Wot I Think: Crysis 2

By Jim Rossignol on March 26th, 2011 at 1:50 pm.

Some kind of metaphor.
Crysis 2 is now available in both Europe and North America. The sequel to the Crytek’s PC-only 2007 technology showcase FPS, Crysis, it’s one of the most intensely anticipated games of 2011. And it’s now multi-platform, too. What does that all mean for us?

Well, it’s a given that many computer dudes will get shot, but just how good is the shooting? And should this sparkling sci-fi spectacle be sat at the top of your shopping list? (Probably.) Here’s Wot I Think.

There seems little reason to pretend that Crysis 2 is anything much without its visuals. The engine is still the star here, even with DX9 and low-res textures. We’re all too familiar with that that means: another linear shooter that we can’t help but gawp at, amazed by the next incremental step on the road towards some of kind of as-yet-unimagined graphical climax of the distant future. Of course it’s what Crytek did with that engine that really makes all the difference, and it was a couple of hours into the game before I finally accepted that – okay – they had more than technical talent. There are moments of vision.


(Odd, then, that the PC version should limit the graphics options to the resolution and a generic detail setting. To really mess with the technology you need to play around in the console, just like the good old days. There’s a list of possible commands here, and with those you can tweak particle effects, post-processing, field of view, and so on. The fidelity here is awesome, and playing around with it on a high end machine is a little intoxicating.)

Yes, so, that vision. This is a game of destroying New York. You don’t get to destroy much of it yourself, of course, but you do get to see it destroyed in vivid detail. The corridors you walk through in this shooter aren’t pixelly gothic tubes, but highly-detailed intricate shattered trenches within the hazy, glass and concrete canyons of Manhattan. The game seems to enjoy outdoing the last apocalyptic perspective it has thrown you to, with it taking quite some time to really hit its stride and amaze you with the very particles in the air, and the massive tangle of mangled city that hangs all around you. There are a couple breath-taking moments in there.


As pure spectacle Crysis 2 is remarkable. Sitting down to push through it is like digesting half a dozen sci-fi disaster movies in a single sitting. And it does err on the side of cinematic. I lost count of the number of time my character was thrown through walls and windows, or dropped through collapsing streets, or otherwise smashed and hurled and battered by wall-bending, flesh-blistering forces beyond his control. In fact, while there are a few cutscenes in the game – most notably the annoying FMV credits sequence at the start – there are far more times when you become the game’s first-person puppet, and are helplessly thrown into rivers, or fires, or nightmare alien mega-structures. They’re all dramatic moments, but I think you know why I’m telling you about them.

Anyway, yes, the alien mega-structures. This sort of underpins the destruction. While you’ve got New York being ripped apart by conflict, what is doing the damage on a tectonic level is a tentacular vastness of alien monstrosity which is coming up from below. It’s not immediately clear what’s going on with this, but the final scenes are all about that reveal, and it’s actually far more intense and interesting than anything in the rest of the storyline. Crysis 2′s human dramas are all too predictable, and often a little irritating. The cast includes two different non-descript military men, one good and one bad, and that should give you some idea of the tone of the story-telling.


Yes, the plot is lengthy, and its villains are rather wooden. Yet that matters only a little to the overall experience, because everything is either about the extravagant destruction of amazing environments, or simply an excuse to put you “post-human” abilities into battle. Crytek seem to have realised that the best thing about the original game was the idea of the suit itself – a quasi-organic armour enhancement system called The Nanosuit. They have made the entire sequel hang on that idea. The plot is essentially about the nature of the suit, and the mechanics of play are all about you being super-human, thanks to your integration with the suit. As you progress the suit even evolves (and you get to choose some of that through an upgrade system.)

Your character, Alcatraz, is a faceless, voiceless anyman. He might might as well be the suit itself and – by the end of the game – perhaps he is. Where you will be focusing, however, is on how the suit gets you through Crysis 2′s hours of intense gunfoolery. The abilities are a little different this time, too. It remains true that using any element of the suit depletes a reservoir of energy, but the super strength is now essential always on. You can jump twelve feet in the air at will, and punch like the same number of Mike Tysons. Running also depletes the suit energy, and you – naturally – have the range of a fat man with a horse on his back. Absurd, but consistent with the conventions of not allowing players to just run past all the fighting.


Which is a little odd, actually, as you can bypass an enormous amount of the fighting simply by stealthing up. Two thirds of the way into the game and I was generally skipping the most laborious battle-scenes by cloaking and wandering past my adversaries. Entirely valid, of course, but it does mean that you don’t have to face a large chunk of the fight that the game pits you against. Stealth, for me, became the primary ability within the game, precisely because of how the enemy AI worked. Enemies track you until they lose sight of you and – with them relying on this line of sight at all times – means that ducking behind cover, cloaking, and then flanking them is almost always the optimal tactic.

Not that it’s the only tactic, of course. You can armour up and just take stuff head-on. This is inevitable in certain situations, and the awesome range of weaponry the game provides (ammo boxes litter the city and spill over like Halloween buckets with the confectionery of light armament) means you can deal firm death to Crysis 2′s enemies, human and alien alike.


I say firm, because the game feels firm. The combat is brawny and sometimes brilliant. You are powerful, and can grab and throw anything around you, including being and to kick and flip cars over. It’s one of those situations in which the “feel” of the game is extremely tight. The audio-visual feedback from every action, from vaulting a wall to firing a shotgun, is remarkably solid, and the game is even more palpable and believable than the original. I’d go far as to say that in terms of banishing general floatiness and disconnectedness from its experience of movement and combat, Crysis 2 is the prime achiever among all FPS games. Enemies are always dangerous, too. You have to use cover, and to manipulate the suit, because anyone could do enough damage to kill you. It’s never outlandishly difficulty to beat, but the sense of threat is good. Crysis 2 is a game is perpetual hit and run, rather than a hit-point tank. (Although there are some on-rails shooty bits for the over-the-top explodo-murder, too.)

Another lesson learned from the original game is that all enemies need to be terrestrial, even if they are alien. That is, even the “Ceph” (aka Squid) are now humanoid, and – while they leap about the scenery like giant shiny cat-robots – they are essentially connected to the ground. I am not sure why something that walks should be more satisfying to defeat that something that flies, but it is. The Ceph make for an excellent second tier baddy beyond the standard pseudo-corporate agency soldiers of “Cell” that you encounter in your initial firefights. The Ceph come in standard flavour, ninja flavour, and in super-heavy badass flavour, meaning that any single fight can demand a variety of tactics and weapons to be resolved. The enemies are generally fired in from overhead Ceph dropships, too, which is a bit Halo (as much about the Ceph is reminiscent of the Covenant) but it certainly works both as an impressive visual motif, and as a mechanism for bringing more enemies into any given fight.


There are also giant boss robots.

