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Having played the first one to death and loving every minute of it I could hardly wait until the sequel was released! It was even better that my girlfriend bought it for me ;)
This sequel had a lot to live up to, the original has to be one of my favourite games so this one had it's work cut out for it before I even started to play it.
Anyway, lets start with the cinematic intro that plays upon first loading the disc, it's great, what more can I say. It gets you pumped up and ready to start playing the game STRAIGHT AWAY! The graphics are simply amazing (whilst not the best in a game, they are very very good) and I find myself watching the intro whenever I play the game :)
Actually starting the game is slightly different from the first, instead of being thrown into a training facility to learn the moves you are put straight into the game, this I think is a good thing as it doesn't waste time with silly commentary or cut scenes etc and gets you stuck right in. The moves (if you've played the first) are easy to pick up as they are pretty much all the same!
The game itself can be quite a challenge and gets more so as the game progresses, you find yourself in a variety of different locations with a vast range of different missions to complete ranging from hostage taking, bomb defusing, assassination, etc. The varying scenery breaks the game up very nicely, one minute you can find yourself crawling through swamps with search lights flashing around to the next where you are crawling through shafts and buildings.
Their isn't much in the way of weapons, basically they are the same as the original with (a) few addtions.You have a pistol and a rifle with some add-ons such as sticky shockers, bean bags, etc. Even with the varying add-ons for the rifle you are equipped with I found that I finished the game without using more than a couple of sticky shockers, this is very different from the original! I think the reason for this is that you can now knock people out with a swift smack to the back of the head where as in the original you had to get them in a choke hold first. This means that you are able to creep up on people easily and dispose of them with a quick slap - This gets a bit boring after a bit as it makes things quite easy. Don't get me wrong, the element of surprise is one of the best factors in the game and silence is the name of it.
You are also equipped with the usual night vision and thermal goggles which are used extensively in this game, you use thermals to locate bad guys later on in the game as their body temp is higher than normal civilians due to a vaccination. Night vision is crucial for creeping around after taking out all the lights in the game - Unlike the first I found that their was plenty of ammo available which means that you could clear hole rooms of lights and then just creep around knocking people out.
All in all I found that this game was pretty good, if you have played the original then this is a must but don't get over excited as it is pretty much the same :( Anyone who hasn't played the first should try one of them at least and with the original being sold so cheap then it may be a hard choice at which one to go for! The game won't keep you engrossed for more than a week or so depending on how long you play for as it is quite easily finished.
I don't have any comments on the Xbox live side of the game as I have yet to try it out!