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The original Crysis on the PC was a first person shooter that was infamous for being a strain on the hardware. While the game was undoubtably beautiful, most people couldn't afford the PC to prove it. To make matters worse, it might have been very impressive visually, but it wasn't very inspiring to play and so it is remembered as a sort of awe inspiring disappointment. When Crysis 2 came along, people were uncertain of what to expect. On the PC the series exploited the bleeding edge of gaming hardware, but the sequel would also be released on home consoles which were becoming more than a little behind the times. Crysis 2 works as a sequel by standing firmly on its own merits and refusing to compete on the same grounds as the original, but the spirit is very different here.
The game places you in the shoes of a particularly unlucky marine who happens to be part of a doomed mission. Separated from the rest of the marines, you find yourself in New York City, just as a new group of hostile aliens invade. Through another convenient twist of fate you are granted a super-powered battle suit and you must progress through the city to deliver crucial information to the right people and possibly repel the alien threat. There's nothing we haven't seen before in the story, but the execution is clean and polished so it doesn't feel too hackneyed. While the story does continue from the first game, it really doesn't matter if you haven't played it. You are playing a completely new character and I don't think the events of the first game are ever really referenced early on. By the time you're really laying into the aliens and their plot, you'll be pretty far into the game and picked up all you need to know.
The gameplay in Crysis 2 works well, but I must admit this isn't my favourite style of shooter. There is a certain amount of realism to it (super powered battle suit aside) and it felt much closer to the Call of Duty style of games than the sci-fi / fantasy worlds of Halo or Resistance. This is still very much a sci-fi adventure, but it expects a certain tactical approach that can be very challenging. Gameplay is tough, enemies are brutal and charging into a situation head on with your guns blazing will usually not end well. A certain amount of tactical thinking is required. You will frequently find yourself in awkward situations with different possible solutions. The only way to clear them will be to really play to your strengths and assess the situation. I did enjoy this flexible style of gameplay, but it becomes a little overly militaristic in a way that I don't find fun in "real war" games and I don't find much more fun here. However, if you take the time to adapt to the game's difficulty, it can be very rewarding to play. It's certainly to this game's credit that it never feels difficult a frustrating way. I'm not the most talented gamer in the world and I must admit that I found myself repeating a few sections many times before clearing them, but I never felt that I had been killed due to poor or lazy design.
One drawback that might upset fans of the first game is in the linearity. The original Crysis was something of a successor to Crytek's Far Cry. Both games features lone protagonists exploring wide, rural landscapes in a non-linear fashion. The game would occasionally direct you to an important landmark but you could explore different sections of the environment at will. Crysis 2 does not offer the same freedom. While you can certainly approach every situation with my flexibility than before, Crysis 2 isn't that much better than a corridor crawling shooter. Landscape restrictions mean that you will spend the game moving from one area to the next, at the game's discretion. You are led by the hand through each event in sequence. It seems a little unfair to criticise Crysis 2 for this as it is very common in this type of game, but it does feel like something of a step back. Particularly since the freedom of exploration was a big part of the identity of the original game.
Given its pedigree, a lot of interest was built up over Crysis 2's graphics. There are some minor setbacks, but overall I'd say the game doesn't disappoint. Right away, it has to be said that Crysis 2 runs at less than 720p on the PS3. This isn't uncommon for demanding games and it's certainly not a deal breaker, but it does give the game a certain soft look that doesn't always work well for it. However, unlike a lot of PS3 games that run at lower resolutions, the game still has a decent anti-aliasing feature so it doesn't look intrusively jaggy. The rest of the game's visuals are quite impressive. The city looks great and you can see a lot of details at good distance. I also found the game to be surprisingly colourful. It doesn't deviate too far from the fashionable brown and grey colour palettes of the current generation, but there are some good shots of blue water, green parks and vividly coloured space invaders. Crysis 2 shows that it's possible to be realistic, even to be predominantly brown, and not to mute the colour completely. A lot has been made of the shading and lighting in Crysis 2's game engine, I can't say I ever noticed anything that really blew me away. What I can say is that everything looks polished, clean and impressive. That means more to me that full 720p.