I’ve only played a couple of hours of the multiplayer, but I’m pleased with how it has felt so far. (Although it clearly needs some patching to fix various reported issues.) The game modes play around with the idea of the suit versus normal soldiers, and it seems to fit against the backdrop of the single-player. I’m thinking of setting an RPS server for some Crysis 2 MP, so maybe we’ll talk about this at that time.

There are some problems, of course. One is that the save system is checkpoint based. I hate that. There’s no excuse for it. Once you’re through you can replay from any of the autosaved checkpoints, or select any individual mission, which is great, but I’d still prefer a quicksave system. It doesn’t massively impair the experience, but there were a couple of times I knew I wanted to save, and couldn’t, and it was frustrating. This, and the limted graphics options, seem like the main evidence of the shared developmental heritage.


It’s not without some rough edges, too. I saw some massive AI fails with baddies wandering into scenery when they should have been fighting, as well as a few glitches (physics randomness, an occasional flickering texture or broken particle effect.) There are times when voice-overs play over each other because you rushed the events and forced the scripting ahead of itself, and there’s a bit where a building falls over and it’s possible to awkwardly clip through the gap in the middle, before dying. Minor things, but readily apparent from a single playthrough. Expect another patch soon.

Ultimately, though, this is a moderately magnificent game. (Apart from those moments where it’s a game about being stuck in a room listening to people talk. Why do you do that, developers? Why?) In its campaign mode it is a straightforwardly linear shooter, and fenced in by all the scripting and expectations of that genre, but I can’t help feel that its setting and scope are far more interesting and entertaining than any of the modern military shooters. Sure, it has moments of nonsense and the villain might as well be wearing an “I’m With Evil” tee, but that’s all vindicated. Just the destruction of Manhattan, and Crytek’s vision of that, is worth playing this for. It’s far more inventive and intelligent than I expected, and even though none of the combat was genuinely challenging (at least on normal difficulty) the capacity to leap, slide, vault, mantle, (even lean, in a context-based way) and actually explore little bits of the environment make this entertaining to play with. Its visual spectacle is already being undermined by the awesomeness of the Battlefield 3 previews, perhaps, but for now it’s a kind of high point. I recommend it.

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397 Comments »

  1. Benjamin L. says:

    Well dang, if Rossignol recommends this manshoot, I may have to reconsider my lack of interest in it.

    • tanith says:

      I don’t.
      Will be skipping ea and crytek products out of principle.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      and what principle would that be?

    • Premium User Badge KindredPhantom says:

      The principle of he doesn’t want to enjoy the delights of a fun and visually pleasing FPS?

    • subedii says:

      I have interest in the title, but before anything else there’s no way that I’m willing to buy it until they give me a freaking options menu.

      Say what you want, but that’s just basic, and I’m not really intent on encouraging other devs to drop things like that because “nobody wants them”.

      I haven’t exactly got a shortage of titles of interest in the coming months here.

    • karry says:

      “visually pleasing”

      Only if you bother to manually hit all the console switches every time you run it. Textures and shadows on “max detail” are lower res than in Crysis1.

    • noobnob says:

      There is a graphics options menu, but it’s user made.

    • coldvvvave says:

      Repetitive and tedious shooting of withehazardsuitmens is fun?

    • Beardface says:

      Even without the custom graphic options this is an absolutely gorgeous game.

    • Jamison Dance says:

      @karry: Sorry friend, but I have to call you out on your bogus misinformation. Setting the graphics option to the highest level accomplishes the exact same thing as turning everything up to 3 on the console.

      On a related note, there is a staggering amount of hatred and misinformation being throw about by PC gamers regarding this game. In this case, some people are definitely living up to accusations of “PC elitist.” I have seen people with legitimate complaints, but I have also seen people whining about no 64-bit executable, as if the game is hampered by not being able to use more than 4GB of RAM.

    • Dervish says:

      [deleted]

    • molten_tofu says:

      Aw, but the console and .ini files is the whole REASON I still play PC games. If I wanted a less inspired but functional experience I would buy a console.

    • Ringwraith says:

      If you care that much about the graphics and want them to far surpass the console versions, there’s a patch on the way with all the monstrously high-end shininess if you fancy putting your computer to the test.

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      I don’t really think there’s all that much to complain about at this point. I was initially worried that we’d get a straight port of the Console version (in terms of graphics), I’ve now seen a comparison and we most certainly haven’t. I was disappointed about the lack of graphics options but as usual the pc community have said bugger that and created our own graphics menu, and guess what Crysis 2 is a real machine killer when fully unlocked.

      I think the only remaining legitimate complaint is the lack of modding support, but if Crytek are serious about pushing the Engine as a legitimate competitor I wouldn’t be surprised if we them release the engine as a rival to UDK before the end of 2012. especially since I don’t think they’re guna get much joy pushing the engine on the console side this Gen, as those deals have already been done a long time ago. If the publishers haven’t done a deal with Epic for the unreal 3/3.5 engine, they have their own in house engines and aren’t going to want to switch either way. Still not the same as modding support as creating a game and a mod for a game are quite different processes in some respects with the barrier of entry on the former being much higher.

    • Premium User Badge KindredPhantom says:

      @coldvvvave

      Yes, I do.

    • DrGonzo says:

      One of the recent patches added more graphics settings into the menus. I’m guessing they will be adding more in the future, so to be fair to them they are responding to the communities criticism, which really is something.

    • GoodPatton says:

      @JohnnyMaverik: I wanted to agree with you but within the first hour and a half that I’ve played the game I’ve come across more bugs than I experienced in the entirety of Crysis 1. Poor AI aside I’ve seen NPC troops spawn directly in-front of me, I’ve fallen through the floor, outside of the game world, seen disappearing animations and more floating objects than I can count. I haven’t experienced any major bugs (such as crashes or hangs) but I feel like it is practically inevitable if I try. I love Crytek but this release I must say is quite a disappointment.

    • Dhatz says:

      bad old days, theres a utility (v1.5) for config: http://www.incrysis.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=33008

    • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

      Well, if someone is interested, here’s my short review after going though campaign on Veteran and playing 1 day on MultiPlayer (MP).

