Crysis 2 is being shown behind closed doors at E3, and the excessive level of destruction, violence, and sheer visceral nastiness is entirely unexpected.
EA's Habit Zala says that they're calling it 'the urban jungle', and are trying to express the 'catastrophic beauty of the ruined city'. The demo starts on the flyover in front of Grand Central Station in New York: alien plasma bursts are hitting the skyscrapers to your sides - one called the 'Max Life' building. There's a generator that needs to be destroyed, but the troops on your side that have already tried have failed. You need to get in, and detonate the bomb already in place.
The graphics are startling. It looks easily the match of the original Crysis, as expected, but the recreation of the city is pixel accurate - easily outstripping GTA's expression of New York. There's also a new sense of violence and chaos - the player's camera is constantly shunted back and forth as explosive shocks knock him back, or alien weaponry causes electric interference in his views. It reminded me of the sheer cowbell extremes of the recent Call of Duty games - backed with intensely high-end graphics.
The player pushes up on the bridge, and uses abandoned taxis as cover. There's a moment in the demo - played on PC, but with Xbox control prompts - where it looks like you can use a Gears of War style cover system to hunker down. The player then lobs sticky grenades on to the car, and, switching to super-strength, kicks it off the side of the bridge and into the faces of waiting aliens.
He dashes up and around skyscrapers and office blocks - leaping from windowsill to rooftops and pushing past multiple alien patrols, highlighted earlier using the Nanosuit's binoculars, and by switching to a Sam Fisher-like night vision mode.
In the demo, the player constantly made use of the Nanosuit's invisibility to disappear and re-appear behind the aliens - who seemed easily confused. Recharge times seemed identical to the original game.
He found the detonator, blew it, and was quickly attacked by a giant, stronger version of the creatures that were infesting the city. He was only rescued by the building in front of him collapsing, shunting a subway car, which in turn slammed the alien into a wall, crushing him.
PC Gamer is the global authority on PC games. For more than 20 years we have delivered unrivalled coverage, in print and online, of every aspect of PC gaming. Our team of experts brings you trusted reviews, component testing, strange new mods, under-the-radar indie projects and breaking news around-the-clock. From all over the world we report on the stuff that you’ll find most interesting, and gives your PC gaming experience the biggest boost.