GamesBeat Crysis 2 review August 21, 2013 8:02 PM Chandler Tate This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff. Crysis 2 capitalizes on what made the original so popular for the few who could actually play the game when it launched on their NASA super-computers. Pushing current-gen graphical fidelity to its limits and keeping the players entertained with a well put together story. Although some may miss the wide open vistas the original game introduced us to, the sheer quality of them didn’t. More-so a reboot versus a numbered sequel Although the game lightly touches on the events that preceded the game in the original Crysis, the plot in Crysis 2 is very self-contained and practically seems like more of a reboot than a sequel. If you’ve ever played a Crysis game before, there won’t be anything you’d be missing out on character or story wise. I could count on one hand how many times the game referred to the first Crysis game, and that character was Prophet. Players in Crysis 2 will assume the role of a new protagonist, a marine named Alcatraz, who later becomes the master killer donning a nanosuit due to a series of events beyond his control. His mission is to find and save a researcher located somewhere within New York City to try and find out how to combat an airborne disease plaguing the city’s populace and bring about an end to the alien occupation of the city. You and Alcatraz are humanity’s best bet for survival in the face of the alien invasion. But it won’t be no walk through Central Park to complete your mission. Aliens have a firm grip on the city, but currently have their hands full battling a privately contracted army tending to gain the glory for taking back New York City. Neither faction is your friend and both would be happy to see you gone. And by gone I mean dead. Controls masterly mapped to the d-pad But when armed with the world’s most deadly weapon, one even capable of bringing the foreign alien army to its knees, the task isn’t as daunting as it sounds. The nanosuit is your lifeline, and without it you’re a dead man walking. Crytek wittily mapped the suit’s abilities to the controller in such a fashion that none of the traditional shooter controls many players have come to be familiar with were sacrificed. The controls can only be described as flawless. Being able to switch from being shielded to going completely invisible on the fly was an amazing asset to have that really helped you take control of the toughest situations and the gunplay handles as smooth as the biggest blockbuster shooters out there. And the implementation of the lean and cover system was a beauty in itself. And as far as levels go, the game took cues from Crytek’s direction for Crysis Warhead, giving environments more of an enclosed feeling with collapsed buildings and barricaded streets that encase the action in more of claustrophobic setting in order to hasten the pace and keep things interested. But while it may not be the expansive world some players came to love in the original game, there are still a number of different side routes and tactful approaches that you can bring in to almost every fight. It gives players the freedom to approach fights with a predictable sense of how things are going to play out, creating a rather unique experience to almost every encounter. And almost every battle will allow for players to descend into the action from some sort of vantage point, much like in the Arkham Batman games and giving players the option of marking targets and sift through the ideas of different approaches to the encroaching situation. One could go in guns blazing in shield mode, or silently pick off enemy by enemy with your invisible cloak on. Masked multiplayer elements account for a well put together mode Even though Crysis 2 borrows elements from many of the other hit online shooters elsewhere within the genre, which is understandable since what they do is seemingly the perfect recipe for having fun in online games, the little experiences masked from its outside appearance really brings the multiplayer mode to life. The little changes are what I found to set the game apart from its competitors. For one, the game has no killstreaks, instead favoring a dog tag system that you collect from your fallen victims, which in turn give you and your team access to perks like radar, airstrikes, or even a gunship. And thanks to the nanosuit, the way you’ll approach combat in multiplayer will be completely different from you would in a game such as Call of Duty. Some players may opt to go in guns blazing with their shield up, others may choose to take advantage of the suit’s stealth abilities and step out of thin air to strike you down while you aren’t paying attention. There are countless of different approaches players can take going into a match that are a blast to experiment with and find those that work best for you. Stat wise, there are 12 maps to play on, 50 rankings to power through, unlockable medals, and countless customizable kits, all which make up for a pretty dynamic multiplayer mode worthy of your time. The one deal-breaker I can think for the online mode, which is bound to anger some, is that not all of the game modes can be unlocked until you’ve reached level 39, which took me almost 20 hours of game-time to reach. And the lack of dedicated servers is a major minus in my book as well, as you’ll no doubt experience some major lag issues here and there as a result. Closing Comments Crysis 2 is a great game, one I’d highly recommend to those who are tired of the typical “norm” we’ve come to expect from a shooter now. The game most definitely has its own unique spin on what it means to player a shooter and the nanosuit is a must experience for any fan of the genre.