Product Type: Electronic Arts Xbox 360 games
Newest Review: ... game's shining crown is definitely the destroyed beauty of New York. Famous landmarks are accurately re-created, albeit in post-apocalypt... more
There's a major Crysis in New York!
Crysis 2 (Xbox 360)
Member Name: Stunt 101
Crysis 2 (Xbox 360)
Advantages: Stunning graphics, open gameplay means you can play how you like, great value for money.
Disadvantages: First few hours suck, thanks mostly to moronic soldier AI. Bland story, too.
If I were to bring up the name Crysis to PC Gamers, some kind of knee trembling and nervous sweating would most likely ensue. Notorious for requiring insanely expensive computers to run, the original Crysis was regarded as one of the best looking games ever made. It also refined the shooter template, revolving around the Nano Suit. Its abilities meant you could either sneak your way through levels or blow up anything standing in your way while running a 180mph and fist-punching the enemy to the other side of the map. Now, we're getting Crysis 2 on Xbox 360. There has been anxiety over whether the consoles would be able to run Crysis 2, seeing as its predecessor was such a high-powered machine. Can it live up to its predecessor?
You take the role of a marine named Alcatraz. He and his fellow marines are being flown into New York to take on a supposed 'virus' overtaking the city. This should already raise suspicions, as why are Marines needed to deal with a virus? Anyways, the situation quickly disintegrates as they are shot down. Alcatraz, left dying, is picked up by a man donning the first game's Nano suit, and before he knows it, awakens wearing the same one. The last guy wearing it gives Alcatraz the objective to find a scientist called Gould, and proceeds to commit suicide. Lost and confused, Alcatraz must find this man and see what in the hell is going on. It's not incredibly in-depth, but it serves enough purpose to keep the player going. It's typical sci-fi fare, with very little in the way of serious engagement taking place but nothing excruciatingly bad.
Let's get the elephant in the room out of the way first. Crysis 2 simply looks incredible. The first moment you step outside and the amazing lighting glares on your eyes, you can tell Crytek put amazing amounts of care into this game. Enemy models are amazingly detailed, and animate beautifully when you seal their fate. The game's shining crown is definitely the destroyed beauty of New York. Famous landmarks are accurately re-created, albeit in post-apocalyptic form, and the game does a great job of placing you into a massacred city. Alien claws tear up the roads, buildings are all but rubble and remnants of the city once bustling and alive are brutally scattered around the city such as old shops and landmarks. The game somehow manages to render this beautifully, yet never drop a clip whatsoever. Everything about this game - characters, the environment, cut scenes - it just looks incredibly. Easily sets the bar for games to come.
Of course, you don't buy games for graphics (even if Crysis 2 is gorgeous). Thankfully, like its predecessor, Crysis 2 backs up its looks with some exciting gameplay. Much like the original, it all comes down to choice - level's can be navigated how you please and there's a feeling of open design despite the game using a level-by-level structure rather than an open-world setting. Before combat situations, the game will advise you to use your scanner to check what's up - here you can tag enemies and locations of interest; including stealth routes, ammo supplies and objects such as turrets. Here you can plan your course and choose how you will make your way through the level. In most cases you can even just bypass the enemies entirely - using cloaking to sneak around them. It is this kind of freedom that means just about anyone could enjoy Crysis 2.
This comes down to the game's Nano Suit. The game strips the super-sprint and super-punch abilities from the original Crysis, but keeps in stealth and armour. You can also earn Upgrades for your armour, such as quicker energy recharge, a foot stomp when jumping from a great height and more. You earn these by killing the alien enemies of Crysis 2, which give you Nano Catalyst. Though you can use the game's stealth mechanics to brush by enemies, some scenarios require direct contact, meaning the game's armour system adds a nice counter-balance. The game does not penalise you for avoiding enemies (though you could lose out on experience as well as achievements) and yet it does not penalise for direct force either, giving Crysis true freedom.
Crysis 2 contains many weapons in the game, though strangely you can only carry two at a time. You have varieties of assault rifles, pistols, shotguns and sniper rifles. There are huge variations of weaponry here, each with stats such as power, accuracy and more. The game also throws more variation by adding in customizable weapon attachments. Finding weapons equipped with attachments such as silencers, special scopes and equippable shotguns. Once you collect these upgrades once, you can switch these so long as the weapon you're currently holding has the customizable parts. It adds more layers of choice to the game, meaning you can mostly tailor Crysis 2 to whichever playing style you please.
The game, however, can make somewhat of a negative impression on you for the first few hours. You'll be shoved through waves of bog-standard grunts, who's enemy AI borders on moronic. It's these first few hours with the soldiers, where the game doesn't really take off, that could push a player away from Crysis 2. But, one is rewarded if they stick with it, as once the aliens enter the playing field, the game completely takes off. It's fair to the say the Aliens are significantly smarter than the humans. If you try to run at aliens, they will knock you down for your aggressive nature. They can also hold a position, avoiding your shots and picking at your health from a long distance. There are also larger variations of aliens, which prove to be supremely tough, especially the huge mech suits which come later in the game.
Crysis 2 is really good value for money. The campaign took me about 9 hours to complete, which is good enough and means the game doesn't drag. However, the game contains a New Game+ mode, where all your upgrades carry over to a new game if you choose to start it. This means the campaign has more value, and taking on the harder difficulties is not as intimidating. The game also contains multiple collectibles, such as New York Souvenirs, Dog Tags, Car Keys and secret Speed Cameras. Pretty much all of these unlock content such as game music, environmental designs and more. Only 2 kinds of collectables unlock achievements, so if you are a pack-rat more for the GS, then these collectables may not be for you.
Crysis 2 also boasts a multiplayer component. Sporting 6 on 6 matches, the mode contains several match types including Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch, capture the flag and other modes including Crash Site where players must collect energy and prevent the other team from doing so, Assault where Nano suit operatives must download data from terminals with only one life and Extraction where players must take enemy bio-ticks from defended locations. The game also uses an XP system where players get experience from killing and completing special challenges. There are 50 levels to go through, and it takes a huge amount of XP to reach that. Connection is absolutely fine, and I found a game pretty quickly in the Team Deathmatch mode, though the other modes weren't as crowded with players.
Crysis 2 is a great sequel. Its campaign, despite a rough few hours at first, gains major momentum and becomes a superb shooter. The game's open freedom means any player can tailor how they play and make progress through the game. The game is also ridiculously good looking, raising the bar for games to come. It's far from perfect - the game's soldier AI border on moronic and the story is pretty bland. Thankfully, excellent Alien AI makes up for this and the story will be inconsequential to most players. If you're a shooter fan, it's definitely worth picking this up, especially if you didn't have chance to experience Crysis before on the PC. And it's definitely worthwhile for fans of the original.
Summary: Despite some flaws, Crysis 2 is a great sequel.
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