Graphics:
9.3
Gameplay:
8.7
Sound:
9.0
Control:
9.1
Replay Value:
8.5
Online Gameplay:
8.8
Overall Rating:
8.9
Publisher:
EA
Developer:
Crytek
Number Of Players:
1-12
Genre:
FPS
Release Date:
March 22, 2011


Hype can be insidious. It can dominate our preconceptions and significantly impact our excitement level. Heading into the release of Crysis 2 , the arguments, controversy, and reservations had inundated every last active game community; a less-than-impressive PlayStation 3 demo combined with Crytek’s boasting created even more discussion. Factor in the history of multiplatform performance this generation, and you’ve got a minefield, where one treads lightly and not without a sense of foreboding. Say the wrong thing, and one constituency will react with grim vigor. But when we start playing, preconceptions change to impressions and impressions ultimately give way to judgment. And that’s what we’re here to deliver- judgment. And by the way, it’s a darn good thing I moved passed the “impression” phase…

Much has been made of the graphics, but I’ll try to make it simple: Crysis 2 is arguably the most accomplished multiplatform title to date. The environments are large and wonderfully designed, the enemy design and general animations are stellar, and the atmosphere is second-to-none. Special effects are crisp and act as fantastic highlights to most any vicious encounter, and you just have to love the robust colors and design structure. However, that being said, it is not devoid of glitches. There’s a fair amount of pop-in, things do appear blurry at times (especially in the PS3 version), and the frame rate can drop a little. In this way, it falls short of being the best of the elite in the graphics category, but that doesn’t devalue Crytek’s achievement. Take time to appreciate the little things, too, like the sweet water effects and shadows.

A top-notch soundtrack cements the sound category, and the game also boasts plenty of quality voiceover work and distinct, in-your-face effects. The balance isn’t bad, either; many shooters have an issue blending heavy effects, music and voices, but despite a few stumbles, the sound balance here is quite solid. Also, I always expect to wince at some of the opposition’s cries, as they’re often contrived, cheesy, and repetitive. But in Crysis 2 , I always thought it was very cool to hear, “he’s uncloaked!” when I snap out into the open, or something that accurately reflects a change in the battlefield. I still wish I could’ve heard more of the music during the more intense portions of the game, and not all the characters are expertly voiced, but those are minor complaints. All in all, this game is a feast for any surround sound system.

These days, shooters absolutely must find a way to differentiate themselves. Amazing graphics and tight, responsive control aren’t enough to vault a title into a critic’s good graces; the competition is simply too stiff. In order to stand out from the crowd, Crytek uses a variety of gameplay elements that successfully present Crysis 2 as something special; something that doesn’t feel exactly like a Call of Duty or a Battlefield . In this case, there’s the RPG-like addition of the Nanosuit, which is both essential and upgradeable: it’s the suit that makes your character a borderline superhero, as it allows you to blend into the environment, take extra damage without succumbing, and exercise acrobatic maneuvers no human could manage. Translation- this feature is the determining factor.

It allows the gameplay to expand beyond the boundaries of a standard shooter. Holding X executes an extra-high power jump, you can grab ledges and clamber up, and there are four suit categories that feature useful upgrades. At any time, you can toggle the cloak, which allows you to become almost entirely invisible, and you also have the option of enabling stronger armor. You can have both suit skills enabled at the same time, but that drains heavily on the suit, and you can’t remain an invisible super-soldier forever. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg; there’s plenty more, but you have to earn the right to unlock the suit’s full potential. That requires the slaying of aliens that can end your quest in the blink of an eye, because they love to rush you. They’re not very bright, though, so cloaking and sidestepping is usually enough to secure a kill and some valuable nano energy. And speaking of not-so-bright enemies…

If you’ve read other reviews, you’ve probably noticed a common complaint, and that relates to the opposition’s AI. I’m not as down on the AI as others, primarily because foes at least present some semblance of a battle-hardened brain. They will move to better positions, fire blindly when in cover, search about when a threat is detected, etc. Of course, they also have the magical ability to hit you with every fired shot when out in the open, but that’s common. At least some dude won’t kill you with a shotgun from three football fields away (‘cough’ Black Ops ‘cough’). The biggest issue happens when up close and personal- enemies will often not acknowledge your presence and instead head for a programmed cover spot; I can’t count how many rounds I’ve unloaded into fleeing backs. It’s a big flaw, unfortunately.

