30th March 2011 - Can it run Crysis? Short answer, yes. Longer answer? Hell yes! Its finally here, folks - the sequel to PC mega hit Crysis is finally upon us, and in true fashion, is now designed to run perfectly on your gaming console. So strap yourself in people, because this is one the biggest, baddest and best games you will play this year.
You haven’t played the original Crysis title, don’t worry, the story arc is not particular ally important. But it is important to firstly understand the original game has had on the industry - to this day it is still considered by many to be one of the best looking games ever made, and spawned countless references about how high-end a PC needed to be in order to even play it on a low quality. It has even been the primary debating reference in many a console-vs.-PC arguments. All that can end now that Crysis 2 is here and runs perfectly fine on your consoles.
Where the series’ first was primarily set on a lush tropical island, Crysis 2 takes a very different stance in putting you straight into the action happening in the Big Apple. That’s right, from a jungle landscape to the always-fun Manhattan, right in the middle of an Alien invasion that has caused the whole city to be evacuated, apart from the few infected stranglers you may happen to come by. Apart from an Alien population you yourself, the powerful and mysterious Cell Corporation also litter the streets, and are out for your blood. All this ties in with a regrettably standard Sci-Fi/Alien Invasion storyline, but makes for some of the best FPS gameplay this generation.
The main stance the game takes to your standard Shooting formula is that it gives you unprecedented choice in how you play. Almost ever firefight and confrontation can be taken to in very different ways. The environments are all very large and have multiple paths, and making use of the games Nanosuit, you can sneak, blast and jump your way around the city with great ease. This allows for players to choose the way they approach most combat in completely unique ways and are urged to explore surrounding and scenery in order to get the most out of the great gameplay mechanics.
To make it all the better, Crysis 2 plays home to the finest AI I have seen in a game of this magnitude. Coupled with the choices you are given, the pure intelligence and believability of your foes make you think even harder and really strain your gaming skills as you play through the very lengthy campaign - In a world where most games (FPS in particular) clock in at around 6-8 hours, this game almost doubles that, with anywhere between 10-15 hours of Single-Player gameplay to a single playthrough, depending on your commitment to searching the world around you and to exploring all your opportunities. There are even quite a few collectables and unlockables that you can find from searching - from customisable gun attachments to unique multiplayer Dog tags.
With most big-name games tacking on a half-assed multiplayer portion, I had my doubts and worries about Crysis 2. To put any doubts you may have had to rest, I assure you this is no tacked on addition for sales - this is the real deal. Developed by another studio entirely - who happen to be the guys behind the legendary Time Splitters Series - Crysis 2’s multiplayer is a full fledged addition to the single player campaign on par with big contenders of the online world. Highly addictive, and through making use of the same mechanics that make the many single-player firefights an absolute blast, result in some of the most intense and thoughtful multiplayer matches you’ve ever had.
The name Crysis almost comes synched with thoughts of groundbreaking graphics and environments. And where Crysis 1 managed to outdo the competition with its highly detailed tropic escape, Crysis 2 manages to the competition once more, and even its predecessor in both scale and detail. Crysis 2’s visualisation of Manhattan is absolutely stunning. There is more detail in every little crevice and object than game I can put a name to, and with such large amounts of interactivity within the environments and opportunities to freely explore large portions of New York, is even more impressive.
The game also houses some wonderful animation work and visual effects - the way things like water and dust change the environment and counteract with character models is unprecedented. I honestly cannot find fault within Crysis 2’s graphics department, and this is definitely a game that shows that video game consoles have far from reached their technical peak, even 6 years after release.
Because the game’s story is lacking in much originality, its hard to give much leverage to the voice acting. Think of it like a mediocre Sci-Fi movie - while the acting quality is top-tier, due to the script limitations and feel of the story, its hard to consider the acting particularly praise worthy. And to be completely honest, the absolute worst thing I found about this game was how frustrating the characters Nanosuit is. Constantly telling me when im activating stealth or armour, it quickly becomes a highly annoying and cringe worthy voice made worse by the developers attempt at making it sound so darkly robotic, evil even.
Thankfully, it’s the not same deal with the score. Crysis 2 features one of the finest and most suiting Science Fiction musical scores you can treat your ears to in a video game. Constantly adapting to your situation, it at times heightens the feeling to danger from the alien threat while also lending further quality to the few surreal moments you have to enjoy the barren but strangely beautiful streets of New York in peace. It’s a great musical piece, and very characteristic to the game itself. All up, Crysis 2 has very good Audio work, let down only by some unrealistic weaponry sounds and lack of real punch in the same field.
I’m one of those gamers who happy to pay a good 100 bucks for a quality game that lasts only 5-10 hours as long as it stands out from the crowd. So with the content and quality that Crysis 2 delivers side-by-side, I must say this is one of the most valuable singular game packages I have ever invested in. The single-player alone is a great experience that easily lasts double most games in my collection, and to add to that is one hell of a fun multiplayer mode, that I will surely be playing for a long time to come. This game really is a standout Sci-Fi shooter that any fan of the genre will find a good deal of solace in. And when a games worst point is the voice of the suit your characters wearing, its pretty obvious its doing something right.
Story, gameplay, innovation, individuality, content and above all; quality - Crysis 2 has it all. A technological powerhouse, Crysis 2 is definitely one of the best First Person Shooters to ever grace a video game console. The game will still have some stiff competition throughout the year, but in the meantime, sit back and enjoy one of the finest Sci-Fi shooters since the original Halo.
AAG SCORE: 8.5/10
+ Visually spectacular
+ Solid gameplay mechanics
+ Fleshed-out multiplayer
+ Very lengthy
- Annoying Nanosuit voice
- Some dull moments
Reviewed and Written By John Elliott