Overall, I liked Crysis 2. Considering I was somewhat apathetic towards the first, and the game is certainly not my type of shooter, I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to. Visually it's a stunner and the gameplay feels absolutely solid. It's a lengthy, challenging shooter that will probably appeal to a lot of people more than it appeals to me. I think it has taken a few steps back from the first game, but the advances it has made put it way ahead. Though, fans of a more trigger happy shooter might find the difficulty curve a bit tough.
As this was an EA game I knew that it would have been developed well. As a long time casual gamer, im not hardcore by any means, I have come to realise that there are certain studios that you have to look for when buying a game. EA , a long standing company that used to focus soley on sports games, do not let you down on this game. However there are draw backs.
The graphics are good, satndard urban enviroment stuff, of an post apocolyptic setting of a city in the grip of biological warfare nightmare. The graphics , to make a comparison are about as good as most games on the xbox 360 or PS 3 platforms, think 'dead island' standard and your there.
The soundtrack is fairly unremarkable, scary in places, indeed this game is actually quite scary, aside from being your typical first person shooter, its actually a bit of a thriller/ soft horror. There are points when it is eerily silent or you are the only thing moving in a large street and in this way it feels alittle like silent hill or dead space. You keep expecting that at any moment a legion of enemy soldiers will jump out at you and you`ll be taken out.
The Gameplay is pretty good in terms ot what you see on screen, reaction timing and the feel of certain sensation. So the Biosuit your marine wears has the capability to jump large distances, think of the GI -JOE film suits and its very similar. The feeling you get as you kindve float from one place to the next takes some gettign used to and the fact that when you land it may not always be very smooth and in fact if it is too far then you will stumble a bit and you see you face the ground, a hand outstretched to steady you. The problem here is that for some reason as good as the progrmamign is, it is also a bit lax. You can try and jump on things and you hit a a wall or a container and you will just fall bounce of it and land right back on the spot that you just left...its a bit lame looking and feels rudimentary
And so the main draw of this game, the gimmick, the biosuit, is actually its major undoing. Im used to playing games with faily complicated controls, Medla of Honour, Call of duty or Assassins creed. But this game has to be one of the worst for gameplay control. Its like even with 10 buttons the controller isnt good enough, each button does 3 things, depending on how long you jhold it odwn or press it in connection with something else, and although not impossible, it made it very hard to carry out the right action, and this frustrated me. I may have wanted to go to stealth mode or armour mode, whent eh suit goes invisible or casts over for a short time, and so I bpress buttons and then you reload and your vior drops or goes up...it can be confusing. Yet on Assassins creed I can fight llike a demon, knowing what to press and when, so why is this so complicated here !!
Ultimiately, if you like FPS games give it a go....if not, definately play something else first to get used to the genre and then give this a go after many another FPS games completed !!!
The single-player portion of Crysis 2 is... ok. There's not much more to say about it. Yes, the visuals are stunning with a ruined Manhattan setting being a perfect showcase for it, but it doesn't offer the freedom that the original gave to players and it's short. However, to say the multiplayer is impressive would be an understatement. It isn't completely original, but you'll have loads of fun with it unlike the mediocre single-player. If you're looking for a great shooter to play by yourself, you should avoid this. On the other hand, this is definitely a recommendable title if you want to play with others. This seems to be the verdict on a lot of recent action games - it will be nice to see a good single-player experience soon!
I'll start by giving you my overall opinion on Crysis 2's 'plot' (it may as well be non-existent). It's awful. You control Alcatraz, a US soldier. We don't know anything about him, possibly because he doesn't talk. Mute heroes are becoming too common in first-person shooters - just because Half-Life did it, this doesn't mean every shooter after it has to. Your aim is to track down a scientist named Nathan Gould for some unexplained reason, but your squad is attacked. You are saved by soldier Prophet (if you played the original, you'll remember him) and he gives you his Nanosuit - more on that later - before he kills himself as he is infected. From there, you make your way through a crumbling New York, fighting aliens, soldiers and more aliens.
