent and aggressive manner. Make a mistake while sneaking up  for a stealth kill and you will be heavily punished. Mostly. On occasion they will do the polar opposite, they will stand still and not attack, or they will hop up onto their cover with their back to you, or get stuck in a loop of popping their heads out in a perfect rhythm. While this makes for some easy kills it destroys your sense of immersion and it sticks out like bird shit on a Picasso. These issues are easily forgiven but you have to wonder if just a little more time in development could have had them ironed out.

As well as a campaign mode of decent length there is a fully featured multiplayer offering. I only had limited experience of this due to playing before the game’s launch but what I played was enjoyable if perhaps a little bit derivative. You’ve got all your standard game modes and a perks system with a good selection of maps. Maps are fairly small but matches are 6 Vs. 6 affairs so they work well. The visuals seem to be toned down a little as do your suit’s powers in the interest of balance. Despite the limited number of players online pre-release I had no problem searching for or joining matches and had no issues with lag. Time will tell if players take to Crysis 2 Multiplayer and many would have had a taste during the betas that were offered. I should also note that there is no ‘Online pass’ system in place on Crysis 2.







One response to “Crysis 2”

  1. TimG13 avatar

    Hopefully my copy will arrive in the post tomorrow – I can’t stand all this waiting around anymore. I’m sure this is going to be a huge hit, and rightly so by the sound of it.

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