E3 2010: Crysis 2 Updated Impressions – Catastrophic Beauty Sounds About Right
Written Sunday, June 27, 2010 By Dan WebbView author's profile
As EA have seemed to do for the press at E3 in recent years, they save the best for those that travel out to cover it. Whilst the press conference focused on the Pinger battle, the behind-closed-doors presentation followed our Nanosuited soldier on his way through the city to Grand Central Station – the scene for the aforementioned Pinger battle.
Starting out on an obliterated train track under the cover of night, it’s the job of our super-soldier to assist the demolition squads on the ground who are looking to drop the Onyx building in order to stop the advances of the aliens on the ground. After jumping down from the tracks, the soldier moves through the streets to a small fortified alien location further down the street.
Taking up aim from the second story of a downtown skyscraper, the alien invaders are a relentless force. A quick dash and super-jump later though and our super-soldier is behind enemy lines and looking to give the forces on the ground a chance to advance. Whipping out the shotgun and pumping a few rounds into the enemy aliens that rained down destruction on the ground troops was enough to relieve the tension for now. It also gave us a chance to see the verticality of the combat in full flow.
From there, the human forces’ last true hope uses an elevator shaft to climb up a level in the abandoned office apartments. With shards of glass flying everywhere, Mr Nanosuit – that’s not his official name by the way – continues to clear the second floor with some close-quarters-combat, combining the shotgun with the beatdown to devastating effect – the invisibility cloak is priceless here.
After clearing the desolate office block from the alien invaders, a huge explosion follows as further down the street the Oynx building finally falls and not only does it feel like progress is being made, but it feels like you’re a huge part of why the team’s advances are successful. If the large explosion wasn’t enough to astound, the collapsing building that incidentally drops onto a nearby train flipping it over and crushing one of the larger invaders in the process should be – I’d say it was scripted, but nevertheless, a shining moment.
While on the final approach, the city starts to come alive and Crytek must be commended for painting this awe-inspiring picture. Now I finally see what Crytek mean by “catastrophic beauty” as everything from the smouldering wreckages that litter the downtown metropolis, all the way down to the sparks that a falling elevator spit out moments before you face off with the Pinger create a setting that is unlike any other.
For those that didn’t catch the press conference, let me touch a little on the Pinger – a huge ED-209 sized mech – that the super soldier fights in the lobby of Grand Central station. It’s by far the biggest Crysis 2 enemy we’ve seen to date and it tracks its foes with sonar. Adopting to take a stealth and aggressive approach seems to be the best idea: flicking between the invisibility and the JAW rocket launcher, strafing left and right and leaning in and out of cover seemed to do the trick. In truth though, despite its size, the Pinger didn’t look too hard to take down, but the scene does end with a bang. Not only does the Pinger meet its maker, but watching the iconic MetLife building topple to the floor after was nothing short of incredible.
Where Crysis 1 failed from a gameplay and story perspective – repetitive and absurd respectively –Richard Morgan and a crumbling New York might be the perfect antidote to cure everything that hampered the first game. It’s definitely shaping up to be the best looking console ever and it was the only game at the show that didn’t look out of place on a 50” screen.
Crysis 2 is scheduled for a winter 2010 release.