      1) Campaign
      Well, it’s long…. yawn… long and boring. On Veteran difficulty unless bugs kill your life it isn’t any challenge. These big badass aliens are a bit of challenge, but other than this – not really. It’s so damn linear that you remind yourself the old days, ’98, when you got games which were limited by invisible walls 5 meters right and 5 meters left. The whole storyline is a bit crazy, there’s no objective and no purpose for you other than “go and do what they tell to ya” – In Crysis 1 you were part of a team and on performance their life depended… or at least: game made you feel so. Here? They tell you that auto-magically your suit vaporises aliens if you enter some water inside of their big building-alike spikes. It’s bit ridiculous in first place, but in general – you just go along the line wherever these insane people throw you.
      On a positive site – game has dozens of small sweet or weird moments, like text “god save us all” on the screenshot – or many others (a shadow of guy masturbating behind the cover, lol).
      On a negative side – AI almost never works well, there are so many glitches that it’s beyond human understanding. Also there’s no option for you to drive vehicles like it used to be or choose tactics – actually: Through entire option you have only 2 scenarios – go stealth, or go armor. Stealth you use when there’s too many aliens and you don’t have patience for shooting their back, while tank you use for CELL soldiers. Crysis was turn from tactical game into Call of Duty-alike scripted shooter. Destruction of New York you wanted to see? Well, there’s almost nothing of it. Few scyscrapers collapse… like 3 or 4 if I remember well. Also park get’s broken, but it’s not really spectacular for more than 10 seconds while you watch the process and fly in helicopter around it.
      The characters – well, these were dumbed-down beyond any reason. As far as Crysis 1 had flawed character development – this game takes everything what was worst in first game and puts together. So the main guy, Alcatraz, is soulless dude which behaves like an idiot, even when asked directly a question sits quiet. Other characters are bit better, but never the less they are unbelievably predictable – through whole storyline there’s almost nothing that would surprise you. Also they don’t act in any way to distinguish themselves – if not the names on uniforms they could be random dudes you meet on your journey in any other game.

      2) Multiplayer
      A reason I bought full version. People who don’t like it tell it’s a COD duplicate – but I enjoy it never the less… try to enjoy it, cause currently the game doesn’t work at all. Multiplayer is broken, EA forums are full of people crying. I was able to play yesterday, got huge problems on Friday, and today I can’t play at all. Assuming that one day they gonna fix it, and fix the lag issues, and fix the stats which don’t get saved – it’ll be nice fast-placed shooter. But it has few flaws:
      1) No vehicles of any kind for you to drive. So… if you liked one of best part of previous game, the Combined Arms domain – here you can forget about it.
      2) It’s grinding for most of time. Get XP, get new attachment, get more XP, and so on till you reach maximum level – will you enjoy the game after that? I don’t know cause for now most of the fun is in getting new items and trying them out. If it’ll be gone I’m afraid it’s gonna be boring.
      3) Maps are too small. Most of maps is made for 8vs8 games, while hosting even 16vs16 matches. What does it mean? You’ll die a lot without knowing what happen or you’ll die 2 seconds after spawn. A LOT.
      4) Nanosuit…. feels like it wouldn’t be there at all. It can’t even survive grenade below it with armor-more on, while single shot in head mean instant death. It’s silly. Makes problem 3 even more annoying cause you can’t escape from spawn location even despite of using armor mode. (and – no, it’s not problem with my skill – in 90% of games I’m in top-3 of scoreboard, often getting K:D ratio about 3:1)
      5) Lack of Power Struggle – one of best gamemodes ever made, from Original Crysis now got erased for no reason and doesn’t have any replacement. I’m gonna slap EA in the face if they’ll release it as a paid DLC
      6) Game is clearly made pro-paid MP DLCs. You even have store in multiplayer section of they game. In protest for poor quality of the product I plan not to buy a single thing from them!

      3) Conclusion
      Crysis 2 from exceptional game being it’s precursor, both in terms of graphics and tactical gameplay become just yet another shooter. If you like to play shooters a lot – you most likely gonna buy this game anyway. If you don’t – wait till it get discounted by 50%, cause that’s exactly how much it’s worth after the bug fixes. Right now though it’s not worth more than 10% of current retail price (which is ridiculously high) – If you ever thought you have seen a game full of bugs – buy Crysis 2 – it re-invents the definition of “game full of bugs”. And to make it worse – there’s no contact with EA community manager, nor anyone telling anything about bugs fixing, multilayer issues, what so ever. So community is left alone to it’s own misery.

      Many has been said about graphics – I like them, though if you expected an improvement over Crysis 1 you gonna be very disappointed – there isn’t any! Game looks roughly as good as it’s precursor, sometimes better, sometimes worse, but it’s clearly visible that Crytek spent all this time on porting the game for consoles, NOT improving the previous title. Which is a great pity cause C2 got potential of becoming of best games in 2011 – sadly we’ll all forget about it till December.

      Oh, and one more thing: Crysis 2 supports DX 9c and 32 bit version ONLY!!!! Which is a big step back comparing to previous game of the series. The Crytek said possibly they’ll release DX11 patch – when and if it’ll contain 64 bit version – noone knows. The multiplayer is limited to 16 players (Crysis 1 got twice as much). Sandbox Editor does not come with retail version – release date of it is unknown, but it’ll come after the DX11 version. Sandbox will not allow editing of Crysis 2 for creation of new maps or missions – it’ll be tool for engine, so that independent developers could make their own games using the engine (yet another step back comparing to previous game).

      For me the score of game, assuming that all the bugs will be fixed is:
      Single Player: 6/10
      Multi Player: 8/10

      Thanks for reading,
      ~Cinek
      ps. sorry for my bad English – I’m not native speaker.

    • Dominic White says:

      Edit: Reply in wrong place.. must’ve mis-clicked.

    • Premium User Badge PoulWrist says:

      Regarding aliens and the whole “shoot them in the back” thing, I never did that. Just run up to them, spam F and they are instakilled. Great stuff! Same works for all the soldiers, but just shooting those is easier, as they use hitscan weapons, as opposed to aliens. It’s pretty ridiculous. Also, detaching heavy machineguns is the way forward. There’s always one around, and it instakills pretty much everything.

  2. Omroth says:

    I have to say I prefer a good checkpoint system (Far Cry) to quicksave. Why should I constantly have to hit F7? It doesn’t make sense. Just auto-save every 30 seconds instead.

    • tanith says:

      Some people (like me) want to be in control of when they can and cannot save.
      Anything else is just ridiculous.

    • kurige says:

      The problem is there is no auto-save and checkpoints are much much further than 30 seconds apart. It gets frustrating in games having to go through the same motions over and over again during a difficult segment. Especially in games where there is a required dialog sequence right before the action where you die repeatedly.

      Quicksave or GTFO.

    • jRides says:

      Couldn’t have said it better myself, kurige. I am loathing this checkpoints system. Its really ruining the game for me.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      Quicksave ruins games. With save anywhere, constantly hammering save and reload becomes the optimal strategy if you want to win.

      Just Say No. Death to quicksave!

    • kurige says:

      @MikoSquiz : Why do you care if somebody likes to hammer the quicksave button repeatedly? If *you* don’t want to play that way… then don’t.

    • noobnob says:

      You can have both a checkpoint system (or autosave, whatever) and quicksaving. It’s more about giving the user choices, I personally don’t abuse quicksaving systems unless there’s a segment of a game that is really unforgiving/annoying that is getting in my way.

    • ShawnClapper says:

      I know when I get the option to quicksave I cannot help but abuse it.

      I really like having checkpoints if they are done right. Usually they are done wrong, where you have to hear the same dialog over and over etc. When done right though, I enjoy having to make it through a difficult challenge and the relief of finally making it to the checkpoint I needed.