What's your motive? Why are the soldiers in New York? What are the aliens doing there, or more importantly, why does Crytek insist on filling every one of its games with aliens? If (most of) these questions were answered in the game, the story would have been made slightly better or at the very least much more understandable. As I had no idea what on Earth was going on, though, I came to the conclusion that the story was garbage. The characters aren't great, either. Alcatraz isn't developed at all and seemingly has no personality. Gould is a sweary scientist who isn't likeable in any way. Then comes your villain, the generic, macho soldier Commander Lockhart. That's pretty much the main cast and as you can probably tell, they are boring characters to say the least. Even more infuriating is the fact that the lead writer of the game is Richard K. Morgan, a famous sci-fi author. Oh dear.
Strip away the Nanosuit and this is basically a futuristic Call of Duty. Crysis 2 does give you access to this powerful piece of kit and gives you access to a range of abilities. The first, most game-changing one is cloak mode. This allows you to sneak about areas undetected, and makes stealth kills easier to perform. Second is armour mode, which doesn't impact your playing experience. It protects you from explosions and you can absorb more bullets. The third power is the ability to jump higher. Not much more needs to be said really. You also have access to tactical mode, which shows you routes around levels you wouldn't think of taking otherwise. Of course, having unlimited use of these powers would be stupid. An energy bar at the bottom of the screen depletes as you use these powers. In cloak mode, sprinting means your energy is reduced very quickly, while crouching makes it go down much more slowly.
The traditional first-person shooter elements are all present. In your inventory is a primary weapon (submachine gun, rifle et cetera) and secondary weapon (pistol) as well as a set of grenades. The basic controls are similar as well. One feature not seen in many other games in the genre is adding attachment to your weapons in single-player. It isn't groundbreaking, obviously, but it's nice to have some freedom of choice. However, not all of the similarities are positive. For example, the linearity of the game. The first Crysis had a beautiful setting full of green and while it wasn't an open world, there were many paths you could choose from to meet your objectives. On the other hand, Crysis 2 doesn't give you that freedom and so the linearity makes it feel like typical shooters today - Battlefield or Medal of Honor, for instance.
There's another big problem with the game: AI, or artificial intelligence if you're not familiar with these terms. The CryEngine 3, which Crysis 2 uses, apparently has intelligent and realistic AI, but nothing could be further from the truth. Enemies don't do much to keep themselves alive and they seem to have forgotten to put their contacts in. Here's one example: I'm in an enemy's line of vision, I run to a nearby box and the enemy starts looking around for me. It's unacceptable, although it is a good laugh. It doesn't end there, though. Doors are as much an obstacle to your foes as is an electrified floor. I'm really not making this up.
Finally, I'm here, the bit I've been waiting to talk about. Crysis 2's multplayer may have more than small resemblances to Call of Duty, but that doesn't make it any less brilliant. The system is simple: unlock things by ranking up through kills, winning games and reaching milestones. There's also quite some depth, too. Completing skill assessments (for doing things such as winning 25 matches, getting 50 kills with a weapon and more) and ranking up your suit powers will unlock modules for your suit's abilities. An example of a stealth module is lighter footsteps, and armour modules include faster health recharge. You can choose one module from each category to tailor your needs.
There's no real need to explain gameplay here, as nearly everything I covered earlier applies here. The suit powers are still at your disposal and the shooting feels solid and powerful. The AI issues don't apply anymore, of course, as you are playing online, so most of the issues present in the single-player aren't present. Where the multiplayer really succeeds is in how fast-paced and intense it is. You never know when a player is sneaking up behind you, which keeps you on your toes. Looking around in every direction becomes necessary if you want to stay alive.
Like most other multiplayer features in games, the maps are based on areas from the single-player. There is some good map design here. Most of the maps have a large size, and appeal to a lot of playing styles. For example, Skyline has some big open areas which suits the Gunner class while there is a building in the middle of the map which can be climbed upon, which is great for snipers. Other highlights include Wall Street and Impact. The only map I find lacking is Terminal - it's fun to play, but is basically a whole open area. On the whole, though, the maps demonstrate Crytek's potential and are quite varied.
