By Seth Miller
Staff Writer, Part-Time Ninja
There is one thing I truly miss about PCs, the games. I switched to a Mac about 4 years ago and while I love my Mac; I find myself longing for loading a game on my PC and shooting through it. The first Crysis was a PC-only game that was so popular and well-received that it made me jealous for the SOBs that got to play it. I heard the sequel, Crysis 2, was going to be available on Xbox 360 and I was incredibly excited; but after playing through, my faith in console games was restored because Crysis 2 is nothing to get overly excited about.
Following the events of the first game, the alien virus from the first game has been unleashed in New York City and has thrown the entire country into chaos. You play a marine who is nearly killed trying to enter the city on a mission to rescue a scientist. You are saved by Prophet, one of the super soldiers equipped with a nanosuit from the first game, before being getting a nanosuit of his own and given the task of stopping the aliens. The player now has to fight an army of soldiers from an evil corporation hoping to exploit the crisis, as well as the aliens, who just want to conquer the planet.
The story is pretty standard fare for an action sci-fi game; you got aliens taking over the world and a human super soldier who is supposed to stop it. This is the same for most video games like this; it doesn’t help Crysis 2 but it doesn’t hurt it either. What does hurt it is the backstory from the first game — which really would help players enjoy the game — is mentioned only in the briefest of ways and this really hurts the overall experience.
The gameplay is also a bit of a mixed bag. Overall, the action is fast paced and fun, just when you get used to the experience of fighting soldiers you switch to aliens who present a fresh challenge in the middle of the game. A part that I especially liked was the ability to customize your weapon with various attachments in the field; you don’t have to find a special station or anything similar, you can set it up whenever you want if you have the attachments. The game’s combat visor is an interesting addition, allowing you to view the battlefield and see the various ways you can take out the enemy; this is good idea that allows you to fully experience the environment and new ways to play the game apart from the running-n-gunning. The multiplayer leaves something to be desired. Despite the fact you have a suit with super powers, the overall experience is like bad ripoff of Call of Duty and has all the fun you expect from something like that.
The suit and the powers you get from it are fun to play around with, but the lack of variety with suit powers makes it pretty boring fast. The powers are useful, but if you give a player a nanosuit with incredible abilities, you better come up with more than a shield, a cloak, and infrared vision. Another problem that I have with the suit is the lack of guidance, you get a quick overview of the suit powers but afterward you have to figure it out on your own. I understand from a narrative point of view why this is, but the lack of some tutorial or something to help you get used the suit powers takes away from the experience and pisses me off when I realize I could have done something the entire game and don’t realize it till the end.
I won’t say much about the graphics and sound other than the fact that they are fantastic. But great sound and graphics don’t make up for the rest of the game’s shortcomings. If they did, then the Transformers films would be cinematic masterpiece and not the pain-inducing movie experience that happens every two years. The gameplay and story are either not up to par or are generic enough to have been seen in other games, some of them better than Crysis 2.
Front page image and screenshots courtesy of EA.