While we’re on the negative side of things, I should also mention the storyline. On the one hand, I can be optimistic (and perhaps realistic) and just say it’s great for a shooter. On the other hand, I thought we were promised a plot with a bit more progression and character development. Half the time, we’re in the dark concerning the overarching storyline and I only started to get interested at about the 5-hour mark. This leads me to my last complaint, regarding the fact that the first few hours of the game really chafed. It was one massive firefight after another, with dozens upon dozens of faceless foes with magical aim, and the same type of environment. I only had one or two suit options open and due to the size and scope of those battles, dying at the end requires that you do the whole thing over again. It was driving me nuts .

For those first hours, I wasn’t impressed with much of anything besides the technical elements. I was picturing an 8.0 in my head and nothing higher. But suddenly, just about everything got a lot better: the story finally seemed to have a purpose, the atmosphere and style changed a bit (I stayed cloaked for a loooong time in one sequence), and I started upgrading that awesome suit. Plus – and best of all – the encounters began to amp up big time; there’s one memorable battle after another, although the AI still has the same quirks. I still say the checkpoints are a tad too far apart but I may be spoiled, and I admit the inherent challenge of this game is higher than that of other shooters. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, per se. Yeah, there are a few glitches you might encounter, but they’re more comical than tragic; i.e., no freezing or crashing.

The multiplayer benefits from the same features that make the campaign shine, but ironically enough, it also suffers from the same problem- it doesn’t get great until you’ve played for a few hours. That’s when the coolest modes are unlocked, like Assault and Extraction. Personally, I’m more a fan of Crash Site, just ‘cuz it reminds me a whole lot of those happy-go-lucky King of the Hill playground sessions. The aforementioned suit abilities alone make the multiplayer aspect of Crysis 2 very different in comparison to other FPSs. For instance, because I tend to favor stealth if I have the chance, I can use a sneaky, backstabbing approach in both the single-player and multiplayer scenarios. Factor in the various maps that present players with all sorts of tactical opportunities, and you’ve got a robust online experience that serves to add plenty of longevity. But hey, don’t forget that the campaign alone might take upwards of 12 hours. How awesome is that ?

Crysis 2 is a no-brainer for any FPS fan and might even appeal to those who desire a twist to the tried-and-true shooter format. The Nanosuit is a definite game-changer; from the visor that offers tactical advice to the minor platforming features to the many upgrades, it give the player awesome control. In some ways, I was actually reminded of Deus Ex when playing this sequel; the sci-fi franchise is indeed part-RPG and has a different structure, but there are elements of Crysis 2 that don’t revolve around reflexes and finger dexterity. The campaign is long and involved, the intensity, emotion and immersiveness continues to get better and better as time goes on, the technical achievement cannot be overstated, and the multiplayer is a rewarding bonus. The AI trips and stumbles, the glitches are there, and I got really bored during the first few hours, but the end result is a compelling, involving adventure. Give it a try.

The Good: Great graphics. Music and sound effects are top-notch. Expansive environmental design is a plus. Control is fantastic. Nanosuit is a captivating, distinguishing feature. Campaign is long and gets better with time. Multiplayer feels refreshing.

The Bad: Pop-in and gameplay glitches can be irritating. AI is inconsistent. Takes too long for the campaign to impress. Checkpoints may be too far apart.

The Ugly: “…getting tired of shooting people in the back.”

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mike rlz
mike rlz
10 years ago

I was expecting something around a nine. I knew all the naysayers were gonna eat their words, if you played the original you knew Crytek wouldn't let their console endeavor go to crap. This is a solid, solid game, like I knew it would be from the start.

