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Thread: Crysis 2 [ PC]

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    dR Dazzler
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    Jan 2010

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    The Good
    Graphical marvel (Even with DirectX 9).
    DirectX 11 support and high resolution texture pack (Released in a patch).
    Good lengthy campaign.
    New mechanics in gameplay.
    Very well optimized.
    Detailed sound effects and good music.
    Multiplayer with a new touch.
    Variety of weapons to choose from.
    Customization in nano suit.
    A.I improvement specially aliens.
    The Bad
    Dumped down controls.
    No Sandbox.
    No proper settings for PC gamers (Fixed by a patch but should'nt be there in the first place).
    SLI/Crossfire Issues.
    Loads of bugs in multiplayer and connectivity.
    weak anti-cheat system.
    Since when did you heard the graceful sound of Superior Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) ? Since when did you cloaked yourself to silently kill an enemy and since when did you explored lush open environments ? if this all rings a bell then that bell is called Crytek's famous first person shooter Crysis, we were eagerly awaiting for the sequel of this Legend in FPS titles and finally we are blessed with Crysis 2, today I am going to write a review on this much awaited sequel and we'll see that whether its actually a blessing, a curse or something inbetween ?

    You might be wondering that the game has been released for quiet sometime now so why I am writing a review now, well there are two reasons first the nature of my job is very difficult so I don't find much time to write and even play games, secondly when Crysis 2 released it got critised for bugs and lots of issues as well as for missing DirectX 11 so I thought its not the right time to judge this game because as we all know Crytek is known as technology king in PC gaming so if such a company is doing some mistake we should give her one chance to rectify it, now since DirectX 11 is released as well as alot of patches that really improved the game I think its the right time to write a review.

    Welcome to the jungle... I mean New York.

    Crysis 2 starts from where Crysis 1 left us, to make things easier for console players to understand a few things happened in such a way that story of this sequel sounds like a new story for example important characters like Nomad and Psycho totally disappeared from Crysis 2 and in my opinion it was unnecessary, a little bit of information about them is available in game but I won't discuss it here, it looks like Crytek was trying its best to remove old tracks of Crysis in order to make things understandable for new comers, because about 90% characters you see in this game are totally new, even the protagonist of this game is a totally new character and Prophet just made a guest appearance so story wise it was a bit let down for PC gamers who were waiting for return of some nice and important characters.

    To summarize the important aspects of story, it revolves around New York city instead of lush open jungles, the city is under siege by the same aliens that appeared in Crysis 1 however they look different and slightly more intelligent. Prophet is assigned to save someone who looks like the only hope of man kind but the circumstances didn't allow him to continue and he has to pass his job to a totally new guy with strange name Alcatrez (Our new protagonist) who soon find out that actually he is the only hope of man kind because he has something that prophet gave him, on his mission to save mankind he found some new enemies as well as allies and unfolded many secrects about strange looking aliens as well.

    Crysis 2 is built on Crytek's flagship engine known as CryEngine 3, it is a direct successor to CryEngine 2 which was used in original Crysis and is still renowned for its graphical glory, according to Crytek CryEngine 3 has many optimizations and is superior in every way to CryEngine 2, it support features like HDR lighting, Deffered decals, Sun shadows, SSAO, Advanced character and facial rendering, Alpha test smoothing and the list goes on...

    DirectX 11 features include Tessellation, Displacement mapping, Sprite based Bokeh depth of field, Parallax occlusion mapping and some more...

    Game's interface looks a bit more simplified, there are less menus and options to view, even graphical customization was absent from PC version which was really bad, it got fixed with a recent patch but I still don't understand why it was'nt there.

    Crysis 2 looks beautiful even in Dx 9 mode

    Those who played Crysis 1 on PC will have mixed reactions about Crysis 2, sometimes you will think that the game is actually superior to Crysis 1 while other times you'll think that its inferior, here are some reasons that justify your mixed reactions.

    (Good reaction) - Crysis 2 is very well optimised with great visuals, and thus accessible to wider audience, it runs great on powerful PCs and good on mid range PCs which was impossible with Crysis 1. Crytek successfully transformed something which was called a benchmark tool into a real game, now it works flawlessly on most of the hardware and fans are happy about it.

