The next-evolution of Crytek's award winning franchise is finally here; and for the first time, the console market will get to enjoy a taste of what PC gamers have been raving about for years. In a an unfortunate transfer of power, we'll see if this lone Marine has what it takes to survive, not only an alien armada, but a new market of gamers whom are eager to pass judgment on this PC juggernaut.

Immediately you will notice that Crysis 2 is angelically stunning. Without a doubt, the CVG quote on the boxart “The Best Looking Game on Console” holds true. If you're looking for a console benchmark for all other shooters, you have just found it. While the graphics swiftly commandeered our attention, the gameplay took a longer to sink in. At its core Crysis 2 is a straight forward shooter, one where the player wears a combat enhancing nanosuit that turns the player into a bullet-stopping "Superman Ninja." Either taking a stealth approach or going balls-to-the-wall, Crysis 2 offers several different ways to tactically dismantle your enemies. While it's not the most original shooter on the market, Crysis 2 holds its own in a crowded genre.

This "angelic beauty" I touched on in my opening sentence is all thanks to the 'CryEngine 3.' Now console gamers can enjoy the level of detail and polish that PC gamers have already experience with the first Crysis (if your machine could run it.) While the PC still pulls ahead in the graphics department, Crysis 2 showcases that the “next-generation” hardware is still competent when optimized properly. So that being said, if you're a graphics gamer, or just like to blow pretty things up, your senses will be tingling as you soak up the beauty in Crysis 2.

Marveling at the beauty is ironic because the setting in Crysis 2 is of a disaster stricken New York. The story is your typical alien invasion/militaristic conspiracy prose that works within the games structure, but in the end, isn't overly gripping. Thankfully, Crysis 2 is shooter heavy, which highlights its strengths. Catering to the console gamer, you don't even need to be familiar with the first game because you oddly enough play a new character (Alcatraz,) who is portraying the old character named Profit. Crysis 2 starts out on a downer (I won't spoil it for you) and slow picks up as you defend yourself against a military organization who is trying to obtain your nanosuit, among other things (ie heavy armoured aliens.) This is all broken down to a street level approach while still trying to maintain the “larger-than-life” feel. At times Crysis 2 narrative works, but its a little state... and really, we've seen this set-up before. For a comparison I felt Crysis 2 had a 'Half-Life' meets 'Halo' vibe... Hmm, I guess it could have been worse.


If the suit fits...
Although the alien invasion dynamic is interesting, the real drawing aspect in Crysis 2 is the nanosuit. The nanosuit, which looks like a cyborg wet-suit, gives the player extraordinary powers. The powers are enhanced speed and strength with the ability to either activate the self-explanatory "armour" or "stealth" mode. Integrated to the controller with ease you can toggle between the two modes or use your speedy sprint/'Mirror's Edge' slide with a click of a button. Also functional is tactical and thermal vision. Tactical vision breaks down your environment by showing you enemies and tactical points of interest. You can tag enemies and head out with a more calmed/strategic approach. Thermal vision is not as useless as in other games thanks to the great smoke effects that greatly reduce visibility, or to even the odds in multiplayer when dealing with fellow cyber-ninja's who love to abuse the cloaking feature.

Crytek added a recharging energy meter to the nanosuit that depletes when you use your “powers.” This gives Crysis 2 a methodical spin in deciding how to approach a situation. It is interesting that you never feel too overpowered as death can come easy on the higher difficulties. Actually, I am glad Crytek didn't boost up the nanosuit to make you feel like an uber-god like some other games. This “grounded” feel only helps Crysis 2 to carve out its own niche more. Sure, I would have liked to cause some 'Alex Mercer' styled damage, but I can deal with jumping on top of a transport truck and raining a hailstorm of bullets down on my enemies from a cloaked veil. Underpowered or not, Crysis 2 is different enough to stand out the crowded genre of first-person shooters.