NoMoreWar
NoMoreWar
10 years ago

what mike said

Beamboom
Beamboom
10 years ago

@Ben: Ok dude, you now made me place an order on Crysis 2. I've got loads to play already so I figured I'd get it eventually (being as tired of fps as I am), but this convinced me.
The text smells like a 9.0 though… 😉

PasteNuggs
PasteNuggs
10 years ago

Ok, I'm convinced, great graphics, long campaign, the fact you said RPG in a game that is pure shooter. Yep I'll be picking it up at some point.

Beamboom
Beamboom
10 years ago

"RPG in a game that is pure shooter" – LOL – thats probably what did it for me too! I just felt this immediate urge of getting it after reading the review.

Qubex
Qubex
10 years ago

Wow, that is not a bad score. I honestly thought it would get an 8.2, maybe an 8.4. I have read a number of reviews on Crysis, but as per usual, Ben's one always ends up the definitive review. The Eurogamer review was pretty poor in comparison.

If I had only one choice, I would still choose KZ3 over Crysis. KZ3 being an exclusive has that extra polish that a feel goes a long way in showing what your hardware can do. It is very satisfying. Saying this though, from what I have seen of the Crysis demo, I didn't think the graphics were a disaster, I just felt they were not on par with KZ3. My feeling had been that they may be with all the hype surrounding CryEngine 3. They are probably spectacular on the PC, but the consoles were bound to suffer a downgrade being a multi-platform title.

"There’s a fair amount of pop-in, things do appear blurry at times (especially in the PS3 version), and the frame rate can drop a little" – just picking up on this line Ben… whilst evidence of this is not huge with existing PS3 exclusives such as KZ2, KZ3 and U2, it shows that multi-platform engines still struggle with the limited memory suffered by consoles. Having issues with how much one can squeeze and stream through the graphics pipeline will always occur when you can't "hit the metal" directly, such as engines optimised exclusively for their target platform – as we have seen.

Saying that though, I noticed a few nasty artifacts in the demo of MotorStorm 3 . Even though the engine, especially the shadow casting, has been hugely improved, I still noticed some pop in and the like when driving slowly and examining the environments.

Nice to see that the Crysis team has got something to celebrate anyways. Pick it up in a year or so when it drops in price.

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"


Last edited by Qubex on 3/23/2011 10:00:27 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

What's funny to me is Crysis 2 stalls or freezes for a few seconds like Killzone 2 did when it loads the next section. No one seemed to mention it in their reviews yet they used that as a reason to pick at Killzone 2. LOL!

Nickjcal
Nickjcal
10 years ago

Gettin this for my Bday on Sunday. Cannot wait.

FatherSun
FatherSun
10 years ago

Happy Birthday on Sunday! I may be away so an early one for you.

kraygen
kraygen
10 years ago

Better than I expected, good news for the fps fans.

It does however move it into a position where I might actually purchase it when it's cheap. Sorry that is the only way I ever buy an fps, $20 or less. But hey, before I wasn't even considering playing it at all.

Oxvial
Oxvial
10 years ago

Wish more gamers were like you.

kraygen
kraygen
10 years ago

Sarcastic and cynical, oh I'm sure they're there if you look hard enough. =)

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
10 years ago

i must say i was really surprised at how good the game looks. at the same time i'm a little dissapointed the 360 version looks better.

it's still a great start for crytek, and hopefully this engine will put the outdated unreal 3 engine out to pasture. it kind of gets me excited about the future of games, and how good they will look on the next round of hardware.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

I wouldn't say it looks better. As I said it's a matter of preference. Some like the plastic look while others like the softer look. Just because those who prefer the plastic look screech about how they got the better version, it doesn't make it so.

As some one pointed out in the other thread, while the 360 version may be sharper is has screen tearing while the PS3 version does not. I personally hate screen tearing more than anything in a game and would gladly take the softer looking game without screen tearing as opposed to the sharper looking one with tearing.

FatherSun
FatherSun
10 years ago

Screen tearing is the bane of Jawknee.


