Crysis 2 “Just in case you missed it” Review
The Good:Epic thinking gamers FPS
The Bad:Maybe a little to stealthy
STORY Crysis 2 is set in New York, Manhattan in the year 2024, a few years after the events from the original game. New York is in complete ruins as a mysterious alien virus has plagued the city, martial law has been declared and is enforced by the military and the private security organisation known [...]
Crysis 2 is set in New York, Manhattan in the year 2024, a few years after the events from the original game. New York is in complete ruins as a mysterious alien virus has plagued the city, martial law has been declared and is enforced by the military and the private security organisation known as Crynet, due to the savage alien invasion, known as Ceph has hit Earth. You play as a character simply known as Alcatraz, you are thrown in the middle of chaos upon arriving in New York City and are armed with the mighty Nanosuit. The Nanosuit provides you with speed, power, stealth and all the tools you’ll need to be the perfect one man army and it is the only chance you have of surviving in this savage concrete jungle.
But having such a powerful armoury does have its draw backs. Not only are you fighting to survive against the alien infestation, but you must also fight against the military and Crynet, who so desperately want to take the Nanosuit away from you. And despite such overwhelming odds, it is up to you to save mankind from the brink of annihilation and stop the Nanosuit from falling into the wrong hands.
Like myself and so many others, I was unable to witness what all the fuss was about with the original Crysis, until Crysis 2 came available to the home console. Ok I can already hear what you PC nerds are saying, yes we know Crysis 2 looks better on the PC and well done to you for being fortunate to have a PC capable of running this game, we know that the console version will never look as good as the PC instalment.
But despite not quite being able to square up to its PC counterpart, Crysis 2 on the 360 stills looks dam impressive and the visuals are some of the best you will see on the console. When you first encounter crumbled City of New York, you are treated to quite frankly, bright, beautiful visuals. At times it almost reminded me of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, in the way that a destroyed, derelict City has been brought down to its knees, yet managed to look so stunning at the same time. This is a world you could quite easily get lost in and explore and at times the visuals can be quite distracting, you could be marvelling at some of the scenery, whilst unsuspectedly you are being flanked and about to receive gun shots to the back of your head.
But it’s not only the environmental visuals that impress in Crysis 2, the detail to the Nanosuit is excellent and the weapons you carry in your hands look so lush. The gaming geek in me also got excited when a realised that you could actually see your Alcatraz’s feet! If you are familiar with FPS’s you will know that you are usually nothing more than a floating head with a gun, so I was impressed with this minor detail.
Despite Crysis 2 looking very impressive, not all the visuals look quite up to scratch. Having to run such a powerful game, with visual’s like this one, there will always be some small price to pay and this is something that will not aid in wiping the smug grin from the faces of our PC counterparts. As I mentioned the environmental visuals are generally stunning, but the shadow effects in Crysis 2 are at times something of a letdown. There are alot of impressive looking trees in Manhattan that sway side to side, being pushed by the wind and they all move very realistically. But the shadows at times are not quite moving in sync with the tree’s movements and can look quite jittery, almost like a standard PC struggling to run the visuals from a top end game, the same also applies to overhead flying vehicles. But this is a small price to pay to have such a powerful PC game, to be playable on the console.
You can tell that Crysis 2 is pushing the console to its absolute limits, but overall Crysis 2 is among the best looking First Person Shooters on the 360.
The sound in Crysis 2 is very subtle, but yet very effective. You can almost play through the game, without even noticing the musical score, but if you take that away, the game will seem somewhat less dramatic. The musical score plays a vital role in Crysis 2 and pretty much lets you know when the game is set for a change of pace, whether it is frantic action or a bit of stealth on the cards. Either way the musical score is very effective and vital to the story telling of Crysis 2.
One of the most impressive uses of the sound effects in Crysis 2 comes that of the weapons, environments and the enemies. Every weapon that you pick up and use, sounds like it is serving their purpose, from the rat-tat-tat-tat of a machine gun, the sound of a silenced pistol, to oomph of a grenade landing in the middle of grouped up enemies. Most impressively the environmental sounds are powerfully effective, to the eerie gush of winds blowing through the tree’s to the volatile crushing sound of earthquakes and the sound of flying vehicles flying over head will have you running for instant cover.
