After GameFly and Redbox both failed me (story coming), I took my own advice and went down to the Target in Murrieta about an hour up I-15 from San Diego. I had to go to two Targets actually, the first was sold out, to obtain a copy of Crysis 2 (and receive a $10 Target gift card). I went home and threw it into my console with much anticipation. I did my evaluation with the Xbox 360 version of the game. Minor spoilers ahead.
I did not play the first PC-only Crysis, but did enjoy its grand-daddy, Far Cry, back in the day. This is the first of the Crysis series to make it to both current generation consoles as well as PC. It’s kind of a big deal you see. There is even a funny Achievement that references this early in the game.
As such, I was eager to see what the story and game play would be like. It was a given that the graphics would be very good, the company is famous for that after all, I wasn’t disappointed, the scenery is quite realistic, even pretty, the visual effects very effective. More than just the look, the game runs smoothly and looks more than just skin deep. There is some “pop in” of details here and there, but I only noticed this when back tracking. I’ll keep an eye on this.
The environments are well stocked with things to look at and poke through. You can interact with most items, though mostly it’s just the ability to throw them around. There are a number of items you can “turn on”, like computers and TVs, but I still haven’t figured out why I should bother turning them on. Seems like a silly feature if nothing ever comes of it (perhaps there is an Achievement for turning on 100 devices).
The back story; some kind of biologic threat is unleashed upon New York City (again?) and leads to a quarantine of sorts. The police/security forces are seen as the bad guys, just the arm of the evil government I guess. You are a marine sent in to try and rescue a scientist that is trying to find a cure for what ails the public. Something happens along the way and you are the only one of your team to make it in.
You are then absconded/rescued by a guy in a grey suit. In fact the whole opening credits is accompanied by cut scenes of this guy fighting it out with all manner of soldiers, armored vehicles and even a helicopter all nicely choreographed to an impressive soundtrack. It’s probably the most successful use of a movie style opening sequence that I’ve seen in a video game. Usually such attempts are feeble attempts. Crysis 2 does it so well, I enjoyed sitting through it.
Then you wake up and now you’re wearing the suit and Prophet, the man who used to have the suit, has moved on to another quest and wants you to carry on in his stead. Kind of like Iron Man meets The Santa Clause.
The suit is… cool. Not only does it protect you from a lot of harm, especially when in maximum armor mode, it has a cloaking ability which makes you nearly invisible. It is only effective for a short time and if you don’t move too fast. And shooting kills its effect altogether. The suit’s battery powers all of these abilities and while it drains quickly, it also recharges quickly.
I’ve been enjoying the game in my first sitting. The sneaking and shooting works well. You will need to sneak enough to at least get into a good tactical position and make effective use of cover. If you are confronted with more than two enemies at once, you’ll take damage quickly. This was one of the features that I remember Far Cry bringing to the mix in shooters, and it’s still a good element.
The lasting first impression I have is that the game seems like it has some meat to it (as in length). I’m a couple hours in, and it still seems new, I’m still learning things about my suit, like the ability to customize some of the special abilities; a little role playing element. And I just met my first non-human enemy (no, happily they aren’t zombies).
I have yet to experience multiplayer, but I’d highly recommend Crysis 2 based on my single player experience thus far even if it didn’t have any multiplayer.