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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Electronic Arts
Developed By: Crytek Studios
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Players: 1 (12-Player Online)
Rated: M for Mature (Blood, Partial Nudity, Strong Language, Violence)
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

May 10, 2011 - When Crysis first made its gaming debut in 2007, no one was prepared for the impact the first-person shooter would have on PC game, let alone the videogame industry at large. It was the first title to push hardware to its limits for the best possible experience possible. Thousands, if not millions of gamers had to toss out their old computer systems for rigs that were capable of running the game on the highest settings. To this very day, Crysis is one the best looking games ever created, regardless of platform.

In 2011, developer Crytek and publisher EA have teamed up once again to turn the world on its head with the release of Crysis 2, which also marks the franchises debut on home consoles. While this outing certainly ties into the story first established in Crysis, Crysis 2 features its own tightly woven storyline that allows the title to stand on its own two feet. Crysis 2 takes place roughly three years after the events of the first title. You are in control of Alcatraz, a Marine who ends up in control of the famous nanosuit which gives him super speed, strength, armor and stealth capabilities. Not sure why he's been blessed with the nanosuit, Alcatraz is on a manhunt for a researcher who can help him squelch the alien uprising and airborne disease affecting New York.

With all this death and destruction going on, one would expect all our most important communities - business, military and scientific - would band together to tackle these threats head on. In Crysis 2, that's not the case with the various communities at each otherís throat over how these events should be handled, which results in Alcatraz being the man to go to for humanities best chance at survival. Because Alcatraz is humanities best bet, the nanosuit he's acquired will definitely come in handy. With Crysis 2 now on home consoles, developer Crytek had to streamline its interface for it to mesh well with a videogame controller, which has resulted in the abilities of the suit being mapped to the gamepad. By doing so, it allows you as Alcatraz the ability to swap abilities on the fly without altering the traditional controls you have to come to expect from a shooter.

Following the level design of Crysis Warhead instead of the original Crysis, you battles are broken down into segments, allowing you to focus on the immediate threat in front of you before pressing on. This choice in level design also allows for unique approaches to taking out your enemies. You can opt for going to toe-to-toe with them, utilizing the high-risk buildings to take them out without seeing you or luring them in an enclosed area via utilizing sewer tunnels running underground. You can utilize stealth and take out each enemy one at a time without the knowing you were even there. One does have be mindful of their approach because the computer controlled AI doesn't always fall for the same tricks and certainly know how to surround you if you all them. Strategy plays an important role in how you will deal with overwhelming odds.

What keep Crysis 2's single-player from being a memorable experience through and through is due to the lack of depth in characters you come across, even Alcatraz himself. Considering he's in control of the most powerful weapon that humanity has at their disposal, he seems to eagerly take orders from several different people, who at times are at odds with one another. There is no slight hesitation in accepting orders, let alone doubt in the successfulness of said mission. This doesn't ruin the experience at all, but takes away from the immerse experience that the story brings to the single-player campaign.

Crysis 2 is another testament to developer Crytek's dedication to providing the most visually pleasing experience possible. Whether you are playing on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 console, Crytek through its CryEngine 3 game engine, have beautifully recreate the city of New York with its entire splendor. Each environment you traverse is unique and brings its own flare and intrigue to the overall Experience. Considering very few titles have been able to push home consoles to this degree, itís definitely a breath of fresh air. If you have the PC version and are capable of running the game on max settings, you are definitely in for a real treat. The only downside to the visuals would be Crytek lack of making their game DirectX 11 compatible. The game is still a gem to behold; it just seems that they weren't shooting for the stars this time around.

Next to the visuals, the gameís soundtrack is simply stellar. Hans Zimmer; the man behind the likes of Inception, Lion King and Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, lends his talents to Crysis 2 in order to make the experience that much richer. With more than 6 hours worth of music included in Crysis 2, itís clear that this was a taller order in comparison to the average 2-hour movie. Iíll admit that his work with Crysis 2 is on a different level from that of his movies, however if you have seen any of the movies the famed composer has worked on, you will definitely recognize his work. The sound effects are sport on, often enough sounding a bit too real at timesÖ.is that even possible? The voice action is solid with the everyone pulling their own weight to ensure their character is believable.

While the single-player campaign is more than enough to satisfy your desires, Crytek ventured into the multiplayer realm, something that has been dominated by the likes of Call of Duty for over four years. A game changer for the multiplayer aspect of Crysis 2 comes in the form of Crytekís beloved nanosuit. The multiplayer features the standard modes Ė death match, team death match, capture the flag - you come to expect from any AAA developer. With every online battle you go into, you gain experience by killing enemies and completing specific objectives, which allow you to level up and unlock new and enhanced weapons. Thanks to inclusion of the nanosuit in multiplayer battles, you are now able to gain Power XP, Armor XP and Stealth XP after every match, and just like with the standard stats, you are able to unlock new abilities for the nanosuit. Do you want to be invisible on your enemiesí radar? Simply focus on leveling up your Stealth XP and you will unlock the ďBlind SpotĒ module, which gives you the element of surprise.

While some may argue that what we are seeing in Crysis 2ís multiplayer has been done before, the fact of the matter is that the nanosuit changes the whole experience, which keeps the battles intense and varied due to the customization of the nanosuit. No two battles will play out the same as strategy; like in the single-player campaign, is an important aspect within the multiplayer realm. Utilizing your abilities at the right time can determine whether you or your enemies are the ones to die.

Crysis 2 has exceeded any and all expectations place on the title and its developer. Itís clear that Crytek set out to create an immersive and truly memorable experience. With a compelling story, some of the best visuals ever seen on a home console and the ďman, myth and legendĒ Hans Zimmer working on the audio; itís clear that you have an experience unlike any other. With a solid 10 hour single-player campaign, and engaging and ever-changing multiplayer aspect thatís to the nanosuit, you have plenty to experience and brag about as Crysis 2 is the total package.


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