Funnel through Dullsville
Unlike the first Crysis, Crysis 2 is more focused to funnel the player through an adventure. Using a linear approach will please a certain audience. However, I can see the community being a little up-in-arms about this “streamlining.” Still, Crysis 2 tries to include several elective paths to take on each “big battle,” which shakes things up a bit. They also "shake" things up with the occasional big set-pieces moments. However, they don't quite have an emotional backing to make an impact like we've seen in other titles. This falls on the narrative, which doesn't do a good enough job to make us care enough about the character(s) to feel invested. I admire their attempts, but sadly I never felt that engaged. Maybe Alcatraz needed to speak-up and not play the silent soldier role. Even if your character spoke, it's an upward battle against some generic aliens and non-descriptive enemy solders, ah yea, dullsville. In the future, more diversity is needed to make Crysis match up with our other favourite alien-killer, 'Master Chief.'


Help! I'm stuck in a loop
While I pointing out the weaker aspects of Crysis 2, I need to mention the buggy A.I. behaviour, mainly enemy characters (human and alien) getting suck on the environment. In more than a few instances enemies would be continuously walking into a pole, or getting stuck on an object in the surroundings. It's odd that a game of this profile would have so many glitchy behavioural issues, but they are there. While it takes away from the immersion, it's not a game-breaker as it actually helps make your enemies easier targets. However, it does make you wonder, maybe Crysis 2 shouldn't have shipped yet.

Lets get invisible
Stepping away from the buggy opponents, you can head online for a real challenge. Online Crysis 2 is an interesting beast, mainly because you're dealing with a dozen twitchy players running around in uber-powered nanosuits. The stealth feature is a clear favourite online, and while it's fun to act like an outcast from 'Alien vs. Predator,' too many people are solely using this power and it hurts the online experience for new players. It is something you have to get used to, combating the invisible is simply part of the game. It takes a little while to role with the punches, but like anything the more time you put into it, the more you will get out.

The custom and predetermined classes and suit modules will help hold your interest in a little longer, if the fast-paced action didn't already win you over. Rewards are also part of the multiplayer experience, which include collecting dog tags by running over fallen enemies, something that makes ranking up your killstreak a little more difficult. For a quick comparison, I would actually tilt Crysis 2 more towards an 'Unreal Tournament' with a mix of 'Modern Warfare.' It's that standard multiplayer, perk, twitch styled, power-up vibe that works as an excellent alternative to the typhoon of war shooters.


No matter how beautiful the exterior is, Crysis 2 cannot cloak the fact that it lacks the emotional impact to become a classic. Still, Crysis 2 is a lot of fun when you get down to its main hook, which is not the graphics, but the newfangled nanosuit that turns your character into a rockstar killing machine. Either online for a fast-paced frag-fest or offline in the dry, yet vast single player campaign, shooter fans should give this one a try. Futuristic mass murder has never looked so good.

  • Crysis 2 is graphically stunning, a true heavyweight
  • The nanosuit ads a nice strategical, super-powered edge
  • Online takes some time to find your groove, but once you're do, you're rolling
  • Adrenaline junkies, Crysis 2 kicks it up a level online
  • It sure is pretty, but what about personality?
  • Weapons aren't overly interesting
  • Lots of A.I. Behavioural bugs
  • The stealth factor, hurts the online experience
Quote: "No matter how beautiful the exterior is, Crysis 2 cannot cloak the fact that it lacks the emotional impact to become a classic. Still, Crysis 2 is a lot of fun when you get down to its main hook, which is not the graphics, but the newfangled nanosuit that turns your character into a rockstar killing machine."
Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 03.28.11

Similar Games: Haze (6.5) | Unreal Tournament III (8.6) | Halo 3 (9.5)


Crysis 2

Electronic Arts



US Release
March 2011


PS3, X360

Players 1
Online MP 2-12
HD 720p-1080p
5.1 surround
D/L Content
3D Support