|System: PC, PS3, Xbox 360|
|Dev: Crytek Studios|
|Pub: Electronic Arts|
|Release: March 22, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood, Partial Nudity, Strong Language, Violence|
by Jake Valentine
Crytek has once again delivered on some pretty big promises. With Crysis 2, they deliver to the world their brand new CryEngine 3 simultaneously debuting on PC and consoles. Additionally, for the first time, Crytek is headed out of the tropical jungle and into the urban jungle of New York City. The result is a FPS experience unlike any other, providing Crysis' unique gameplay and impressive visuals with a fantastic atmosphere that sets the benchmark for the entire FPS genre.
My favorite part of Crysis 2 is, without a doubt, the Hans Zimmer score. It adds a sense of emotion to the game that the story isn't able to convey on its own. While the tale of Alcatraz, the marine sent in to New York City with nothing but a Nanosuit, is better than most stories we see in shooters, it isn't able to capture the player without Zimmer's score. You get a sense of desperation and gloom, similar to one found in Halo: Reach, but without the full frontal depression.
Speaking of the Nanosuit, Crytek has made some adjustments to the way it performs. Fans of the original Crysis will no doubt remember the armor and stealth abilities, which still do exactly what they imply. Speed has been changed to be a simple sprint option; when you hold the shift key to sprint, it will drain energy from the Nanosuit. Power has been removed and adjusted; if you hold the melee button, you'll be able to do either a powerful melee attack or move certain objects, such as cars. There have been several additions to the Nanosuit. First and foremost, there's the option to customize it so that you can gain certain perks and bonuses in different areas, i.e. armor upgrades, longer camouflage time, and so on. These customizable options not only add different ways to play through the game, similar to customizing plasmids in BioShock, but they also allow for tactical advantages in combat.
Speaking of tactical advantages, the next new addition is binoculars, specifically ones that allow you to survey the field of battle before rushing in. Often, you'll be prompted to pull out the binoculars and highlight different locations in your field of view, whether its crates of weapons and ammunition, or various areas that'll give you tactical advantages, such as a ledge for sniping or an area to flank the enemy. This blends in perfectly with the style of gameplay Crysis 2 offers: guerilla warfare. Crytek has done an excellent job keeping New York City in tact to the point of it still being recognizable.
You'll need to master guerilla type tactics if you want to progress through the campaign's two enemies: the human based CELL, who really don't like you, and the aliens invading the planet. The two enemy groups play differently; CELL is tactical in their approach: running for cover, bringing in support, and flanking you when given the chance. The aliens also enjoy using cover, but they're more apt to be aggressive, either using their enhanced speed or superior armor (which is saying something since CELL troops can take multiple shots to the head and shrug it off).
It's this combination of the Nanosuit's superpowers and the tactical guerilla warfare that mesh so well together to make an FPS experience unlike any other. There's no squad to help you out: the game is all about Alcatraz doing things on his own in a fantastic environment.