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Crysis 2 Review

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    Crysis 2 Review

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    Basic Information:

    Developer: Crytek Studios
    Publisher: Electronic Arts
    North American Release Date: March 22, 2011
    European Release Date: March 24, 2011
    Trophies: 38 Bronze, 10 Silver, 2 Gold, 1 Platinum


    Overview

    German developer Crytek has an overwhelmingly strong pedigree of delivering some of the best PC-exclusive FPS experiences to date. Heralded mainly for their graphical prowess and their mastery of their in-house CryEngine technology, Crytek has led the PC for a number of years in both gameplay innovation and technical muscle, from the gorgeous and outlandish Far Cry (2004) to the infamous rig-crasher Crysis. Now, nearly four years after their last major release, the developer aims to bring the Crysis name to a global market with the release of Crysis 2 on both home consoles and the PC alike. Can this CryEngine 3-powered FPS behemoth carve its own niche in an already crowded console genre, or is the Crysis brand forever doomed to remain a smaller-market shooter?

    Gameplay

    Despite the obvious downgrade in customization options from a keyboard to a gamepad, Crysis 2 successfully captures the strong free-roaming elements that made the first game (and Far Cry, for that matter) such a refreshingly unique experience. Some of the more elaborate powers (i.e. Sprint and Speed) have been consolidated to streamline the control scheme for the console market, and certain customization aspects of the first Crysis have been completely eschewed. But rest assured, the player will give each and every button on the DualShock a heavy workout throughout the game's lengthy tenure without any stiff learning curve or configuration confusion. The beauty of this design is that Crysis 2’s control scheme is complex yet user-friendly, rather than overly cumbersome and confusing.

    Engaging in first-person combat is obviously Crysis 2’s main focus, and the transition from the mouse and keyboard to the DualShock has been relatively smooth. While the unique powers obviously take a certain prominence, all of the FPS control staples are present and at attention (L3 to sprint, R1 to fire, etc.). While solid, the shooting and aiming themselves feel akin to a PC-developed title, as the North-South and East-West directions aim well but the directions in-between seem to not provide as much precision. The same issue occurred to much more player ire in Ubisoft’s Far Cry 2 (a game of far lower quality, I might add), but this minor problem will not resurface with the fans even nearly as prominently in Crysis 2. Don’t get me wrong, the shooting itself (and the game wrapped around it) is phenomenal; just don’t expect a pitch-perfect experience without tweaking the sensitivity. A note can also be made to the arsenal at the player’s disposal, which (while conventional and rather underwhelming in selection) certainly packs a punch while tearing through soldier and alien alike.


    Fast and frenetic, with a side of experimentation.

    What sets the Crysis franchise apart from its counterparts in the genre is the powers of the military-grade NanoSuit, and Crysis 2 hinges its open-ended gameplay completely around the suit's abilities. Enhanced strength, speed, and stealth are all (literally) at the fingertips of the player, and it is these abilities that aid Crysis 2 into becoming a brilliantly conceived puzzle-oriented FPS. Proceeding through the levels is primarily banked on the player’s choice of strategy. Essentially, there are an unlimited amount of ways to pass through a level; whether it be sneaking by with a silenced weapon or going in with guns blazing and enhanced NanoSuit armor. This freedom of choice that Crysis 2 provides is a strong breath of fresh air from the tired-out scripted events that dominate the genre today.

    Singleplayer

    Crysis 2 is a direct sequel to the PC-exclusive title of the same moniker, which detailed a special-forces operation on a Korean-controlled island in the Pacific that went horribly wrong. The Ceph (obviously short for “cephalopod”, after the creatures’ squid-like constitution) have spread their invasive dominance across the globe, including the City that Never Sleeps. The player controls Alcatraz, a Special Forces operative stationed to defend New York from the oncoming invasion, whose squad is promptly massacred by a Ceph gunship at the game’s exposition and is saved by the NanoSuit-donned Prophet (the squad leader from the first game). Prophet reveals to Alcatraz that he is infected by the lethal virus that has accompanied the Ceph invasion, and that the nanosuit must be preserved so that humankind may survive. Prophet then gives the wounded Alcatraz the suit, commits suicide to prevent further torture by the virus, and the narrative kicks off from there.


