Crysis 2 Preview
While many console gamers may not be familiar with Crysis, you can be assured that the original created several very large waves in the PC realm. And the good news is that while it’s likely the PC version of the sequel will be slightly superior to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions, the latter versions really are looking amazing. Crytek has been good enough to show off some early gameplay and sources like GameSpot have already laid eyes on those brilliant visuals. Furthermore, it’d be wrong to assume this is “just another FPS,” or that it’s a “rehash” of the original title. Based on all the details and information we’ve acquired over the past few weeks, it seems as if Crytek (including the ex-Free Radical team) has worked hard to provide the player with a very fresh and engaging experience. It should be fresh even for those who played the original Crysis, too, so we’re all sorts of excited. So now it’s time to take a look at what is guaranteed to be one of the most anticipated shooter arrivals of 2010.
We normally don’t start with analyzing the graphics in a preview but we’re talking about Crysis, after all. Much of the talk surrounding both the first game and the sequel centers on the gorgeous visuals that accompany our ass-kicking, and according to Crytek boss Cevat Yerli, the PS3 and 360 versions should be “nearly identical,” although the PC is certainly the lead platform. It’s ambitious and large in size and scope, and potentially even innovative, so don’t give the technology behind Crysis 2 short shrift. This being said, we really need the final product before us in order to pass judgment so we must now move on to the gameplay. Firstly, that awesome nanosuit we used in the original game will return, but it has been upgraded. If you’re unfamiliar, this nifty suit lets you switch between max strength, speed, stealth and power; you’ll want to select one of these four traits depending on the combat situation. In the original Crysis, the four abilities were completely separate from one another.
But no longer. We’ll be able to mix and match – to some extent – and the team has also revamped the traits just a bit; the four will now be strength, stealth, power, and a new vision mode that puts handy-dandy tactical info at your disposal. The power ability now encompasses enhanced speed, if you’re wondering. You will select strength or stealth as your “base” option and after making your choice, you can then layer either power or that new vision mode atop the aforementioned foundation. Of course, you won’t be able to use them ceaselessly; the required energy to take advantage of such skills drains over time, so you have to be frugal in your timing an selection process. Yerli also spoke about some sort of upgrading procedure; i.e., your nanosuit might actually be customizable so you can create/hone new skills. It’s all about experimentation, it seems. Enter power mode and grab enemies by the throat – you could do this in the first game – but then zip over to another enemy at top speed without switching your ability set. We’re hoping for two things: effectiveness and fluidity/seamlessness.
By the way, the setting is actually New York City. Why? Yerli admitted that while Crysis may have been awfully pretty, it lacked “emotional buy-in.” Therefore, the team has decided to place the sequel in NYC simply because, as Yerli put it, “If I could pick one city to protect, it would be New York.” And to add to the atmosphere and overall intensity, Crytek has tapped award-winning science fiction novelist Richard Morgan; he’s actually the lead writer for the story in Crysis 2. He’s preparing a “twisting narrative” that forces us through some tough moral issues, and he’s apparently going to make the nanosuit an integral part of the plot. In fact, he said it could become “a character in its own right…with its own [story] arc.” This all sounds very, very cool, and we can’t wait to learn – and see – more. While some may complain about the influx of shooters, you have to admit that we’ve seen some incredible titles in the FPS and third-person shooter genres, and if Crysis 2 can’t deliver…well, what can?
4/12/2010 Ben Dutka