Saturday | November 1, 2014

Crysis 2 Review

Does Crysis 2 Pack the Punch You’re Looking For?

Crysis 2 had an awful lot to live up to after its 2007 predecessor had such a good campaign, jam-packed full of high-quality action.  So, did EA deliver with this one?  Well, Crysis 2 may seem a bit weak in comparison to the types of games you’re used to seeing by them but all-in-all, it looks amazing, offers a good storyline and clean controls.  There may be a few minor issues like the way the first two hours drag beyond belief but once you get really into the campaign, it’s actually pretty fulfilling.

Storyline

It’s 2023 in New York City and there is a gruesome disease called the Manhattan virus, spreading madly in Crysis 2.  There is also word of an alien invasion and the city has been placed under Martial Law because of the breakdown of the social order.  The city’s systems turn chaotic as the plague is taking over the inhabitants and the alien invaders begin stalking the streets.  New York City’s beautiful skyline is in flaming ruins.

No one seems to be able to stand up against the aliens, not the United States military or paramilitary law enforcement.  It seems as though anyone who wants to survive in Crysis 2 must flee because no one knows of any technology to save the city.

Then, one super-soldier comes along with the means to survive.  His Nanosuit 2 may be the only chance to save humanity from infinite destruction that’s already crumbling the urban jungle of New York City.

Gameplay

There are some pretty large and downright impressive environments in Crysis 2.  You’ll find your way across bridges breaking beneath you and through endless office buildings where robotic aliens have infested the rooftops and hallways.

The great thing about Crysis 2 is that it continuously feeds you the plot without a ton of overdone cut-scenes.  Don’t get too familiar with your surroundings though because landmarks you may use to navigate your way around can crumble just like the rest of the city.

Where Crysis 2 falls short as a sequel is with its menu options that are modest at best.  If you played the first Crysis, you’ll probably feel a little cheated that you can’t tweak some of the settings the way that you would expect.  Sure, there are three different graphic settings but that’s really it.  Still, even on mediocre systems, the game seems to run fairly smooth.

There is a decent amount of challenge to be found in the second half of Crysis 2 but that means you need to find the motivation to get though the first half.  The first stretch basically offers groups of aliens and human enemies that are easy to kill.  Fortunately, once the invasion comes to full swing, you’ll feel like you’ve been greatly rewarded for the boredom you had to endure.  Some of the aliens can soak up a whole lot of lead before they even start to stumble, thankfully you get a decent selection of military-grade weapons that you can customize with a silencer, reflex sights and more.

You will also probably appreciate that Crysis 2 is a lot longer than your average shooter game and you can be the author of your destiny by choosing to get in an armored vehicle or not.  This diversity leads to some pretty unexpected and exciting shootouts.

Graphics

Graphically, the game is a definite knockout.  There is a lot going on at one time yet even the most distant objects are rendered with exquisite detail.  Alien ships cast shadows and you’ll even notice that the birds found on the sidewalk fly away when you approach, just as they would in real life and at just the right time.

Some of the scenes in Crysis 2 are truly stunning, almost to the point of being distracting.  You’ll even find some creepy scenes paired up with just the right music to really establish the idea of a fearsome environment.

Conclusion

While Crysis 2 does take a while to get going, it ends up delivering nearly everything you want in a sequel.  It offers an exciting journey that definitely feels unique from the first game.  The backgrounds of Manhattan are a refreshing change to a shooter game, especially to those who may be used to the constant dark khaki backgrounds in games like Medal of Honor and Call of Duty.  Will Crysis 2 blow you away?  Probably not but it delivers enough to leave you at least a little impressed.

9 / 10