    The virus has taken its toll on the inhabitants of NYC.


    While Crytek may have attempted to give the Crysis franchise a meaningful and heavy-handed storyline, the narrative in Crysis 2 ultimately takes a decisive backseat to the action. The story certainly isn’t bad in any sense of the word; rather, it allows for a more defined backdrop for the action sequences and adds a sort of “wow” factor to each and every scripted event. Nevertheless, the characters are largely forgettable and the conclusion is unsatisfying and inconclusive. The gameplay is placed front and center, though, so the lack of an intricate yarn is forgivable. An old adage can be applied here: “It’s not about the destination, but about the journey”.


    Sh*t is going down in the Big Apple.

    The actual singleplayer portion of Crysis 2 does not skimp out on value- this adventure will take anywhere from 12 to 15 hours to complete, depending on difficulty and methodology. This is a considerably long game in comparison to its genre counterparts- in fact; my “hard” runthrough of Crysis 2 took the same amount of time as roughly 3 playthroughs of Modern Warfare 2 on “Veteran” difficulty, which I found amusing. The game itself can best be described as a more linear experience than the first game’s open-world perspective, but far more wide-open than every FPS mainstay in the console market. Essentially, players who enjoyed the first game’s playstyle will feel mildly constrained, while players used to the Call of Duty-like run and gun corridor style will feel somewhat lost with all of the expansiveness at their disposal. This mix of playstyles leaves a shooter that is a refreshing addition to the console arena- a focused, yet open-ended FPS with excellent pacing and a decent storyline to boot.


    Multiplayer

    The original Crysis’ singleplayer campaign was accompanied by a sprawling, large map-based multiplayer structure that, while not defining the genre, allowed for a fun distraction from the game's solo campaign focus. Crysis 2 adapts the style of gameplay of the first title’s multiplayer offering to a more console-esque archetype with narrower maps and a faster pace. The results are ultimately a mixed bag- while the multiplayer component of Crysis 2 is an entertaining diversion from the campaign (like that of the first game), the freedom of the first game’s multiplayer structure is somewhat lost in translation and the multiplayer component thus loses its identity as a consequence.


    Undeniably fun, but shoehorned into an unfamiliar style.

    Obviously, the crux of Crysis 2’s multiplayer uniqueness is the NanoSuit’s powers and the ability to adjust to the combat situation on the fly. Not much has changed gameplay-wise from the first game- each power can be utilized and upgraded to match whatever combat situation the player may encounter in the multiplayer arena. The problem is that the overall gameplay style feels unabashedly shoehorned into an overly fast-paced generic FPS style that saps from Crysis 2’s originality. The maps are probably the most guilty culprit- most maps are filled with small hallways and corridors and don’t allow for the player to experiment with the powers given to them. The ratio in time between life and death is much too small for any sort of noticeable customization, and the entire mode suffers as a result. This is not to say that the mode isn’t fun: after all, the twitch shooters that have defined this generation have a mass following for good reason. Rather, it is a shame that Crysis 2 was simply unable to deliver a potentially innovative multiplayer offering.


    Technical

    Crysis 2 is a technical marvel. Crytek’s ludicrously powerful CryEngine 3 performs exactly as advertised, as the engine has brought about a new graphical king among multiplatform releases. Textures are finely detailed, the movements of both Alcatraz and the enemies he faces are smooth and methodical, and the stunning recreation of a ravaged and devastated New York City gives the player a strong connection to the world via the visuals alone. Crytek may not have implemented a unique artistic design, but this is no knock against the game’s visuals. Each and every turn will leave the player breathless: video games simply do not get much prettier than this.


    You'll be floored from the word "Go".