Last edited by FatherSun on 3/23/2011 11:41:59 PM

___________
___________
10 years ago

the 360 version is allot better!
much less frame rate dips, less jaggies, and runs at a higher resolution.
for cryteks first ps3 game its pretty good, but in no way are the 2 identical, or even close!
im pissed how the PC version turned out though.
i mean no DX11 support?
WTF?
this is crytek right?
the guys who use to push the PC to the limit!
yea, its just pathetic!

FM23
FM23
10 years ago

I like the look of Xbox games…I'm not going to lie

slugga_status
slugga_status
10 years ago

Varies from each game. Batman:AA looked watered down on 360 while the ps3 version looked smooth and polished. Really just depends…

In regards to Crysis, from what I've seen, they look about the same..In the eye of the beholder…

dillonthebunny
dillonthebunny
10 years ago

I think Mr Blank needs to go read some facts before becoming a fanboy on this subject.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Cowpatty, you have no credibility so stop actng as if you do.

Lord carlos
Lord carlos
10 years ago

Great
I shall now purchase this game on friday
Still on course for a game a month this year

DazeOfWar
DazeOfWar
10 years ago

Good review Ben. I actually picked this up earlier today even after I was thinking I wasn't but considering how I love buying games and a lot of the reviews have been showing good I figured what the hell. Plus it'll make up for the small let down on Homefront.

Temjin001
Temjin001
10 years ago

I'm trying to understand that graphics score, 9.3. KZ3 rated a 9.1 in this department. I thought everyone who's played Crysis 2 and KZ3 was in agreement that KZ3 looked better. It looks like Ben believes otherwise. Interesting.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Head scratcher isn't it?

The great thing about Killzone 3 too is it doesn't take a graphical hit in its multiplayer mode while Crysis 2 does. 🙂

MadKatBebop
MadKatBebop
10 years ago

I think when it comes down to KZ3 vs. Crysis 2 in the graphic department, it probably depends on preference. I like KZ3 graphics a lot but I think I prefer Crysis 2's graphics over it. I like how Crysis 2 has that "soft, natural" look, KZ3 has more of a hard, sharp look that doesn't look bad, I just like the other look better.

Temjin001
Temjin001
10 years ago

"Killzone 3 is better than Crysis 2 for a few reasons, and only one of them is based on graphics."

Ben stated that in a BeanBoom discussion on an earlier thread today. Maybe he mistakingly gave KZ3 a 9.1? Because otherwise something doesn't make sense.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

True one can prefer how Crysis 2 looks but when you get down to the nitty gritty of it, like animations, texture quality, performance, Killzone 3 is undeniably the better of the two. As I said in another thread, Crysis 2 has pop in and is quite glitchy at times, can get very blurry and slow down at times. Killzone 3 does none of these things, it has better looking vistas and stays in focus 100% of the time while at the same time has a lot more going on on screen.

I'd say one of the things Crysis 2 does well though is it's lighting. The bloom effect looks more natural.


Last edited by Jawknee on 3/23/2011 10:55:12 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Two reasons for the discrepancy in graphics scores:

1. There's something about the KZ3 graphics – particularly in the cut-scenes – that I considered a step backwards. Hard to put my finger on, but it bugged me.

2. I'm holding PS3 exclusives to a slightly higher standard. For a multiplatform game, Crysis 2 gets a 9.3.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

I know what you mean Ben. When jumping back and fourth between KZ2 and 3 to compare, it almost seemed as if Killzone 2 was clearer at times.

kellett007
kellett007
10 years ago

I believe KZ3 used Havoc for their video stuff while KZ2 did not

Temjin001
Temjin001
10 years ago

Havoc handles physics. KZ3 used a Bink codec for it's FMV. It's dated and crappier than the newer FMV codecs out there. But GG addressed their Bink decision in an interview. They said Bink has a lower memory footprint, making streaming data behind the scenes much faster (notice how the game has nearly no load screens?) Unfortunately, the video quality losses detail because of it.
360 owners suffered similarly with their version of FF13 because Square-Enix used Bink for that version, whereas Sony got the good stuff.

