Monday, 11 April 2011
Hey Gamers! Time for my Crysis 2 review! I know I've been very inactive of late, but I've had a lot going on, and posting has slipped my mind unfortunately; hopefully this makes up for it with this review! Now I know people don't really want to be reading a massive wall of text, so I will try make this as short as possible, highlighting the key points in the game, whether they be positives or negatives :)
Straight off the bat, this game was always likely to be an epic, following on from Crytek's massive success with the first in the series, back in 2007. When Crysis: Warhead came out, the expansion pack for Crysis, which was released in 2008, that wasn't anything short of an immense ride, either. However, prior to release, there were a few rumbles from gamers, in regards to the fact that Crytek may have dulled down the PC version too much so they could easily cater for the consoles at the same time, this giving the impression that Crytek were being lazy.. but this didn't end up being the case! Well, not totally anyway.
From what I have seen from all platforms, Crytek have done a sterling job! However, even though they didn't end up dulling down the graphics for our beloved PC platform as such, there were still certain restrictions in the way you could tailor Crysis 2 to suit your visual needs, which is slightly annoying if you're a graphics snob like myself. I wasn't best pleased to find that you could only edit the visuals in a general sense, giving you a drop down menu which contained choices ranging from High, Highest and Extreme (options may differ depending on your system.) There is absolutely no other way to change the settings officially. However, there has been a third party program released, that you can integrate into your Crysis 2 directory, which enables you to tweak almost everything within the game, before start-up; but I found that it doesn't work as well as if there were in-game options.
All restrictions aside though, the game looks fantastic and well polished, even down to the game's Menu. Even though the Anti-Aliasing settings within the game are virtually unknown, the "Extreme" settings seem to do a good enough job, automatically, in getting rid of unwanted 'step-ladder' effects around objects. I don't know what style of Anti-Aliasing is automatically used, but the game engine seems to blur the edges, subtly, so everything melds in quite nicely. The only downside to the Anti-Aliasing is that it doesn't make the game look as sharp as possible, but it still looks good because of the environment you're in; there's a lot of steam, smoke and dust floating about, so sometimes the fact that the game doesn't look as sharp as it could do, is hardly noticeable.
The animations, textures and lighting in this game all look spectacular. From gun reflections to collapsing terrain/buildings, you're always in awe of what Crytek have managed to achieve with their Cryengine; it seriously feels like you're in a Blockbuster movie at times, especially in the opening 20 minutes of the game.
The campaign's length is decent, could have been longer, but it's not a bad length at all; certainly not as bad as Homefront anyway, no where near! The voice acting and music score will always grab your attention and immerse you into your surroundings and the general mood of the game, keeping you glued to your seat and making you feel compelled not to quit before you've completed the game.. which would be very irresponsible and unhealthy, don't do it!
Now, there is a big downfall in the campaign, which is the AI, as per a lot of games. You will often find that the AI will make some questionable decisions in their tactics to try and take you down, whether it be firing and moving, or just getting into position. I witnessed that on many occasions, the AI will fire a few shots off, and then run into the most stupid spot ever, leaving them open to be fired upon; this is after they were already in adequate cover. Another thing I noticed was that when the AI are patrolling, they tend to walk into objects, and sometimes into other AI models.. it really took the attention away from the games realism, but I guess that getting the AI perfect in all video games is an ongoing battle for developers, and not just Crytek.
The gameplay in the campaign is fluid and stable. I didn't come across any problems at all when moving about, nor did I have any problems with weapon recoil or anything of the like, so there isn't really that much to say about it in this section, as in general, everything tied in with the gameplay in Crysis 2 is awesome.
If you played the first Crysis game, or Crysis: Warhead, you will know all about the Nano suit modules. There were plenty of suit options for you to play around with, including Speed, Strength, Armour and of course your Cloak; all of which were accessed from a selection wheel on-screen. In Crysis 2, they have taken away said selection wheel, and instead made a short-cut for just your Stealth and Armour modes. But don't worry, they haven't got rid of Speed or Strength as such, they have just melded it in with the Sprint button, and the Jump and Melee buttons. At first I was a bit disappointed, but then I got used to the idea and it really isn't that bad.. it's easier if anything! The Nano suit works well, I haven't really come across any imbalances or bugs, so thumbs up in that respect!
Last but not least, it's time for the multiplayer; it's pretty damn awesome. Let me just say, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Crysis 2 has your simple custom class load outs, with a few weapons to choose from (some which you must unlock, including attachments), a side-arm slot, a special grenade slot and three suit module slots (aka perks; one for each Armour, Stealth and Power slots). Crysis 2 Multiplayer is to-the-point, and it isn't overkill when it comes to choosing your equipment, like Black Ops is. There's a decent amount of equipment to choose from, but not too much, so you can select your things and get playing as soon as possible, with minimal time wasted; it's excellent.
The gameplay itself is fluid, much like the campaign. I didn't notice any major glitches in the multiplayer, nor did I notice any imbalance or massive connection issues, apart from one, which has been resolved now, but I will explain anyway. When I first attempted to enter the multiplayer menu, it asked me for my CD-key, which I duly delivered. However, I then entered a server for it just to kick me back into the menu, stating that I had lost connection. I restarted the game, clicked on the Multiplayer option, and it asked me to enter my CD-key again.. which I thought was very strange. I repeated the same process around about four times, and by then I knew that it wasn't a problem with my computer. After trawling through many forums myself, I was then pointed towards a helpful thread by a friend, which stated the following fix:
Enter the multiplayer menu, and input your CD-key. Once you have done that, and you're in the multiplayer section, go back to the main menu again. Re-enter the multiplayer, and re-enter your CD-key, if prompted to do so (if not, it doesn't matter). After this process has been completed, the game should work.
..and that it did work! So, I was finally all happy again and I went on my way to be all jolly and shoot people in the head and stuff.
Despite the aforementioned hiccup with the game server, the multiplayer does seem stable from my own experience, I've had no problems to note since then, thus making it pretty much perfect!
The game did have an auto-aim feature for the online, but it was removed by popular demand, luckily, so how well you play will all be down to skill, and skill alone; and that's pretty much it for my review! Hope you've enjoyed the read, and I would highly recommend you play this, whether you buy or rent it, for any platform you have at your expense.
Personally, I give this game a 9 out of 10. Epic visuals, fluid gameplay and a multiplayer feature to keep you entertained for a long time.
Take care guys and girls,