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Back in 2011, Crysis 2 released for the first time. And releasing after the original Crysis and Far Cry games, the linearity of Crysis 2 held it back against its predecessors. Now, that linearity is really exaggerated against the many first-person shooters that have adopted an open-world setting since. Whereas Crysis Remastered is akin to hunting Predator through a jungle landscape, Crysis 2 Remastered has the unfortunate role of being Predator 2.
Set in the (very) near future of 2023, the Nanosuit is handed over to new protagonist Alcatraz to travel through New York and rescue Doctor Nathan Gould; a scientist who has been doing vital research into the extra-terrestrial Ceph. The Ceph are returning from the first Crysis but instead of North Koreans, this time you will be facing a private army known as CELL, led by Commander Lockhart.
Early on, on his way to finding Gould, Alcatraz and the Nanosuit come into contact with Ceph tissues and cause the suit to react in strange ways. Gould suspects the suit is creating antibodies for the Manhattan virus – which killed previous Nanosuit wearer Prophet and many of New York’s inhabitants – and wants to do some further testing with Alcatraz.
These first few hours of Crysis 2 feel dragged out as you have to chase down Gould, only for him to have moved on when you get close to him. Seriously, at one point you get near his apartment only for him to tell you he’s just nipped to an old girlfriend’s apartment. Considering New York is basically a warzone, Gould has no issue wandering through it without finding any trouble.
You on the other hand, will frequently bump into hostiles. As usual, you have the option of being stealthy or full assault. Or, like me you can start off stealthy and invariably end up in a gunfight after one tiny error. Even with Stealth mode engaged on the Nanosuit, this doesn’t offer complete camouflage from enemies. Nor should it. Even on lower difficulties, you cannot just waltz through sections untouched.
This linear gameplay puts a much larger focus on the story this time around, but it still takes a while to get going. The opening act feels slow and sluggish and isn’t helped by some pretty wooden voice acting. It’s a sign of the times that has only felt worse as time has gone on unfortunately, but stick with it and Crysis 2 offers much more past the opening hours.
The Nanosuit itself has been improved from the first game and offers a much more streamlined experience now. Previous modes such as Speed and Strength have been grouped together and now fall under Power mode. Stealth and Armor modes are still present, but so is the energy level that will drain with usage over time. It means you can’t walk round deflecting unlimited bullets or constantly remain invisible; half the battle in Crysis is managing the Nanosuit and never leaving yourself open.
Being far more linear than its predecessor, there feels like there are far fewer moments to change up playstyles. The original Crysis allowed many more different ways to attack an objective – and even through side quests at you – but all that is gone here. There are moments where you Nanosuit will advise you that you have different ways of progressing, but these feel far more forced than if they were in an open-world situation.
Also not included in this remaster is the excellent multiplayer for Crysis 2. This remaster is purely the single-player content.
Of course, it would be remiss to talk about Crysis 2 and not discuss the graphics. You’d make a good argument that the trilogy didn’t exactly need a remaster, considering how ground-breaking and legendary the graphics were when these games originally released. This remaster does give it a nip and tuck where it is needed and does a fairly good job at bringing it in line with modern releases. It isn’t quite as striking now as it was when it first released, however.
Character models look a bit dated, along with the New York skyline. You can view certain pictures of vehicles and characters if you pick up the various collectibles on your journey but these look ripped straight from the original release without any touch-up; zoom in on them and they will quickly pixelate.
Crysis 2 Remastered on Xbox can have a jarring introduction for those coming to it straight from the original. The open-world sandbox is gone, replaced by a much more story-driven game. That becomes less of a problem as you get into the meat of Crysis 2, but those first few hours are a bit of a slog. Stick with it though and it is definitely a Crysis game with a much improved Nanosuit, even if it is a vastly different Crysis game.
Take the fight to the city in Crysis 2 Remastered on Xbox for £24.99