    (Bad reaction) - The sandbox type of gameplay is taken away from Crysis 2, yes! now you don't have open jungles to explore and ten ways of approaching an objective instead Crysis 2 is very linear compared to Crysis 1, Crytek can give it fancy names like Urban Sandbox but the fact remains same, it has less freedom than Crysis 1. I partially blame this on console's limited hardware due to which guys at Crytek didn't showed us their full creative abilities and partially on those PC gamers who just went crazy on Crytek and regarded Crysis 1 as a benchmark tool or tech demo instead of a high end game.

    (Good reaction) - Crysis 2 has better A.I then its predecessor, specially aliens are very intelligent and reactive to your actions, better A.I means better challenge and thus better gameplay.

    (Bad reaction) - Controls have been consolodized to some extent for example now you don't have speed mode instead when you sprint its considered that you are in speed mode which is awkward, speed mode was one of my favorite suit mode in Crysis 1 because it allowed me to quickly approach and surprise enemies as well as to run away from a hot zone. Controls are also less reactive now for example I experienced some lag in controls specially during switching of weapons and throwing gernades.

    (Good reaction) - Crysis 2 has very addictive multiplayer mode, which is both fun and challenging. I will discuss about multiplayer in detail below.

    (Bad reaction) - Many PC gamers went beserk about the fact that Crysis 2 was only available in DirectX 9 while the original Crysis 1 was available in both DirectX 9 and 10, this not only disappointed fans of Crysis 2 with high end gaming rigs but it also contradicted Crytek's claim that CryEngine 3 is actually superior to CryEngine 2... Well this was a consequence of Crytek's multiplatform development idea specially because uptill now they had no idea about how to work on multiplatform games so Crysis 2 suffered from their decision, but they soon realized this and released a DirectX 11 patch for PC gamers with high resolution texture pack as well, surprisingly the game looks much better now and also performs decently, now I call it a well optimized great looking PC game.

    Crysis 2 didn't conquered any hill but managed to stay somewhere close

    Crysis 2 also has some new and interesting concepts like now you can stealth kill an enemy if you manage to approach your enemy from behind silently, this is great for stealth lovers who don't like to spray bullets and take a stealthy approach. You can also slide while sprinting that allows you to quickly take cover or kill enemies while sliding, great and stylish move for action oriented players.

    Hey dude ! turn your neck around and see my suit

    Crysis 2 also has an enhanced visor mode that allows the nano suit wearer to exploit tactical advantages arising in combat situations for example you can turn on your visor mode to look for ammo stashes if you are low on bullets or gernades, you can also use this mode to look for an alternate route to flank a heavily defended position or it can help you in locating an elevated area from where you can throw a gernade with maximum precision. I call it a mode that encourage you to explore.

    Give an edge to yourself with enhanced visor mode

    Crysis 2 now also has a nano vision, that allows the player to detect enemies with the help of heat signatures emiting from their bodies, this is basically thermal vision but a fancy name does'nt hurt isn't it ? its very helpful in detecting enemies from far away and it is a great tool to be used in multiplayer to detect enemies in stealth mode.

    To give a sense of customization, Crytek introduced nanosuit 2.0 in Crysis 2, apart from basic suit modes like armor and stealth that allows you to confront unavoidable odds it has some story related special features (which I won't spoil) and on the fly customization modules, these modules allow you to modify your nanosuit according to your play style for example stealthy or cautious players can buy a proximity detector module which alerts them if an enemy is nearby, another module known as air combat allow the players to land a powerful stomp on ground that knocks off nearby enemies a must have choice for action players, apart from these there are many other modules you can buy for your nanosuit 2.0 and you need a unique currency to buy them which is called nano catalyst, this extremely rare substance drops from alien tissues which you get by killing aliens and the amount varies depending on the alien type you're killing, so don't forget to get these catalysts when you bust an alien.

