“Crysis 2” takes a small step in a new, potentially revitalizing direction for the first-person shooter genre by providing players with more than just a linear shooting gallery. Is it revolutionary? No. Does it re-invent the wheel? Probably not.
But it is an exciting game with a slew of new ideas that you won’t find in “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 12.”
The story behind “Crysis 2” is nothing to write home about and is easily one of the weaker elements of the game. There are, however, traces of transhumanism and cyberpunk that are sure to catch the interest of sci-fi enthusiasts.
The game puts you in control of the inexplicably named Alcatraz, a soldier in a war that’s scope is far beyond him. This changes quickly, however, as a depressed cyborg fellah named Prophet soon bequeaths his fancy robot tuxedo, the Nanosuit 2.0, unto Alcatraz.
And it is this fancy robot tuxedo that not only grants Alcatraz the chance to be a relevant player in a massive, city-spanning conflict, but also provides “Crysis 2” with a fresh new concept that sets it apart in a market of largely identical first-person shooters.
The sleek and shiny Nanosuit 2.0 offers Alcatraz enhanced strength and mobility, as well as modes that turn him into either a deadly invisible assassin or a nearly unstoppable armored brute.
But beyond the bells and whistles, the Nanosuit 2.0 also gives players something far more important – options.
Options are certainly available in first person shooters like “Halo” (you can smash in an alien’s brains with a gravity hammer or blow an alien’s face to kingdom come with a rocket launcher) but beyond a varied arsenal players are seldom given choices when it comes to how they can handle an entire conflict.
In “Crysis 2,” players can burst onto the dilapidated streets of New York City guns blazing, ripping turrets from armed cars and absorbing gunfire with the Nanosuit’s armor. They can cloak themselves entirely and lurk in the shadows, picking off enemies one by one with a quick shank when their friends aren’t looking. They can stand hundreds of yards away on top of a building and snipe to their heart’s content. They can even go Ghandi on everyone’s ass and avoid conflicts completely.
You could certainly play “Crysis 2” like any other first-person shooter out there and have a perfectly lovely time killing things any way you can to get from A to B. But the important thing to remember is that you don’t have to. The choice is yours.
Additionally, “Crysis 2” offers some of the most spectacular environments available on consoles. The broken, dystopian New York City is full of crumbling bridges, colossal buildings and flooded streets. The backdrop of the final level is nothing short of incredible. If you don’t sit back and take in the scenery at least once in “Crysis 2,” you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Spiffy gameplay mechanics and awesome graphics aside, “Crysis 2” is far from perfect. Enemies not only lack variety but intellect, as the articifial intelligence is particularly spotty. If a glitchy jellyfish alien taking cover behind nothing in the midst of a gorgeously rendered, sweeping cityscape is going to drive you bonkers, then “Crysis 2” probably isn’t for you.
But if you can look past bland, moronic enemies and a complicated narrative, “Crysis 2” is sure to hold your attention, and rightfully so.
It won’t win any Game of the Year awards, but “Crysis 2” makes a bold attempt to try something new in a genre that is quickly becoming stale.