So Crysis 2 has arrived on all 3 platforms and after picking it up for my PS3 Friday I have completed the game on Super Soldier difficulty and sunk a good few hours into the multiplayer, so here is my review of Cryteks sequel to the original Crysis and their first venture onto the home console Crysis 2
Let’s start with a key highlight to what Crysis 2 has to live up to, and the legacy left behind Crysis, the amazing graphics. For weeks upon weeks leading up to the launch Crysis 2 was to be crowned king of the console in terms of graphics as well as king of all multiplats in terms of evenness. The latter has seemingly been achieved with a freakishly close resemblance between the PS3 and the 360 version (for a full comparison to see for yourself check out Digital Foundry’s comparison) however it has to be said that Crysis 2 has not taken the graphical throne for the best looking console game. Of course this boils down to the definition of ‘Graphics’ which comes under a few categories such as, artistic style, variety of areas, consistency and screen resolution. The artistic style has been done very well in Crysis 2, a ravaged New York city has some great lighting and uses a range of coulors well in order to make the city believable, most to all of the game takes place in this city environment and while the game has breath taking parts of beauty the consistency is where the problems lay. The maps and mission areas you are placed in are big and because of this some areas simply do not look as great as others this isn’t a massive problem in itself but when added to the massive and constant pop in of graphics the immersion begins to get ruined. As you move deeper into levels the world has to take a second to catch up and the graphics do too weather your creeping around in stealth or charging through in armor mode the game is often playing catch up. It does not do have to do this all of the time and sometimes does it much more subtly than other times it does take something away from the graphics. Added to this is a blurriness factor when moving the camera around fast a touch to much of blur sometimes comes into play almost trying to compensate as the graphics pop in, this did not ruin my experience of the game and was more just a little annoyance along the way and at no point did the sub HD resolution bother me, when the game came together and worked perfectly it did look amazing however even at this peak I believe Killzone 3 is still a better looking game. Also an annoying almost constant technical issues is the frame rate it’s not locked at 30fps and I really feel it at times this is consistently there and I feel it through both single and multiplayer it’s not a deal breaker but I’d kill for a 60fps locked rate like possible on the PC version.
There are the key regular mechanics as you would expect in an FPS different weapons, aiming down the sights and health recovery after so long not being shot etc. What makes Crysis 2 different is the nano suit this gives the wearer enhanced abilities such as being able to take a load of bullets (armor mode) and to become invisible for a period of time (stealth mode) as well as this the suit has modules these act as in game perks there are 4 separate categories with 4 mods in each however only one of each category can be active at any time, these are unlocked through nanosuit points that are obtained from fallen Ceph enemies
The pop in graphics were not the only annoyance along my way of playing through the game, there were frequent and many bugs and glitches throughout. These provided a bigger inconvenience and a feeling of being cheated more than any graphic problems. Imagine the scene charging into the enemies, armor mode engaged you aim down the sight and unleash a full clip into the Ceph now to dash away reload and recharge but wait . . . I’m still aiming down the sights I can’t sprint or move very fast desperately now trying to get away from the hording Ceph but I cannot due to being stuck aiming, two things could happen 1) repeatedly tapping L1 sometimes sorts the problem or 2) I get killed and then its back to last checkpoint as normal. This problem was only found in the Single player I had no such trouble in the multiplayer, yet it made me play the game making sure I reloaded before I had too so I would not become stuck (provided the gun would reload as on rare occasions despite having ammo it refused to happen only happened once or twice to me though). Also in single player when swapping between firing modes on your gun or between shot gun and regular fire the weapon gets stuck in one mode and requires you to pull out some C4, or other equipment, and then go back to your primary weapon in order for it to work as normal. Another problem with customizing was with the scopes, I had a few times where I equipped the Assault 3X zoom scope and when aiming was completely invisible (not cloaked) just gone but it still zoomed in and fired like the sight was there (this also happened once to me on multiplayer) it would eventually appear but sometimes after the desire to use it had gone. Picking up weapons of the floor even becomes a challenge at times even tactical advised weapons sometimes would not be able to be prompted to be picked up, in a tight low ammo situation this killed me a few times and required me at times to run back and forth between weapons until one would work. These were only some of the bugs I encounter but they all happened frequently while I also had problems with stealth kills and enemies glitching through walls these were less frequent and frustrating than the main glitches I mentioned
