Thursday, 31 March 2011

What Crysis 2 learned from its little brother

Having resisted the eye popping allure of Nintendo’s latest portable stunner, I settled for something a bit more skin tight and figure hugging with the nanosuited escapades of Crysis 2. After running, jumping, sleuthing and stabbing my way through it over the last week, it’s been nice to see where it has learned lessons over the 2007 original.

First of all it seems that the new streamlined suit is much more at home in the concrete playground of New York. The jungles of Crysis had the Predator feeling (sans-shoulder cannon) down, but at times the lack of solid stuff to hide behind and the complexes in the middle of nowhere meant that there was a lot of hopping in and out of hot spots. New York just feels like a more naturally consistent environment to roam around.

Speaking of the streamlined nature of the nanosuit, having everything assigned to different buttons was a smart move. Even though it looks like a gimp suit covered in artificial muscles and consumer electronics, you do feel cool jumping between invisibility and man tank modes when ploughing through the clusters of bad guys that seem to be very unfortunate in meeting you.

The transitions between the suit modes in Crysis 2 means there’s a much greater level of fluency over the original’s awkward suit function wheel of misfortune that meant a crafty fiddle was required to switch abilities. Appearing from thin air with full armour right in front of an enemy never failed to get old, especially when you could vanish again just as quickly before his mate noticed.

Introducing a consistent bi-pedal form to the aliens also went miles to pitching this one over the original. They are actually more amusing to fight now, even if it means that they share a very close resemblance to fighting the human enemies you encounter. It’s perhaps a bit of a shame that the main challenge the aliens pose over regular enemies is their uninspired bullet sponge properties, but they are still a conservative leap in the right direction.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment with Crysis 2 was the silent protagonist appearing about as charismatic as a washing machine that has never been used. While the mute man syndrome worked wonders in games like Halflife, there seem to be too many direct questions posed at the games’ hero, Alkatraz, to really warrant his non-answer. It just goes to distance you from the story.

At least in the original Crysis the suited and booted grunt, Nomad, had a few things to say, confirming that he was flesh and blood. Speaking of the guy, it would have been nice to know what happened to him, seeing at the end of the original he was flying back into the alien invested oblivion of an island he just fought tooth and nano-limb to escape from.

Crysis 2 was a very good game though and I’m looking forward to see if the multiplayer will grab me by the competitive plums the way that Halo and Call of Duty have so far failed to do so. I want my Xbox Live Gold membership to see some action damn it.

1 comment:

Luke said...

Hmm, you make Crysis 2 sound appealing - but I was greatly underwhelmed by what I played last year.

I greatly begrudged paying for my first Gold membership at Christmas - despite the fact that the gift card I won at work paid for it. My online play on the 360 is dwarfed by the embarrassing amount I've played online via PS3 in the same space of time. I do enjoy the sales, though - so far, I've bought 2400MP worth of games for 1000MP (including Monkey Island 2 for 400MP and X Men Arcade for 200MP within the last few days).

Once Brink is finally released, the tables may well turn. I pre-ordered the 360 version due to that console having the superior pad for FPS games.

Still, nothing beats helping/killing your mates from work in a game of Modern Warfare 2...