The year is 2023, and New York City has been taken over by an alien infestation. The Cepth have been unleashing their virus, infecting any and all humans in it's path. As Alcatraz, a Force Recon Marine, you are left as the possessor of the nanosuit - making you the only hope the world has for survival.
Ever since I got my hands on the Crysis 2 beta, I've been stoked to see what the rest of game has in store. Back when the first one came out in 2007, I've been patiently waiting to see how the sequel turned out, and being an avid Fisrt Person Shooter fanatic, I had to get a hold of the full game. So I've spent these last few days glued to my computer, blasting my way through blood, aliens, and half-mutated humans.
Sadly to say, I'm having mixed feelings.
Visuals - 10 – One word: Perfection.
Sound - 7.0 – Surround sound is a must, but the sound track is rather dull.
Gameplay - 6 – Had high hopes, but it kept me entertained.
Replay Value – 5 – Once you beat it, you'll only play multiplayer again.
Online Factor – 5 – Definitely needs work, but engaging and addictive.
Overall – 6.6 – Graphics? Check. Everything else? Not so much.
The single player campaign certainly starts off strong, but slowly began to lose its touch. In the beginning, the story sucks you in and keeps you wanting more, but as you go along, you find it's all so similar. You seem to fight the same 4 enemies throughout, and you're limited to where you can venture off to. With the lack of diversity in the landscapes, I seemed boxed into this one city. After hours of the same environment, it starts to wear off on me. Considering your suit can go in under water, I would have loved to see an aquatic map at least once.
As for weapons, there were a few eye catching ones, but nothing that blew me away. You get the standard assault riffles, shotguns, energy gun, rocket launcher, and the occasional “melt them out of their armor” ray guns. I noticed that instead of coming up with new weapon concepts, they just made rapid fire models of guns. For example, a rapid fire rocket launcher that shoots 6 missiles at a time. Yeah, that looks colorful on my screen, but it's still just a rocket launcher. I was so surprised that not once, could I ever use an alien weapon. You'd think with a crazy high tech suit you could do just about anything, but nope – alien weapons were off limits. It appears Crytek certainly spent more time focusing on the graphics more than anything else.
I did however fall in love with the nanosuit, and how the story incorporated it so well. The extent to which you can customize your weapons, as well as your suit, is incredible. You can unlock upgrades, and mix n' match your weapon attachments to fit your current scenario (i.e silencers, scopes). With the nanosuit, you can also scope out where ammunition is, threats, and your escape route from a safe distance. Plus, being able to feel the pure power packed behind my suit made me want to play even more.
The different abilities that your nanosuit takes on - Maximum armor, stealth, and nano-vision, all come in handy. There's never a time where I don't have at least one of them activated. Without them, good luck surviving.
I hate to admit it, but I felt like I was playing just to stare in awe at my suit, not to hear the story. It's especially hard though to keep up with a plot that jumps all over the place, and you have no idea how to follow it. One minute you're in a building because someone told you to go there, then you're under water drowning, and so forth. A recommendation for next time, (besides a story that's easier to follow) would have to be to add more nanosuit abilities. I was hoping for a Maximum Power or something different other than the same two ones. Without variety, games tend to rack up the boring points pretty quickly.
When it comes to graphics, I don't know where to start. Just like the other Crysis, the visuals are still to die for. Although Crytek states the sequel is less visually demanding than the first, you'll still probably need one beastly video card or some serious SLI to get decent FPS. Luckily, I've had no issues as far as studdering, lag, or FPS drops (I'm running an Nvidia 460 GTX by the way.) The visuals by far have to be one of my favorite things about this game, and did I mention the killer cut scenes? Amazing! Honestly, I would play through it again just for those.
Single Player - Overall
I was left unsatisfied with the ending, and was certainly hoping for a more “epic” feeling to it. The cut scenes seemed to rev me up, but then the actual gameplay turned out mediocre. And because I couldn't follow the story, I just went through it admiring the graphics, and not even knowing what was going on. Even when I tried to understand it, there was too much jumping around and grey areas that never got filled in. If Crytek can do so well visually speaking, I don't see why they couldn't in the rest of the areas. Not what I was expecting, but still a decent 10 hours of play time well spent.
Talk about glitchy. It took me at least 30 minutes to try and figure out how to get the multiplayer to even work. Several website forums were filled with user issues such as serial keys not working, connection problems, servers freezing, and the list goes on (all of which I had problems with). I understand the game just came out, but talk about frustrating.
From time to time, I was actually lucky enough to find a working game.
Multiplayer offers several game modes such as Crash Site, Assault, and Team Instant Action; which range from capture the flag to free-for-all. You also get to pick from four standard classes, and 5 customizable, of which you can completely customize your weapons, upgrades, and perks. Nothing seemed to catch my eye, it seemed all to familiar from other games. They did however cover it up with a sleek interface which is cute, but not a show stopper.
I will say, the first time you play you'll probably rage hard. You'll be up against those 12 year old elitist who play Call of Duty all day, but once I got the hang of things, it wasn't so bad. It plays along the lines of the Battlefield games, it's a lot of spawning and dying at a fast rate. At the beginning of each round, two maps are voted on by the players; which as a result avoided a lot of “this map sucks” conflicts. Each round was also limited to 10 minutes allowing for quick gaming sessions, so you can easily take breaks or not end up late to work.
The leveling aspect of multiplayer flies by too, whether you're helping capture points, assisting in kills, or calling on support you'll earn quick experience so you won't have to wait hours to level up. As you gain levels you can also unlock new abilities for your suit, weapon attachments, and dog tags.
Overall – Multiplayer
Multiplayer definitely needs a tune up, but I think it has high potential to be the next big thing. It really is like Call of Duty on crack, but with a few needed touch ups. The maps were well designed to fit all classes (tank/stealth/assault/etc), the power-ups didn't make players invincible, and the community so far is quite friendly. It's a great way to kill time, all the while getting a fast paced adrenaline rush.
In the End...
I only gave Crysis 2 a 6.6 because I think Crytek had a solid concept, but didn't execute it well. Yes, they spent plenty of time on the graphics, but what about the rest of the game? If more creative thought had been put into the story, and there were less glitches with the multiplayer mode, then Crysis 2 would have by far gotten a much higher score in my book. In the end, it's a game I'd recommend trying out if it ever goes on sale. Not sure if I can honestly say it's worth the $60, but it's fun at times, and either way, it always makes for delicious eye candy.