Crysis 2 Single-Player Campaign Review
Crysis 2 has a lot stacked against it. Being the sequel to a trend setting and highly acclaimed game isn't easy. The First Person Shooter genre is crowded with great franchises like Battlefield, Halo, and Call of Duty (to mention a few) that all provide considerable competition.
New York City is always chaotic, but a nanosuit takes it to another level. Can Crytek live up to the precedent set by the original game? Read our single-player review after the break.
If trying to please PC gamers wasn't enough; Crytek also decided to take on the challenge of bringing the game to console. Despite the challenges, they still felt confident enough to state that it is the “best-looking game ever.” The studio also recons that it offers a “complete gaming experience like no other” and the most sophisticated AI in video game history.
Unless you're new to the Internet, you have heard (and perhaps repeated) the tired meme "Can it run Crysis?” The original PC game propelled the gaming industry closer towards graphical perfection then it had ever been before. It also ultimately lead gamers to drop some serious cash, just so that they could play the game with the settings turned three-quarters of the way up. Hardware upgrades made that game far more expensive then the retail price of the game.
Does this beauty carry over to the console? I admit, like many who played the original, I was worried that it wouldn't live up to the splendor of the first game, and how could it, working with 6 year old hardware? (We reviewed the game on the Xbox 360).
Crysis 2 looks remarkable. In fact; without any hesitation I can say this is the best looking game on the Xbox platform. This is immediately obvious as soon as the game begins. Gorgeous and complex lighting make for a beautiful experience. I expect it to be the best looking game of the remaining titles for the 360 (long loading screens might confirm that the hardware is getting pushed).
Showing off some of their creativity, Crytek left the plush Jungles of the original game behind. The destroyed expanses of the city offer some truly striking environments. Although the first few levels feel a little confined, the levels open up as the game progresses and you get to experience the full force of the new CryEngine 3.
Although the game will look undoubtedly better on PC, the consol delivers its promises as an amazing looking game and I am thankful for the comfort of the couch and not having to obsess over the frames per second (the figurative yard-stick among PC Gamers).
Graphics only get you so far without an immersive story. With the help of science fiction author Peter Watts, the story begins in an infested New York City in the year 2023 (3 years after the events of the first game). U.S. Marine “Alcatraz” is miraculously spared as the city finds itself under assault.
Without rendering any spoilers, the story weaves you into the best part of the game: the nanosuit. In addition to providing unique abilities and adding layers of strategy, it also becomes a central part of the story.
The most refreshing aspect of this game is the openness that the suit affords. Avoiding the 'Point and Shoot' and often scripted gameplay that some other FPS games are plagued with. The three modes of the nanosuit: Armor, Stealth, and Power allow players to approach each situation in their own way. Sometimes you are even surprised at how open the environment can be and you look back and think: “Did I really just do that?”
In game weapon customization options and suit upgrades add another element of gameplay. These options can be easily changed in-game to adapt to changing strategic situations
If that wasn’t enough, an excellent music score and soundtrack by legendary composer Hans Zimmer (The Dark Night and Inception) creates an intense and dramatic tone that helps make this game incredibly immersive.
Crytek has stated how proud they are of the outstanding AI, and I am inclined to agree. On more than one occasion I noted how well enemies adapted to situations and at times it felt as though I was playing against other real players. Aside from the impressive responses from the AI, I did notice a few quirks from time to time. Enemies 'getting stuck' patrolling in a tight circle or jumping back forth.
That brings me to my final point. This game is done very well. Precisely because of that - on the few occasions where something does go wrong: a glitch in the AI or extensive loading times, you really notice it. However; shortly after sneaking to assassinate, decimating with vehicles or dropping off the next ledge to bludgeon your way through the firefight, you have forgotten all about it.
While the Graphics really stand out for this game, it takes second place over the outstanding campaign experience. While some of the other FPS games feel like the single-player campaign was added as an afterthought, you can really feel the time and passion was spent on this single player campaign.
We felt the single player game warranted its own review (it’s at least 10 hours long) and the campaign begs to be played again. Check back for our Crysis 2 Multiple Player review.
Score: 5 out of 5
Reviewed on Xbox 360
Crysis 2 is available on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. It has been rated “Mature” by the ESRB.
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