      Although the game is dated now, I remember having some really tense moments in the first Tomb Raider by having to make it through crazy climbing and jumping to reach the just visible checkpoint. I bought TR2 day 1 and they changed it to a quicksave. Halfway through I become so bored and unchallenged just saving after every jump I gave up playing.

    • Kefren says:

      I’m currently playing Area 51 Blacksite. It is crap but I now want to at least see it through to the end.

      It has checkpoints. It crashes a lot. Every time it does you have to reload (or reboot the PC) and start all over again. Some sections are very buggy and because of these problems it can take an hour to get to the next checkpoint which should only take a few minutes, because unless you reach it without a crash you will always have to start all over again at the last checkpoint. There is nothing you can do except put up with it or stop playing.

      At least with quick save (or even esc menu-save) I could save each incremental bit, not losing so much progress every time it crashes, until I get past the buggy bits.

      Please game devs, let ME decide when to save. Add checkpoints if you want as well (even if they do lead to irritating immersion-breaking ‘checkpoint reached’ popups, and are only for lazy people and consolers) but don’t take away the ability to save when I want. Sometimes I need to go and do something else, or we face crash problems. Why piss of your customers like that?

      (Was ‘save when you want’ in the RPS list or rules for game developers? I can’t remember.)

    • Zogtee says:

      “Quicksave ruins games.”

      How does me quicksaving ruin your game?

    • skalpadda says:

      The first Crysis had regular checkpoints and the ability to save at any time and it worked fine. In a game that gives you a lot of freedom it’s nice to have a quicksave simply because you might want to try out some crazy idea now and then without getting knocked back a couple of minutes if everything goes bonkers.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      “How does me quicksaving ruin your game?”
      It doesn’t, them quicksaving does. Apparently Miko realises that quicksaving constantly ruins the tension but they’re a complete slave to their impulses and just can’t stop themselves, so Miko wants someone to force him not to?.. (along with people who just don’t want to lose their progress when they stop playing.)

      Yes, that’s definitely bonkers.

    • Bilbo says:

      Quick-saving makes games a bit too easy, I think. I remember when, as a kid, I first realised the huge advantage quick-saving gave in games like Half-Life and Max Payne – I never felt threatened again, because I just quicksaved before every corner.
      On the other hand, I had *seriously* epic moments in Max Payne that took advantage of the quick save feature – save round a corner with say, three mobsters on the other side, with nothing but the three bullets in the beretta clip remaining, and then try *over* and *over* again to headshot all three in quick succession, quick loading each time i screwed it up. But that’s like… emergent gameplay, I don’t know if it really plays in to the quick-save vs check-point debate.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      It’s the same as playing with trainers on and God Mode just a button-press away. You don’t *have* to use it. Or scumming for every one-gold-piece-value item lying around in an RPG. You don’t *have* to lug every single thing to the shops and sell it.

      Generally, a basic tenet of game design is never to present the player with an optimal most successful way to do thing’s that’s tedious and unfun. Such as constant saving and loading.

    • Nick says:

      “You don’t *have* to lug every single thing to the shops and sell it.”
      YES YOU DO! *rocks backwards and forwards, clutching his knees*

    • El Mariachi says:

      Quicksave enthusiasts: Why don’t games have default hotkeys for noclip and godmode? You wouldn’t have to use them if you didn’t want to.

      My problem with quicksave is that it enables sloppy design — sequences so mouse-throwingly difficult that quicksaving is pretty much expected/required. One could argue that poor difficulty balance is a different issue, but they are all too often intertwined.

      Not that I’m a fan of invisible autosave checkpoints either. To my mind, the ideal save mechanism is visible and optional save locations, preferably with some semblance of in-game rationale: Marathon’s “pattern buffers,” Bioshock’s Vita-Chambers, Resident Evil’s typewriters. Imagine playing the latter with quicksave, or even unlimited ribbbons. Quicksave reduces any tension and atmosphere to nothing, since your character is essentially invulnerable. Might as well turn godmode on.

    • Hellraiserzlo says:

      Well placed checkpoints always beat quick saves, it just breaks the immersion for me to constantly stop and think about quick saving or later abusing it by quick loading and trying to pass a section better.
      One of the small things that I loved in hl2 was the well placed checkpoints, after playing it for a couple of hours I just stopped quick saving and trusted the game to do it for me, it’s a game immersion-flow thing, quick saving/quick loading or going to a menu to save breaks it.

    • Dominic White says:

      Agreeing with the ‘well-placed checkpoints beat quicksaves any day’ sentiment. And I say this as a PC gamer that started in the CGA/EGA era. Wolfenstein 3D was the 3rd or 4th major FPS I played, so I’ve been around for it all.

      So many mid 90s/early 2000′s shooters were designed with quicksaves in mind. That is, they were hilariously badly paced. Death came without the slightest hint or notice, traps were almost unavoidable without having encountered them once already, enemies could one-shot you so very easily. It was a crutch that developers leant on so very heavily, and it led to some staggeringly poor design. Manuals even told you to save constantly because you could die at any moment.

      I still think the game that did checkpoints best was the original Halo. It saved before every major combat encounter, just as enemies started arriving, and if you died, it actually randomized things a little. Got killed by a turret on your right? Respawn, and it might not even be there. Or it could be unmanned, ready for you to steal, or even placed elsewhere and more dangerously positioned. It made each encounter a freeform experience. ‘Action bubbles’ as Crytek calls them. Self-contained battlefields with their own supplies of weapons, ammo and enemies and freedom to pick and choose how it works.

      So far, I haven’t had any gripes with the placing of Crysis 2′s checkpoints. If you can’t stay alive for the 3-4 minutes between them, then lower the sodding difficulty (you can at any time), don’t ask for a magic ‘undo suck’ button. Accept you’re not as great as you think you are.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      I don’t think anyone who’s for including a quicksave would be against having automated checkpoints too, so immersion breaking isn’t an issue.

      As for quicksaving making games easier than checkpoints, that’s just backwards. They both offer exactly the same advantage, precognition, you die to an ambush once in either system and next time you know someone’s going to blow through that exact same piece of scenery next time and you’re prepared. Checkpoints-only just ensures you replay a bunch of unrelated stuff that didn’t kill you the first time before you get back there. The only time it offers a slight advantage is in the case of extreme usage where you save just before ducking out of cover and die but you know exactly where your targets will be standing when you reload.

      Also, that “basic gaming tenet” is rather misquoted there, the original premise is more like “never make the only way to succeed tedious and unfun”, as long as there’s a way to play a singleplayer game that is fun and still win, it’s ok. Technically the optimal way to beat portal is to glitch through a wall and teleport to the end in one jump every time, but that doesn’t matter because if you didn’t enjoy that you could still beat the game by actually solving the puzzles. The “optimal strategy” clause is only applicable to competitive multiplayer design, where you have to asume both sides are doing whatever it takes to win, regardless of fun.

