March 31, 2011
Crysis 2… Second Take
You all have probably read my initial impressions of Crysis 2 and it’s Multi Player demo and I was very harsh on it. My initial complaints were the consolization of the title and the lack of effort showed within the demo. Against what I thought was my better judgement I decided to pick up the game from Intkeys. I made the assumption that the final product would be just as bad. If there is one thing I’ve learned from working in the IT industry for the last 6 years its to NEVER assume things. That being I am forced to take back what I said about the demo. Is Crysis 2 a consolized title? In a way yes… it has been heavily streamlined to appeal to console audiences but that doesn’t make it a bad game.
Crysis to PC gamers is what Halo is to Xbox. PC gamers wanted a new graphics benchmark and what they got wasn’t necessarily what they expected. I’m going to call this out now before anyone starts complaining about this game not tearing up their system. Crysis was one of the most horribly optimized games in history which is why it took systems so many years to finally be able to play it at max settings. This isn’t to say Crysis wasn’t graphically demanding but that combined with the lack of optimization made it hard to run on the systems of the day. Crysis 2 on the other hand is incredibly optimized… everything from the controls to the coding behind the scenes. I’m running Phenom II X 965, 8GB DDR3, with an Radeon 5870 and I could max the game fully with the release settings on extreme.
Graphically Crysis 2 is just as gorgeous as it’s predecessor but in a completely different way. The original Crysis took place in a vast jungle teaming full of gorgeous wildlife where in contrast Crysis 2 takes place in a city. One could say Crysis was a prettier game and they would be right. That’s because a tropical paradise is going to be prettier then any major city, hands down, ever time. You can’t even compare the two. Could Crysis 2 of been better in the graphics department? Certainly. Crysis 2 was touted to feature Direct X11 which is supposed to take PC graphics into the future. However near release Direct X11 was removed from the product. It was then announced that Direct X11 would be added at a later date. The interesting thing is Nvidia was sure it was a done deal the DX11 would be released in tandem with their GTX 590. However they recently stated that they aren’t sure if Direct X11 will be released at all for Crysis 2. Regardless, even without Direct X11 Crysis 2 awes you with it’s visuals. Massive buildings collapsing, bridges falling, explosions, and very realistic burning fires really add to the eerie atmosphere which is Crysis 2.
Crysis 2 single player is where the game really shines. While the game starts off slow it really picks up near the middle and takes off from there. Crysis 2 has streamlined how you handle your suit powers and it really lets you focus on the game instead of the radial menus that you had to mess with in the original. The one thing that really stood out to me with Crysis 2 was the length of the campaign. Needless to say I was expecting a 4 hour adventure that has become common in today’s FPS market place. The most recent releases of COD:BO, MW2, BC2 and Homefront all follow this and then shove you into the multiplayer. Crysis 2’s campaign rings in about 12 hours depending on how you play it. I tend to take a little longer to play as I like to wipe out the enemy instead of sneaking around them and as such… I die alot. That being said Crysis 2 can be played in multiple ways all of which will be enjoyable to different types of people. Additionally you can upgrade your suit as your progress through the game. Suit upgrades can be purchased by using Nano Catalysts dropped by dead enemies.
Overall Crysis 2 is a success especially in the single player department. Crysis 2 campaign is better than Crysis in about every way. It’s more focused, intense and moving then its predecessor and you actually feel for the character unlike the original. I actually found myself comparing him to Shadow of the Colossus in the sense of as you progress through the story the main characters body is getting slowly destroyed. Several scenes within Crysis 2 point to pain and agony the games is probably going through much like SOTC’s protagonist is slowly dying throughout the game.
Overall I loved Crysis 2 which is a complete surprise to me. I started the game and couldn’t put it down until I finished and I actually found myself wanting to play it again once I beat it. In my opinion Crytec should of used Crysis 2 to showcase what Direct X11 could really do. While Crysis 2 is a great game in many aspects it’s held back from being a landmark title by a few issues. One of which is the lack of Direct X11 but in addition to that there are several small issues such as texture blurring and AI problems. I can recall several occasions where enemy and friendly AI were sitting right next to each other… neither one shooting at me or each other. It was like they were best buds from high school. While this is amusing it is distracting and can be really annoying at times. There were also several times where you would be shooting an enemy AI and his buddy would just stand there like nothing was happening. Crysis 2 is a great game even though it is held back by several issues. I would suggest that you pick up a copy if for nothing other than the single player.