Genre: First Person Shooter Developer: Crytek Publisher: EA Classification: MA15+ Release Date: 22nd Mar 2011 Platforms:
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Where Crysis was set on the jungle island of Lingshan, Crysis 2 moves the fight to New York city. It's a city full of iconic imagery - not to mention the largest in America - so when the game opens with your character in a submarine, it's not long before you see the Statue of Liberty broken and torn.
It's a little inspiring (and a little cheesy) when one of your team mates patriotically points out that despite her state, she's still standing - but it really rams home later, when you see her head detached and lying on the ground. It's one of the few times upon seeing a scene like it that I didn't reflexively make a joke about Planet of the Apes - this was a bit more serious.
It's this attention to detail that really sells the Crysis 2 experience. In some ways it feels like the team at Crytek might have taken too much inspiration from JJ Abrams handicam epic Cloverfield - but there's a concerted effort to make it all their own experience.
You'll wander through dust covered roads, haunting quarantine areas, citizen evacuation zones and others as you make your way to the end of the game, and though the inspirations might be openly detailed in the game, you'll definitely begin to associate some with Crysis 2 first.
The story is well detailed, but it's not terribly well told. Usually voice acting sounds worse when the actors aren't in the same room - but it's common enough these days that it won't put people off. Crysis 2's voice acting seems like it was done sentence by sentence - people talk as if they're saying lines, not having detailed conversations, and it's quite off-putting. Their voices and actions don't always match up either, which exacerbates the issue to a small degree.
Still, it's forgivable in the face of the overwhelmingly beautiful atmosphere created by the game. Beyond just the outstanding imagery already mentioned, the game paints an outstanding picture of a devastated Manhattan, and the use of sound - both orchestral and effects - does wonders to put you in the world created by Crytek.
For all it did right, most people only remember Crysis for what it did wrong. It was built to push a computer to its limits, but it quickly became apparent that it was a lack of optimisation in the engine which tested CPUs and GPus - not an overwhelming amount of visual clairity.
Gameplay-wise it was praised for giving players a massive jungle to play around in - you could fool the AI with traps, altogether dodge them in some instances - generally you could act like the super-soldier you had become.
Unfortunately the later stages of the game were level after level of fighting an alien menace which seemed... alien to the flow of the game. Inserted in an effort to bolster the storyline and ramp up the difficulty, it became repetitive quickly and detracted from the otherwise fun game.
Crysis 2 has been built from the ground-up to run on the Xbox 360 and PS3 - meaning simplified controls and guaranteed optimisation. Basically, as long as your PC is as good as an Xbox 360 - and if it was built in the last three years it is - it will run Crysis 2.
This encouraged me to think Crytek had learnt from their mistakes with the first Crysis (and to some extent its expansion pack, Warhead). Unfortunately it seems they spent so much time making sure the game would look pretty and run well on pretty much anything with a CPU that they forgot to do something about the other issues.
The AI in Crysis 2 is either exceedingly good or bugged - when it's working you'll feel like your actions have real, immediate consequences, and you'll see those consequences reflected in the world. When it's buggy you'll see foes twirling about like ballerinas, robbing the atmosphere of its strength
Fighting aliens is as it was in Crysis - novel for the first hour, and numbingly repetitive for the next four. The best approach when boredom is encountered is to make your own fun - and that was an
option in Crysis, but it isn't as much here.
When you start the game, some might feel a little overwhelmed by the power of their suit - to combat this you're told how to best utilise the suit to your advantage. Using your tactical visor you can track where your opponents are through walls, mark ammo dumps and mounted machine guns - basically you can work out the best approach through any given area.
At the start of the game being told to open your visor is helpful, because you wouldn't usually have a tool like this at hand. By the four hour mark though, the words 'open your tactical visor now' basically just tell you that you're in for a firefight, destroying any feeling that the player is actually in control.
The game does more than this though - it also tells you in certain situations to turn on one of your specific suit modes - armour or stealth - and this destroys any semblance of tension the game then attempts to create.
This will seem cryptic - but by the end of the game these actions aren't as foreign as you'd think. Actually, by the time the plot wraps itself up some nine hours after you've started you might be pleasantly surprised at where it takes you - I was.
