Hands-on – Crysis 2

Hey there guys and welcome to the first new content post on the new host. I hope you like it and that it offers more functionality and shinies.

But let’s get started with the main event. Today I’ll be reviewing Crysis 2, an fps that brings a new breeze into the shooter genre. The game is developed by Crytek and released Electronic Arts on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC.

People have tipped this game off as a ‘Halo killer’, and even developer Crytek would be very disappointed if this game was rated below 90. Personally, I think the term Halo Killer is an exaggeration considering Halo 3 sold more than 11 million copies. Nonetheless, this game left a very good impression on me. Crysis 2 really refreshes the whole genre and the tactical touch to it makes it all the more interesting to me.

For people who missed the whole fuss about this game: Crysis 2 trades the exotic locations of the first game for the urban wilderness that is Manhattan.  The city has been ravaged by aggressive aliens who look more like a Terminator than the organic floating creatures from the first installment. All around you, skyscrapers have collapsed or are missing big chunks. You, a soldier named Alcatraz, have been tasked to deal with this invasion as the constant bickering between the military leaders have lead nowhere. A classic story if you ask me. You’re our only hope Obi-Wa- …. uh Alcatraz.

Fortunately, you have been armed with a Nano suit 2.0 which gives you a really nice arsenal of abilities such as invisibility, some kind of shield generator and the ability to jump long distances. Unfortunately for you, the Nano suit has a limited supply of power which you often need for your visor in underground levels. Running and jumping cost a relatively low amount of energy, but your cloaking really eats up your meter.

One other feature in the game is the collection of Nano points, which are used to upgrade your Nano suit, your weapons (deadlier bullets, silencer, ..) and other really fun extras.

However, this doesn’t allow you to run into a group of enemies and start emptying clips on them. This is where the tactical touch comes in. Trust me when I say you will need to run, hide and flank your way around the map in order to survive. Enemies are fast and smart and will use the same tactics you do in order to stop you from reaching your goal.

Another nice feature in the game is the vertical gameplay, where jumping from skyscraper to skyscraper (or what’s left of them) offers you a ‘Mirror’s Edge’ type of experience. Using your super jump you’ll be able to reach higher ground and use a sniper rifle to pick off aliens from a distance. Running and jumping around has never been more fun and graceful. Not to mention it offers a unique kind of gameplay and the illusion of choosing your own path through the levels. Some players may prefer to use the high ground, while others will use a more direct approach or a stealthier one.

And speaking of the level design, it’s just sublime. Levels have been designed to fit a certain combat situation. Because of this, you move from situation to situation in a linear way but you have a lot of ways to defeat the enemy. For example, you’ll be slapping aliens around the ears with your gun using the cloaking device only to switch to armor attachment to start spraying bullets all over the room.

Graphically, the game is really really great … if you have a monster pc at least. Xbox 360 and PS3 have a slightly lower graphic quality but still very high end. And don’t worry, the game still looks beautiful on a normal pc.

Let’s take a closer look at the multiplayer next. Crytek’s multiplayer has always lacked allure. At face value Crysis 2 shamelessly borrows elements of the two most popular online shooters, Call of Duty and Halo, but once you dig into the experience you begin to respect its subtle differences. For instance, instead of giving you game-changing bonuses for killstreaks, you need to collect the dog tags from your fallen victims to access radar, airstrikes, or a gunship. This forces campers out of their comfort zones or keeps their influence in check if they prefer to stay and snipe. If it works, it’ll be really sweet (Fu campers).

As with the campaign, the Nano suit is the great differentiator. Crytek UK balanced the suit’s abilities well and created a smart system of persistent enhancements that players earn by using the suit’s power, armor, and stealth abilities during battle. There are enough upgrades to give players the flexibility to build a unique suit tailored to enhance their strengths or shore up their weaknesses.

With 12 maps ripped from the campaign, 50 rankings, medals, and customizable kits, Crysis 2 makes a strong case for becoming a destination multiplayer mode. The one major criticism I can levy is that Crytek locks the more creative game modes. You won’t have all the modes unlocked until level 39, which seems needlessly buried in a game that doesn’t have a large community behind it that is guaranteed to keep playing for the 15-plus hours necessary to access all the options.

If you’re tired of fighting corridor-based wars against an endless flow of brainless meatbags, Crysis 2 is worth a look. The unique sandbox approach to gunfights and game-changing Nano suit lend the title a flavor of its own, and Crytek smartly leverages these strengths in both the single- and multiplayer modes. Enjoy the trailer below.

Definately worth buying this game I reckon!

/Niels

  

Author: Niels Van Hellemont

Hi, my name is Niels and I'm a long time fan of movies, anime, comics, games and whatnot. Could say that I'm a bit of a fanatic when it comes to the above mentioned things. I'm currently studying for a Bachelor After Bachelor in Advanced Business Management - Human Resources Management.

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