Crysis 2 Review «

REVIEW
Crysis 2 Review
(PC, PS3, XBOX 360)
Possibly the most visually impressive game you’ll play this year.
By Jose Otero 03/22/2011
Share it:Tweet Originally a PC-only game, Crysis set high expectations for future games in the series by providing a flexible empowering experience. Though it seemed unlikely an equally impressive follow-up could be created on console, developer Crytek has delivered a sequel that captures many ideas of the original game, and implements a few new ones as well. But most importantly, Crysis 2 is just as visually impressive as its predecessor, even on PS3 and 360.
As hyped as the original game was, playing it is not a prerequisite for enjoying Crysis 2. Most of the controls have been changed completely, and this new chapter in the Crysis trilogy introduces a new protagonist (while short recaps fill in any story gaps you might’ve missed). None of those revisions, however, disrupt the creative gameplay moments or lush environment design that made so many people fall in love with Crysis.

Click the image above to check out all Crysis 2 screens.
The biggest change from Crysis to Crysis 2 are the controls; more specifically the tailoring of every action in the game to craft a simpler, console-friendly setup. The previous game implemented a control wheel to let you quickly switch between the parameters of Stealth, Power, Speed, and Armor in your Nanosuit — a powerful piece of combat armor designed to help you develop your own play style and creatively dispatch enemies. Although this worked great on PC, it was scrapped and retooled for the sequel.

Everything you do is now mapped to the controller, and switching between suit abilities is no longer required because the armor abilities are automated. Clicking the Left stick makes you sprint, but also automatically engages maximum speed, something you previously had to activate separately. Clicking Right stick deploys a quick melee strike, but clicking and holding it will charge up your attack for more powerful punches or car kicks. Stealth and armor functions are now bound to the bumper buttons 360 (or triggers on PS3) and there are two new options: Nanovision, which helps you spot trouble in low-light conditions, and the Tactical Visor. The Visor works like a pair of binoculars, but it also allows you to zoom in and out to highlight and locate enemy units, armor resupply locations, and other tools you’ll use within the game. Anything you see in the Tactical mode can be marked, making it easier to find, and the game clues you in with an auditory cue when you need to scan the area before proceeding.

The new simplified controls of Crysis 2 are an elegant solution to the slightly complex setup of the first game, and surprisingly nothing is lost in the transition. Instead, the streamlined features of the Nanosuit make more sense, and every suit ability is conveniently tied to offensive/defensive options making Crysis 2 much easier to pick up and play. You might argue that the previous PC controls cultivated more creativity in battle, but the combat sandbox in the sequel still offers plenty of impressive moments.

And having so many tactical options at your disposal is one of the things that separates Crysis 2 from the many other shooters on the market. Unlike most titles in the genre that funnel you down a rabbit hole of close-quarters, scripted combat experiences, Crysis 2 frames everything in an action movie-style lens while still encouraging you to play the game your own way. Stealthy types can sneak around and create diversions, stalking enemies and luring them into different situations, while more impatient types can run around and tackle obstacles head on. In Crysis 2 enemies are dumped into an urban playground, and pretty much any way you want to engage them is a viable choice.

This illusion doesn’t hold up well indoors or in some of the more linear parts of the game, but when Crysis 2 opens up there’s this process of discovery that’s truly impressive. I played through levels multiple times and still found new pathways and tactical options I hadn’t noticed before.

 

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