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Crysis 2 E3 Preview

The retina-scorching PC-only titles Crysis and its spin-off Crysis: Warhead brought countless machines to a standstill and triggered the upgrading of thousands of gamers' rigs. Using the nanosuit to plan and orchestrate different tactics in the more open sections of the game was extremely fun and memorable, but the vehicle controls and more linear portions were slightly disappointing. First announced at E3 2009, Crysis 2 moves the gameplay to a radically different location, New York City, where Nomad must battle with the alien forces.

Crysis 2 Screenshots

Following on from the events of the original Crysis the sequel relocates from the exotic island in the Pacific to the steel and concrete of the urban jungle. With the aliens having been unleashed at the end of the last game, they're now attacking humanity who must fight for their survival. With Nomad now sporting a newer and sleeker version of the nanosuit, defying his superiors, he will have to contend with both the alien threat and Crynet Systems. More specific details of the game's plot are being kept under wraps for the time being and it remains to be seen whether any other characters from the series will make an appearance in Crysis 2. Developers, Crytek wanted to emphasise that the new nanosuit was designed to augment the two main playing styles that emerged from the original. The first predatory style mainly made use of the suit's stealth ability to cloak behind the enemy lines and pick your opponents off gradually. Alternatively making use of the enhanced strength and armour functions is equally viable and leads to a much more aggressive gung-ho approach. While all the original nanosuit functions have been confirmed to return, it is unknown whether or not there will be more abilities, though let's keep our fingers crossed.

Crysis 2 Screenshots

The first stage of the demonstration was designed to showcase how the suit could function in the new environment, with the action taking place on the streets of a ravaged and heavily damaged New York. As Nomad looked around, the series' trademark visuals were back with a vengeance displaying the city environments just as well as the lush jungles of the original. There have been significant changes made to the engine to allow Crysis 2 to appear on both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 and Crytek have suggested that the PC specifications will be less demanding than the first game. Both textures and the various particle effects looked very high quality and general debris and destruction littered the pavements.

Crysis 2 Screenshots

After only a brief moment to take in the scenery, the action exploded with Nomad fighting his way along a raised intersection taking fire from a number of nearby high rise buildings. The action was fast paced and intense with vehicles exploding and huge glass office windows shattering realistically. Working slowly and methodically along, it wasn't long before we saw the alien enemies, some of whom had the ability to cloak. Using maximum strength to jump into the building the fire was coming from, Nomad then engaged in some close-range combat using the faithful shotgun. Here more aggressive tactics were predominant with enhanced armour being employed to help limit the damage. At one point the action slowed down, with the cloak used to slip passed a group of enemies before using the assault rifle to take them out from behind.

Crysis 2 Screenshots

At first it was difficult to see how the nanosuit's capabilities could be used in more enclosed environments, but the demo began to provide some hints at the variations in playing style. Hopefully there will be a lot of different areas to employ the nanosuit's range and Crytek have hinted that they will encourage players to mix up their playing style and explore the different gameplay strategies available. Similarly, there should be a mix of more traditional open spaces from the first title and the more enclosed locations. We were given the opportunity to see another section of the game, taking place inside New York's heavily damaged Central Station. While this was definitely an interior portion, it comprised of a large open space, with plenty of cover, giving you the option to work with different tactics.

Crysis 2 Screenshots

The area acted as a form of arena with large numbers of aliens attacking as you attempted to hold them off, with a handy mounted turret close by. These aliens seemed stronger and some were equipped with armoured suits and heavier weaponry which made them much more difficult to take down. When one of the enemies managed to slip past the defence, Nomad had the ability to rip the turret off its mount and use it to remove the flanker. With fewer enemies present the battle seemed to be drawing to a close, but this was far from the case as a gigantic three-legged armoured tank crashed through the side of the station. Resembling one of the creatures from The War of the Worlds it began to hunt Nomad through the station with a variety of nasty weapons, including a particularly unpleasant missile attack.Using enhanced speed to slip into the narrower side corridors where the tank couldn't reach, Nomad collected a one-shot rocket launcher which only temporarily halted the machine. With aliens present in these smaller halls, Nomad had to contend with both and eventually used stealth to sneak back out into the main area and collect a larger multiple-barrelled rocket launcher which soon brought the titan crashing to the ground. The whole battle had lasted perhaps a few minutes, but was well and truly epic with barely a second of calm. If the pacing of the full game can provide these set-pieces then it seems that Crysis 2 will really deliver on the promises of varied gameplay.

As the demonstration drew to a close, Nomad looked upwards to see a large skyscraper hit with alien explosive and begin to buckle. At the same moment an armoured vehicle dashed into the station, picking him up. As the jeep drove through the streets, desperate civilians called for help, including a tearful man pointing to a trapped partner and crying for you to help. Looking upwards reveals the crumbling building, forcing you to drive away with the skyscrapers debris collapsing onto the people only second later. This level of human involvement and pathos was definitely not seen in the last title and it looks like an interesting and emotionally weighty inclusion. With Crysis 2 already looking astonishing, hopefully the gameplay will match these visuals and provide a title that has both style and substance.

evilgiraffeman | 21st June, 2010
Wedgeh's picture
been keeping a close eye on this one, you know i love my FPS games and crysis is one of the best tbh, looking forward in seeing how the story evolves.
Angelfromabove's picture
I never played Crysis because I didnt have a computer capable of running it. Am I missing out?
As always, great preview Giraffe
Platinum's picture
Yea cant wait, want to know what happened to Prophet.
My big worry though if its in NY wont all the fighting be against aliens? they were so dull and annoying in the first 2 games.
Dead Alive's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Platinum View Post
Yea cant wait, want to know what happened to Prophet.
My big worry though if its in NY wont all the fighting be against aliens? they were so dull and annoying in the first 2 games.
I'm not even sure if we'll find out what happened to Prophet. With the game going to consoles and console players not having a clue about the first game, I wouldn't be surprised if they done away with the whole thing and either just made Prophet re-appear, or forget he ever existed.
Platinum's picture
That would be incredibly stupid if they did do.
Dead Alive's picture
With no sources at all to back the following statement up:

I'm sure it wouldn't be the first time they did something like that.
Rasher's picture
this is looking sweet, love the look and feel of the trailer there, great preview Giraffe,

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