Product Type: Electronic Arts PS3 games
Newest Review: ... 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 gam... more
Did not make me Cry.
Crysis 2 (PS3)
Member Name: illogicology
Crysis 2 (PS3)
Advantages: Flexible gameplay, visually amazing, good sequel, very well made.
Disadvantages: More linear than the first, can be difficult, more tactical than shooter.
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.
Summary: A very well made game that has a lot of fun to offer, but can be very taxing to play.
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