Picking apart the hype of new and classic video games.

First Impressions: Crysis 2

I picked up Crysis 2 over the weekend for Xbox 360 on a ($60) whim based on Developer Crytek’s strong track record at open-ended first person shooters. Despite a few nagging shortcomingsI’ve been pretty happy with the title.

Crysis 2 puts you in the boots of your standard silent grunt protaganist and quickly drops you in a nanosuit, basically a fancy suit of armor that lets you sprint, take giant leaps, absorb tons of lead or render you invisible (while emitting a cool Predator-esque sound effect) and sets you loose in New York City to stop an alien invasion. I think.

The controls are tight and the wide variety of special abilities, weapons and equiptment can all be swapped on the fly, so you can go from long range machine-gunning to stealthy close quarters fighting as soon as you decide to jump into the fray. Unfortunately this slick action is hindered by a decidedly boilerplate story. Bad humans want your suit, which has plot-convenient anti-alien plague applications, while a revolving door of good guys pop onto the radio to yell where you should go next.

Sadly those screams will be the only real way to figure out what you should do next unless you own an HDTV. Like many EA-produced titles you are expected to own a high resolution screen and text is rendered nearly impossible to read on a standard format TV. I often found myself standing up and walking up to my television in order to figure out what a particular waypoint was meant to indicate.

Despite the drawbacks, Crysis 2 encourages players to experiment with different tactics and really consider their strategy before beginning a fight, often rewaring crafty players with easier solutions to tough firefights.

I would estimate I’m about halfway through the campaign and will follow up with part two of my review once I’ve hunted down the evil squid creature is behind this nefarious-if-not-hapazard plot.

 Oh, I forgot to mention, the aliens are bipedal cephalopods.

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