Word has reached us via the holy medium of Internet that some of you aren't looking forward to Crysis 2. That's despite our handing the game a bouquet of roses, bottle of champers and gold-plated 9/10 in Issue 71 of OXM, now available at self-respecting newsstands. Slap us in the face, why don't you?
Specifically, we keep reading that the campaign is too similar to that of Call of Duty - linear to a fault, overrun by goons who always know who and where you are as soon as they pop into existence, and about as thickly laden with combat options as Charlie Sheen is with sanity.
This is all lies, obviously, and if you stop back here on 22nd March when the online review embargo lifts, we'll be more than happy to argue the point. In the meantime, let's just address that quibble over combat options. Crytek's new shooter may lack its predecessor's bountiful open world, defaulting instead to a shell-shocked inner city campaign corridor, but don't confuse a greater degree of focus with a lesser degree of freedom.
There are plenty of ways to play your Crysis 2 campaign, thanks to the techno-marvellous Nanosuit and its easily toggled armor, power and agility buffs. Here's a shortlist.
Are you a timid sort of player? Averse to the penetrating kisses of nickel alloy slugs? Or are you simply so lacking in ambition that edging round corners a million times over to drill one, efficient round through one, unwary pixel's worth of enemy scalp is enough to keep your motor running? Fear not, Crysis 2 has you covered i.e. it has cover. Context sensitive lean and peek controls make Gears-esque play a cinch, at least till somebody flanks you.
Click left bumper and fold your arms resolutely - you're the Tank, and you aren't going anywhere except straight forward. While using this Suit mode, there's little difference between hollow point fusillades and the evening breeze. So let the bombardment come. Admire the sunset for a while. Then stomp over to the opposing lines and punch someone in the ear, preferably with a car.
Much as rock beats scissors, so invisible beats non-invisible. The Suit's cloak will suck away your energy reserves double-quick if you move, but given the quantity of innocently turned backs in Crysis 2, it shouldn't take you long to find a new sheath for your combat knife. That (unlockable) ability to trace footsteps as visual artefacts could be helpful.
So you like to be where the action is, but you don't want to stand around watching the rockets bounce off. The slide is your new best friend - hit crouch while sprinting to perform the move. Not only will it carry you straight under incoming fire or chest-high obstacles (useful when flanking), it'll also whip the legs from under anything standing in your path, leaving them writhing like an upturned turtle as you pivot mid-slide to bring your tactical rifle to bear. You smooth old rascal, you.
The Mirror's Edge
Crysis 2 takes place in New York. New York contains an awful a lot of tall buildings. So what in the name of super-springy knee joints, dear player, are you doing trudging around on terra firma? Up, up! Don't just tap A to jump - clamp down on the little devil for utmost verticality. Aim for a ledge while doing so and you'll heave yourself onto it automatically, scaring the living daylights out of any snipers that may be lurking beyond. Of course, sooner or later you'll need to return to ground level in pursuit of an objective - and when you do, why not pay tribute to the power of gravity with a ground pound, splattering nearby lifeforms all over the furniture?