    A quick aside must be made to the accusation concerning the PS3 version of Crysis 2’s technical potency in comparison to other consoles. There is a simple answer to this question: yes, the PS3 version does not run as well as its 360 and PC counterparts. Screen tearing is sometimes a prominent issue, and the game can indeed drop frames if the action becomes a little too wild for the console to handle. Nevertheless, this is no reason to not pick up Crysis 2 on PS3- it’s the same fantastic game with slightly tarnished but still fantastic visuals.

    Sound design is also a giant plus for Crysis 2, as the game runs in full Dolby 5.1 surround sound and is not shy of that fact one bit. This game will rock your speakers- everything from the firing of weaponry to the crumbling of massive buildings to the eerie screeches of the Ceph are highly detailed and beautifully orchestrated. The soundtrack, scored by Hans Zimmer, is grandiose and full of vigor, but is ultimately forgettable and lacking any sort of memorable "Halo-esque" hook.

    Trophies

    Crysis 2 has an annoyingly impossible Platinum Trophy- one pesky little bronze allows for the player to unlock the platinum 6 months after the game has been released. Perhaps this was a hackneyed attempt to magnify the longevity of the multiplayer; however, it comes across as more annoying than clever. The trophies are certainly attainable, but the Platinum will not be until the end of September. Shame.

    Closing Thoughts


    While not quite the landmark step that it could have been, Crysis 2 is a monumental success and stands tall as one of the premiere console FPS releases of this generation. Sure, the multiplayer lacks some depth and adheres a tad too much to genre mainstays, and sure, the graphical performance on the PS3 version of the game is not quite at the level of its other platform releases. But the sheer strength of the finely-tuned and lengthy campaign and the breadth of options the NanoSuit gives to the player more than warrants a purchase. Crysis 2 is just one of those games that has to be played to be believed; and there is no doubt that it should rightfully be played by all.



    SCORES



    Gameplay: 9.5/10

    An absolute dream to play. The NanoSuit provides a different kind of refreshing FPS gameplay that the console arena has never seen before. The limitless methods to proceed through the campaign completely overshadow the PC-translated aiming sensitivity.

    Singleplayer: 9.0/10

    God bless Crytek for giving the FPS fanbase a challenging, cerebral shooter that lasts more than 3 hours to complete. The story is forgettable, but enhances the game's finest moments with its contextual input.

    Multiplayer: 7.5/10

    A fun yet derivative console twitch shooter that could have been so much more. Experimentation with the NanoSuit is hampered by small maps and a somewhat shallow upgrade pool.

    Technical: 9.0/10

    Every bit as gorgeous as the CryEngine 3 demo advertised last year. The PS3 version does have technical problems every now and then, but they do not affect the game's striking beauty in the slightest.

    Overall: 9.0/10- FANTASTIC

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    The only bright spots of this game was the Technical and Gameplay, everything else was utter shit. Hell the SP was shit and extremely easy. I think I beat it on Supersoldier in 3 hours. Just sneak past everyone. At best it should be a 6/10.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushpig94 View Post
    The only bright spots of this game was the Technical and Gameplay, everything else was utter shit. Hell the SP was shit and extremely easy. I think I beat it on Supersoldier in 3 hours. Just sneak past everyone. At best it should be a 6/10.
    I keep seeing the game for less than like 10 now

    It got such mixed reviews though, so I'm not even sure if it'd be worth my time Admittedly I thought the multiplayer beta was alright..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curse View Post
    I keep seeing the game for less than like 10 now

    It got such mixed reviews though, so I'm not even sure if it'd be worth my time Admittedly I thought the multiplayer beta was alright..
    Don't waste your time or money on it. I didn't play the beta but the game MP gets boring/old/repetitive/ crappy VERY quickly.

