Insert Credit endeavors to suss out where you should be allotting your video game allowance, sifting out a single title from many and crowning it as The One Game You Need to Get This Week. Don’t consider these reviews, gentle reader. Rather, think of Insert Credit as a mix of hands-on time, informed opinion and intuition.
For the week of March 22, 2010, you should insert credit into: “Crysis 2.”
Being the cultural capital of the world brings a lot of attention to New York City. Hell, Cevat Yerli–the CEO of the Crytek development house that made the hit “Far Cry” and “Crysis” games–thinks the Big Apple represents the pride of humanity. So, of course, aliens will want to blow it the eff up.
The sequel to one of the most amazing-looking PC games in recent memory does more than just look pretty as it jumps to consoles. It got a paranoid conspiracy story lurking underneath all the conflict, courtesy of science-fiction author Richard K. Morgan of Altered Carbon” and “Black Man” fame. And iconic film composer Hans Zimmer adds his talent to create sweeping, moody soundscapes for all the first-person shooting.
The centerpiece of “Crysis 2” is the Nanosuit , a futuristic piece of armor that enables between superhuman sneakiness and tank-like invulnerability. A player’s strategy can be indivisually unique depending on how they decide to bounce back and forth between the two powers. Seeing the suit in action made a lot of Crytek’s ambitions clear. With two attributes which render the player either invisible or invincible, you can sneak up on a squad of paramilitary soldiers and pick them off one by one. Or, you can stand your ground and mow them down with one of the many suitably high-powered armaments in the game. You’ll also be ableto direct the suit’s energy towards increased movement speed and jumping ability, too. None of these abilities last more than a few seconds so you’ll have to make tense decisions amid ridiculously heated battles.
Native New Yorkers will feel twinges of pain looking at a blasted-through Lady Liberty or the ruins of downtown Manhattan. One of the pivotal battles against a giant alien thingy totally wrecks Grand Central Station and you’ll watch as survivors of a horrible alien plague (yeah, there’s that going on, too) get separated and die alone. You’re not exactly driven by all the gory, wrenching backdrop happenings, but it’s powerful imagery that makes the game feel weighty.
“Crysis 2” stands a real sign of improved chops for Crytek, who once seemed content to only pump out games that looked good. The clever gameplay design and strong-world-building make the sequel a true advancement of an already impressive franchise. “Crysis 2” is out now for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.