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Games Review: Crysis 2

<p>Bloody, sweet eye-candy</p>
by Gelo Gonzales | Mar 24, 2011
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You know you can say that Crysis, a first-person shooter for the PC, was indeed a game changer when four years after it was released, it's still a benchmark for graphical and visual fidelity. [firstpara]

The lush jungle settings of Crysis, the lighting, the realism—these were all the things we loved from the first game. And even up to now, we still marvel at it when we boot it up from time to time.

Now comes the sequel, Crysis 2. The gist of it: it's still just as spectacular from a visual standpoint.

Even more impressive is the fact that the game is now also available for the PS3 and the Xbox 360, which are gaming platforms that are less powerful than what most modern PCs offer now.

Explosions in the sky
Crysis 2 moves the series away from the aforementioned jungle settings and into the urban landscape of a post-apocalyptic New York City. Yeah, it's always New York City that's the victim, isn't it? A viral outbreak, and an alien invasion has occured, and has turned the once shining model of modern civilization into a total wreck.

Crytek, the game's developer, must be applauded. You'll be hard-pressed to find a videogame that's as visually stunning as this one.

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The detail in the buildings, the plant life or at least what remains of it, the abandoned wreckage, the cars,cthe game just immerses you. And this isn't just because the game is a technical masterpiece, but also because of the commendable art direction that the game exhibits. We've seen New York City wrecked so many times in movies, but this game somehow manages to add something new to that feeling of utter destruction and chaos.

We've never been one to solely focus on the visuals, because as important as this element is, there are many other equally important gameplay elements in play as well. But let's just put it this way: if you want a showpiece, if you want to impress your friends with your brand new HDTV along with your PS3 or Xbox 360, this is the game you'd want to show them.

Control ain't an issue
While first person shooter controls on consoles have been more or less perfected in this generation, we still had some doubts whether Crysis and its intricate PC controls would translate well to the consoles. Thankfully, they do.

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Crysis 2 sports simpler controls. Using your Nanosuit and its myriad abilities, while you blast away at your enemies feels like second nature. And that's very important not just for a first-person shooter but for any game. The streamlined controls really do enhance the experience, and never frustrates.

Surprise attacks
We've harped about the game's visuals, but that's not its only explosive ammo. The game, specifically the way it tasks you to go from point A to point B, has a very freeflowing vibe to it. It doesn't force you like your grade school teacher to fall in line and enter the classroom.

It's more like an action movie that you make as you go. You can choose to go all Rambo-like and just shoot everything that moves as you scream like a madman. Or you can do it like a spy, and sneak around like a sleuth, and kill them silently like a ninja. In that sense, it feels very differernt from Call of Duty's set-piece action scenes.

Making the gameplay even more engaging is that the smart enemy A.I. This is especially true for the C.E.L.L. soldiers that you encounter early on in the game. They work like a unit, and communicate with each other, adjusting to what you're trying to do. This simply adds more dynamism to the battles, and makes things unpredictable, and of course, engaging. The moments that the A.I. do something stupid are rare and far and few in between. You'll also encounter the alien enemies later on, who are stronger, and harder to bring down, but they're straight-up aggression simple makes them a bit more predictable to fight.

Crisis closing
Beautiful, dynamic, and challenging. It's not a secret that there are tons of other first-person shooters out there. But Crysis 2 manages to stand head and shoulders above them. Would we say that it's the best? With the competition in the genre, it's simply too hard to decide. But rest assured, you can't go wrong with this one.

Crysis 2 was developed by Crytek, published by Electronic Arts, and was released on March 22, 2011. It is available for the PS3, Xbox 360, and the PC.

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