by Chris Davis
reviewed on PC
Let Him, Who Desires Peace, Prepare for War (cntd)
The elephant in the room that separates the Crysis series from other games is clearly the Nanosuit. As fearsome and powerful as its appearance, it is nigh a character unto itself and is only limited in power by how you play. Crysis 2’s redesigned Nanosuit retains many of the suit’s powers from the first game while making it easier for players (say those wishing to play on a console) to use them equally. The new Nanosuit is composed of three different modes: Power, Armor, and Stealth. Power mode is what you will be using most of the time. It gives you the ability to move large objects as well as sprint for a short duration and jump much higher. Armor mode, while narrowing your field of view, increases the density of the suit’s material and allows you to take more damage out in the field before your health starts to drain away. Stealth gives you the ability to be almost invisible and sneak past enemies, though it is a significant drain on the suit’s power source. While in many games you are placed in the role of a super soldier with mixed results Crysis 2 makes you feel and play like one.
The great thing about the series’ gameplay is that, apart from a few specific sequences per game, you can tackle an objective almost any way you want. Need to get into a building and detonate an explosive inside but it is surrounded by enemies? You could do some balls-to-the-wall gunplay and eliminate all of them with the added safety of Armor mode. Or, if you feel like saving your much-needed ammo for later you could sneak in and extract using Stealth. The choice is entirely yours and you are free to mix and match as you please. The Nanosuit itself will also give you some tactical advice using its visor but you can choose to ignore it if you wish.
One welcome addition to the Crysis formula is the ability to further customize your suit to how you want to play. Much like the perks system present in the Call of Duty series, players can purchase new abilities called modules to augment the Nanosuit’s already powerful modes, though only four of them can be active at one time. Players can obtain these enhancements by recovering nano-cells from dead Ceph though you won’t be able to reap the benefits of these modules since you don’t actually fight many Ceph until you are over a third of the way into the game. Still, they are very useful and since they can be switched out on the fly it is well worth your time to collect them.
One complaint that has to be ousted though is the size of the levels in the game. While Crysis took most of its level-design ideas from Far Cry with large, open environments to explore and long distances to travel, Crysis 2 instead switches to a more linear style. You will have pretty of room to maneuver and explore throughout the majority of the game but it really opens up when you enter a large arena-esque area filled with baddies. The large, open environments from Crysis are missed but the more direct focus of the game’s combat warrants this. Still however this redesign significantly cuts down on the amount of terrain to explore, effectively reducing the numerous ways to go after an objective.
Plenty to Prophet From
In addition to having a robust singleplayer experience Crysis 2 has taken note of today’s more traditional multiplayer experiences like Call of Duty and brought their own unique interpretation to the game. Players take on the role of either US Marines (contrary to the Navy SEALs that the main characters were in the first game) or CELL mercenaries hired by Crynet amidst the chaos of the singleplayer campaign. Taking place across twelve maps, players will compete with or against fifteen other players in seven gameplay modes.
The game changer though is, once again, the Nanosuit. In almost every mode the player is fitted with a Nanosuit with the same abilities as Alcatraz has in the singleplayer. Crysis 2 utilizes the familiar leveling system created by Call of Duty that has become a standard for online multiplayer. You will kill enemies, collect experience points, and level up to unlock new things to enhance the overall experience. The leveling system ties directly into the same Nanosuit module system used in the singleplayer (though with altered abilities and not carrying over to the main campaign) so you will notice a definite impact in your gameplay based on what you choose to enhance. You will have to utilize your suit’s Stealth, Power, and Armor modes though in order to unlock these modules but in the end you will find that the things you want to unlock are the ones you actually want.
Excellent singleplayer and multiplayer experiences
No DirectX 11 support, unresolved between-game story issues