Shooters these days are a dime a dozen. Every month there seems to be a new shooter and, usually, most of them don’t seem to feel all that new. Not many shooters stand-out these days and easily become nothing more than a clone to shooters like Call of Duty and Halo. Well, that is no longer the case. Say hello to Crysis 2, the newest contender for the console first-person shooter genre.
The story here is it’s the year 2023; you’re a marine named Alcatraz whose squad gets wiped out as part of an attack from an alien race known as the Ceph but luckily for you get saved by someone called Prophet, the hero from the first Crysis. He ends up giving you his nanosuit so you can be the one who saves the world from the Ceph invasion/infestation. So why does he give you the suit? Well apparently it’s because Prophet managed to get infected from the virus that’s infecting most of New York City, and so he can no longer do what needs to be done to stop the invasion. As a result of this, he ends up killing himself so the nanosuit will destroy all links with him so a new owner can wear it. Everything above is just the introduction to the game, which gives the game a great intro, but sadly the rest of the game’s story isn’t nearly as great. The rest of the game’s story is just you trying to find a way to stop the Ceph invasion. Luckily, it’s not the story that makes this game so epic… it’s everything else.
One of the things that sets Crysis 2 apart from every other shooter is the nanosuit. The nanosuit is rather impressive in this game with its 3 distinct powers. The first power is power mode which is the nanosuit’s default power which honestly I’m not really sure what’s so special about this one. The second power is stealth mode, which is my favorite. Stealth lets you run around cloaked so you can assassinate people from behind or get somewhere safe so you can take people out without them knowing what him them. The last power is armor mode, which lets you survive explosions head-on or even survive giant falls that would normally kill you. All these powers use up energy when doing anything while the power is activated such as running or jumping or even firing your gun. So you have to use your powers wisely or you’ll be dead in seconds. Now, the energy meter does recharge pretty fast so don’t think you can only use your powers once and that’s it. It’s just if your energy meter runs out in the middle of a firefight and you have no cover to run behind than you can end up dead pretty quickly.
A lot of games these days have very linear closed off levels where all you do is go from point A to point B. Now, this game does have closed off levels as well where you also go from point A to point B, but the levels are much more massive and there are usually multiple routes through each level so you never have to play a level the same way twice. In Crysis 2 each level has multiple ways of getting through it, and the fact that you can climb on top of pretty much anything your character can get a hold of makes getting around each level much more enjoyable.
Now, if all you’re trying to do is beat the game than you can usually just go in and out of stealth and just make a run for the objective. You’re not forced to stick around and kill everyone if you don’t want to, but the game is much more fun if you do. There are 18 pretty big levels and multiple collectibles in each level making the single-player campaign pretty lengthy. I didn’t even mind at all the fact I had to replay a few levels a few times to try and find all the souvenirs. There are also suit upgrades to unlock, which can be purchased when you have enough nano catalysts to obtain them. Nano catalysts are like currency in Crysis 2, which you can only obtain from dead Ceph. The single-player campaign took me between 12-16 hours to beat and that’s also with finding all the New York souvenirs. If you don’t care about getting the achievement for finding all the New York souvenirs than the single-player campaign will probably run you closer to 12 hours. And you can cut that time in half, if not more so, if you just run through the game without stopping to kill anybody.
The only real problems I have with this game are just minor ones. In this game you can blow apart parts of the environment and stuff like that, but you can’t seem to blow apart small things like a wooden crate. You can shoot people to death but once they are dead than they seem to be nailed to the ground or something, because after they are dead no matter what you do they don’t seem to budge an inch. Stupid stuff like that tends to bother me because with any FPS I tend to pay more attention to the physics than anything else.
I think this game shines almost as equally in multiplayer with its Call of Duty style of play and leveling, but with subtle differences that makes the multiplayer for Crysis 2 more fun than Call of Duty, in my opinion. I will start with the leveling. Just like in Call of Duty you can unlock weapons and attachments and perks in Crysis 2. Except the way you unlock all these things is a little different than in Call of Duty. You get 3 perks in Crysis 2: One for power, one for stealth and one for armor. The only way to unlock them is by leveling them up which you can only do by constantly using those powers as you play. I pretty much use stealth most of the time so my stealth is at level 12, and I’ve unlocked all the perks that go for stealth, but my armor is only at like level 3 because I hardly use armor mode. You can unlock attachments for weapons by completing goals with the weapon you want to unlock an attachment for. The one difference that I like the most is the kill streak rewards. Just like in Call of Duty there are kill streak rewards, BUT the main difference here is that you can’t just kill a certain amount of people to earn a kill streak reward. You have to collect the dog tags that each person drops when you kill them. This means no more hiding out in the corner with a sniper rifle picking people off as you unlock reward after reward. Now, you have to run over to the corpse and pick up the dog tag before it goes away. Until that is you unlock the perk that automatically gives you a person’s dog tag after you kill them. Plus, the kill streak rewards in Crysis 2 are helpful and all but they aren’t game changing like the attack helicopter you man yourself in Call of Duty. The multiplayer levels are almost just as massive as the single-player levels, and most of the multiplayer levels, if not all of them, are just levels taken from the single-player campaign which make for perfect online warzones.
Though some of you may not care about this, the last thing I like about multiplayer for Crysis 2 is that there are quite a few achievements to unlock giving you more incentive to keep playing multiplayer. I’m the type of person that likes recognition for my online accomplishments. My favorite one being the achievement I unlocked for being the top scoring player out of both teams for the entire round. The online achievements for Crysis 2 are pretty basic like reaching level 50 or be the top scoring player for a round. They aren’t super specific like kill 5 people within 5 seconds with a shotgun while jumping up and down on one leg while spinning around… like some of the Halo multiplayer achievements but less exaggerated, of course. Honestly, achievements like that annoy the crap out of me, because at that point you’re focused more on unlocking the achievement than trying to help your team win the round.
There are 50 achievements in this game totaling 1,000 points. 35 of them can be unlocked in single-player, which are pretty straightforward achievements. You have your natural story progression achievements, your beat the game on certain difficulty achievements, and killing a certain amount of enemies in a certain way achievements… and a few others. There are 15 achievements, which can be unlocked in multi-player. The multi-player achievements will mostly be time consuming like reaching level 50, unlocking all weapons, fully upgrading the nanosuit, and unlock 150 dog tag displays. The rest will require, at least, some skill like being the top player for the entire match, win a match on every game mode, and get one of each skill kill.
So the bottom-line is if you’d like to play a great shooter that isn’t Call of Duty than be sure to pick this game up. Right off the bat this game just feels like a big budget sci-fi movie. The graphics really are amazing here and will be sure to impress, and the fact the environments are of New York City is just icing on this already incredibly impressive cake. The musical score is top-notch like something you’d expect from a big budget movie. And the game itself is very smooth and fast paced with a framerate that never seems to drop no matter what is going on the screen. And the multiplayer is just as fun and almost as unique… but not quite. All around this is a great game and a must have for any FPS fan.
Miyavi Yu is one of the newest contributors on OneManAsylum.com. You can find him on Xbox Live @ Miyavi Yu.
Rating (1 - 5)
Miyavi Yu - 4.75
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