When I first jumped into Crysis 2, I made the mistake of attempting to charge down my enemies, by going all gun blazing and taking no prisoners…that was a mistake. This is when I realised that Crysis 2 was not to be played like most FPS’s on the market. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of opportunities to go gung-ho in Crysis 2, but alot of its gameplay will require you to carefully plan out you attack, before jumping into the deep end. Enemies are smarter in Crysis 2 than your average commercial FPS, they are highly accurate and they are always aware when a member of their unit has been taken down, so it may be wise to leave the scene of the crime ASAP! For most parts of the game, it is best to sneak by without any hostile activity, but that is easier said than done, if like me you have an itchy trigger finger.
Luckily enough for Alcatraz, he has an excellent arsenal of weaponry at his disposal to bring down the enemy, there are many features that make the Nanosuit a pure weapon of mass devastation at your fingertips. For instance if you enter an enemy infested zone (for which there are many), it will not be wise to go all Rambo. By hitting up on the “D-Pad” you will utilise your Tactical Visor, which is a zoom in binocular-like feature that allows you to get a closer look at your surroundings from a safe distance and by pressing “X”, you will be able to Tag enemies and objects, allowing you to know their whereabouts at all times. When you want to get closer to the action and get to your next checkpoint, engaging in combat is always not the best approach. Pressing “RB” will give a chameleon style camouflage, which will allow you to pass enemies with relative safety, but be warned, getting too close to the enemy whilst in camouflage, will still arouse suspicion. If at any point the enemy does notice you recklessness and are alerted to your presence, by pressing “LB” you will activate your armour cloak, which will allow you to withstand a little more damage.
There is one more Nanosuit feature also worth mentioning and that is the Nanovision. Nanovision allows Alcatraz to see in infrared, ideal for spotting enemies in areas of darkness. But be warned, using all of these cool features will come at a cost. Located at the bottom right of the screen will be the Nanosuit’s energy status bar, this will drain over a period of time when the Nanosuit key features are being used. The status bar will drain faster of course if you were to use more than one key feature at any one time, running also drains power faster. But energy can be regained if you switch off the powers and remain in a stationary position. But be careful when you choose to recharge, because if an enemy see’s you when you are vulnerable, you will get your backside kicked.
One of the many beauties of Crysis 2 is its replay ability of the single player campaign. Unlike most FPS’s of the modern day, they have the habit of being over in more or less 6-7 hours with the only thing bringing you back are hidden collectibles and harder difficulty settings. But what Crysis 2 gives you is the ability to upgrade and customise in game weapons and armour via collecting something known as Nano Catalyst. Nano Catalyst is found when killing alien enemies; this can be added to your weapons and armour, in almost an RPG XP kind of way and the best thing of being able to upgrade all your gadgets is that once you finish your game, you can carry over all your upgrades via a New Game+ like system. This system gives you the opportunity to max out Alcatraz’s weapons and armour; these upgrades can be carried over to a harder difficulty, encouraging players to give the harder settings ago. Having a New Game+ feature is a welcomed trend that we are finding in many modern day games.
And of course adding to the extensive single player campaign, you have lots of hidden collectables that are scattered throughout the Crysis 2 world, so if you suffer from Achievement OCD like me, that is also another reason to come back for a little more Crysis. Not to mention the games awesome multiplayer modes, which gives other FPS’s a good run for their money, so I’d recommended give that ago also if you want a break from the single player campaign.
For someone who enjoys playing the gung-ho FPS, this may be out of your comfort zone, due to the large amount of stealth gameplay. So if you’re unsure, give Crysis 2 a rent, but it has been in our stores for well over a year now, so if you shop about, you should be able to pick it up between £15 – £20 or may be even cheaper if you’re lucky. So if you do a little bit of bargain hunting, you could have a nice little gem in your collection.
Crysis 2 “Just in case you missed it” Review,