Reviews

Crysis 2 – Review

Release Date: Out now!
Developer: Crytek
Publisher: EA
Singleplayer: Yes
Splitscreen: NO
Multiplayer: No
PEGI: 16+

Let’s get this out the way, shall we? Crysis 2 looks utterly amazing. It’s quite surprising how much they’ve managed to squeeze out of the Xbox 360 in the creation of Crysis 2, from its vast vista’s, crumbling New York ruins, beautiful guns and all-together real looking world. It’s a stunner.

But we’ll get back to that later on.

Crysis 2 is the sequel to PC powerhouse Crysis which never saw the light of day on consoles due to its absurd demand on the tech, so we never got to experience the delight of sneaking through a junk while almost fully invisible.

Well, for the sequel things have moved to the concrete jungle of New York where a deadly alien attack has left the city in ruins, and Alcatraz – the games lead character – gets a rather special present from the previous games hero, Prophet. The present? The Nanosuit. This lovingly engineered piece of tech helpfully gives you super strength, the ability to jump really high and run bloody fast. If that wasn’t enough then you can use the bumper buttons to active Armor mode and Cloak mode, which gives you big damage resistance and near invisibility respectively. If this sounds a bit overpowered, then don’t worry because all these fancy tricks use up the suits power which can only be recharged when you’re not using your cool tricks. But getting caught out in the open without power is a dangerous thing.

You’ll often be given a chance before bit battles to scout out the are from a view-point using the suits visor which lets you tag enemies, supply crates and weapons so you can track them all mid-fight. After that it’s up to you to decide how to approach the fight as battlegrounds are large and open, and filled with plenty of vertical paths as well so you can get high vantage points. Mixed with Armor and Cloak your agility and speed let you move around the battlefield in a graceful manner dealing out death. You can go all out attack with Armor, flank them and go stealth, raid ammo depots first or a mix of everything. It’s your choice and makes for a great experience with a good bit of replay value.

This focus on choice is further emphasised by the ability to customise your weapons on the fly. At any point you can bring up the menu and add scopes, silencers and other shiny things providing you’ve picked up a weapon with that attachment previously. You can also upgrade your suits abilities through killing aliens.

While you are a high-powered machine the first half of the game is actually a slow-paced affair requiring tactical thinking and planning in your attacks, because if you get caught low on power you’re screwed. The end result is a unique feeling game, and the slower pacing creates some great fights.

You’re also getting a well told story to back it up which see’s you taking on human enemies and aliens alike, and learning why the suit is so damn important to the fate of the world. Much of the stories appeal is through its graphics which help immerse you into the story and the world, with the occasional loading screen taking you out of that immersion.

Which brings us back to the graphics; while the art-style itself isn’t anything special the technical side of the graphics are truly stunning. The detail in textures is superb giving the world a real sense of depth. Watching a building collapse in a pile of debris and smoke is utterly fantastic, and it’s backed up by a huge draw distance that allows you to see vast parts of New York in beautiful detail. Simply put, and technically speaking, this is the best looking game on the 360.

The singleplayer has only one major fault, and that’s the enemy AI. Humans and Aliens alike don’t really exhibit much in the way if intelligence, and will often go in circles or simply ignore you even when you’re standing right in front of their face. At other times they fail to show any sign of using ny sort of tactics, or even common sense.
Sometimes killing an enemy will result in them floating in mid-air, or standing bolt upright.
These aren’t exactly game ending problems, but they do rather ruin the sense of immersion the story otherwise conveys.

Of course this wouldn’t be an FPS without the compulsory multiplayer modes, and it’s here that Crysis 2 is a little more hit and miss.

It comes loaded with the usual ranking system and plenty of customisation options to boot, allowing you to add plenty of stuff to your gun and choose your own suit upgrades. 

You’ve also got plenty of game modes to go along with it all.

Compared to the slower pacing of the singleplayer, multiplayer is a high-speed gun-fest where Armor mode practically rules. While Cloak does have its uses, Armor mode uses up so low energy that it’s common for most players to run around with it on all the time, and if you get caught without it you’ll die incredibly fast.
It’s something that can often feel a little to fast and frantic for its own good with kill sometimes feeling  more like dumb luck at being in the right place at the right time instead of skill. That’s more than made up for by moments where you patiently stalk a player in Cloak mode before delivering a neck-snapping stealth kill.

Other flaws such as the some weird hit detection do plague multiplayer, but overall it’s a pretty bug free affair which makes a nice change.

Overall I found the multiplayer to be as fun as it was frustrating.

Crysis 2 delivers a truly great singleplayer campaign that offers some great pacing and fun gameplay thanks to its awesome suit. It’s also one of the few FPS campaigns that manages to pack in a whopping ten to twelves hours of gametime.
Take the game online and it’s a rather hit and miss affair, and its fast – almost Halo feeling – nature may not appeal to everyone.

The Good:
+ It looks so good!
+ Feeling like a Predator using cloak and Nanovision while sitting high up.
+ Meaty weapons.

The Bad:
– Bad AI.
– Multiplayer can be frustrating.
– As good as it looks, there are some hiccups.

Scores:

Graphics: 9.5
Technically speaking this is the best the Xbox 360 has to offer. It does have some texture pop-in problems though, and the art style is nothing special.

Sound: 8.5
A rousing soundtrack and nice attention to detail round out the package.

Story: 7.5
A very enjoyable tail, though the characters are pretty flat.

Gameplay: 9
Plenty of choice in how you play, great pacing and that awesome suit help make this one of the best FPS games around.

Lifespan 8.5
It packs a ten to twelve-hour singleplayer campaign which is pretty epic for  modern FPS, along with a substantial multiplayer.

Overall: 9
Crysis 2 has crafted one of the best singleplayer FPS campaigns I’ve had the pleasure of playing in a while. It’s multiplayer is a bit hit and miss, and I did find it frustrating at times, but it was still a fun experience. Simply put; this deserves a place on your shelf.

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