|System: PS3, PC, Xbox 360|
|Dev: Crytek Studios|
|Pub: Electronic Arts|
|Release: March 22nd, 2011|
|Players: 1 (up to 12 online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Alex Hurley
Set in 2023, three years after the events of the first game, Crysis 2 exchanges the foliage of the jungle for the steel and concrete of iconic New York City. This "urban jungle" has fallen under invasion by an alien force bent on the destruction of humanity. Amidst the chaos of a crumbling metropolis only one supersoldier, using the newly enhanced Nanosuit, has a chance of stopping this unrelenting threat to the world.
So begins Crysis 2 from developer Crytek Studios who have done everything they can to top their own critically acclaimed game, Crysis from 2007. By the looks of things, they've done just that--Crysis 2 provides the same freedom and options of its predecessor while opening up new possibilities in the chaos of the smoldering ruins of New York. Despite this shift of location, the game is still focused on providing open-ended approaches to levels with large outdoor environments that emphasize vertical exploration as the player leaps from one story to another while avoiding enemies and snipers peppered throughout towering buildings and structures. Destructible environments add to the mayhem, keeping the player constantly on his toes when bullets and grenades are flying, reshaping the city around him. And thanks to Crytek's CryENGINE 3, the city is portrayed with exquisite detail and top-notch dynamic visual effects.
Crytek put a lot of work into perfecting the Nanosuit from the first game. The new 2.0 version grants the player a massive amount of freedom when approaching obstacles and enemies. Two main suit modes, Armor and Stealth, allow for a heavy, direct combat approach or a sneakier style, respectively, while a secondary mode can be toggled between greater power or greater tactical awareness. This streamlined approach to the Nanosuit opens up the gameplay for each individual player to play differently: for example, a stealth approach works great for locating outlying enemies and sneaking into the heart of the opposing forces, then a switch to pure strength can plow through the unsuspecting enemies. With new upgrades available as the story progresses, the gameplay style is all up to the player. And adaptability is crucial here; Crytek has also developed a brutal artificial intelligence (AI) system that is sure to challenge and surprise the player in any number of ways.
Multiplayer mode puts these options and principles into the fast-paced, hectic atmosphere of online competition. By customizing the Nanosuit in multiplayer, the player can approach the battle from various perspectives--sneaking up to enemies with stealth invisibility, using raw power to plow through them, using speed to quickly flank retreating opponents, or using the Enhanced Visor module to sniff out hidden enemies. The abilities are all up to the player and by progressing through the eighty general ranks, more and more supersoldier powers are unlocked.
Multiplayer features twelve maps in various New York City locales designed around using the Nanosuit's multitude of abilities. Additionally there are six game modes including Team Instant Action, a standard team deathmatch mode, and Crash Site which has two teams working against each other to control Ceph Drop Pods to earn points. With so many options and features, Crysis 2's multiplayer looks like it'll provide some of the most varied and expansive multiplayer action available on any of the three platforms.
Amidst all of these unique features and possibilities, Crysis 2's most ambitious feature may be that the game will be available in true stereoscopic 3D. Crytek CEO and President Cevat Yeril explains that "the 3D experience represents a quantum leap in interactive entertainment. With all of the same story and action seen in the 2D version of the game, the 3D version adds another dimension of intensity and immersion to the action." It remains to be seen just how 3D support will bolster the game, but if the various other features of Crysis 2 are any indication, it will push the boundaries of FPS gaming.
Crytek Studios blew gamers away with the first Crysis game, and they will no doubt do it again with Crysis 2. From stunning visuals and 3D support to the myriad customizable options, Crysis 2 seems to have everything an FPS fan could ask for. It's been a long wait, but it looks like Crysis 2 will be well worth it.
CCC Freelance Writer