      So we’ve established it doesn’t need to break immersion (just unbind the bloody key if you’re unable restrain yourself) and it doesn’t make games easier than checkpoints (again, use some willpower if it’s making you feel invulnerable). Whilst on the other hand it means you can stop playing when you want to and lets you goof off and see what happens if you spot something potentially awesome to try, or if you want to see what that cool one shot super weapon does without waiting 2 hours/never for a target that actually needs that kind of firepower.

      What other reasons are there a game’s better off without it?

    • Wulf says:

      @Bilbo

      It’s like you read my mind. I want to be able to quicksave and have autosave checkpoints which happen frequently. That happens in every Bethesda game. Did it ruin my experiences in Fallout: New Vegas? It did not! It enhanced them.

      And I’m going to just explain to everyone in general now why I feel the way I do about this topic.

      The issue I have with a lack of quicksave is that you’re unfairly punishing the player for experimenting if you don’t have them. As an example, think of if VVVVVV only had checkpoints every 20 screens. Just… sit and think about that for a moment. Let it percolate. To try Veni, Vidi, Vici you have to go back through 20 screens of hassle just to try it again. Run that through your head, try playing it, and realise that you would’ve ragequit VVVVVV if it had done that.

      The fun thing about quicksaves and a huge proliferation of autosave checkpoints is that (and yes, I’m bloody well going to emphasise this!) it encourages the player to try entirely new and experimental styles of play, without punishing them for being curious. If you lack that element, then players are locked into playing the way that the development team wants them to play, and the game becomes so, so much less fun. It means you can’t beak progression, try to break the game, or do something crazy that most people hadn’t even thought of trying to get past hard content. You can’t even try. Because the hassle of simply experimenting is too much.

      Have you see the glorious ways in which Deus Ex has been broken? Have you?! Tapewolf went out of his way to break Deus Ex as much as possible, and this lead to fascinating and entertaining results, the sort of thing that can elongate the life of a game simply because you have to then go back to see some of this stuff for yourself, if you hadn’t discovered it by being able to experiment yourself. And that’s what make games fun! Experimentation is awesome!

      Here’s a quote: It is the worst possible game design imaginable to slap a gamer on the wrists for wanting to experiment.

      If I’m playing a game and I want to try and break it or play it in a different way than what’s intended, then I shouldn’t be punished for the effort, but if I have to replay a metric shit tonne of content every time I die because I was experimenting, then that’s exactly what’s happening, I’m being slapped on the wrist for wanting to experimenting, for trying things, for being crazy. And this is exactly the sorts of things, this is the sort of creativity that games should encourage, not diminish!

      This is also one of the reasons I don’t like MMOs in general, I really don’t like most of them, and that’s because they work on this system of grinding in the way the developers want you to in order to continue, and if you break that, then you’re advancing faster than expected and paying them less. In World of Warcraft there was, at one point, an awesome technique called wall walking. (I discovered this myself and called it ‘hoofing it’ at the time, as I’d only tried it with a Tauren.) With wall-walking, you could traverse the sides of sheer cliff faces and go to places you weren’t supposed to. About the only good memory I have of WoW is when once I found a hidden GM hang-out point – a village of dancing trolls.

      I also found my way into the insides of instance mock-ups, under Orgrimmar, and when I wasn’t developing addons for other people, I was hoofing it all around Azeroth. I was doing it in Horde territory, in Alliance territory, and I was having a great time! And I was doing all this as a very low level character. Then Blizzard took it away and I completely lost interest in their game, because without wall-walking I had to look at the game and ask myself what I was doing and whether I was having fun with it. I was developing addons. Was I having fun with that? Not really. So I quit.

      This is actually one way in which ArenaNet is being awesome with Guild Wars 2. They’ve pretty much told us that because there’s no monthly cost, they won’t stop you from going where you want to in the PvE world, and being clever about it. So if you want to hop along the environment and use it to scout areas that you haven’t been to, they won’t overly punish you for being curious (unless you’re foolish enough to get caught in the middle of an event, which is fair play).

      And again, back to single player games, look at that site I linked, it’s not just Deus Ex. As Bilbo pointed out, there are many sorts of emergent gameplay types that are allowed for when a developer does not punish a gamer for being curious and clever. In fact, one of the most massive turn-offs I have with any game is one that punishes me for trying to break it, or being curious, or trying weird things, or even potentially committing suicide in the name of gaming SCIENCE(!).

      And that’s all I have to say about that. Anyone who’d be against quicksaves really must be the sort of person who’s never even considered how one could experiment with games.

    • Dervish says:

      Anyone who’d be FOR quicksaves really must be the sort of person who’s never even considered how to design a rock-solid, balanced, fair slice of challenge.

      Just make it a cheat code for the guys that want to poke at the edges of the game and find out what they can and can’t break. Like, it’s cool that dudes using emulators have utterly broken games and made tool-assisted speedruns–I like seeing those limits pushed–but it will be a sad day if savestates become a standard feature and people think it’s part of the design.

    • Mman says:

      “Anyone who’d be FOR quicksaves really must be the sort of person who’s never even considered how to design a rock-solid, balanced, fair slice of challenge.”

      Or they want games that are balanced and enjoyable without relying on redoing gameplay repeatedly for challenge.

      Not that this really matters, as the obvious solution is to provide both checkpoints and quicksaves and let players decide how they want to play, like, say, the first Crysis.

    • molten_tofu says:

      I’m actually coming around to checkpoints. I just finished The Witcher and my save/reload habits reached new heights of compulsive obsession – I was feverishly mashing F5 before and after every enemy and conversation. By the end, my saved games folder was so big it would take 5 to 10 minutes to load the list of them.

      I also just finished SC:Conviction, and with the checkpoint system I would have to play through a section again but the continuity of the game was hugely more preserved, not to mention my mental state.

    • Wulf says:

      @Dervish

      You’re implying that there isn’t challenge in experimentation, and to that I say that you should check out that Deus Ex page I linked and try to reproduce some of the things that he did, especially without any former knowledge that you could do so. My point here is that you’re perfectly backing up my point, you’re actually on my side, the reason I say this is because your point is that we should play the game the way a developer intends, and this includes how we approach challenges. You’re making a case for gaming being a clinical, sterile environment where people aren’t tasked to be creative.

      Yes, I like challenge, but I also like being able to approach challenges in whatever way I desire, and this includes experimental approaches which the game developer hadn’t intended. If the developer locks down the game so that you can’t experiment, then playing the game becomes a sterile experience, because it amounts to pushing buttons when you’re supposed to, and basically you’d do just as well watching a Let’s Play because no one is going to play that game any differently than you do. And there are plenty (plenty) of games which are like this, where you can have a hundred people play the game and the videos recorded of play will pretty much all be as near to identical as possible.

