Crysis 2 is Crytek’s highly anticipated sequel to the original Crysis which was a PC only title that came out in 2005. Crysis was known as the benchmark for testing out the graphics card in your computer as it took a $3,000 rig to run the game at optimal performance. Crysis 2 has now expanded to the Xbox 360 and PS3 as well as the PC, but it retains its graphical superiority as these are literally the best graphics on any console game to date. The Crysis series is set in the future in the year 2024 and the FPS view has the player in a nanosuit that has increased armor and camouflage, a cool HUD visor to navigate your surroundings, and enhanced speed and damage ability. You start the game as Alcatraz, a marine entering a war torn battlefield in NYC where the aliens are invading and a virus has spread throughout the city. Your troop is killed by an alien explosion and you are the last surviving member given your nanosuit by Prophet, a super soldier sent to stop the aliens. He is unable to continue his mission but makes his presence known through flashbacks and a video left for Alcatraz. You are now humanity’s last hope.
Crysis 2 is a smarter version of Halo or Call of Duty. Your special skills like camouflage and increased armor only last until your energy meter is fully depleted. After that you become more vulnerable and must find a place to rest while your energy rebuilds. This adds a strategic dynamic to the game where you must think about what strategy you will use before entering a big battle. Fortunately, Crytek has made this game enjoyable for those who like to hide and snipe or those who like to run and gun into a big crowd of enemies. You can choose to be stealthy or go for an all-out frag fest depending on what the scenario calls for and most likely you will be using a combination of both tactics. The enemy AI is pretty smart and you won’t be able to breeze through the campaign like a COD game unless you are on an easier difficulty.
This game is for the first person shooter enthusiast who wants a bit more of an immersive experience than a Halo or Gears of War. The story is very much the typical “save the world before the aliens destroy everything” rehash and there are plot holes big enough to drive a truck into, but the game moves at a fast pace and there’s a lot of cool action sequences which will make you not want to put the controller down. One scene takes place in an apartment building where hired mercenaries are after a scientist you are protecting. You enter into an adjacent apartment, take out a bunch of bad guys, and are then thrown through a window where you are fighting with an enemy in midair for about a 100 ft. fall. Innovative sequences like this will make the roughly 8-10 hours of campaign game time fly by.
Some of my complaints for the game revolve around the mission objectives and how difficult it can be to figure out what to do next. It must have taken me 10 minutes before figuring out that I had to find grenades to open up a locked set of security doors as even a rocket launcher couldn’t knock them down. The Call of Duty series does a great job of navigating you to your next task and Crysis 2 could have learned a thing or two from them. The boss fights can also be long lasting and sometimes you feel like it’s just you vs. the enemy as your squad mates are very underpowered. There are times in this game where you’ll fight for an hour straight and be almost completely out of ammo when you are then thrust into a boss battle and will die many times before you can find enough ammo to restock and take the enemy down. These aren’t major gripes as the game is still enjoyable, but these little things add up to be a reminder that you aren’t playing the polished Hollywood blockbuster game like the Halo or Gears of War franchise.
For the most part, Crysis 2 is wonderfully done and probably the best game to come out in 2011 so far. It is a really great way to spend these slow spring months until the hot releases starts to come out over the summer and fall. I haven’t played around with the multiplayer too much as it was taking quite a while to find a match and I think that will continue to get worse as people move on to other games in May/June. But, the campaign overall is solid with great action moments, stunning graphics, solid voice acting, and a decent story. If you’re getting tired of Call of Duty/Halo and want a fun FPS to get you by for the next 3 or 4 weeks than Crysis 2 is a must buy.