    There you are ! Mr. Noobtastic

    Gun fights in Crysis 2 are equally interesting as they were in Crysis 1, and with improved A.I you'll feel a bit more challenged and thus have to adapt in order to tacle changing combat situations, for example there are times when you get overwhelmed by enemy soldiers or aliens... well in such a situation you have a variety of approaches to take like you can become a sniper and hunt down each and every foe one by one or you can use a mounted HMG to blast your way through them, you can also take steathy approach and kill them one by one silently and if all this is difficult for you, you can just ignore them (Ahem! Clock Engaged).

    There are many weapons that you'll find in Crysis 2 some are old while some are new. A welcoming addition is the SCARB rifle which I personally like very much as its light weight and has good precision and sounds like SCAR, another good change in guns is that Gauss rifle is now a sniper rifle instead of a shotgun type which always felt inaccurate and overpowered, the role of Gauss as a sniper rifle is very nice as it feels authentic and powerful... unfortunately you'll get this weapon very late in game.

    With a HMG in my hand I bust everything to sand

    Combat is improved to some extent, enemies now try to flank and approach you silently. They also melee attack you if they get in range, aliens on the other hand are very deadly; they try to get close to you as quickly as possible, some alien types also turn on a powerful sheild in order to block incoming bullets (something similar to your armor mode) while some use heavy rocket launchers and guns to attack you from distance and YES ! they can smell you in stealth mode which means if you're careless then they'll sense your presence even in stealth. Things at your end are also very interesting for example you can stealth kill not only humans but also aliens with some practice. You can also pack your entire suit energy into one poweful kick or punch that instantly kills an enemy (most of the time). You can also detach heavy machine guns from vehicles or gun posts, something we didn't saw in Crysis 1. Using environment for your advantage is also a possibility for example you can fire on explosive barrels to blast them near enemies or you can power kick a car to crush an enemy with it, one good thing about destoyed New York city is that it has alot of unused cars lying here and there.

    Talking about New York city, it is a fact that it has less freedom than open jungle but it does'nt mean its not exciting, Crytek pumped impressive amount of detail in this game. Even the deserted city looks beautiful and has some areas that encourage exploration and obstacles, walls and buildings are placed in such a way that they allow you to take cover and play hide and seek with enemies which is fun. There is decent amount of variety in locations as well which keeps the interest going. Level of destruction and physics are lowered considerably which is a disappointment for PC fans.

    New York city.... A beautiful ghost town

    Sound is fairly decent with good music. Effects have good bit of detail in them specially if you listen them on right equipment, I mean listening to action and music on 7.1 surround system or home theater can boost your spirit to fight... I felt it myself you can even hear sound of deflecting bullets in armor mode as well as perfect sound of your combat knife sliding inside flesh of your foe when you make a stealth kill, however issues like some choppiness or say delay in effects (like gernade exploding first and sound coming few milliseconds later - you can notice it) and some inaccurate gun sounds keeps the quality away from the word "Great".

    Coming to multiplayer Crysis 2 have a strong and rare multiplayer, unfortunately it is plagued by cheaters and issues like connectivity problems and some lags during play sessions, Crytek managed to fix most of the bugs but some are still there. Crytek also tightened their anti-cheat system but it is nowhere near PunkBuster, cheaters are still there and they annoy good players. I usually encounter 3 - 4 cheaters daily with aimbots, stealth hack, speed hack etc and to be honest it is killing Crysis 2 Multiplayer, Crytek must do something about it.

    Multiplayer has many modes like Deathmatch and Team Death Match dubbed as Instant Action and Team Instant Action respectively, other modes include capture the relay, hack the terminals as well as capture the crash site and some more... The game has 12 nicely designed multiplayer maps on which you can play these modes and tons of unlocks such as weapons, suit modules (each with 3 upgrade levels), and dog tags that give you a unique identity.

    Instant Action gives you a limited time in which you have to do most kills to win the match. Team Instant Action divides the players into two teams and there is a predefined kill count which both teams have to reach, the team who manage to reach the count first wins.

    I'll attend your funeral in stealth mode

    In capture the relay you have to steal the relay from enemy base and bring it to your base in order to score a point, the enemy also do the same. Team work is essential in this mode as agile and stealth players are tasked with stealing the relay while the players who like to fight must defend their relay and the person who's carrying enemy relay.

    Hack the terminals (I forgot original name of this mode) assign roles to both teams such that one is defender team and the other is attacker, the defenders carry heavy weapons but no nano suit while the attackers wear nano suit but only have pistols, in this mode the attacker team should hack terminals located at different positions of map to score points while the defenders are required to protect these terminals.

    Capture the crash site is one of the most exiting multiplayer mode in my opinion, while some say its just capture the flag with different name I quiet disagree, well IT IS capture the flag but the flag is not stationary, instead from time to time the flag (or crash site) is moving all over the map and both teams are running towards the changing locations and according to location you have to change your strategy, some locations are open thus making you an easy target for enemy snipers while other locations are confined allowing campers to make good home, it is very unique and challenging mode.

    What really spice the things up is the suit you have at your disposal, you can use various modes creatively to defeat your enemies, you cannot just run and gun to win matches; you need to be very familiar with your suit to actually win a fight for example there are players out there who most of the time stay in cloak mode and think they are safe but the fact is they're not because intelligent players use nano vision to spot hidden enemies and quickly finish them, there are some players who climb on rooftops and wait for oppurtunity to do a deadly stomp, while some just try to play Call of Duty tricks and die constantly and then say the multiplayer sucks ! I myself admit that when I started multiplayer I felt like "What the heck is this ?" but after knowing my play style and getting used to nanosuit I found multiplayer to be very enjoyable, now I am a level 42 soldier on ranked servers and good enough to kick asses most of the time with my X43 MIKE.

    Hell yeah ! its nice to be on top

    Finally I would like to say that the sequel's launch didn't went well but slowly the game is shaping up into what it should be at release time, it is something from which Crytek can learn and is learning already for example since the release of game Crytek showed some quick hardwork in fixing the game, help yourself in deciding:

    About 9 patches with major bug fixes.
    DirectX 11 Pack.
    High Resolution Texture Pack.
    Crysis 2 Sandbox 3 Editor (Mod Kit).

    I won't call Crysis 2 an overhyped shooter because honestly overhyped games are those that keep throwing same stuff at people and people still worship them (**cough** Mo*der*n War** cough** far*e 3). Even with bugs, issues etc Crysis 2 still show signs of innovation and promise. To be very honest it is not a bad game at all however the standards set by Crytek with PC exclusive Crysis 1 were too high to be broken even by Crytek herself because this time their strategy was different, they went for multi platform instead of PC exclusive but if they learn something from it then it wasn't a bad decision not to mention it made the game available to more audience.

    I hope you enjoyed my review. Thanks for reading.

    The series took some damage but managed to take cover just in time

    Value/Worth: 8.5/10
    Crysis 2 has a fairly lenghty single player campaign with different difficulty modes. It also has a valuable multiplayer with 50 ranks to achieve as well as lots of weapons and suit modules to unlock.

    Graphics: 8.8/10
    First impression is the last impression, you see graphics first then play and listen the game , even with older technology such as DirectX 9 Crysis 2 manage to impress gamers with its beautiful graphics, not to mention that DirectX 11 push graphics to the next level.

    Sound: 8.0/10
    Crysis 2 manage to keep itself together with decent sound effects and good music, however the music does not come close to Crysis 1.

    Gameplay: 8.5/10
    While some features of Crysis 1 are missing from Crysis 2 but addition of new features and gameplay mechanics keeps the blood flowing.

    Multiplayer: 8.8/10
    Innovative and stylish multiplayer shows alot of promise, not to mention different modes, weapons, suit modules add additional value to the Multiplayer. Cheaters are the only annoyance that keeps multiplayer away from a score of 9.0.

    Lasting Appeal: 8.0/10
    Crysis 2 is not a breakthrough in FPS genre but interesting concepts like suit modes, new gameplay mechanics, multiplayer with a different taste, lots of modules for nano suit to customize your gameplay both in single player and multiplayer as well as optimized engine with great graphics makes Crysis 2 a good show.

    Overall: 8.8/10
    It deserved an 8.0 at the time of release but Crytek is really working hard on this game to make things right, valuable additions like DirectX 11, proper PC settings, high resolution textures and a much desired Mod kit are making this game a proper PC release.



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