Crysis 2 Preview

crysis 2

A lot of anticipation and trepidation has surrounded Crysis 2 and its move from PC exclusivity to multi-platform development. Can the stunning graphics and high-action sandbox sequences make the jump effectively, or will something be lost in translation? Obviously, PC gamers might testify that it just won’t be the same in anything but the original format, but I had to get a glimpse at E3 to see for myself. My verdict: Kind of.

On the plus side, all the hectic, tactical, FPS sandbox action is back, if on a somewhat more leading track. While the city of New York provides a bit more of a limited scope than the jungles of the first game, Crytek describes the experience as "choreographed sandbox gameplay," and it shows. The player jumps onto a highway taking heavy fire from a nearby building and finds a taxi, out of the way but somewhat noticeable, which can be launched onto nearby enemies with a swift button push and cryo-suit kick. Cover can also be created with a similar process: just find a loose piece of metal and stand it up to use as a movable wall.

Later on in the demo, the player uses active camo and a "tank mode" for the cryo-suit to escape enemy attention or bull-rush a group of aliens, respectively. Another moment sees these powers used to outsmart a large, three-legged enemy mech, which can be taken down with some rockets found in the area. And if the player needs to navigate through a dusty, low-visibility environment, thermal vision lights the way. But easily the most exciting part of the demo came right after the mech fight, when enemy missiles hit the equivalent of the MetLife building, causing it to slowly crumble. The player boards a Hummer in the gunner position as they desperately drive away, all while the building slowly comes closer through the glass ceiling. The scale of that kind of action during player-controlled first-person segments, all using the in-game engine, is what set Crysis apart, and what makes Crysis 2 unique among other AAA FPS titles.

Unfortunately, that’s where the uniqueness ends. Maybe we’re all getting a little too jaded by amazing FPS titles with tight controls, intense in-game action segments, and strong emotional pull. Maybe the limit is closer than we think for how far the FPS genre can push the current technology before a major innovation breaks through. But watching the Crysis 2 demo, despite all the flashing lights and blaring whistles, I couldn’t help but get the sense that it’s really more of the same. Certainly the demo only highlighted a small portion of gameplay, but until something incredibly new breaks through, the narrowing of the sandbox scope and extremely cinematic presentation will continue to be just incredible.


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Author: Dan Crabtree View all posts by
Dan is Managing Editor for GamerNode and a freelance gaming writer. His dog is pretty great. Check him out on Twitter @DanRCrabtree.

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