Crysis 2 has some pretty big shoes to fill, with the originals sensational graphics and, for a game that’s nearly 4 years, some pretty awesome gameplay. So now Crytek’s much anticipated sequel is finally here, has going multiplatform took some spark away from Crysis series, or is this game still a force to be reckoned with?
First off you really don’t need to have played the first game to know what is going on here, all you need to know is that strange beings are attacking a future earth and you have a cool suit to help kick their butt. The finer points of the story are all played through flashbacks, cut scenes and picked up through chatter via the enemies, so all you need to know is where to shoot and where to run.
Starting off, your character Alcatraz arrives at New York with your squad only to get shot in the first few moments of the game; Prophet, the main character from the first game saves your life by giving you his Nanosuit, a garment that connects to your body at a molecular level and allows for super human feats. What Prophet neglects to tell you is that he is a wanted man and a private army called the CELL are gunning for him across the wasteland that was once New York City.
Though a first person shooter, Crysis 2 is really about the Nanosuit and what you can do with it. The game gently breaks you into the different skills available via your new and improved suit, starting with grunts that you can sneak behind in stealth mode to taking on tanks with your shield on full and a rocket launcher under your arm. There is loads of fun to be had trying out different tactics and each level allows you to try with direct approaches, getting you into heavy gunfire or skulking around sewers and ruined buildings to avoid the shooting until the very last moment.
The controls are like most other first person shooters with the inclusion of the Nanosuit powers, which are initiatively placed where you would expect; super speed, for example is pulled off by pressing the LS and shields and stealth are assigned to the bumper buttons. The powers work instantly as long as you have power charged, which depletes on use and charges quite quickly. As you progress through the story your suit gets altered, allowing you to collect energy left by recently killed Ceph, which you can then trade for 12 abilities such as bullet trace, proximity radar, faster Nano recharge and air stomp. The RS also allows for a strong kick to send cars and heavy objects flying in to enemies, which is vital for the harder difficulties with the restrictive ammo.
Unlike the previous game, this time Crysis 2 has been split into missions that are quite linear in their endings but give you a wide variety of ways to get to the end, whether you are just wandering thorugh sewers or going into no-man’s land with your guns blazing and armour on full power. The game takes you to some familiar areas of New York, but since the Ceph have had their way with it these areas are almost unrecognisable; the Statue of Liberty is destroyed and lying in a street, parks have been ripped up and the buildings on Wall Street are leaning into one another, at times even falling as you make your way through them.
Away from single player you have a solid and entertaining multiplayer mode allowing for up to 12 players to duke it out. Like most other online modes it’s all about the XP points you earn from kills, which allow you to rank up to earn even more weapons and skills. Starting you off in the bottom ranks does not offer much; with just solo and team death matches to play over a couple of levels. Once you get past rank 10 though the game really opens up, allowing for fixed and custom loadouts, upgrading of your Nanosuit so it performs better in the field, and plenty more maps and games modes, including Capture the Relay and Crash Site.
The multiplayer levels on offer are a good mixture of environments form the main game such as long islands with lighthouses at the end, shopping malls beside a wharf, a multileveled fight in a car park and roof top battles, all of which offer a great mixture of close quarters fighting, sniping opportunities and raised areas to gain field supremacy.
Of course this would not be a Crysis game without the mention of graphics and this title certainly doesn’t disappoint. You are going to need a bigger TVs, (plus it has 3D compatibility) for this one, as this game just oozes style, with building crashing around you, dust getting thrown up, lighting and shadows pulling you in the action, and particle effects that look like fireworks going off in from of you. In the later levels, once the Ceph start to destroy the city, this game really stands out from the very busy first person shooter crowd, making for one of the best looking FPS games on the console market.
Whilst the single player is over quite quickly it still offers plenty of replay value, while the multiplayer mode rivals even the Call of Duty’s of this World. Overall though, it’s just nice for us console gamers to finally get to see what all the fuss was about.
Words by Ash Buchanan.
You can order your copy of Crysis 2 here.