Review by Cortolio
"A Shooter Miracle"
The first person shooter genre is definitely not without its blockbusters. There have been so many Call of Duty titles that one is left wondering if they will ever stop coming out. Crysis 2 is a lot like Call of Duty in the sense that its first installment was a PC only fanfare. Many gamers feared, though that a graphical powerhouse like Crysis wouldn't translate well onto the console. Now with its long awaited release, has the Nanosuit found itself overloaded as it de-cloaks onto the TV screen?
Crysis 2's story is by no means a feat of supreme originality. You begin the game as a marine on a mission to rescue a scientist. However, things don't go as planned and you find yourself the unwilling host of a sophisticated smart suit passed down from Prophet, a character of the first game. Soon you find yourself completing objectives barked at you by various pundits in an attempt to save Manhattan from the Ceph invasion. There are certain atmospheric elements that give a little substance to the plot IE a corrupt private military organization and a cell destroying virus that's afflicting the city. The characters in the game aren't completely two dimensional, but they're not anything of noteworthiness either.
Being a super soldier is super entertaining. The game never lets you forget that you're wearing a tricked out wetsuit from the future. Crysis 2 is also one of those rare shooters that lets you see your legs when you look down. SWEET! The sense of immersion that this game gives you is unparalleled compared to other shooters.
For an FPS Crysis 2 makes good use of stealth elements. Though this time around the game isn't as open ended as it's predecessor, it still gives the player a lot of options as to how they can engage tactical situations. It's definitely easiest to cloak and sneak around bad guys, but going into armor mode and unleashing hell is worth trying out every now and then. Mixing things up and using the game's mechanics to their full potential is what sets Crysis 2 apart from other games. Tossing enemies off ledges never gets old too.
The game's single player campaign will run you in at well over ten hours, which is a treat compared to COD games that clock in at around five. For shooter fans, I'd recommend playing the game on either the Veteran or Super Soldier difficulties as they make the game more enjoyable. Enemy AI can be ruthlessly vicious or strangely inept. It's not unusual to find bad guys getting caught up in the environment or making themselves dizzy by running around in circles. It's never a game wrecking issue, only oddly out of place for such a polished game.
Set piece moments in this game are admittedly very cool. They are some HOLY @$%^ moments for sure.
Crysis 2's original sound track is phenomenal. It's orchestral and at the same time electronic, which is completely befitting an action/sci-fi game. The menu song is haunting and really sets the tone for what kind of a world you'll be immersing yourself in. General sound effects are top notch and crystal clear. Gun sounds are excellent, especially the K-Volt sub-machine gun.
A perfect score could not be more aptly deserved. There isn't much that words can say that HD youtube videos haven't already portrayed. Understandably this game looks better on the PC, but it really is a marvel on the 360 as well. It has been praised as the best looking game on consoles, and it certainly is just that.
The game's setting is really outstanding. It's a far cry from the jungle of the first game, but Crytek did a great job at creating a near-future urban battlefield. You never lose the sensation that you're in a city that's seen better days. As you progress through the story, buildings crumble and fall, bridges collapse and lights go out all over the place. Crytek was definitely taking a cue from Valve and Half Life 2. Lighting is spectacular and eerily realistic in some scenarios. Water effects are always a plus, and Crysis 2 doesn't disappoint.
If you don't know someone who already has this game, you need to become the guy who invites his buddies over just to show how awesome it looks on your big screen. Yeah, it's one of those games.
Crysis 2's online portion deserves credit for not taking the dumbed-down graphics approach. That would have really been lame had Crytek gone that route. Multiplayer is competitive, sports customizable weapon slots and different game modes. Ranking up is fun and adds a lot of replay value to an already excellent game.
One of the best current shooters on console by far, with a Half-Life style atmosphere and a great multiplayer. It's worth owning and playing over and over again.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/04/11
Game Release: Crysis 2 (US, 03/22/11)
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