A game with a strong beginning and end can often make you forget a soft middle - and this is definitely the case here. While Crytek's games usually have an utterly forgettable plot, I actually think the plot in Crysis 2 is worth further discussion - after everyone's finished it of course.
If you were a fan of Crysis' multiplayer, you're in for a rude surprise here - Crysis 2 treats multiplayer like a streamlined Call of Duty style clone. Gone are the vehicles, wide sprawling maps and Counter-Strike style buying system - instead you have at max a 12 player limit, a series of 'loadouts' and a leveling system ripped straight from Modern Warfare.
Crysis 2 does so little different that it's almost not worth mentioning the MP - essentially you either like the Call of Duty style multiplayer game or you don't. It's impressive to see the game looking almost identical to the singleplayer game - textures are a little worse for wear, but in general it's still visually impressive.
Each map takes its cues from New York iconography - my favourite is the smokey, grim recreation of a destroyed Wall Street. The game modes all put Crysis style spins on classics - Capture The Flag becomes 'Capture the Bio-Tick', Deathmatch is 'Instant Action' and the like.
It's not particularly original, but it is fun - you just have to be in the mood for a high-paced multiplayer game. I was initially extremely disappointed to not have a tank which fired nuclear weapons as an option, but it wears off quickly as you get lost in the visuals.
Crysis 2 might not be exactly the sequel most people expected after Crysis, but it's definitely an improvement. There's room for more, but the game delivers an absolutely stunning atmosphere - and even if the middle of the game bogs you down the ending will definitely pick you up. The little things that niggle at you - the AI, the linearity - dissolve the more you allow yourself to enter the world Crytek created. Perhaps a little less time with the dial set to 'Maximum Repetition' would have sealed this as near perfect.
The story is great, it keeps you coming back because there is a slow gradient of progression when the story itself seems to be picking up pace and momentum. And you keep wondering to yourself how epic is it going to get? I haven't finished it yet but so far so good, multiplayer was a little tacky though. I remember the maps being too small and the spawning a little confusing, not like the fast moving action of COD. Having said that I still found a way to enjoy myself when I gave it a try and you might too, because the game is pretty polished.
My recommendation for game-play, if you want a challenge play it on Hard. If you are not great at computer games or FPS play it on Normal, it is not an overly challenging experience but is more of a cinematic and action-packed story-line.
From the very start of this game I realized I really should have been playing this on the PS3. Not too happy that I couldn't bind the keys I actually wanted was also a very bad start. I must admit though, I loved Crysis the original game.. it played just the way you would expect a pc game to play, things happening everywhere, ability to walk anywhere (within limits) and crazy PC demanding graphics... Crysis 2 doesn't yet have any of those... the graphics although still stunning needs the DX11 boost... why didn't it come out with DX11 in the first place?? Because it's a console game. Which brings me to the linear play of Crysis 2. Defeating a little area and then moving on to defeat another little area, just not happy with it, there really isn't the freedom there was in Crysis 1. As far as story goes, Crysis 2 seems a little weak, and I never really felt I belonged in the city wearing the nano suit. Anyhow, to people with pc's, I would only recommend buying this game if you intend to fully utilize the multiplayer aspect, otherwise buy it on a console, since that's what they made it for..
Whilst decent and deserving of 6-7, imo, i gave it 7 for promise as MP will be fixed and enjoyable, if it isnt DOA from being un-startable.
Story is silly. I cringe everytime i hear the line 'what are we fighting''aliens''yeah sure, illegal aliens' ripped straight from the movie Aliens with sigourney weaver. that line was an in-joke in the production of that movie, the woman who played vasquez, when auditioning for the role, was told by her agent its a movie about aliens. the actress (her name escapes me) thought they meant illegal aliens and came dressed to the audition as a mexican illegal- immigrant, instead of a space marine. watched in a documentary. thats where that joke comes from.
Havent finished the game yet, but the single player whilst well trodden is STILL enjoyable, if only for the cinematics and great visuals. PLaying with nvidia 3d vision is breath taking, a real visual treat i cant wait to see in direct x 11. Still, not worth the asking price of 79.00. wait till its on sale.