Crysis 2 is a first-person shooter developed by Crytek and published by EA. After years of hype, does it live up to it or does it have a “crysis” on its hands?
This review is based on the PS3 build.
Crysis 2 begins with an action sequence showing off a viral infection outbreak in New York City. The viral infection is coming from an alien invasion on the city and in short, the military sends in a Special Ops team to try and prevent the attack from getting any further out of hand than it already has. The game begins with you and your team aboard a submarine, infiltrating NYC. Evidently, things don’t go smoothly and you’re swimming your way to the surface of the Hudson River to only be shot by one of the aliens terrorizing the city. However, at this moment, a soldier named Prophet takes out the alien that attempts to kill you and brings you to shore. Armed with the highly-advanced Nanosuit, Prophet actually supplies you with the suit to save you from your mortal wounds, but also tasks you with finishing his mission. As you play through the game, you’ll uncover Prophet’s plan to stop the alien infestation. Sounds pretty cool right? Well, that’s as cool as the story gets. That’s the first 10 minutes of the game and afterwards the story becomes…irrelevant. Several characters are introduced into the game as the story progresses but the characterization is poor at best. Towards the end of the game, I still really didn’t care how it would resolve because the story telling aspect was incredibly mundane. Crysis 2’s story could’ve been really cool, but fell flat within minutes after the opening sequence and never really drove me to want to see what would happen next.
Crysis 2’s gameplay is decent…but that’s about it. It does try to change things up by letting you analyze “tactical options” before getting into the heat of battle but it never makes a strong impact on your actual experience. I was literally able to just run and gun my way through the whole game without “analyzing tactical options” too much. The game allows you to upgrade your suit’s abilities (longer cloaking time, air stomp, reduce armor damage, etc), but only a few actually become useful throughout the game. It’s cool to see there were options, but I found myself asking “are these even going to help me?” The gunplay wasn’t that great either. What’s here is entirely functional, but nothing that’s enticing. No matter what your sensitivity settings were for aim/looking around, it just never felt smooth compared to other shooters on the market (Call of Duty, Resistance, Killzone, Halo, etc.). The controls were also unintuitive to be quite honest. Utilizing everything the nanosuit has to offer never quite felt natural due to the button mapping. The environment makes for interesting gunplay, but it just never feels fun.
For a character that revolves around being a solider in a advanced Nanosuit, you never feel all too powerful or maneuverable. There always seems to be a catch with everything good in the gameplay mechanics. You can super-jump to scale the environment quicker…but you’ll take damage if you fall a certain height higher than you should. You can slide into enemies…but does nothing other than add flair and do little to no damage. It just becomes more of a chore than it really should be. There’s even a few sections where you’ll drive a vehicle, but the controls for it are just too shoddy to even bother entering vehicles unless you’re forced to. Crysis 2 tries to play like a realistic shooter with unrealistic elements and ends up not working out all too well.
Crysis 2 also has some serious pacing issues. After the exciting first 10 minutes of the game, it practically comes to a complete halt until the half-way point of the game. If I need to get through half the game to finally get into it, that’s just poor pacing. The campaign runs just under 5 hours so don’t expect to have a single player portion that will last you for too long. Even though it took almost three hours to get to the better part of the campaign, it sure felt like 10 hours due to how monotonous the game played out.
The Crytek 3 engine is impressive to see in action…but it’s certainly far from perfect. Shadows were inconsistent, textures on objects looked incredibly muddy and occasionally inconsistent frame rate issues (not often but noticeable) plagued this game. However, I do have to say that when those issues didn’t arise, the game looked great. Enemy animations were smooth and the environment did look stunning at many points of the game. While it was far from perfect, it certainly is a great looking engine.
Sound effects provided an enhanced atmosphere to the game as did the great orchestral music (aided by Hans Zimmer). While the music was great, it wasn’t anything too memorable other than the main theme. Voice acting sounds pretty well acted for all the characters as well and never seemed under- or over-done.
Overall Score: 12/20 = 6.0 out of 10
Crysis 2 was a game that I truly wanted to like. The problem was, there was nothing to motivate me to keep going. It tries to stand out as an exceptional shooter but ultimately feels like every other FPS that’s been done on the market. I had to force myself to finish this game…and any game that I have to do that with evidently means it doesn’t have an enticing element to it. It’s not that Crysis 2 is a bad game, it’s just a painfully average one at best.
- Great graphics
- Good Soundtrack
- The suit looks cool
- Abysmal pacing
- Technical issues
- Average gameplay
- Poor story
Crysis 1 didn’t really appeal to me, so I was a bit hesitant to try Crysis 2. However, being a New Yorker, the game’s setting really hit home (so to speak), so I decided to give it a try. And while I have to agree with Glacier928 that it didn’t live up to all the hype, I still found it to be a fun game with a storyline that’s at least competent. I was also playing on the PC, which may have skewed my view a bit differently from the PS3 version.
The campaign’s main draw revolves around the Nanosuit that Prophet gives you. Being completely unfamiliar with its use, your character (callsign Alcatraz) tries to track down Nathan Gould, a brilliant scientist who can help him uncover the secret behind the Nanosuit’s power and how to defeat the alien invasion of New York City. While the streets and buildings literally crumble around you, the campaign drives you ever forward, leaving a breadcrumb style of storytelling that I found engaging. While the tactical options given to you in the campaign may sometimes seem irrelevant, it does allow the player to tackle issues however they see fit, and depending on the difficulty setting, adapting different tactics can make the difference. Perhaps my biggest problem with the campaign’s playability is the lack of variety of weapons and the “fluffy” Nanosuit upgrades – like Glacier928 said, you have the illusion of choice in your upgrades, but there are really only a few that make a big difference. The weapons themselves also run the gammut of modern weaponry – they have a futuristic varnish, but are, at their core, ordinary weapons. You can put a chrome finish on a pistol, but at the end of the day, it’s still a pistol.
Multiplayer is a different beast altogether, but much like the Campaign, falls victim to mediocrity. If you’ve played a lot of Call of Duty’s multiplayer, this mode will feel very familiar, and for good reason – it’s pretty derivative of the CoD experience, albeit with futuristic Nanosuits and some unique perks. Players are allowed to make their own custom classes, with unique primary and secondary weapons, grenades, and perks, some of which are borrowed from the Campaign. Multiplayer does have some unique twists though – killstreaks exist, but are based on the map being played, not player preference, and in order to earn them, you need to pick up a fallen opponent’s dog tags (unless you have a specific perk). All in all, it feels very much like Call of Duty, but with some balance and refinement. However, don’t expect to live long outside of Maximum Armor mode.
All in all, Crysis is a good game, but doesn’t live up to all the hype surrounding it. If you can get it on a discount, it’s worth a try, but I wouldn’t expect dozens of hours of play out of it.
SECOND OPINION SCORE: 7.5