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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Video Game Review: Crysis 2

8.8 out of 10

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There are two things you'll notice right away when you start up Crysis 2:

1. The game is beautiful. Amazing graphics in all aspects, sometimes so good you'll have to just stop and take it all in.

2. The opening action hits you like a ton of bricks.

A fair bit of warning: I never played the first Crysis, so I came in fresh and without any understanding of a back story. And you know what? That wasn't much of a problem. When the game first started, it felt a lot like Half-Life 2: you start in the middle of the action, and things get fast-paced right away, leaving you with little time to take a deep breath (unless you hit pause, I suppose).


New York City is under attack: squid-like aliens are flyin' around causing havok while corrupt army forces attempt to "cleanse" spreading disease in the city in the easiest way possible. Your character, saved from an alien attack, dons a swanky shiny suit that lets him cloak or toughen up, making him a real fighting machine.

One of the best parts about the game in general is the fact that there are so many ways to take down your enemy. Do you want to add extra shields and battle your way through, or do you want to use Stealth mode and sneak up on people? Which gun do you want to use? Where do you want to fight from? Given how big the environment is, it's possible to plan a dozen different attacks at any given engagement.

And you need a good plan. Usually—usually!—the enemy AI is surprisingly intelligent. I'd forgotten how stupid other AI enemies are in first-person games before playing this one, so it took awhile to adjust. For some, that may be annoying, but I found it immensely enjoyable.

What I didn't find enjoyable was the story, which felt just a little too cast aside. It was still good—don't get me wrong!—but it could have been better. There were opportunities. And the fact that the main character you play doesn't talk? Can't stand that. I get it: you don't want to "personalize" the main character so more people can empathize with him. But I don't like that. It's a personal thing.

The fact that I'm complaining about something so minor means I'm clearly nitpicking. Still, it should be noted that I wasn't as engaged in the game because the story just wasn't bringing me along. Oh, I still finished it. I still really enjoyed it. And still definitely recommend it.

Use Your Powers:
I was real conservative early on with my powers, and for no reason whatsoever. Use your powers whenever you can.

The Walking Dead:
I started to wonder why there were so many infected people wandering around in the weird, closed-off areas ...

Voice Acting:
Eh. Not particularly impressive. Too bad, too ... the tension was pretty consistent throughout.

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