Crysis 2 Review

Platform: PS3/360/PC
Originally Reviewed: 2011

Crysis 2 is widely being billed as ‘the best looking game on consoles’ and that is a statement that is pretty impossible to disagree with. Crysis 2 looks utterly fantastic but in a generation of games that generally look fantastic, surely graphical success is almost assured. It’s engrossing and inventive gameplay that takes the most effort and it’s here that Crysis 2 feels more like style over substance.

The game sees the player in the heart of New York City (yes, again) and taking control of ‘Alcatraz,’ a marine who winds up taking control of a Nanosuit from an officer Laurence ‘Prophet’ Barnes, who has been infected with an alien virus and needs to pass on the Nanosuit to help the human race defeat the invading alien race known as Ceph.

The Nanosuit then forms the basis of the rest of both the game’s story and action. The suit is a hugely powerful weapon that allows Alcatraz to run faster and jump higher than any other human, whilst giving him superior strength and healing abilities (the suit practically provides him with life support throughout the game). The story element surrounding the suit involves the sinister corporation CryNet Systems pursuing Alcatraz throughout the game, believing him to be Prophet.

Despite the setting for the game being incredibly familiar to gamers nowadays, New York City has never looked this good. Even with the city itself in complete decay due to alien invasion, the graphics engine developed by Crytek still makes it look incredible and fighting huge alien soldiers in amongst sun-drenched skyscrapers really is a sight to behold.

It’s a little disappointing, then, that the game itself doesn’t really hold up to the supremely impressive graphical power on display. The story attempts to throw twists into the mix, but is certainly not on par with the Mass Effects, GTAs and Fallouts of the world.

Gameplay wise, it’s another case of the game trying to throw new elements in but not quite hitting the mark. The Nanosuit does offer a variety of cool options, but none of them seem to be quite as fun as they sound. Before each battle the suit offers up ‘tactical options’ and lets Alcatraz zoom in on the field ahead and plan a route through various different strategic points, but most of these involve places to re-supply or places where you can use stealth to slip through completely undetected.

It’s the stealth sections which are particularly disappointing as the suit’s stealth mode, for the most part, allows Alcatraz to simply walk through the centre of a battlefield past several enemies and avoid confrontation of any kind. This leaves little point in trying to stealthily take out enemies as you can simply stroll past them all without breaking a sweat and during these sections the enemy AI really can have a shit fit, throwing punches at walls and running into closed doors because they heard some quiet footsteps. The suit apparently also offers super strength but this appears dubious when Alcatraz seems only to be able to throw grenades or objects a mere couple of feet. The power of the car-chucking agents in Crackdown it most certainly is not.

The main gun combat is incredibly standard fare with assault rifles, shotguns and sniper rifles aplenty. There are some heavier weapons that add a bit of punch, but nothing overly inspiring. The game has two enemy types; humans who hide behind things and get confused by stealth and hulking great alien brutes that charge full pelt towards you. There are big alien walkers that are a tough nut to crack, but become slightly boring after the 5th or 6th fight with them. Overall the game becomes incredibly repetitive towards the end and can feel more like a slog than a gripping experience.

Crysis 2 is very much a beautiful experience, but one that will leave you wanting on the gameplay front. Through all the visual polish and fairly standard combat lies a game that, on the surface, had great promise, but good lucks rarely come with a great personality and Crysis 2 simply doesn’t offer enough innovation or gripping story to be much more than the prettiest of an already fairly good looking bunch.

Alex Aldridge

GRAPHICS

Absolutely astounding and easily one of the finest graphical achievements in this generation.

10/10

GAMEPLAY

Combat is reasonably well done, but nothing truly exciting or astounding to set it apart from other FPS games. The suit doesn’t add as much as it should.

7/10

STORY

Tries to throw twists into the mix, but it’s wholly unoriginal and not very gripping with dialogue often muddled beneath the sound of gunfire.

6/10

REPLAYABILITY

The story won’t have you coming back for more and there are so few stand out moments of action that blow you away enough to visit again. Basic collecting is all on offer.

5/10

VALUE FOR MONEY AT

The incredible graphics really are a must see, but there is so little gameplay innovation that it can never be described as a must play.

£25

OVERALL

In a generation where every title is expected to look great, there surely must be more to gaming than eye candy alone and aside from the superb visuals, Crysis 2 is little more than a bog-standard shooter at best.

7.5/10

 

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