Crysis 2 is a game that I am sure many people were anticipating, and also skeptical about. While the first game had some hard core graphics it clearly was more of a visual benchmark than game at times. Going forward Crytek has made some changes to the formula, most for the better, and produced a high quality game that will not disappoint both fans of the original Crysis and FPS gamers in general.
GAMEPLAY - Single player
Right off the bat Crysis 2 doesn't hold much back. The campaign starts quickly and holds its pace fairly well throughout the near 12 hour SP campaign. If you played the MP Demo for Crysis 2 you will feel right at home with what changes have been made to the suit controls, as well as what to expect visually from the game and the AI itself. This game comes across as a solid shooter. During the campaign you will have many tools at your disposal to dispatch your foes including a variety of weapons, suit powers, environment items etc. The suit powers are very stream-line on the console version, having been mapped to your controller. Running automatically enables speed, while thumb buttons controlled the Armor and Stealth. You have the ability to customize your weapons load-out via unlocking mods you find throughout the campaign as well as upgrading your suit via contact with Alien DNA.
What impressed me the most about Crysis 2 was not actually the graphics, but the thought put into the gameplay. While enemy AI can be pretty stupid at times (I played on SOLDIER difficulty) the game gives you plenty of methods in which to tackle areas. You could stealth past everyone; stealth assassinate everyone; RAMBO your way though; use strength to toss enemies about or perhaps pick up an object and smash em with it. While the campaign has a typical "Linear" aspect to it, the variety at your disposal makes tackling the areas feel fresh each time and just a blast to change up your gameplay style.
Multi-Player: I have not tackled MP that much but from what I've played, expect your typical formula for MP in Crysis 2. If you played the MP demo then you would have an idea what to expect really. What I did like was the "custom class" concept where as using your unlocks you can create a unique build for Multi-Player. A nice little concept that keeps the MP feeling fresh I think.
Okay.. this is Crysis we're talking about so don't expect a riveting storyline like RPGs might bring to the table. The storyline isn't bad though as you could tell there was an effort put in to make a normal storyline here; It kind of is just enough to keep you occupied during cut-scenes and give you a good reason to go forward essentially. ** SOUND in this game is just awesome! I thought Killzone 3 had some wild sound effects, Crysis 2 pretty much takes the cake! The weapon sound effects are very quality, including the nice echo effects when firing rounds off in an open quiet area. The voice acting is 'average' I'd say. Not bad but not award winning acting either. The sound track this game has is mind blowing!! The tracks are very epic and will have your blood pumping from start to finish with how good the music sets the tone.
The graphics are stunning especially for a console game. Are they the best...hard to tell but then again I really have not seen a game best this game graphically. On the PC however this game is just insane. Running it at 1920x1080 w/ full setting will just blow your mind. Once you see it on the PC it becomes quite obvious that the console versions had stuff held back. Even with the graphics toned down they still do look great, but there are some small hickups. I found a few times the frame-rate chugged a little bit in high volume areas especially with fires or explosions. There is also some texture flickering going on in certain spots that are hard to ignore, also accompanied by texture pop-ins. For the graphical level this game pumps out I am not surprised though, especially once you see how large some areas can be. The alien design this time around I enjoyed. They had a lot more detail put into them and a better variety as well.
For the campaign, on soldier difficulty, it took me about 10-11 hours to complete. I was not rushing though the game and I mixed it up between stealth and Rambo style. I could see this campaign being about 11-13 hrs for people who LOVE stealth killing, or as short as 8 hours if you simply run past certain areas without bothering to fight. This puts the Length of the game at a decent length. There is plenty going on in the campaign and I could find myself playing through the campaign a few times more as the gameplay really lends itself to creativity/variety (a bit like Bulletstorm just without the Skill-Shot system). Throw in some decent MP that has some longevity to it and you got yourself a game that could easily last you well until the next big shooter hits the market.
OVERALL (93% 9.3/A-)
I gotta say this game is just the complete package. Having played Bulletstorm, Killzone 3 and Crysis 2 there is a clear line between all three games. Crysis 2 for me, falls in the category of a fantastic, long SP campaign with a solid MP setup. The gameplay has great variety to it and, in my opinion, worth revisiting a few times. The multi-player is quality, clearly not just *tacked on*, and it brings a lot of fun to the table making for even more variety in the game itself. I give Crysis 2 a 93%... It is a game well worth playing and adding to your FPS collection