If you’re hanging out for the next Deus Ex and you’re thirsty for some sweet shooter action then zip up your pants and skol some Crysis 2.
This is one of those not-too-distant-future scenarios where aliens are invading the world and only you can stop them because you’re wearing a suit of awesome—a nanosuit of awesome to be precise.
Be careful with your ability choices though. Your suit’s energy drains quickly so you’re encouraged to do a lot of hit and run attacks.
The narrative weaves an intricate rug … I mean plot where several factions and individuals are interested in your suit of awesome to achieve their own goals. Really? Yep. Some people, the Marines, are keen for your help whereas these elite C.E.L.L. bastards just wanna poke holes in your new outfit. And then there are the Ceph critters who come in all sizes from jellyfish-robot-man-things to whooshing-glowy-mechanised-behemoths which seem to be inspired, at least partly in design, by Ghost in the Shell and almost any doco about deep sea creatures with David Attenborough.
So yeah, you have a fair range of targets to blast with a decent variety of weapons to choose from. You got your pistols and your shotguns and your rifles and submachine guns and your guided missiles and who really cares about the silencer attachments if you can literally sneak past shite loads of Ceph dudes while cloaked?
Each level in the campaign offers the player several opportunities, or different ways, to approach an objective. Using your visor thingy your HUD displays yellow numbers that can indicate ‘stealth’, ‘flank’ and ‘explore’ options. I explored a level and walked away with a hefty machinegun. These choices make the game look like it’s free and open but that illusion fractures with all of the tightly scripted scenes that connect the levels throughout the campaign.
All of these scripted scenes are intense. Pretty too. My only gripe with these moments is the Fahrenheit-esque timing where you have to hit the ‘w’ or ‘space’ button to progress through critical moments where you might be grappling for something to hang on to as a bridge is collapsing … For me, this button mashing is unnecessary and it leaves me less immersed in the game because I’m more concerned with hitting the right key rather than watching what’s happening on the screen.
I’ve spent several days playing this game for short stints and it is very entertaining—more entertaining than Bulletstorm.
As for multiplayer … Decent servers are hard to find but I did manage to partake in a mode that’s reminiscent of capture the flag. You have full access to your suit’s abilities which makes gameplay fun and frustrating. One minute that baddie was in my sights and now they’ve disappeared and … smacked me with the butt of their rifle. Jumping high and taking advantage of your high manoeuvrability allows for some frantic skirmishes. Like most modern shooters, you have to unlock classes and new weapons so I’ll have to spend more time online to unlock the bigger guns.
Overall, Crysis 2 is an excellent, well polished turd of a game. It’s shiny, it’s fast, it’s hot. The campaign ending, however, promises many sequels. Personally, I’d like to see a C&C Renegade remake, or equivalent, using CryENGINE 3 instead.