      What I’m supporting is less sterile gaming environments. I’m not saying that gaming should be without any guides, far from it, but one where we’re allowed to try things and play the game our own way. Again: See Deus Ex. If we can’t play the game our own way, then why are we even playing a game as opposed to watching a film or reading a book? Being experimental is half of the reasons we play games, because we bring so much of ourselves into them, and we’re experimenting wherever we can, whether we realise it or not. If you’ve ever played Deus Ex, Grand Theft Auto, Assassin’s Creed, Prototype, or Fallout: New Vegas, you’re going to have guided content but you’re going to approach it in your own way. You’re going to be experimenting to find out how you want to progress.

      And your viewpoint is that the only challenges we should be presented with are those that the game developer implicitly supplies, and therefore gaming should be like a sport, where we know the rules and we must obey them, completely, and never try to bend those rules to find our own style of play. So you have a group of people then who might have very different playstyles who essentially must play the game in a predefined way. Yes, there may be challenge, but there’s also challenge in sports, but does this mean that I wish for videogames to become like sports? No. Vidoegames present emergent scenarios which can show us things that no other avenue of entertainment or competition can.

      And it’s a core aspect of our very minds to be curious, and to be stubborn, and to want to try things our own way. And I will insist that if we get slapped on the wrists for wanting to try something our way, just wanting to try it, then that’s bad game design. Through and through.

      @MrMan

      Exactly! That’s why I made the point for both checkpoints and quicksaves, but anyone who’d say that a game should be without quicksaves? Well… I just can’t imagine that they’ve never tried to experiment, or had the urge to want to play a game their own way.

      Provide the option, yes. But never take away quicksaves, and place those autosave checkpoints liberally!

    • JKflipflop says:

      If you really don’t like quicksaves, go into the options and unbind it. Problem solved.

    • Dervish says:

      Sheesh, I wonder why some of you guys even play video games. Apparently 99% of them suck because you can’t save anywhere or do whatever you want at any time. Like, just how angry do you get when you come up against an honest-to-god puzzle game? Do you get red in the face at how much like a sport it is, because the solution is so constrained and limiting?

      I don’t think you know what the words “design” or “challenge” really mean.

    • Dervish says:

      @JKflipflop
      When the player has to second-guess the developers, that IS the problem, not a solution.

    • Wulf says:

      Guybrush: Nice Dervishy straw-man.

      No, Dervish, that’s a straw-man and you know it. You knew it when you were writing it. :p I’ve been talking about games with guided content, which I actually explicitly said, which does not include something like Tetris. And I also made the point that there’s challenge in experimentation (twice now!), as I pointed out with the Deus Ex article that you haven’t read.

      Sheesh!

    • Dervish says:

      It’s not a strawman dude. It’s your inability to see the similarities and come to the logical conclusion. Design implies constraints. In a true sandbox game like SimCity, you are the designer. You mess around until you get bored, and I’m glad no FPS game has been THAT sandboxy.

      I see no reason why the more open games like GTA warrant quicksaving. In fact, they are better off without it. When you have to play a mission or section several times, you get to see how the AI reactions change, how different tactics work, and the different “emergent” things that happen when you’re in a firefight or police chase or whatever.

      Crysis and Far Cry, for example, had great checkpoint system: checkpoints before each major section, and almost always checkpoints after you completed your objectives. And, it saved all the checkpoints, so you could always load up the game where you’re standing overlooking the base and try to achieve that objective a different way. There’s your opportunity to experiment, no savestates needed.

    • Stevostin says:

      +1 Omroth. Quicksave is confortable but it absolutely kill epicness.

    • Ateius says:

      Wulf is handling the philosophic/idealist end of things as usual, so I’ll just add this:

      Replaying the same few minutes of content over and over is not challenging. It is tedious.

      I need to proceed from Room A (my current checkpoint) to Room F (the next checkpoint). I spend ten minutes gunning down palookas in rooms B through D, then run into something unexpected in Room E, my initial tactics fail, and I die.

      So then I spend 10 minutes gunning down the same palookas in rooms B through D, arrive in Room E, and try a new strategy. It fails, and I die.

      So then I spend 10 minutes gunning down the same palookas in rooms B through D … you get the idea.

      I have now spent 30 minutes repeatedly beating the same section just so I can have a new attempt at a harder one. Colour me bored stiff. Give me quicksave, please, so I can pop a save in Room D and then attempt Room E until I find a way to triumph.

    • Prolepsis says:

      Or, you know, there may be those of us that prefer quicksaves in most of their games because games are not something they can commit huge portions of time to any more. I can’t remember how many games I stopped playing because I simply got sick of playing the same segment every day of the week until I beat it. When I was a kid and had vast amounts of time to dedicate to gaming it was no problem because I would just play until I at least reached the next checkpoint. I no longer have such amounts of time to waste each day.

      However, I am all for a good checkpoint system.

    • Dervish says:

      @Ateius
      That is simply an argument for better checkpointing. It’s also a hypothetical example that I have never encountered in an FPS game. You might be thinking of the last boss of Ninja Gaiden.

    • Ateius says:

      @Dervish: How much better a checkpoint system? How many rooms do I need to schlep back through each time I die? My example had five rooms, which is ‘bad’ according to you. So what’s good? Four rooms? Three rooms? That’s still wasting six or more minutes of my time every time I die. Two rooms? A checkpoint every room? That’s a lot more reasonable, but what’s the difference now between the checkpoints and a quicksave feature?

      And just out of curiousity: That’s never an example you’ve encountered in an FPS? You’ve never played an FPS that suddenly throws you a curveball, that presents a new situation? Your FPS games always have the same bunch of mooks in every room doing the same thing, every time?

    • Saiko Kila says:

      I always prefer quicksave (and normal, archived save) over checkpoints always. The main reason is to try different things in any way I want, but checkpoint system also kills creativity and encourages sloppy design. I don’t need fucking epic movie. It’s a computer game. If I wanted a movie, I’d go to the cinema.

    • drewski says:

      I have two issues with checkpoints. The first is that you often need a specific set of circumstances to trigger them – I recall a particular level in Far Cry where you had this big valley full of enemies, you had to get to the other side. I tried going straight through the valley I don’t know how many times, often making it, but being on so little health as a result of the nasty fights that I’d get killed at the top by a sort of camp fight. There were no checkpoints. Eventually, after about an hour and a half of frustration, I checked a FAQ, and found out that the checkpoint was on a road to the right of the valley – I was supposed to drive around it. By trying to create my own gameplay experience, I’d buggered the checkpoint system. Thanks, Crytek.

      The other issue I have is when checkpoints are too far apart – I remember a number of occassions where, for whatever reason, I wanted to stop playing a game, and was stuck with the choice of tediously slugging through a game I didn’t want to play any more to get to the next arbitrary save point, or quit, and then spend a tedious amount of time slugging through something I’d already done to get to the point I was up to before.

      So whilst I can imagine a perfect checkpoint system, I don’t think there’s ever been one close. Even the Halo ones, which I think are the best in gaming, suffer from both of these issues at times, especially on the harder difficulties. Playing on Legendary in Reach the other day and there were quite a few times where I was desperate for a checkpoint just to save my progress so I wouldn’t have to do the same tedious fight YET AGAIN but there wasn’t one…until I walked over the precise bit of turf the game wanted me to cover. Checkpoint…saved.

      RAGEQUIT.

    • Dervish says:

      Checkpointing does not encourage sloppy design. It is the exact opposite. The developers have to test and balance each section to make sure it is not unfair. It is similar to regenerating health–like quicksaves, it offers an on-demand “reset” so neither the developer nor the player has to carefully evaluate the distribution of resources. Consider how much testing goes into the best arcade games where the player cannot save AT ALL and the players DEMAND that each situation can be overcome via skillful play and not occasional luck. Roguelike design is similar.

      @Ateius
      That is not what I said. I’m saying if a game truly has a lengthy easy/boring section then a big difficulty spike–like, say, a boss–then it should probably change the easy/boring part or give you a checkpoint before the boss. And no, of course the situations are not all the same and the difficulty has peaks and valley. The player can be expected to adapt and roll with these changes instead of freaking out, dying, and complaining that it’s “trial-and-error gameplay” as I see so often.

      In other words, the solution is to avoid the “schlepping” and make the tough encounters skill-based so the player blames himself instead of the checkpoint system.

      (I did manage to think of a bad example, though: one of the marine levels in AvP2, on hardcore mode (no saves). The level is a super-easy push through guards that you can shoot in the head, and then it springs a nasty, unfamiliar exosuit boss on you at the last second. But the problem isn’t with the save system, it’s that it’s a sucky boring level and a sucky bulletsponge boss.)

    • DrGonzo says:

      I get your point Dervish but really disagree in this circumstance. I haven’t played Crysis 2 yet, however the first game was ALL about experimentation. Here is a situation, here are some tools, you figure it out. That is one of the reasons I liked it so much, it encouraged experimentation and messing about.

      So autosaves may well suit Crysis 2, but quick saves don’t ONLY suit sandbox games.

    • Waltorious says:

      People,

      I am seeing some disturbing arguments being made here, which are doubly surprising because in the end, everyone seems to actually agree on the fundamental issue.

      Let’s look at these faulty arguments:

      1) “Quicksave is bad because then designers rely on it, force the player to use it, and it makes for a game with terrible pacing.”

      This is a logical fallacy. While some games may indeed turn out like this, it is not because they have the option to quicksave. It is because they are poorly designed. Quicksave does not automatically make a game good. It can still have poor level design, terrible pacing, and unfair difficulty spikes. But it doesn’t have these things because it has quicksave, it has them because it’s a bad game.

      2) “Quicksave is bad because when I have the option to quicksave I can’t help but abuse it.”

      This is not the fault of quicksave. It is YOUR fault. If you don’t have the willpower to avoid using qiucksave, don’t blame the game. Anyway, this could be solved by having an general option in the game to turn off quicksaving. So you could decide whether it would be usable or not. Unless you still wouldn’t have the willpower to turn it off.

      Seriously, people… I think everyone here can agree on the following point: The ideal game will include a very well done checkpoint system, and will also allow the player to quicksave if he or she wishes. For an added bonus, how about an optional autosave function (so the player doesn’t need to manually hit a button to quicksave) with a user-set time interval, and while we’re at it let’s add an option to turn quicksaving and autosaving off for those who have trouble resisting the urge to “abuse” quicksaves. A system that makes everyone happy. Done.

      Notice that Crysis 2 does not have such a system, and therefore is not making everyone happy. If it makes YOU happy, that’s nice, but please realize that some other players are not so pleased.

    • Premium User Badge wengart says:

      The more open the game the more quick-saves are required. In a COD game there is a single linear path through the level, there is almost nothing I can do to create my own gameplay experience so quick-saves are less needed.

      However in a more open game, say Crysis 1, quick-saves become much more important because the player can create their own gameplay experience. If the player decides to stealth around a village so they can attack it from behind, a 15-20 minute sequence, then in a well designed game there would be a check-point at the end of that sequence, but because the designer didn’t expect the player to do this there isn’t. Quick-saves allow the player to create their own check-point where in a well designed game there would be.

      Also there is no reason not to give the players the choice of save mechanic. If you dislike it don’t use it or alternatively unbind the bloody key.

    • El Mariachi says:

      The pro-quicksave arguments all seem to boil down to “I wanna play the game however I choose to and who are these developers to tell me I can’t.” Apply this to any non-videogame to understand the absurdity: “How come my bishops can only move diagonally, I want them to move however I want and also teleporting pawns and as many turns in a row as I feel like before the other guy gets to move.”

    • qrter says:

      The pro-quicksave arguments all seem to boil down to “I wanna play the game however I choose to and who are these developers to tell me I can’t.” Apply this to any non-videogame to understand the absurdity: “How come my bishops can only move diagonally, I want them to move however I want and also teleporting pawns and as many turns in a row as I feel like before the other guy gets to move.”

      Yes, that does sound absurd, but mainly because it’s a false analogy.

      It’s more like trying to solve a wellknown chess problem on your own – you set up all the pieces, and you have a go, you make several moves. Oh dear, that didn’t work out very well, let’s go back one or two moves and try something different.

      In your analogy you’d prefer to reset to the starting set-up, instead of just going back a couple of moves.

    • Premium User Badge WombatDeath says:

      “How come my bishops can only move diagonally, I want them to move however I want and also teleporting pawns and as many turns in a row as I feel like before the other guy gets to move.”

      You can do this! I wouldn’t, personally, but if you and your opponent are in agreement you can change the rules however you like. The decision to follow the standard ruleset, or not, is left to the players.

      This flexibility, this capability of chess to accommodate the preferences of its players, is a wonderful thing. It is obviously unreasonable to expect a computer game to be infinitely flexible (though mod support is a great start) but it’s a useful ideal.

    • Jimbo says:

      In Chess 2 they decided not to bother with bishops.

    • Sardaukar says:

      What about this, guys? A game with checkpoints and the ability to quicksave- but with limits on how often you can do it. Maybe one quicksave per checkpoint, or one every X minutes.

    • Premium User Badge WombatDeath says:

      Why implement quicksaves and then ration them?

      I honestly don’t understand how this argument has lasted so long. What is it, specifically, that the anti-quicksave people object to about the proposed “enable quicksaves” compromise? Is it some kind of disapproving philosophical stance: “quicksave-dependence is a sign of weakness which must be corrected”? Regardless, please do believe me when I say that those of us who have limited time and/or who are naturally shit at FPSs (let alone those with disabilities) set great store by the ability to quicksave.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      Checkpoints for linear games (like shooters usually) and quicksave for open games (like RPGs mostly).

      Thank you GOODNIGHT!

