Crysis 2 is like what would happen if you were in New York and the full effects threatened by the 2012 movie were felt… and then the aliens came, too, to blast seven shades of shit out of what was left.
Now, normally, a game that’s full of aliens, particularly a first-person shooter, gets on my nerves because it takes me too far out of reality, and you could also moan at me for saying that very little that happens in a lot of video games is going to be that much based in reality – although titles like the Call of Duty series have addressed that – but, here, as the baddies stomp about, they are basically like humans in suits, albeit with their faces completely covered.
Spread over 18 levels and taking place in 2023, three years after the original game – which I confess I never played, the basic plot is that you’re one of the US Marine Corps who are dropped in with a view to rescuing former Crynet employee Doctor Nathan Gould who, it transpires, may know how to defeat those pesky aliens. However, like alll good plans things go wrong, almost every other marine is killed as they blow up your submarine and there’s just you, Alcatraz, and Delta Force Major Laurence “Prophet” Barnes, who’s wearing the Nanosuit 2.0. Since he’s been infected with the Manhattan virus, he gives you the suit and tops himself so the suit disassociates itself with him and you’ll find that when Gould comes across on the intercom, he still refers to you as Prophet because he has no idea about the major’s fate.
So what does the Nanosuit do? It comes with a futuristic HUD and enables you to perform power jumps by holding down A, there’s an icon measuring enemy’s awareness of you and it comes complete with a temporary cloak device. Also, you can follow the markers with a distance meter to tell you how far and in which direction you should be going.
Prior to starting Crysis 2, I was playing another of this year’s big hits, Homefront and it’s difficult not to make comparisons because both are portraying a dystopian future following the collapse of society at the hands of enemies with guns, but it’s clear that this game contains much nicer and more fluid graphics, especially when it comes to explosions. They’re lush! You can also play it in 3D if you have an HDTV which is fully 1080p compatible, but I don’t.
The sound is also similarly kick-ass. It’s in Dolby Digital 5.1 as you’d expect and once you get hold of an HMG, as Ash says in Army of Darkness, “This is my boomstick!” – it’s one for when you need to blow everyone not just out of the water, but out of existence!
When playing through one particular level I could only sum this up as being completely fucking awesome. Baddies shoot, I duck, take shots when I can, and at times when their numbers are getting blown away and the odds are building in my favour, I charge at them and they run! Ha! Run you bastards!!! At times the AI is absolutely phenomenal and feels like it sets a new benchmark in first-person shooters, although there are others when a baddie hides and you can easily walk up to him and riddle his head with bullets.
At one point it was quite amusing to see that a baddie can indeed be killed by one of his mate’s grenades, as I ducked out of the way, the explosion came and I heard, “Man down!” Hahahahahha!
In this game, you can be stealthy or fire aplenty. There are times where you need to adopt one approach before heading to the other, so both have their plus points and the atmosphere draws you in to the point where you’re not going to do anything stupid, unless you just want to see what lies ahead before you then go back and have a sensible crack at things.
Now, I know you have a nanosuit and can ‘engage cloak’ and heavy armour and all that, but the game features stuff about taking tissue samples from aliens and integrating this with your nanosuit… it can indeed be done, but quite frankly, I didn’t really get this side of it, and sometimes you just want to take your fantastic weaponry and kick ass big-style. The cloak can lead you into a false sense of security, too. After switching it on, you’ll head out thinking you’re invincible, then you’ll use up your suit’s energy on the thing and not only will you not have enough left to kick cars and other heavy items about so that they land on the enemy, but you’ll also show up in front of them at the most inopportune moment!
One niggle in this game is that you can pick things up in any room and throw it about but… it doesn’t make any noise! Huh?! Whoever thought of big heavy objects being as silent as a pillow? Okay, if you turn up the amp you might hear a bit of a clank but it’s a million miles from what this title CAN deliver as you’ll find when you can practically shoot everything up!
The Limited Edition version of this game includes bonus content which can be downloaded online with the code supplied, and includes:
- Scar Assault Rifle Digital Camouflage: A medium assault rifle with high accuracy and fire rate.
- Scar hologram decoy: A weapon attachment that can project a moving holographic mirror of the player, allowing him to deceive and confuse enemies.
- Unique Platinum Dog-tag: These display a player’s multiplayer rank and stats against a customisable frame and background image. They can be viewed by other players and are used to help identify players more easily in the game.
- Bonus XP: This awards additional experience points that immediately boost the player up to rank 5, giving access to present class loadouts in multiplayer.
Crysis 2 is everything that Homefront isn’t, and for those looking for a superb single player campaign that’s as much fun as Call of Duty: Black Ops , then get this now; and once you combine this with the amazing visuals, letting rip with your entire arsenal, it felt like World War III had come to my street!
At the time of publishing this review, I’ve uploaded three pieces of gaming footage, none of which are full levels as I’ve spent my time simply getting into it all and I’m not very good at it… I die an awful lot! That doesn’t stop it from being bloody good fun, though, despite some very bizarre glitches, some of which are displayed in the footage.
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- Publisher: EA Games
- Price: £49.99 (Xbox 360, PS3); £34.99 (PC)
- Players: single player campaign, multiplayer: 2-12
- HDTV options: 720p/1080i/1080p
- Features: 3D support (1080p), leaderboards, voice
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.