March 31, 2011

Crysis 2… Second Take


You all have prob­a­bly read my ini­tial impres­sions of Cry­sis 2 and it’s Mul­ti Play­er demo and I was very harsh on it.  My ini­tial com­plaints were the con­soliza­tion of the title and the lack of effort showed with­in the demo. Against what I thought was my bet­ter judge­ment I decid­ed to pick up the game from Intkeys.   I made the assump­tion that the final prod­uct would be just as bad.  If there is one thing I’ve learned from work­ing in the IT indus­try for the last 6 years its to NEVER assume things.  That being I am forced to take back what I said about the demo.  Is Cry­sis 2 a con­solized title?  In a way yes… it has been heav­i­ly stream­lined to appeal to con­sole audi­ences but that does­n’t make it a bad game.
Cry­sis to PC gamers is what Halo is to Xbox.  PC gamers want­ed a new graph­ics bench­mark and what they got was­n’t nec­es­sar­i­ly what they expect­ed.  I’m going to call this out now before any­one starts com­plain­ing about this game not tear­ing up their sys­tem.  Cry­sis was one of the most hor­ri­bly opti­mized games in his­to­ry which is why it took sys­tems so many years to final­ly be able to play it at max set­tings.  This isn’t to say Cry­sis was­n’t graph­i­cal­ly demand­ing but that com­bined with the lack of opti­miza­tion made it hard to run on the sys­tems of the day.  Cry­sis 2 on the oth­er hand is incred­i­bly opti­mized… every­thing from the con­trols to the cod­ing behind the scenes.  I’m run­ning Phe­nom II X 965, 8GB DDR3, with an Radeon 5870 and I could max the game ful­ly with the release set­tings on extreme.
Graph­i­cal­ly Cry­sis 2 is just as gor­geous as it’s pre­de­ces­sor but in a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent way. The orig­i­nal Cry­sis took place in a vast jun­gle team­ing full of gor­geous wildlife where in con­trast Cry­sis 2 takes place in a city.  One could say Cry­sis was a pret­ti­er game and they would be right.  That’s because a trop­i­cal par­adise is going to be pret­ti­er then any major city, hands down, ever time.  You can’t even com­pare the two.  Could Cry­sis 2 of been bet­ter in the graph­ics depart­ment? Cer­tain­ly.  Cry­sis 2 was tout­ed to fea­ture Direct X11 which is sup­posed to take PC graph­ics into the future.  How­ev­er near release Direct X11 was removed from the prod­uct.   It was then announced that Direct X11 would be added at a lat­er date.  The inter­est­ing thing is Nvidia was sure it was a done deal the DX11 would be released in tan­dem with their GTX  590.  How­ev­er they recent­ly stat­ed that they aren’t sure if Direct X11 will be released at all for Cry­sis 2.  Regard­less, even with­out Direct X11 Cry­sis 2 awes you with it’s visu­als.  Mas­sive build­ings col­laps­ing, bridges falling, explo­sions, and very real­is­tic burn­ing fires real­ly add to the eerie atmos­phere which is Cry­sis 2.
Cry­sis 2 sin­gle play­er is where the game real­ly shines.  While the game starts off slow it real­ly picks up near the mid­dle and takes off from there.  Cry­sis 2 has stream­lined how you han­dle your suit pow­ers and it real­ly lets you focus on the game instead of the radi­al menus that you had to mess with in the orig­i­nal.  The one thing that real­ly stood out to me with Cry­sis 2 was the length of the cam­paign.  Need­less to say I was expect­ing a 4 hour adven­ture that has become com­mon in today’s FPS mar­ket place.  The most recent releas­es of COD:BO, MW2, BC2 and Home­front all fol­low this and then shove you into the mul­ti­play­er.  Cry­sis 2’s cam­paign rings in about 12 hours depend­ing on how you play it.  I tend to take a lit­tle longer to play as I like to wipe out the ene­my instead of sneak­ing around them and as such… I die alot.  That being said Cry­sis 2 can be played in mul­ti­ple ways all of which will be enjoy­able to dif­fer­ent types of peo­ple.  Addi­tion­al­ly you can upgrade your suit as your progress through the game.  Suit upgrades can be pur­chased by using Nano Cat­a­lysts dropped by dead ene­mies.
Over­all Cry­sis 2 is a suc­cess espe­cial­ly in the sin­gle play­er depart­ment.  Cry­sis 2 cam­paign is bet­ter than Cry­sis in about every way.  It’s more focused, intense and mov­ing then its pre­de­ces­sor and you actu­al­ly feel for the char­ac­ter unlike the orig­i­nal.  I actu­al­ly found myself com­par­ing him to Shad­ow of the Colos­sus in the sense of as you progress through the sto­ry the main char­ac­ters body is get­ting slow­ly destroyed.  Sev­er­al scenes with­in Cry­sis 2 point to pain and agony the games is prob­a­bly going through much like SOTC’s pro­tag­o­nist is slow­ly dying through­out the game.
Over­all I loved Cry­sis 2 which is a com­plete sur­prise to me.  I start­ed the game and couldn’t put it down until I fin­ished and I actu­al­ly found myself want­i­ng to play it again once I beat it.  In my opin­ion Cry­tec should of used Cry­sis 2 to show­case what Direct X11 could real­ly do.  While Cry­sis 2 is a great game in many aspects it’s held back from being a land­mark title by a few issues.  One of which is the lack of Direct X11 but in addi­tion to that there are sev­er­al small issues such as tex­ture blur­ring and AI prob­lems.  I can recall sev­er­al occa­sions where ene­my and friend­ly AI were sit­ting right next to each oth­er… nei­ther one shoot­ing at me or each oth­er.  It was like they were best buds from high school.  While this is amus­ing it is dis­tract­ing and can be real­ly annoy­ing at times.  There were also sev­er­al times where you would be shoot­ing an ene­my AI and his bud­dy would just stand there like noth­ing was hap­pen­ing.  Cry­sis 2 is a great game even though it is held back by sev­er­al issues.  I would sug­gest that you pick up a copy if for noth­ing oth­er than the sin­gle play­er.


1 comment

  1. PimpmasterF - April 2, 2011 9:05 am

    I was pleasent­ly sur­prised with Cry­sis 2 giv­en the damn­ing hype the PC com­mu­ni­ty was build­ing pri­or to its release. Was it shit­ty that its a port and lack­ing the promised DX11, yea it is. How­ev­er it looked great regard­less and is one of the smoothest run­ning ports Ive ever played so they clear­ly took time to opti­mize it before release. I high­ly enjoyed it, and am look­ing for­ward to play­ing it again with DX11, now if they scrap DX11 all togeth­er I will lose a shit ton of respect for Cry­tek, its bad enough to sell out, and even worse to aban­don all focus on some­thing that made them huge to begin with, that being the PC com­mu­ni­ty’s sup­port for the first cry­sis.

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