Ladies and gentlemen, there is nothing up my sleeve, there are no wires or electronic devices of any kind. That’s because I played Crysis 2 Maximum Edition yesterday for the 25th day of the Steam Backlog Bonanza. And I’ve been watching episodes of Penn & Teller’s Fool Us as well.
I bought Crysis 2 for $10 back in 2013. I already had Crysis 1, but I only played it for about 4 hours. I don’t remember much of anything about it except that I think it took place in a jungle and I didn’t care for it very much. I felt like it was just too dern complicated for a shooter. Too many fiddly bits to manage on your “Cryosuit” or whatever, which gives you magical superpowers like jumping and cloaking and shields.
So I expected the same in Crysis 2. But I was pleasantly surprised. Once we got past the solid 10 minutes of introductory cut scenes and “this is how to crouch” tutorials and credits (a rarity to see them at the beginning of a game), I actually liked it. It’s a big budget production with pretty solid artistic direction. This game took place in a run-down New York City after, um, aliens invaded, or something. The cityscape vibe reminded me a lot of a prequel to The Division.
Anything rendered in the CryEngine, of course, is beautiful. But it was really striking to compare this game from 2011 to Gothic 3, which I had just played the previous day, and launched just three years earlier. You could really see the quantum leap in visual rendering technology that had taken place over that time span.
To my delight they seemed to tone back the fiddly bits of the “Cryosuit” to a more manageable level. Or perhaps they spread out the introduction of all the pieces so it didn’t feel like a massive infodump. I only managed to really absorb the “cloak” feature which turns you invisible for sneaking past enemies.
Will I play more? Maybe. It was fun. Just simple, lighthearted running around shooting bad guys. It felt pretty good, and it ran smooth as butter (an advantage of playing older games on current hardware). Solid controls that felt nice and responsive, which is the main thing you want in a shooter.
Stream Production Notes: Nothing particularly noteworthy to report. I stopped mainly because my cat jumped on my keyboard and head-butted the microphone, reminding me that I had been playing for over an hour. I’m pleased to find out now that all the stuff I dug out of my memory during the stream about Amazon’s Lumberyard game engine being based on CryEngine is actually true.
Previously on the Steam Backlog Bonanza: Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods.