Crysis. The game that made mainstream rigs come to a cripple back in 2007. Its lush graphics and physics that boast “realism” remains as a visual and performance benchmark for today’s games and hardware. We find out if Crysis 2 is worth the bang for the buck for the hardcore gamer in you.
Unboxing and Installation
the front box, with a lovely artwork
A look at the back: Be the Weapon
the disc and the manual with a cdkey
If you purchased the game with the word “Limited Edition” on it, there is a special key to unlock some lovely bonuses such as in-game dog-tags, weapon attachment, skins and you begin on the multi-player at level 5. Installation of the game is straightforward though I did encounter a problem with the installer.
The installer forces some kind of detection mechanism on your C drive for free space, it will not proceed if it has less than 9GB of space. Not really a good thing for folks who partition their drives and allocate limited space for their operating system. Do bear in mind however, you are still able to choose where you can install the game after the initial detection.
After installation, you will be prompted with a one-time activation with your serial key before you enter the game. You will then need another one-time activation for multi-player in-game.
And finally, get ready to rock and bust some alien butts.
Crysis began as a sci-fiction first person shooter developed by Crytek, the story took place in 2020 in Lingshan islands where a team of supersoldiers equipped with a Nanosuits were ordered to save a team of archaeologists. The team, led by Prophet, uncovered an alien structure and this was where it began.
Moving forward to 2023 in Crysis 2, the developers took a bold step forward and puts the player right in the thick of urban warfare and alien invasion right at The Big Apple.
A huge contrast to the predecessor’s jungle warfare.
The aliens have returned and they bring with them a full scale invasion bent on destroying mankind and all that we stand for. New York City is in shambles, its populace almost decimated and buildings in ruin. To put things in a better perspective, a plague is spreading amid the survivors and the town is under a brutal military scrutiny, CELL, a funded private military company under the control and part of Crynet Systems.
You are “Alcatraz”, a soldier who will inherit the strength, speed and stealth of the Nanosuit from the original game’s “Prophet”. You will play the last stand against the fury and might of the alien invasion force and CELL, both who are happy to put you down.
Crysis 2 did a great job in portraying a city under a mass-scale invasion and hats off for Richard Morgan who does the storyboard for the game. Plenty of small details in the story were given the attention it deserve and the right to keeps the adrenaline pumping and to keep going.
Plot development is gradual with a few twists that lead to an unexpected ending, I will not say what but my advice is to keep exploring in the game. Several plot details were unveiled even in enemy’s radio communication chatter or tell-tale signs on the walls. The story is long unlike some popular first-person shooters and once you completed the game, you would want to recall some awesome firefight scenes that you had experienced.
Crysis 2 is beautiful and perhaps one of the best looking games in the market, using Crytek’s CryEngine 3. It is impressive though not groundbreaking as how its predecessor did but Crysis 2 runs well even on today’s mainstream systems and on consoles. Hardened veterans will complain it is a console port and a downgraded game from its predecessor that it is arguable.
It isn’t easy to create a beautiful game that works across multiple platforms and this is where Crysis 2 shines. Expect better performance with Crysis 2 as compared to Crysis 1, which PC players benefit from the sequel’s multi-platform strategy.
The downside? There aren’t many advanced tweaks in the options to adjust the visuals. It is a little disappointing in this perspective as players are given four areas to adjust in the Graphics section: Resolution, V-sync, HUD bobbing, and one of three pre-defined quality settings: High, Very High and Extreme.
There are no options to tweak anti-aliasing levels and the nitty settings for quality to crank up the performance required, this is perhaps a question to the developers and a mystery to end-users.
There is no DirectX 11 support despite being a highly anticipated title in 2011, we are hoping the folks will release a patch to incorporate Direct X 11 features soon.
Crysis 2’s music scores are composed by Borislav Slavov and Tilman Sillescu with the help of Hans Zimmer. The music that makes up the game has one of the greatest orchestral scores I have ever heard and sound to ambiance effects that builds upon the pace of the game were great, thanks to the surround sound capability supported. Gun sounds are pretty astonishing though the default weapon sounded a little shallow.
Let’s talk about multiplayer gaming. It is similar to other shooters in the market with ranking system, weapon unlocks and customizations. What makes Crysis 2 different is the amount of customizations you can go with and a rewarding experience on using the nanosuit for your combat strategy. It is up to the player to decide and different servers may offer different handicaps to make gameplay more challenging.
The multi-player allows up to sixteen players (8 versus 8) in the server, an increase from the demo’s cap of twelve. A total of six game modes are available for play with your typical death-matches to Crash Site, a king of the hill style whereby players must hold an alien crash site which lands in any place of the map. You can unlock a capture-the-flag variant together with Assault and Extraction modes.
The charm is the Nanosuit after putting all these modes together. It is the player who have to determine how to equip his nanosuit and customize according to the maps he play. Careful use and tweaks will determine different ways to play as you will gain experience points after a completion of a round which levels you up for further unlocks. Putting these features together, you can expect quite an extensive lasting multi-player experience in the months to come.
Enemy AI can be unpredictable, they are smart but not perfect. Yes, you can ambush them with stealth but a reckless move will put expose you into the pits of danger. Having said that, we did experience some funny enemy AI behaviour : enemies running around into each other or corpses flying back with unbelievable physics despite being struck by a bullet. I think the Korean counterparts in Lingshan island were so much cleverer than these CELL soldiers.
The variety of the customizations and unpredictable (minus the bugs) AI did save the game from a certain doom and adds to Crysis 2’s re-playability.
Putting these features together, you can expect quite an extensive, lasting multi-player experience in the months to come. You do not need the latest hardware to play with acceptable frame rates although they offer better quality visuals to enhance the experience. We tested on a few system configurations using the latest high-end hardware to some old mainstream configurations.
With the above mentioned, it is unfortunate that Crysis 2 disappoints to become a top standard for today’s graphic and performance benchmark. Sure, it looks good but it isn’t enough, at least not with the extreme demands from hardcore PC enthuaists to stress-test their systems.
Crysis 2 shines and apart from its baffling and bizzare problems encountered, it is definitely a worthy title to look out for its gameplay and replayability value. There are plenty of details to look out for in the single-player campaign and the number of customizations for multiplayer.
Hardened enthuaists may be dampened with the raw performance it requires. It is a walk in the park and today’s high-end systems can handle more than the game requires. Future patches for the game may include custom visual tweaking options and hopefully, Direct X 11 support.
Crysis 2 for PC is now available on retail at S$56.90 on EA online store and retail shelves. The game is also available on PS3 and Xbox 360 game consoles