Disclaimer: Somewhere on this blog are multiple grammatical mistakes, spelling errors and obscure Star Wars references.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Review: Crysis 2 (360, PS3, PC)

Here's my review of Crysis 2, that was originally featured on LochalArchade.com. You can find the original post here.

How do you top a game that has since become a benchmark for performance? How many times has the quote, “Yeah, my new rig can run Crysis on full steam, no problem,” been used to gain brownie points in the gaming community? When you create a game that becomes the label by which a computer’s performance is quantified against, making a sequel to a game like that, is not something easily accomplished. I mean, ask the guys at 3D Realms how their sequel to Duke Nukem came along.

So here it is. Crysis 2. After Crysis: Warhead and Crysis Wars, we finally have the full sequel to the game that made you want a better computer. What’s good? It carries over all the things that you enjoyed in the original Crysis; the nanosuit, stealth, armor, big guns and bigger (better looking too) enemies to boot.
Crysis 2 takes you away from the lush jungles that you experienced in the original game and drops you in the urban jungle of New York City, post Ceph devastation. As you move in and out of buildings, sewers and tunnels the landscape offers you various entries into the battle, allowing you to plan your strike in various ways. If you’re playing on higher difficulty levels, this will prove especially useful as the enemy AI frags you repeatedly. Indoors however, this freedom is slightly limited but more often than not you can find multiple ways around.
However, after I got over the initial joy of finally having Crysis 2 to play I discovered something that dulled my high. For the first few hours of game time, gameplay was a bit… boring. Sure, it picked up soon enough but the initial low was a mood killer.
If you’ve not played the original Crysis, you’re going to wonder what the big deal was about as you start playing Crysis 2. The human enemies are mostly clueless as they pick out the worst spots for cover and run right past you without giving you a healthy lead injection. Interestingly enough I noticed that the alien enemies were a lot, ‘smarter,’ seeking to go around you and kill you from behind rather than just wait for you to pop out of cover or run out of cloak.
The new map of controls is in one word, elegant. Seeing as there’s so much the nanosuit can do, the original Crysis had a complicated ability map. That is no longer the case. With the combination of the speed and strength abilities into regular movement, switch times are much shorter and are generally a delight to have. So if you were dreading the same complicated controls from the original game, the new simplified set up is a massive one up. Now if you want to activate the speed ability, it’s at the click of the analog stick, as opposed to having to activate it separately like in Crysis.
One thing I really enjoyed in Crysis 2 was the fact that there’s always so much information crammed into your screen, which still does not hinder your gameplay. Switching between the maximum armor and the cloak set up are simply indicated with interlocking armor on the borders and you going invisible, respectively. Another example of visual improvement is the Ceph. They’ve gone from being slimy, octo-aliens to armored fighting octo-aliens. They look meaner and that adds to their menace.
  • Visually wonderful. Every light source will emit lens glare. The attention to detail is remarkable.
  • Nanosuit controls remap make gameplay smoother and easier
  • Alien enemies are better designed and much fun to kill
  • Open terrain allows for multiple gameplay executions
  • Details packed into the HUD do not hinder gameplay
  • New York City looks every bit like a devastated metropolis, especially during the night battles.
  • First few hours are mind numbing
  • Human enemies are often confused, lost and quite dumb due to poor AI. Makes the game less exciting

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