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Crysis 2 Retaliation Map Pack Review – Xbox 360

by William Schwartz

I had a lot of fun being strong, fast and invisible in Crysis 2.  In fact, I pumped in around 25 hours into the 360 multiplayer beta/demo alone.  Yes, that was more “Skyline” than any healthy individual would endure voluntarily.  When I finally picked up my retail copy of Crysis 2 I found myself far less inspired by multiplayer.  Don’t get me wrong, the graphics and map design were solid, and the gameplay was as legendary and original as ever (I love the Nanosuit dynamics), but something intangible, somethingmythic was missing.  Maybe it was because I could no longer just run up to someone and punch them dead in one hit as they tried to shoot me back in hilarious futility.  And yes, my K/D ratio was WAY higher than yours.  It’s not cheating if everyone can do it.

I suppose I was not the only one feeling a little empty about Crysis 2 multiplayer: Crysis 2 came no where near surpassing the popularity of the Call of Duty’s and Halo’s of the saturated multiplayer world.  The attempt was noble, but old habits die hard.  In fact, just this month Major Nelson announced the “top 20 LIVE titles” for the 360.  Where was Crysis 2?  Lower than a 4 year old game that some call Halo 3.  You may have heard of it.  In-fact, the last game on the list (#20) was Fallout: New Vegas, and that does not even have online multiplayer.  How the hell does that work?  I think gamers took the Crysis 2 slogans too literally, as multiplayer hit strong, but died fast and quickly became invisible.

Map packs generally provide a title’s multiplayer with a resurgence of popularity, partly due in part to new maps creating a stimulus of variety.  But do the new Crysis 2 maps provide multiplayer with enough flash and thunder to rekindle interest and move Crysis 2 beyond reach of Reach?  Or will this be another mere flash in the proverbial steel and titanium pan?

Luckily I am here to help you decide if Crytek deserves your 10$ of stimulus, or if it is better off going up in flames with some napalm and cordite.  And I promise to quit it with map pack references.

Shipyard – I really enjoyed this map.  Smack dab in the center of this map is a very large, and very impressive naval ship.  The first thing I did when playing on the map was yell “Holy $&!#” and immediately run and nano-jump onto the ship.  It really was nano-childish, I admit.  I was promptly sniped.  So many multiplayer maps seem to conveniently have waist high obstacles spaced mathematically around the map in a disturbingly balanced and often mirrored manner (I’m look at you Gears of War).  Shipyard just felt natural.  I really did feel like I was battling on and around a real to life naval cruiser, rather than a level that was over-designed for balanced multiplayer.  The bonus here is that while Shipyard manages to feel natural and real to life, it IS still very balanced for multiplayer.  As with other maps involving water, swimming is a blast.  Master Chief can’t swim.  What a wimp.  This map is awesome.

Transit– This map is another beauty.  Here we see the familiar Torch from the Statue of Liberty in the campaign mission “Semper Fi or Die.”  In fact much of the eye candy for this map appears to be pulled from that level… with the added bonus of some very impressive smooshed subway cars in tunnels last seen in the level “Dark Heart.”  Transit is really a mashup of Deark Heart and Semper Fi or Die… but it works, and it looks and plays great.  I docked this level points in my scoring because some buggers kept sniping me in one game.  Sure I could have just changed tactics, stopped returning to the same spot, or watched the kill-cam… but that would have been logical.  Rage and logic make poor bedfellows.  Little camping Ba$t@rd$!!!  I swear half the opposing team brought their tent.  I could almost smell the roasting marshmallows.  No wait… that was my K/D ratio being flushed down the toilet.

Park Avenue – Guess what… yet another pretty level.  Oh wait… all of the Crysis multiplayer maps are pretty.  I had some hair-raising, gun-on-gun-fun (with a side of nano) times dueling-it-out room-to-room in the center of this map.  Don’t forget the added bonus of a bookshop for the more literary types.  Some chicks dig that.  I met a smoking hot girl in the library.  She was a rabid minx in the sac.  True story.  Did I see this level in the single player campaign?  Or am I just confusing my multiplayer map bookstores with the airport of Modern Warfare 2?  Maybe shooter fans are more well-read than some think.

Compound – Oh Compound, you little you.  I was trying to think of something good to say about this map… because it really is a good little map.  “Meh” did feel appropriate in comparison to the other maps in this DLC.  I enjoyed the many tunnels and sneaky back doors that you can use to avoid your unsuspecting foe (or Ceph Gunship), or use as a means of flanking your enemy for some blindside courage…  unless your lag is so bad that you walk up behind them laying-the-hurt point blank, yet they still have the time to turn around and kill you.  In the end, Compound really looked, and felt too much like some of the other maps in Crysis 2.  I want map packs for variety, not more of the same.

Retaliation certainly is a solid DLC map-pack with beautiful and well thought out levels.  There are no trophies/achievements which is a good or bad thing depending on your level of obsessive compulsiveness. For those still playing Crysis 2 multiplayer, this DLC is a must.  For those that have returned to Halo and COD after a brief month fooling around with the mistress that is Crysis 2, do yourself a favor, get this DLC, and get polygamous with Crysis 2.  Don’t “Be the Tool,” get this DLC and “Be the Weapon.”

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Crysis 2 Retaliation Map Pack

  • Available On: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
  • Published By:
  • Developed By: Crytek
  • Genre: Shooter
  • US Release Date: May 2011
  • Reviewed On: Xbox 360
  • Quote: "Retaliation certainly is a solid DLC map-pack with beautiful and well thought out levels. There are no trophies/achievements which is a good or bad thing depending on your level of obsessive compulsiveness."
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