Crysis 2

January 11, 2012

Crysis 2 is the next part of the Crysis series (claimed to be a trilogy). In some ways, it’s similar to the original. Some characters and enemies are supposed to be the same, but there’s not much actual connection in the game. In other ways, it goes in a completely different direction.

The one word I would use to describe the game is “cinematic.” Even though it’s an FPS, you feel that you are in a movie instead of a computer game. That’s not necessarily bad, but it certainly is very diffent from a regular FPS.

Just watch this intro.

It is not exactly like the gameplay and there aren’t this kind of crazy jumps, but the feel and graphics of it is just like the game. If you don’t like this video, you’ll hate the game. If you like the video, you’ll love the game. And you can really do the thing shown in the video where you rip a heavy machine gun out of its stationary position and just walk around with it and wreak havok until its 150 rounds run out. In fact, that was my favorite maneuver.

A part of the cinematic feel is the sound score. It’s one of the better ones I’ve heard in games and I really like Hans Zimmer’s orchestral work here. Here’s the sound score from the above video as a soundalone piece.

Crysis 2 is blamed for the ongoing “consolification” of PC gaming. Saving only happens in checkpoints, and it is not a sandbox game—it is super linear. There’s some variance in places, but it’s minimal compared to the original Crysis. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing—it does reflect the evolution of gaming. In some ways, it is less involved and hardcore than the original Crysis. So if you want to have a genuine FPS experience, the original Crysis is a better bet. But if you want to see the future of entertainment, might not be a bad idea to pick up Crysis 2.

I do most of my gaming these days in Steam on both PC and Mac. This was not possible with Crysis 2 because there was some sort of copyright or distribution problem with EA and Steam, and the game was removed from Steam. You need to use EA’s own Origin app if you want to buy it digitally, and it’s a shitty experience compared to Steam. It was very confusing and the key only arrived a few hours after buying, not immediately like in Steam. In the end I did not care much about the social features or achievements, I just wanted the game, and Origin gets the job done from that perspective I guess. I would still prefer Steam.

The linear nature of the game doesn’t make it any easier. Some parts are crazy hard and the more difficult ones I had to play at least ten times or so. But then it shifts away from gaming where you have to plan your tactics against an unknown enemy and react to situations, and it’s more about memorizing the script, as the enemies come from fixed locations at fixed times, and you’re just beating the script then. It becomes a bit dull, but once you get through it, you again have a fresh situation that you can approach with new tactics.