Product Type: Electronic Arts Xbox 360 games
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Review: Crysis 2
Crysis 2 (Xbox 360)
Member Name: Darkeyes2k10
Crysis 2 (Xbox 360)
Advantages: Stunning visuals, Fantastic action, Solid multiplayer
Disadvantages: Disappearing bodies and weapons??, Voice acting can be poor at times, Hard to get into multiplayer
Tested and reviewed based on the Xbox 360 version.
Review by Ben Nacca
XBL GT: Darkeyes2k7 PSN ID: Darkeyes2k11
"Yeah but can it run Crysis?" is still a phrase today that PC fanatics use to compare the power of their machines. I imagine the next one will be "can it run Crysis 2" but for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 owners, you do not need to worry about that because the CryEngine 3 has received the makeover required to put it onto your console.
The first Crysis was some form of a show horse in many respects, effectively benchmarking and making everyone feel ashamed of their computers with such intensive graphical prowess that made most developers look very scared. However, it was the real lack of feeling in the game that let Crysis down. That said, Crysis is still an impressive game and with the additions they have made to Crysis 2 with the Nanosuit and weapons, you can once again feel like a super soldier, hitting the streets of New York this time.
After Crytek making Far Cry and Crysis in jungle environments, the shift to the "concrete urban jungle" of New York can still offer the scope for impressing but also a new level of gameplay. Giving you the extra scope to navigate through building floors or from one roof to another gives you that unparalleled experience to plan your attacks. The game is customizable to how you want to play, whether you are aggressive or stealthy, the Nanosuit and the upgrades can adapt to how you play, how you feel you want to progress is a particular situation. It works very well to make a unique playing experience and once mastering the combinations and upgrades of the Nanosuit, you can truly create some Hollywood blockbuster moments within the game.
Whoever said that graphics on the games consoles for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 had reached a plateau was seriously mistaken as Crysis 2 offers the best visuals you can probably see at this moment in time on a console. Not once does the frame rate suffer, even when you got everything coming down on you, it is still flawless.
The vistas and scope is fantastic but it is a shame that the immersion is ruined by the bodies and weapons disappearing. That has always been a personal issue for me. Just keep them there and it is so much more realistic. You should be able to run back to the beginning of the level and the body is not gone...because after being shot several times, they aren't really going to be walking around much. That is not just Crysis 2 but was a shame that is an issue in an otherwise flawless game.
Of course, the consoles have nothing on the power of a PC and those graphics are frankly awesome. Although this is not a PC review of Crysis 2, it is a shame to see how limited the consoles are in that respect. Both consoles, if plugged in to a 3D TV offer you the chance to play in Stereoscopic 3D, giving you more depth and involvement throughout the game which is something we will probably be seeing more and more as the 3D tech is experimented with various developers.
To get another negative out the way, you control yet another silent protagonist in Crysis 2 called "Alcatraz", a Force Recon Marine sent to extract a high priority scientist who may hold the key to combating the Cephaloids who make up the main enemy of the game. It is somewhat refreshing though to have the urban environment in contrast to the textures and colours used in Medal of Honor and Call of Duty Black Ops, which again sets Crysis 2 out on its own, making the originality of it almost even more engaging as this is unexplored territory.
With the Sci-Fi story being just that at heart, penned by Richard Morgan, it does seem at times to be ever so slightly lost amongst all the chaos. Understand me when I say the gameplay is beyond what is out there at the moment, but the story is sometimes overlooked and too oppressed by the action going on within Crysis 2. Despite the multiple plot lines and such an ending that makes a new meaning for the word "twist", Crysis 2 just throws you on a rollercoaster of aliens, explosions and drama through the rather substantial 9 hours plus campaign on Normal difficulty.
What Crytek ask of you though is pretty standard when you scrape away the special effects, the jaw dropping graphics and ignore the story. It is simply go there, do this, kill that, fetch this and so on but it is implemented so cleverly that it does not feel repetitive as you scale through New York in your Nanosuit.
It is ultimately the Nanosuit that creates this game and holds it to be such an entertaining experience as you can just switch from armour to invisibility to speed on the fly as you see fit and despite the controls being obviously mapped from a keyboard to a controller, they can feel a bit convoluted at times but after a while it becomes second nature.
The score in Crysis 2 is superb and just captures what the game sets out to do so well but with some drab voice acting at times; it can sometimes almost feel spoiled. The weapons sound great though and the environment and everything around you just sounds so right. It is a shame about the silent protagonist as that should not be happening in a game in 2011, especially Crysis 2. It loses all empathy that the player can ever have towards "Alcatraz" and leaves you disconnected at times from the story.
As with any huge title though, it is the multiplayer that makes up a large part of it and surprisingly it is just mind blowing at times. It is one of those "like it or hate it" games I think with some people preferring to stick with the simpler Call of Duty Black Ops than try something a bit more spectacular.
The level progressions and XP gain are great and you are rewarded throughout with unlocks and weapons depending on the suit powers you use most and the classes you use etc. Downside is that if you are new to the game, it can be hard to get in to. The game is not balanced. With game modes and classes being rewarded to you as your progress and with the suit options, you can find yourself being kicked to the dirt by someone who has played the game a few hours more than you. It can be quite infuriating I imagine but progression aspect almost increases the competition to rank up and to unlock the cooler weapons to have that upper hand.
The achievements are a mixed bag. Fantastic names and tiles, with some really imaginative ideas in there, coupled with a few collection achievements, reach level 50 multiplayer and general level progressions that suppress the originality and flare that the list had. Generally it will not be a short 1000 by any means, with you needing to master multiplayer and complete the game on difficulties that could cause some people problems.
Superb. Fantastic. Inspirational. These are an endless amount of words to describe Crysis 2 and what Crytek have managed to fit onto a console. Sure, it is nothing on a PC with the latest hardware and everything maxed to full. That is a given. But this gives an equally beautiful insight into Crysis 2 without you having to break your wallet on a PC that can play it.
A great soundtrack and top sound effects throughout the game. It is let down but some uninspiring voice acting and the implementation of a silent protagonist but everything else is spot on.
The campaign is engaging and entertaining, the controls take getting used to but are not bad by any stretch of the imagination. The multiplayer is deep, customizable and rich in entertainment. It just epitomizes why people play games; to have a fun, entertaining experience.
A shame Crytek did not take a leaf out of Bungie's book with multiplayer in regards to keeping it balanced, but in some ways it works because you have to work and be successful to work your way up the ranks. A solid 9 hour + campaign only increases the score as Crytek continue to hit all the boxes.
The achievements for Crysis 2 are your standard complete missions, complete the game, collect these etc. but within that there are some really imaginative ones that will make unlocking them all enjoyable (hopefully if you like multiplayer) because otherwise the grind to Level 50 will be a painful one indeed.
Crytek have shown that consoles have not reached their peak yet with a fantastic display of Crysis 2 on consoles. How they do it so eloquently is beyond me but Crytek surely have a gift of some kind. I would recommend, if you have a PC good enough, to pick it up on PC too because the depth and detail is just so unbelievable that it is almost a different experience entirely.
This guide is the property of Ben Nacca and is for the sole use of www.lanraiders.co.uk and www.ciao.co.uk. No copying to other websites or other mediums without written permission first.
Summary: A shooter in a league of it's own which benchmarks the consoles and pushes them further than before!