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When you have a sequel to a game such as Crysis, you want to make sure that that it is good, make sure it has an epic storyline, and features weapons and gadgets that a modern solder could only dream of having on the battlefield. Most of all, however, you want it to look better than any game you have ever seen. For the most part, Crysis 2 meets all those criteria, but only up to a point.
Traditionally I have always treated Crysis (and Far Cry before that) as one of the best system benchmark programs around. If your PC can run these games, then you know it is top of the range. Not only that the character detail and maps should be some of the best and most realistic of any game on the market. However, as good as Crysis 2 looks (and it does look great) I just don't feel that it is quite up to the par of the previous games.
I'm not sure if it is the current generation of consoles holding things back. or if we are just getting as much as we can from the current PCs, but the looked great - just not mind-shatteringly good, and that is what I wanted. It could be that I have been keeping an eye on the latest Battlefield 3 trailers and comparing it to them, but I still just wanted more.
Crysis 2 starts up where the original game left off. You play the role of Alcatraz, a force-recon marine and successor to Nomad, the Crysis protagonist. After what can only be described as a cataclysm of failure while trying to get into the battle zone, Alcatraz finds himself wearing the Nanosuit after Prophet discovers he is infected and takes his own life. That is where your bad day begins.
As the game continues, you find yourself stealthily making your way through New York City with pretty much everybody trying to kill you. As the game progresses, you find yourself in buildings, warehouses, freeways, bridges, parks and even the occasional underground train station. The map layouts are fantastic. Warehouses actually look like they could be used to build or store things, rather than simply displaying a few crates scattered around a room, while apartments have desks and beds and actually look like someone really lives there. All of these little details made it really feel like you could have been walking around New York.
Crysis Is really known for the Nanosuit. Without the suit, it's just another first-person shooter, but the Nanosuit gives you special abilities. Of course, it makes you stronger and gives you the ability to throw people across the room. But it also allows you to use heat vision, make yourself harder to kill, and go stealth for a short period of time. The Nanosuit also comes with upgrades that you can obtain by killing aliens. Some of these make you stronger, or allow your abilities to last longer. You can purchase as many as you like, however you can only use a limited amount at any one time.
One thing that is always important in a game is the intelligence of your enemy, and overall the enemy forces in Crysis 2 were a good challenge. You want them to have the ability to flank you, hunt you down and just make your life difficult, but what you don’t want is for them to be able to see through objects.
One of the key features of Crysis 2 is the ability to go stealth, your suit makes you invisible to the enemy unless you are pretty much on top of them. This is a great addition to the game, it allows Alcatraz to bypass the enemy and just sneak past them. If you love this type of gameplay, you can almost sneak the entire way through the game.
Remember though, stealth only lasts for a short period, and when you de-cloak is when it becomes interesting. If you are sensible you find a rock, car, tentacle like thing to hide behind when you come out of stealth, but at times it felt like it didn't matter where you hid, the AI could see right through it. This actually became frustrating when I was killed because of it. It just didn’t feel right! You duck behind a rock and suddenly there are four guys shooting at you when you were sure you couldn't be seen. This was a fairly small issue and I'm most likely nit-picking because I really couldn’t find much else wrong with the game, but while I was playing it really annoyed me.
Overall Crysis 2 is a fantastic game. Is it as mind shattering as Crysis when it first came out? The answer is no, but it does bring everything you want in a first person shooter. There is plenty of gameplay in the single-player campaign and it will keep all the FPS "must kill everything" part of the brain well stimulated.
If you are looking for a game with the most epic graphics you have ever seen, you might want to keep looking - however, if you are fan of Crysis and Far Cry, or you just love a good first person shooter, you will love Crysis 2.
Jimmy the Geek