Crysis 2- Halfway point impressions
November 3, 2013
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I think I’m a little more than halfway into Crysis 2 now. The campaign has proven to be an incredible experience. even if it is handling a little less fluidly in some cases. By now, I’ve come across a diverse range of weapons, and have taken down enough Ceph to acquire all of the Nano-catalyst needed to customise my suit. With all of my catalyst going towards improving armour, the game suddenly allows me to take a very direct approach towards completing objectives. Many players prefer to cloak and sneak around the map with a suppressed weapon, but there’s more than one way to play Crysis, and so, I’ve been running around with modules that confer improved armour that drains more slowly and allows the Nanosuit to take twice as much damage. Forgoing stealth for brute force, I find great joy in using the MK 60 and the Jackal. However, getting to the point where I can afford to eschew all stealth for straight-up survivability is a thrilling story all on its own.
- The SCAR was my weapon of choice for the first few chapters of the campaign. Adaptable and powerful, it is ideal for those who prefer to use firepower rather than stealth. Conversely, the SCARAB is superior for stealth-oriented players.
- Ammunition is far more common in Crysis 2 and can be found in crates almost everywhere in the game. This allows players to stick to weapons of their liking and play the game with their own styles. This means I’m going to go back later and try to beat Crysis 2 with just a pistol and stealth mode.
- Two years ago, I watched gameplay footage showing CELL forces decimate Nathan Gould’s lab and Gould remarking that years of research disappeared after his severs were smashed. While incremental improvements to consumer technology has since occurred in the last two years, lab research data is still largely stored on either personal computers or servers. This approach will probably remain common until innovation allows for hitherto unknown means of storing data efficiently and safely to become more commonplace.
- Nathan Gould’s apartment is cluttered and distinctly feels like someone’s home, although there is a fancy holographic display that is probably more costly than most people would choose to purchase for personal purposes. Two years ago, one of the lab members I was working with was designing natural user interfaces for our software. These NUIs rely on more intuitive inputs, such as gestures and swipes, to manipulate computer UIs and are becoming more common with tablets and smartphones. For PC, however, the traditional mouse and keyboard are still superior.
- I could be mistaken, but that appears to be the Trinity Church: located at 79 Broadway, it is one of the oldest churches in Manhattan and was built in 1864. I visited the church back in 2011. There is some degree of creative liberty taken with the surroundings, though. There are no buildings with a patio close to the church steeple, and the entire area is surrounded by high-rise buildings in the real New York City.
- The K-Volt is a submachine gun that fires electrically charged pellets and sends CELL soldiers flying backwards. When used on the Ceph aliens, it stuns them. The weapon has a high rate of fire, but its ballistic behaviour is more similar to that of a paintball gun, making it most useful at closer ranges.
- The demolition SCAR is one of the most versatile configurations, featuring an under-barrel grenade launcher that can be used to clear out groups of enemies very efficiently. Attachments for a shotgun and guass gun are also avaliable, providing the SCAR with options for engaging enemies at short and longer ranges, respectively. They draw ammunition from their respective pools, although the grenade launcher attachment has its own ammunition pool, allowing for a maximum of six shots to be carried at any given time (one in the launcher and five in reserve).
- The DSG is the first sniper rifle the player will encounter (I think it’s found in Road Rage) and can be stablised (à la Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare) using the shift key. Doing so will drain suit energy but significantly improves shot placement,
- Once the Ceph start showing up, the really cool guns become avaliable for use, including the Swarmer, a multi-round rocket launcher that can be used to devastating effect against anything on the receiving end. The automatic shotgun, the Jackal, and the L-tag also become available about mid-game. This brings to bear my favourite (if somewhat untrue) gaming paradigm: “The cooler a gun looks, the more effective it is in-game.”
- I’m now tasked with reactivating missile batteries and escorting civilians to the Grand Central Station. Fighting through night-time Manhattan gives the game a very Enter The Matrix-like feel to it, bringing to mind the “City Rooftops” mission for its depiction of a night-time cityscape. Enter The Matrix was a 2003 release and required a GeForce 256 to run. The graphics are ancient by comparison, but I nonetheless enjoyed it for its ambiance and setup, giving me a chance to immerse myself in the Matrix universe.
The feature I enjoy most about Crysis 2 right now has to be the ability to perform powersliding and grasp ledges, giving the game a very tactile feel to it. These features are particularly nice to have, allowing players to feel like they have a high degree of control and freedom in their environment. In most games, jumping near a ledge doesn’t do anything, setting Crysis 2 apart from the others. It is elements like these that allow Crysis 2 to succeed in giving players the impression that they are indeed a Nanosuit 2.0 operator. For the present, I can’t wait to finish the campaign: I admit that the graphics are somewhat dated, but they nonetheless look very polished, and the gameplay itself is superb, so I’m uncertain as to where all the displeasure online is coming from. Of course, players looking for photorealism can either modify Crysis 2, or buy Crysis 3 and/or Battlefield 4. I’ll probably buy the latter once the winter break rolls around.