---Graphics and Sound---
Crysis 2 genuinely pushes boundaries in terms of visuals. While the Manhattan setting shows a huge ruin, the graphics makes it beautiful. There are some minor issues, such as bushes and plants not parting as you crouch through them, but otherwise the graphical quality is faultless. It's on par with the visuals of Uncharted and Killzone - whichever looks best is arguable. In terms of sound, things aren't quite as impressive but it isn't bad. Voice acting is quite generic, but there's emotion in the characters' voices. On the music side of things, the main theme is fairly 'epic', if you will, but the music in the game itself isn't particularly memorable. You can listen to the music from the collectibles menu though, which is good. There are some technical issues with the sound, however, such as music being amplified when in an online lobby for some odd reason.
Strong violence and bad language warrants Crysis 2 a 16 rating, from the PEGI. In my opinion, this is just right but there's nothing bad enough that should prevent a 12 year old from playing. Stealth kills allow you to stab enemies and twist their necks and there's a small amount of blood splatter when you shoot at an opponent. The aliens aren't very gruesome and won't scare younger players. There is some strong language, with uses of f**k and minor uses but there is no very strong swearing.
The main criticisms of Crysis 2 sprout from the single-player. First is the abysmal story. It's basic and there are too many questions left unanswered, such as 'what the hell is going on?' That's never good. The gameplay itself is great but the campaign is too boring and easy for the first few hours. By the time things finally get going, you've nearly finished the game. Then there's the frustrating AI, or more suitably AU (artificial unintelligence). Cheesy jokes aside, enemies can't open doors. I'll say that again: enemies can't open doors. If there's a game anywhere with worse AI, I haven't had the fortune to see it. The linearity is also an annoyance. Here's hoping Crysis 3 will feature a bigger world.
It's a shame about the poor story and single-player as a whole, because had it been average at least, I would easily bumped up the rating to five stars. The gameplay is superb, offering different playing methods. Overall, the multiplayer is amazing. It's fast-paced, full of tension and loads of fun to play. The Nanosuit makes you feel powerful, and the shooting is solid. The graphics are fantastic - they're full of detail. The sound is good, despite some technical issues. If you're not a member of the PlayStation Network and don't intend to be one, then drop my rating down one or two stars. For anyone who has a PSN account, however, should rush to purchase this. You'll be hooked for hours and hours.
This review is also posted on Ciao under my name YoshiCheesePuff!
You'll probably be most impressed with the graphics; it's how you imagined a shooter would look in the future when the PS3 was first released and you had to wait a while before you got it. This is how Crysis 2 looks, the graphics are defined, textures realistic and it looks like a true sci-fi game without being too cartoonish. Becoming invisible doesn't seem out of place, you feel more like Predator. Some of the dynamics can look a little unrealistic, like when you knock enemies across the map, but the detail of the enemies themselves, and how genuinely fun it is, makes this forgivable. The areas in both campaign and online are huge and varied, alien spaceships, destroyed buildings, muddy war zones, crumbling highways; these might sound very typical, but the size of the map, detail and realism make it look unlike any other FPS around. The facial movements aren't up to par with L.A Noire, but they still move realistically and add to the realistic feeling the game has amongst impossible feats and deformed aliens.
Much of the environment is interactable too; you can shove cars into enemies, climb in a couple tanks and of course there's the archetypal big red explosive barrels conveniently placed in the middle of every massive gun-fight, which no shooter is complete without. Your suit has two main functions to give you a big advantage: Armour and Stealth. A button press either makes you invisible for a limited time (for stealth kills, sneaking around or pu**ying out like a coward) or extra protected (for intense battles, falling big heights or pu**ying out like a coward). The shooting itself is pretty standard for a shooter, but the ability to barge through enemies, sneak around them, punch them to death in one hit make gameplay a lot more interesting. The guns are also highly original, sniper rifles, magnum revolvers, pistols, assault rifles, light machine guns, sub-machine guns, shotguns, rocket launchers are all based on modern weapons and tweaked to make them more effective and futuristic. One smg fires faster than any contemporary weapon could, the revolver can break through enemy armour in one shot and so on. The aforementioned level maps make the fighting a lot more interesting and your two types of enemy are human soldiers and jelly-based alien monsters, which often use large mechanical vehicles to fight you with.