Crysis 2 - Review


Despite the fact that Crysis from 2007 had revolutionary graphics, it was more or less just an "okay" shooter. Barely anyone played it, due to the fact that it was only released on the PC and that it was more famous for testing your computer graphics than it was being a game. Now in 2011 developer Crytek released Crysis 2, the highly anticipated sequel not only for PC but also for Xbox 360 and PS3. Crysis 2 takes advantage of Cryteks new Cryengine 3 which promises the best graphics to date. Question is, has crytek not only evolved the graphics but also the gameplay?




Story

The plot centers around an alien invasion by an alien race called the Ceph in 2023. You play as Alcatraz, a U.S. special forces marine, who just survived an alien attack in New York. Waking up, he realizes that he is now wearing the high-tech nanosuit 2. The previous wearer of the suit called prophet saved Alcatraz when he was unconscious and mysteriously killed himself shortly after (it is later explained why). Now with Alcatraz being the new wearer, he is NY's last hope.

I never played the first two Crysis games (Crysis and Crysis: Warhed). I tried but my PC just wasn't capable of performing the game fluently enough. So i just skipped it.
Considering the plot, i had the feeling that Crysis 2's plot barely had anything to do with the first games except for the invasion setting and the nanosuit. So you can easily follow the game's plot without much knowledge of the first game.
Unfortunately storytelling isn't one of the game's strengths. While playing i had difficulties following the main story. The game throws several unexplained happenings at you which actually get explained later on but keep you confused throughout the entire game. It's only during the last act that you more or less get what's going on. It might just be the style of the game throwing different mysteries at you but without explaining at least half of them while playing, you feel too confused to give a shit about either the characters or the story itself.
As i mentioned, the story itself is pretty ok although it's nothing groundbreaking. It's the storytelling that should be improved in potential sequels.


Gameplay

Crysis 2 does what shooters rarely do nowadays: it perfectly combines tactics with shooting-gameplay. Crysis 2 forces you to think before approaching an area full of enemies. Run and gun gameplay rarely works and you quickly die if you don't strategically use the nanosuits powers, which consist of: armor, invisibility, agility and nanovision. The fun thing is that every situation can be attacked with different tactics. It up to you if you want to go in guns blazing or if you want to use stealth instead. In the first act you mainly encounter marine forces that want to take you down. Their power is their quantity rather than their quality, different than the evil ceph aliens. They take much more hits and force you to completely rethink your strategies, that used to work with marines. The Ceph differentiate much more in classes and how the use the environment. They are much stronger, take more hits to kill, there are the normal ceph, the red stronger ones, the heavily armored one, the cloaked ones etc.. The reward for killing a ceph are alien tissues, that (if you collect enough) you can use to upgrade your suit and give him more powerful abilities. The idea is pretty cool and motivates you to kill as many of those fuckers as possible. Unfortunately you quickly realize that half of the powers you can "buy" are very useful (maybe even TOO useful) while the other half is total overprized and useless. Simply by reading the description of the powers before buying them you know which are worth it and which not. Also at about 2/3 of the game, you are more or less a bit overpowered with the right combination of nanosuit modules, so that the game has parts that feel a bit too easy, although the game as a whole still has an good level of difficulty.
The game itself is not the easiest you often die at regular difficulty, plus there are a total of 4 difficulties (easy, normal, hard, very hard).
A thing that bothered me during gameplay was the fact that the game doesn't offer many weapons. There isn't a big amount of different weapons and most of them are more or less the same. On the other hand the game gives you the ability to customize the attachments of your weapons, but there just could have been a bit more variety.
Also the game has a good length. As far as i know it is about 12 hours long and it's exciting 12 hours.
The game puts you into different places throughout NY and although the mission objectives don't vary much, they still keep you playing.


Graphics

Crysis 2 simply has the best graphics that ANY game has achieved to date. i think that this might be the ultimate maximum that games can achieve in this video game generation. Crysis 2 is one of those games, in which you at times just stand there at look at how fucking real this game looks. It really almost looks photoreal. Especially the locations in NY look amazing, while the characters themselves could need some improvement (they at times look kind of "not good enough compared to the locations"). Especially the lighting and the huge scale of the areas is impressive. What else is there to say than, it's the best looking game out there.
PS: I often heard that the PS3 version is very much inferior to its Xbox and PC counterparts. I myself played the PS3 version of the game and i really didn't notice any big difference. People say that the framerate just isn't as good as in the xbox version. As far as i noticed there are some parts that you might notice that the framerate isn't as good as for example Modern Warfare 2 but it really doesn't hurt the gameplay or the game itself. Also the graphics still look amazing. So don't be afraid that you will be dissappointed (cause you won't be concerning the graphics).


Sound

The Soundtrack is one of the best that i have heard till now. It obviously has a big production value. It's at least at the same level as the Metal Gear Solid 4 soundtrack. Simply the fact that Hans Zimmer himself composed Crysis 2's soundtrack should tell you that it is top notch.
The gamesounds as well as the voice acting are very good. Although i wished that some weapons like the mounted MG would have a bit more "punch" in the sound it's nothing to complain about regarding the full package.


Multiplayer

Crysis 2's multiplayer is pretty much a rip-off of Call of Duty's multiplayer. That's nothing bad. But although the game tries to differentiate itself from COD by adding the nanosuit powers, the gameplay feels not as good and fluid as in COD. The gameplay is way too chaotic for my taste. Also many people encountered balance issues with snipers and the invisibilty power. It's a fresh new idea adding those powers and feeling like Iron Man in the multplayer maps but for me, Crysis 2's biggest strength is it's multiplayer.
It was obvious that Crysis 2 had to have multiplayer. Otherwise the gamer community would have laughed at the game being a shooter that doesn't have multiplayer.


The Verdict

Crysis 2 proves that developer Crytek isn't only able to give us revolutionary graphics but also memorable new gameplay that positively differentiates itself from big names like Call of Duty and Battlefield. The game is an improvment over its predecessor whose only purpose was causing PCs to melt. Crysis 2 might not set new standards regarding it's storytelling or multiplayer but throughout it's an amazing, exciting experience and sure will be one of the most remembered achievments in gaming this year.


Final Verdict: 8 out of 10

Status: Great!

 

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