Crysis 2 Review
- Posted March 22nd, 2011 at 16:01 EDT by Steven Williamson
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A visually dazzling, but forgettable single player campaign paves the way for a mighty multiplayer component.
- The fact it is the best looking shooter on PlayStation 3
- Tons of weapon variation and tactical opportunity
- The rewarding multiplayer component
- The unexciting campaign
- Stealth mode feels cheap
- The erratic A.I. performance
Crysis 2’s single player campaign reminds me of best friend’s incredibly attractive mother. Though I don’t actually know her that well, the thought of spending some “quality time” in her company is enough to generate a feeling of excitement deep within me. Crysis 2 evokes very much the same reaction. For weeks, nay months, I’ve drooled over trailers, screenshots and footage of Crytek’s sumptuous-looking first person shooter and longed to spend some time in its company. Sadly though, now that fantasy has finally seeped into reality and I have Crysis 2 naked in my arms, I feel a little disappointed that it hasn’t lived up to my expectations. In the same way that the fantasy with my best mate’s mom is undoubtedly better kept in my head, Crysis 2’s single player campaign is also a far more attractive proposition from a distance rather than in the flesh.
That’s not to say that Crysis 2 is a bad, or even an average game. While the lack-lustre solo campaign and forgettable storyline only serves as a good example of how hype can raise your expectations to such an extent that even good just doesn’t feel good enough, Crysis 2's multiplayer component saves the day. However, it's with the campaign that this review unfortunately starts. One of the big problems with Crysis 2 it that it takes far too long to get going, and even when it does it lacks any memorable moments that leave a lasting impression. Devoid of the kind of intense, tactical battles that I expected, gameplay just plods along - with hardly any shift in pace or tension. Even when gameplay does attempt to engage you fully, the few boss battles that it throws at you are quite tedious, as you try to snipe down a machine-gunner from the door of a passing enemy helicopter that just won't keep still. Crytek will punish you by making you take down this gunner three times before you can move on; a perfect example of how the single player component lacks in quality gameplay, and quite shocking when you take into account Crysis 2’s graphical innovations.
The fact of the matter is that Crysis 2's gameplay just isn't particularly exciting or engaging. Part of the reason it fails to enthral, it seems, is that Crytek has focused much of its attention on the multiplayer component and creating a game that simply looks fantastic. Meanwhile, it’s neglected to spend enough time creating a solo experience to match. In an attempt to stand out from the crowd, Crysis 2 does have some beautifully detailed, sprawling environments that encourage tactical freedom, but mopping up ground infantry and alien monsters on the way to your final destination becomes fairly rudimentary once you learn how to exploit the system with the powers of the nanosuit. The nanosuit is a superb creation that works brilliantly in multiplayer, but in the campaign its powers feel quite cheap.
Crysis 2 generally involves traditional ‘A’ to ‘B’ objectives where you might be tasked with blowing up an ammo stockpile with some C4, or gathering specimen samples from alien pods. The large multi-tiered levels give you the freedom to adopt a variety of tactics and make use of the game’s impressive array of weapons. Levels are impressively designed so that you can make use of the nanosuits’ powers, particularly the main function; its visor. You can open up the visor at least once per level and survey a range of tactical opportunities. Scan the location and you’ll see positions marked with instructions, such as ‘Flank,’ ‘Stealth Kill,’ ‘Explore’ and ‘Snipe.’ You can then tag them, and head to these positions to take advantage of a specific tactic. ‘Flank,’ for example, might send you into a sewer system to bypass guards on the main road, whereas ‘Stealth’ might offer you a way to avoid a battle completely by turning yourself invisible. Needless to say, this feature does give you a lot of tactical freedom should you want to experiment.
The nanosuit also has a range of other powers that you can utilize for short periods of time, such as the armor mode which gives you extra protection; the stealth mode for turning invisible, or nanovision (thermal vision) for spotting enemies in the dark. The ... (continued on next page) ----