Enough rabbiting about the technical stuff lets get onto the gameplay, and let me start of by saying if you’re expecting an open world FPS then look somewhere else because Crysis 2 is not it. While the game is not 100% linear as such it does not allow you to do anything how you want, you can power through your own path with armor mode, sneak round the enemies with stealth mode or follow the step by step guide given to you by the tactical visor. The best comparison to be made to Crysis 2 in terms of level design and choice is Metal Gear Solid 4. Crysis 2 holds similar values to MGS4 you start at point A you have to get to point B and while it kinda leaves it up to you it sometimes forces you to do it how it was designed. It leads you through a series of bottlenecks which open out into larger areas at these points you get an audio and visual cue to open up your visor and scan the area for a numbered guide on how to do it. Example, point 1 ‘Flank’ Point 2 ‘Stealth kill’ Point 3 ‘Acquire/take/use’ there simple commands and I never really followed them as it seemed like holding your hand a little too much instead I approached the situation as I saw fit which is where the customizable weapons and the suits extra module abilities as well as the cloak and armor really come into play and give you a touch of choice. The whole thing however is damn near ruined by the AI and their settings. Sneak in cloaked go under cover check my blind spots and make sure no enemies can see uncloak to charge and the alert meter (a meter that tells you how alert the enemies are to your present duh) shoots up as bullets start flying over my head and a enemy comes round knowing my position, this happened about half the time I went into cover and uncloaked and it was hugely frustrating the AI continue to be freakishly detective when there half aware of where you are (alert bar in yellow about half way) even with the silent footsteps mod on you can be cloaked and its like their being magnetically pulled to you they don’t know where you are but will side step their path straight into your direction forcing you to keep moving as eventually they’ll all swarm around you. As well as this there are certain times in the game where you have to hold down a position, in these times I found that the half the enemies would just stand back near where they spawned until you go and attack them to lure them out, because of this it can be easier to deal with a wave of enemies as there not really attacking properly. Despite the AI and glitches I actually ended up enjoying the SP to some degree the story wasn’t massively unpredictable but did twist in unpredictable ways at certain times I wasn’t too fussed about the story wrapping up but the end of the game felt satisfying to finish. As for length I finished the game on the hardest mode in 6 hours 27 minutes and 17 seconds
I have saved the best for last, the multiplayer, this is just fun and addicting it has the regular level up and exp with challenges weapon unlocks and all similar to most FPS’s but what makes Crysis 2 so amazing online is the gameplay and the nanosuit, running sliding and shooting taking out invisible people and switching to armor mode and spinning around to kill your attacker is fast heart pumping and best of all fun, the game modes are similar to other games but all hold their ground well as the nanosuit provides a different way to play and approach the situation, each game mode also has variations on that mode, so team instant action (team deathmatch) can be played ‘standard’ all normal ‘solo’ no squads allowed ‘classic’ as in no powers or ‘hardcore’ which is a hardcore type style. Multiplayer is where the fun is for me and to me will certainly be lasting a while which is good as its actually a trophy (dedication – play 6 months online after your first game) I can’t sing Crysis 2 praises for multiplayer high enough and it easily makes it onto my top FPS games list, in a sentence its like Halo and CoDs love child and its brilliant
Overall then this is a tough to rate game, the graphics while beautiful struggle with pop ins and frame rate issues the game is filled with bugs and a stupid AI but with an amazing Multiplayer mode it’s a perplexing one as on many technical levels I believe Killzone 3 is better however after playing both I decided to buy Crysis 2 and have not looked back so my rating is going to be very split and I will answer any questions in the comments or via PM and based from this review what do you think the game deserves or if you played it and want to justify something that’s fine too, I’ll respond to comments if you ask me a question or bring up a point ASAP