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    The game was a fail and I was hoping it want. I had such high expectations for Crysis 2 but it fell way short of the mark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushpig94 View Post
    Don't waste your time or money on it. I didn't play the beta but the game MP gets boring/old/repetitive/ crappy VERY quickly.
    ... Couldn't you say the same about literally every FPS out there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JackAttack View Post
    ... Couldn't you say the same about literally every FPS out there?
    Well seeing as you're not an FPS player, or maybe just not a big one you could say that but for me this is the only game I 100% dreaded playing. It didn't have the addiction factor that Battlefield or Call of Duty has.

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    IMHO, I think the MP is good. I enjoyed it, a different kind of pace from COD.




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    Quote Originally Posted by JackAttack View Post
    ... Couldn't you say the same about literally every FPS out there?
    No.

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    I'm going to be getting this game on my PS3 soon (I have it on PC already), and this review helped me make the decision.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerwan_Ratchet View Post
    I'm going to be getting this game on my PS3 soon (I have it on PC already), and this review helped me make the decision.
    Believe me, you'll truly regret it, so don't do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagflar View Post
    Believe me, you'll truly regret it, so don't do it.
    I gather you disagree with the review then?

    I have the PC version and I love it. I do want the Ps3 version, and it's good enough for me if the PS3 is as equally good as the PC version.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerwan_Ratchet View Post
    I gather you disagree with the review then?

    I have the PC version and I love it. I do want the Ps3 version, and it's good enough for me if the PS3 is as equally good as the PC version.
    Isn't it obvious I do?

    PC versions are practically always superior (specially Crytek's games), so I doubt you'll find it as 'good' as the PC version.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagflar View Post
    Isn't it obvious I do?

    PC versions are practically always superior (specially Crytek's games), so I doubt you'll find it as 'good' as the PC version.
    Well I played the game on the 360 and I enjoyed it, so....




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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushpig94 View Post
    Well seeing as you're not an FPS player, or maybe just not a big one you could say that but for me this is the only game I 100% dreaded playing. It didn't have the addiction factor that Battlefield or Call of Duty has.
    I am, and I happen to also own the game now and I completely disagree. The game is excellent and does exactly what BF and CoD fails to do, and that's have a sense of originaity and outstanding design.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerwan_Ratchet View Post
    I am, and I happen to also own the game now and I completely disagree. The game is excellent and does exactly what BF and CoD fails to do, and that's have a sense of originaity and outstanding design.
    It has the originality but was poorly executed. It could have been a lot better but it's just not. Personnaly, I thought it was decent ... but then when I unlocked the normal match types it was dreadful. It felt like a chore playing it. It didn't have one piece off addictiveness to it. I wouldn't even recommend this game to someone for $20.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerwan_Ratchet View Post
    I am, and I happen to also own the game now and I completely disagree. The game is excellent and does exactly what BF and CoD fails to do, and that's have a sense of originaity and outstanding design.
    You say you are, and basing it off you're trophy profile (cause maybe you just play them more on the PC/360) you don't seem to be an FPS player. Only 3 FPS games (not including Crysis 2) with maybe 4 trophies max in each ... and they all have story based trophies .... so it shows you have barley made it into them ... unless you just went straight to the MP.
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    Jeez, what in the name of Harry Tipper caused such bile towards this?

    Crysis 2 is a fine FPS and as i've said elsewhere, superior in single player to practically any other FPS of 2011, multiplayer is average (on PC, i didn't bother with it on PS3, ).

    bush, it's pointless to say that a lack of FPS on someones profile dictates a lack of knowledge in the genre, i played stupid amounts of them for the last decade plus but it doesn't make me an expert, far from it, i'm average at best.

    I can see however, it putting people off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushpig94 View Post
    You say you are, and basing it off you're trophy profile (cause maybe you just play them more on the PC/360) you don't seem to be an FPS player. Only 3 FPS games (not including Crysis 2) with maybe 4 trophies max in each ... and they all have story based trophies .... so it shows you have barley made it into them ... unless you just went straight to the MP.
    I play a lot of them on PC and the 360 instead...and besides I've played enough of Crysis 2 to know that it's a fantastic game,. I don't see why so many people hate it.




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