Crysis 2 doesn’t reach the shops till later this year, but we’ve just had a sneak peek at the game at an EA preview. Does the game being billed as one of the best looking console shooters ever made live up to the hype? Read on to find out.
Unless you’re a PC gamer, chances are you’ve yet to get your hands on Crytek’s original master-blaster. While the original PC-exclusive Crysis deprived console fans of one of the finest first-person games around, the sequel is making the journey to PS3 and Xbox 360 territory in what Crytek president, Cevat Yerli earlier called a “major stepping stone” for the studio.
Crysis 2 sees a fresh alien invasion. As typical of a Hollywood blockbuster, New York is the setting this time around. Gone is the leafy jungles of the prequel for a more concrete combat arena. The city’s in ruins and it’s you who must battle for survival, with a little help from the brand new Nanosuit 2 – a tough as nails full bodysuit enabling you to alter to your battle-worthy needs.
But why The Big Apple? At a top secret preview Crytek told us that the story form the original “wasn’t as good as it could have been, adding that in the first game felt a little isolated from the real world. “You didn’t care about the island,” Crytek admitted. The developer went on to say that New York has an “emotional resonance” and a lot of character and a chock-load of history to boot. And because New York signifies what man has achieved, in a sense, an attack against New York is an attack against the planet. “If you can’t save New York, forget about saving the rest of the planet,” Crytek added.
The Nanosuit 2 was also explained in juicy detail. It’s a character in itself that gives players “temporary God-like powers” and the chance for players to create their own gaming experience by combining different attributes such as superhuman strength and speed. The way players progress will be different, with players upgrading different attributes of the Nanosuit 2 during the game.
After indulging our imagination, we were treated to a demo showing off a few of the tricks players will be able to pull off. It started off high atop an already destroyed building overlooking the smoky Wall Street. It’s teeming with Crynet security.
Crytek then took control, using stealth mode to cloak like Predator in that same-named movie starring Arnie before, strangling a guard into submission. We could feel the satisfaction ourselves, and we weren’t even playing.
You can play stealthily or go in all guns blazing. Soon all hell broke loose and rounds were flying everywhere. Crytek promised ultra-realistic real-world physics, and it soon delivered. A nearby wall had a hole blown out of it, which players can use as cover, as we were shown. You can make use of the environment in other ways too by grabbing objects to fling and batter enemies with.
Without spoiling too much, the player soon gets apprehended, his suit gets powered down and things look pretty grim as you’re taken away in a helicopter. Soon after aliens knock it down before engulfing New York City in a smog of destruction. From taking on Crynet security you’re now face-to-face with intimidating alien folk in an explosive street battle. Unfortunately we didn’t get too see anymore. Crytek told us it didn’t want to say too much about the story at this stage. From what we heard It was pretty clear that Crytek was keen to avoid any potential spoilers. We probed, and we probed hard, but the developer wasn’t giving in.
Were we impressed? You bet. What we saw was pre-alpha Xbox 360 software, so it didn’t look quite as polished as we expected, but expect it to look diamond when it arrives. We’d liked to have seen more stuff that we couldn’t do in the original. But from what we’ve seen it’s shaping up to be more than just a sequel. With New York adding multi-level battles, a story worth paying attention to, and the Nanosuit 2 giving plenty more combat options, it’s looking good.
Out Christmas 2010 | £TBC | EA