Crysis 2 Review
This big, bold sequel offers an eerie vision of a city under siege.
Such diversity leads to superb shoot-outs in the final two-thirds of the campaign. It's unfortunate that the first few levels lack momentum; the story doesn't go anywhere, the environments only hint at the upcoming havoc, and the baffling AI drains excitement away. Down moments include a short trip through a mausoleum in which you glimpse a cloaked enemy but nothing actually happens, as well as a frustrating tank shoot-out. Once you finish the campaign, though, it isn't those levels you remember most but the thrills that erupted as you approached Grand Central Station or blasted your way through extraterrestrial hordes in a nail-biting sequence near the game's finale. Fending off leaping aliens with your comrades in a large city square is a blast: robotic hulks lumber on the ground level while agile foes skitter across ledges and fire from windows. In another momentous mission, the lights go out and you engage foes while activating your suit's heat-sensing mode.
Crysis 2 looks superb, though perhaps not as groundbreaking as you might expect from the sequel to one of the best-looking games ever created. Perhaps its most astounding feat is that it displays so much on the screen at once and that distant objects are rendered with more detail than you would typically expect. Look closely and you begin to appreciate the details. Birds strut on the pavement and then fly off as you approach. Alien dropships cast ominous shadows on pockmarked concrete and abandoned taxicabs. There are multiple stunning sights, such as a nighttime vista of the burning metropolis from a famed island in the East River. Such scenes are elevated by a rousing and varied orchestral soundtrack that underscores the visual juxtaposition of the picturesque and the profane. Consider, for example, a creepy minor-key track that contrasts dark, throbbing cellos with the busy fiddling of violins many octaves higher. Or an undulating melody through which electronic vibrations weave in and out.
The high ambitions of the production elements nevertheless take their toll. Textures and objects can be distracting as they pop into view, and the frame rate doesn't always retain a slick pace. Visual glitches can also annoy. You might run into occasions on which the depth-of-field blur breaks, causing everything to appear out of focus. Moving an emplaced gun might cause objects seen through its sights to smear together. Bugs aren't limited to just the graphics, either. On two separate occasions, the game would not allow us to equip any weapon (starting over from the most recent checkpoint solved that issue). One mission was also plagued by a loud, stuttering buzz that remained even when we restarted it. And broken dialogue triggers might cause a character to speak over his or her own lines. Such bugs are common enough to be annoying, but they're hardly so common as to dissuade you from playing.
The multiplayer part of Crysis 2 is superficially similar to what you might find in other modern shooters, but an elaborate system of unlocked enhancements does a good job of keeping you engaged. Crysis 2 rewards you with experience and levels as you play; you unlock the most intriguing modes only after many hours. Until then, you can expect to sink some time into boilerplate modes like Instant Action (Deathmatch); Team Instant Action; and a little later on, Crash Site, which is a king of the hill mode in which the hill periodically moves locations. In time, you also unlock a capture-the-flag variant, along with two assault-and-defend modes: Assault and Extraction. (Note that in private matches, you can access all of these modes from the get-go.)
These game types all grant a good dose of action, though it is much different from the expansive Power Struggle matches that defined the original. Nevertheless, Crysis 2 differentiates itself from other shooters with the same nanosuit abilities as in the single-player campaign. You can cloak yourself for short periods of time and take your opponents by surprise; escape a sticky situation by leaping to higher ground; and improve your defenses by activating armor mode. The diverse maps give you plenty of opportunity to employ these skills. On the vertical Skyline map, for example, jumping to higher ground is a great way to gain an advantage over a pursuing enemy. On the atmospheric Sanctuary, stealthy players will appreciate the many archways and gravestones that shield them from view when they need to recharge their energy. It's all solid fun, and given the nature of the nanosuit powers, it's unpredictable enough to keep you invested for the long term.
The online gameplay is further energized by a lot of customizability, as well as the promise of weapon and power enhancements always on the horizon. While you can choose from one of a few premade classes, Crysis 2 allows you (in most modes) to create your own class by selecting from a variety of weapons and suit modules. These modules are many and may allow for faster firing rate, automatic warning when enemies come near, radar scrambling, and more. Some unlocks are earned by meeting the necessary skill requirement; others are tied to particular milestones. For example, you might earn a module upgrade by killing 150 enemies while in armor mode. There are many such upgrades and many ways to customize your character. Even match types are flexible. Public matches offer variants in which, for example, time between rounds is reduced or you don't get any nanosuit abilities. Private matches afford the host control over aspects like friendly fire, score limit, respawn delay, and much more.
Crysis was a superb game, and it wasn't so just because of the astounding technology that brought it to life. Crysis 2 doesn't make as strong of a mark, but in a sea of me-too shooters, it feels unique and offers an exciting journey that's as much your own making as that of the developer. The wow factor is undercut by a few issues--the bargain-bin AI and some unfortunate bugs among them. But while the lows are inescapable, the highs are intense, and the more you play, the more extraordinary they become. If you give this sequel a little patience, it will bombard you with the thrills you came seeking.
If you're already playing Crysis 2, be sure to check out our game guide which includes both a full campaign walkthrough and multiplayer load outs tips.
Aside from some terrible voice acting, not in the "Oh wow, that sounds hilarious" like you'd find in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but in the "Ugh, this is so annoyingly bad" way, and a handful of terrible bugs that mar the presentation and often times broken A.I. I do enjoy this game. The first Crysis on PC is a far better game. I just hope the third doesn't disappoint. It's unfortunate, 'cause they never, ever (OK, maybe once) updated this game, and it's one game that really needed updates to fix the bugs.
First Crysis is one of my top favorite games ever. I finished it three times than bought better video card and finished it another 3 times. Love the game! 10 out of 10! When i heard Crysis 2 coming out I was very excited. Unfortunatly I was disapointed with it. I give it 7 out of 10. I almost felt like they tried to make money on succes of the first game(( I remember every moment in first Crysis. In sequal i barely remember half of it. Crysis 2 has a great idea but i believe it didnt live up to its fullest potential. Biggest issue for me wasnt so much AI but every mission that had me walking always forward on one street just to complete objective and move on to the next mission. I understand that it would be hard to create open world on such scale but i did feel a bit too controlled by the physical environment. It felt more like any other first-person shooter that gives you one direction to follow. There was enough space for different gameplay styles but nothing in compare to the jungle of the first crysis. Although Crysis 2 has many great moments they werent as exciting. The first crysis kept surprising me through out the whole game. Crysis 2 at times was boring. The best and most memorable aspect of Crysis 2 i think was the setting. I really enjoyed the city and its visuals (especailly the destruction). I am looking forward to Crysis 3. I hope the third installment will be as solid as first game.
I thought the second half was good, but the same thing over and over and over. It was quite a drag.
The soundtrack here has been described as "outstanding", I thought it was quite generic, and there really weren't that many tracks, just the same dramatic-but-typical-sounding war score. Over and over and over.
It's getting annoying the whole "only two weapons" thing. I really mean it, it's ruining hundreds of games for no reason whatsoever.
The field of view felt like about 30°, which is totally unnacceptable in a PC game. A normal human can see through about 120° and most games let you push to 90°.
The graphics were fantastic though, and well optimised, and I think they did a great job with the streamlining the suit powers from the first game.