kellett007
kellett007
10 years ago

thanks for the clarification temjin

Temjin001
Temjin001
10 years ago

Thanks for clarifying that Ben. But I do have a question. Why do you choose to do it that way? Wouldn't it be less confusing to just rate all PS3 games against the standard of whats out there for the system? That way people don't get the wrong idea and could clearly tell that PS3 exclusives do rate higher for graphics etc because, well, generally, they are better looking, you know?
Anyway, not that it's a big deal. A few hundredths of a point wouldn't appear to mean much and I tend to value the text of a review more than the actual points.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

I too will consider a bargain purchase down the line, I'm a tad busy with RPGs now but I have to say that the scores proved me wrong. And that's always good in this business:

I hope Ben won't mind if I promote myself again,
http://www.titanreviews.com/#/crytekfaith/4549832465

Beamboom
Beamboom
10 years ago

Nice site you got there, but one word of advice:
Auto audio playback on websites is a no-no. Damn, that Crysis-video on your front page slammed in my ears here, speakers on far too loud and me totally unprepared.

Audio should *always* be muted by default, with option to turn it on.
Just a friendly advice. Other than that, the site looks mighty fine!

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

I should have a word with the owner about that. It annoys me too. The only thing in this mean old world I know how to do is write.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 3/24/2011 2:40:31 AM

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

One thing I noticed is the cutscenes look compress. As well as the sound. I have to turn Crysis 2 up much louder than I do most PS3 exclusives. I had the same problem with Dead Space 2 in regards to the audio. I wish these developers would make the extra effort to leave the sound and cutscenes uncompressed for the PS3 versions of their games. Some do but not all.

Another testament as to why exclusives are better. Blu-Ray FTW! 🙂

booze925
booze925
10 years ago

nice black ops reference. that was uhh… professional

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Yeah. We should just keep giving CoD a free pass because it's CoD.

And who ever heard of comparing shooters to other shooters in reviews? That's just, like, totally crazy.


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 3/23/2011 11:34:21 PM

Underdog15
Underdog15
10 years ago

No, Ben, it's TOTES crazay-zay.

MadKatBebop
MadKatBebop
10 years ago

I plan on getting this on Friday or Saturday, but has anyone here who bought it beat it yet? Is it really, really awesome?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

How is the power jump? Is it cool or is it floaty like in Halo?

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Feels a bit floaty to me.

MadKatBebop
MadKatBebop
10 years ago

I know in the first one power jump was kinda floaty, if the 2nd ones suit is exactly the same I would awesome it would be a little floaty.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
10 years ago

It is a little floaty but no where near halo. None of that super high flying feel. Their is a lot more weight to it.


Last edited by bigrailer19 on 3/24/2011 12:11:55 AM

MadKatBebop
MadKatBebop
10 years ago

What would've been really awesome if Crytek gave PS3 owners Crysis and Warhead in HD on the Crysis 2 disc, instant buy!

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
10 years ago

Well I can't disagree with that score. I'm really impressed with the game. And as Ben stated as the campaign goes on it just gets better! And it's damn lengthy, very nice considering what we've had to put up with lately! The mp is really well too. Their are some balancing issues but sometes that's ok and with this game it's ok because of all the upgrades. I really like that you can choose which rooms to play in based on your rank as well! Very nice when just starting out!

All in all The game is fantastic and as I've said any shooter fan needs to give it a try!

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Not to disillusion anyone, but I just had to stop playing because I got trapped in an invisible hole…a LONG way from the last checkpoint.

Unhappy I am. Doesn't change the score, although I know this didn't happen in KZ3. Just sayin'.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

I am noticing a lot of bugs in this game that aren't apparent in Killzone as well. Namely texture loading when loading from a check point and a fair amount of jagged edges. Great looking game, but people really are deluding themselves if they cannot see the obvious gap in overall quality between this and Killzone.


Last edited by Jawknee on 3/23/2011 11:40:17 PM

___________
___________
10 years ago

KZ3 froze HEAPS on me.
just saying…….
KZ3 is not the polished gem everyone would have you believe!

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