Crysis 2 [Review]
Imagine, if you will, that there is a terrible virus that is ravaging the planet. This virus acts similar to the Ebola virus in that it causes you to bleed everywhere, but that’s not where it stops. This virus then starts to melt you from the inside out. That would be pretty scary, right? Well, on top of that you’re beginning to hear strange rumors that there are creatures, no, aliens attacking people and destroying everything in their wake. On top of that, imagine that you’re a Marine being sent into Manhattan to rescue someone who is in the middle of one the largest infected zones on this side of the country! If you can begin to imagine that, then you’re well on your way to either writing the next great sci-fi book, or you are immersed in Crysis 2!
Lets get to one of the meaty parts of this game: the nano suit. Crysis 2, much like in Crysis, puts your character into a nano suit. What makes this a nano suit is the ability to change, react, and even evolve to suit the needs of the person wearing it. The game itself requires you to rely on this suit heavily. Most fights or situations you come across will have you pull up your suit’s visor. The suit will then process the area and survey tactical options. The options range from flanking, using static weapons, stealthing, or exploring areas. With this visor you can then mark targets or areas that you want to explore and the suit will help guide or track said targets. The other functions are armor mode, stealth mode, and nanovision. The armor mode allows you to avoid considerable damage from explosions, and also take direct fire for a slightly longer time before you character is killed off.
In Crysis, you had another option called ‘power’ which did not make it here. It’s more of a passive ability now, but there is nothing wrong with being able to pick up an alien doing hit and runs on you or a nearby enemy soldier to use as a shield! The stealth mode allows you to move within certain distances around enemy units and gain a tactical advantage such as setting up targets for a kill. While in stealth, shooting a firearm completely drains your energy but melee kills will keep you hidden. Nanovision is the final ability that you get, and all it is is thermal vision. This will come in handy if you get into really dark areas or you have to go underwater. Unfortunately there are few other parts in the game where this comes in handy besides those situations…
The graphics for this game are incredibly beautiful. Stepping out into the sunlight in a ravaged part of Manhattan, you see destroyed cars, dust flying through the streets, and newspapers and other garbage moving through the streets as you make your way through the levels. At some points in the game I could position my camera to look directly at the sun and see many rays shooting down from it and illuminating everything differently as if it were real. The environments are also destructible, which means that enemy AI will blow up your cover and charge you. There is no standing still, avoiding enemy fire, or staying in one place for very long. Again, this is where suit use comes in handy.
The story of this game is incredibly compelling. During the beginning you will move into new areas, get acquainted with suit functions, learn how to use the firearms, and begin taking in the storyline. The game is about eight hours long in length and around the middle the pace definitely quickens. Around midway through the game, you will rejoin with some Marine infantry and begin to assist with evacuation orders and much bigger parts of this storyline begin taking place. People you thought were friends and allies don’t exactly seem to be so, or there are gray areas in between that make it very compelling to keep playing. One of the best things about this game is that it moves away from short story lines that have been infesting shooters these days, making it well worth the money spent!
The online play for this game is something of a challenge. The servers for the PC side of things had issues with restarting timers a lot. Each time someone joined or left a server it would restart the timer. Another problem was that when I went to go to the multiplayer portion, I would have to re-enter my code to play the game. The online game balance will work for some people. There are two modes: normal mode which is not very fun in my opinion, and Pro Mode where you can up the ante considerably and which adds a level of playing that I find to be much more fun! In this mode all weapons are improved in power and are much more deadly. Suit use and tactics will come into play a lot more. There are several game modes for online play, consisting of pod capture which is control point capture, team death match, and free for all.
Each server also gets to choose what sort of kill streaks you get to use. Examples would be UAV, anti-UAV coverage, calling in a Ceph gunship to tear apart your enemies, and an orbital cannon! Depending on the team you are on, a massive green or red beam will begin appear from the sky and tear apart the area. The only real problem was that in normal mode you would see most people just using the assault rifle, strafing with no sights up or anything. Just a lot of run and gun. The pro mode had much more stealthing, and tactics involved which made for a much better game. When you buy the limited edition of the game you also get several unlocks; five free levels in the beginning and the ability to make your own kit right away which will give you a bit of a handy boost.
Crysis 2, as stated above, is a great way to start moving away from the short length shooters that have been appearing within the last few years. The graphics are amazing, with a storyline to back it up. The scenes of destruction change constantly with subtle things like wind blowing smoke in your direction. Your suit options are very diverse, and with many options to move through the game you’ll want to play through several times just to see different scenarios. The multiplayer will also only get better as new patches are put out for the game. With only minor issues on controls for the PC side, this game was a welcome treat to the gaming world!