Crysis 2 Review

The technical marvel that set the bar for graphics on PCs gets a sequel. Crysis 2 has high expectations from PC gamers and graphics enthusiasts alike. However, this time around console gamers can join in on the fun. Can Crytek’s highly anticipated shooter live up to all of the hype or will this game set the bar for maximum failure.

The Good

Epic single player experience: The single player portion of the game definitely delivers. It’s a more linear experience, but that isn’t a deal breaker after having played the single player all the way through. The beginning starts off a bit slow, but once you get rolling you will have a lot of fun.

Nanosuit 2.0: The only main advantage the first nanosuit had was that armor mode was enabled by default and it did not drain suit energy. However, the second nanosuit can be augmented with the ability to stay cloaked longer, to take more damage, and more. The first nanosuit was also slightly more complicated. In crysis 2 the nanosuit experience is definitely easier for the end user to pick up and play. You won’t find yourself fumbling with an interface or getting the right suit shortcut combination to enable each nanosuit mode.

Improved Story: It’s no longer a simple alien invasion plot. The story it much more complicated in the second game and there are various twists and turns that will keep the player intrigued.

Awesome Multiplayer: You could argue that the first game had some pretty interesting multiplayer with its battlefield-like implementation called power struggle, but unfortunately it wasn’t that popular among the community. Crysis 2 has streamlined the multiplayer experience into a more compact experience. Some individuals claim it is a lot like Call of Duty, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering its multiplayer is very popular. You can expect leveling up, unlocking weapons, and using various perks called nanosuit modules.

Graphics: Despite the lack of options and DX11 on the PC version, the game looks great on all platforms. You will notice some nice effects when transitioning to armor and cloak mode. In addition, interior locations such as buildings, apartments, and more are vastly improved compared to interiors in the first game. The urban jungle setting is also pleasing to look at and it delivers some stunning visuals.

The Bad

Disconnect from the first game: Hardcore Crysis fans may be able to pick up the story with ease, but newcomers to the franchise may have difficulty grasping the plot and making a connection to the first game.

Lack of destruction: Compared to the first Crysis the environment seems less destructive. You won’t find houses here and there that can be completely destroyed. In addition, there are fewer trees that can be shot down because of the new urban environment.

Linear Campaign: The single player portion of the game is a decent experience, but it certainly gives the player less freedom compared to the first game. Crytek has stated that the game revolves around action bubbles. Crysis 2 has more “action bubbles” than Crysis 1, but they are smaller in comparison. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for everyone as it does make the experience and story a bit more fluent throughout the game. It’s really a trade off that places the gamers’ freedom somewhere in between Call of Duty and the original Crysis.

Multiplayer Issues: There are multiplayer issues on all platforms, but the PC version currently has the most issues in this area. Problems range from the game’s serial key not saving, login issues, and more. It’s a really rocky start for the game and this sort of thing should have been ironed out before the full product launched. In addition, there really should have been a PC beta to test the game properly before the release of the demo.

Lack of Graphics Options on PC: Compared to the first game, Crysis 2 lacks advanced graphics options. There are various ways to get around this limitation such as community tools or config files, but it’s all about the ease of use. Gamers shouldn’t have to be bothered with such things in a game touted to be catered towards PC gamers. It’s shouldn’t be hard to implement a simple interface with some check boxes and drop down menus to change your graphics options. Your guess is as good as mine as to why Crytek decided to leave this out.

No DX11: Crytek and Nvidia hyped up Crysis 2 to have DX11 support before the game launched. However, rumors began to spread that Dx11 would not be present when the full product would be released. Unfortunately this rumor was true. Instead, DX11 will be added in a patch sometime in the future.

No Sandbox 3 editor: The Sanbox 2 editor was a big hit with the original Crysis. However, gamers were shocked to find out that it had been removed in the retail version. You may be saying hey these things take time and maybe it wasn’t ready? This isn’t the case with the Sandbox 3 editor since it was nearly complete in the leaked version of the game and you can watch a bunch of youtube videos of people playing around with it. Fortunately, Crytek did state that a free standalone version would be available in the summer, but that statement doesn’t necessarily deter expectations for an editor after shelling out a full $60 for the game.

Conclusion

Overall, Crysis 2 manages to deliver a much more solid single player experience despite its increased linearity. There are a few issues depending on which version you pick up. Fortunately, for the most part the pros out way the cons. Sure, there are a few things I would have personally liked to see in the PC version such as more graphics options, an editor, and DX11, but these features would just add to Crysis 2’s stunning experience. It’s hard to find a good balance between streamlining a game and dumbing it down, but Crytek has managed to find a good balance between the two.

Crysis 2 Review by FacTor-X

Editor’s note: You can get the Advanced Graphics Options Tweaker created by the community here: mycrysis.com