    • Urthman says:

      Anyone who doesn’t appreciate the value of quick saving is basically telling me they play games very differently than I do and enjoy different things than I enjoy. Their opinions about games are useless to me.

      All the time when I’m playing games, I come upon an encounter or situation and think of several mutually-exclusive options I’d like to try. If the game has quick saves, I use them and get to try out all my ideas. If the game doesn’t have quick saves, I usually just try one of them and settle for diminished enjoyment of the game. If the game doesn’t frequently tempt me to try different approaches to a situation, it’s a boring game and I stop playing it.

      “Better check point system” — Really? Tell me the names of these games that have adequate check point systems. Games where you guarantee I’ll never have the tedium of playing several times through the same content just to get back to the interesting/challenging bit.

      Seriously. Give me a list.

    • Premium User Badge Saul says:

      I require a combo of quick and auto-saves. Most game content is barely worth playing once – I don’t want to have to play it over and over for some artificial and irritating “challenge”, On the flip-side, Wulf is absolutely right that quicksaves encourage experimentation, which is good. In summary: playing sections of games over is only good when its under your control. Set your own damn challenges.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      Rage alert :

      Ok the undertones in a couple of the against-quicksave arguements that “if you want quicksave you must be terrible at games and dieing every 10 seconds, and have no stomach for tension” followed by a half-arsed dismissal on those grounds are… Frustrating.

      I’m emphatically for a quicksave option, yet I don’t hammer it every 2 steps when it’s available nor do I shirk from a challange, I play my games as hard as they crank up and god damnit I bet I do better than anyone who’s so logically flawed as to think quicksaves somehow ruin their game.

      It’s at user discretion so by definition it can’t ruin your experience unless you don’t have the willpower to stop yourself. It’s been mentioned plenty of times now, read it and comprehend it. Then start working on your impulse control.

      Since mob concensus seems to affect opinion better than well formed opinions I’ll go ahead and restate what Waltorious has already about design too.

      Quicksave does not actively encourage bad design, it simply makes terrible design slightly more tollerable and in that way enables bad design to still be playable. Any terrible games where you get served instadeath by a completely unknowable trap/drop/random-luck would be so much worse with only a checkpoint system and any developer who thinks “hey we’ve got quicksave, it’s ok!” is doing it because they’ll take any excuse to not refine their design, they’d just justify it by some other means if quicksave were not an option.

    • vagabond says:

      Uh, I’d settle for save-saves for a start.
      Twice now I’ve had to quit Crysis 2 and lost 10 odd minutes of progress because I couldn’t afford to take a few more minutes to reach the next checkpoint.

      See, I don’t even suck at the game and die every 10 seconds, and even I’m bitching for quicksaves.

    • jeremypeel says:

      Regardless of personal preference, as someone else has mentioned this has been the case since Far Cry, and I think it’s a deliberate design decision on Crytek’s part rather than a side-effect of console development.

      Not sure what to think about it myself. We’ll see how it plays.

    • vodkarn says:

      “My problem with quicksave is that it enables sloppy design — sequences so mouse-throwingly difficult that quicksaving is pretty much expected/required. One could argue that poor difficulty balance is a different issue, but they are all too often intertwined.”

      I hate to be ‘that guy,’ but you realise these games are fully designed before a save system is even in place yet, right? I can’t think of a single game I’ve worked on where there’s (time, etc) to consider how to change gameplay because of the way the game saves progress.

      I like quicksave – why? Because I bought the goddamn game and if I have to run because one of my kids is throwing up, or the phone rings, or it’s later than I thought and I have to be somewhere, it should be my decision to save there. Not lose 15 minutes of progress because life occurred.

    • Olivaw says:

      Quicksaves are like noclip or godmode: bind them to a key and I will abuse them.

      If I have to go into a menu to manually save, that’s enough hassle that I don’t do it as often. So manual saves and well-designed checkpoints are the way to go for video games, as far as I’m concerned.

      But all the people here saying “GIVE ME QUICKSAVES OR GIVE ME DEATH” or “YOU ARE SAYING THAT GAMING SHOULD BE STERILE AND WE SHOULDN’T BE CREATIVE” are off their fucking rockers.

      We can do things that developers did not ANTICIPATE, but can never do anything they did not intend. We are always confined by a set of rules and laws within a gamespace, and while I do wish more games were like Deus Ex and provided you with a tremendous amount of choice within that gamespace, there is something to said for a simpler, more guided experience, and well-designed checkpoints are a part of that.

      Basically anyone here arguing in terms of absolutes in game design is pretty dumb. Just sayin’!

  3. Bowlby says:

    The multiplayer actually isn’t too bad. However, it’s also so incredibly buggy. So many connectivity problems (being kicked from games, being disconnected, not even being able to join games in session, etc.), unlocks not staying unlocked, and a primitive browser that fails to save filter settings.

    Also, apparently I’m behind a strict firewall, yet I’ve opened all the ports they’ve mentioned in the manual. At least it’s not as bad Dead Space 2 online, which didn’t even work to begin with. I just don’t think EA are giving enough QA time and resources to the PC multiplayer side of their games. And it pisses me off.

  4. Ertard says:

    I think I’m about halfway through it, and I agree. The debacle with the MP keys must be fixed though.

    It truly is an audiovisual experience, and I agree fully with the mentioned firm feel in everything. Everything is just so slick, and you feel like a badass the entire time. No wobbly guns or anything, you feel as one with your suit and your in-game body, not just a hovering crosshair.

  5. Eggy says:

    It aint no Crysis 1 but sofar I’ve been enjoying the game. I miss the freedom and suit functionality that I’m used to. Also prefer the jungle setting. But hey Crytek wanted to make a console game.

  6. Premium User Badge heretic says:

    will have to wait for a new pc this summer… hopefully the price will be down too :D

    oh btw Jim, can we have the specs of the rig you played this on?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      i5-2500k, 8gb RAM, 1gb GTS 250.

    • Rond says:

      Huh, not exactly hi-end. What about resolution and framerate?

    • skinlo says:

      Not exactly low end either, RAM and CPU are all pretty high end, just the graphic card thats middling.

    • Rond says:

      Oh, right, Intel’s “K” CPUs are the good stuff. Their current naming confuses me. Nevertheless, GF250 isn’t just middle, it’s 2 years old middle, and Crysis is supposed to be GPU-hungry, ain’t that right?

    • Saiko Kila says:

      Crysis is supposed to work on consoles with GF7800-level graphics on the other hand…

    • drewski says:

      Apparently an 8800GT will play it nicely on the lowest graphics settings (which are still lovely). Anything higher and you’re in gravy.

    • Starky says:

      Ram over about 4 GB doesn’t really make any difference to game performance – there is a slight boost at 6GB, almost none for the jump from 6-8.

      It’s been tested quite a few times by many sites, ram speed, or timings makes no difference at all (1-2%) in modern systems with onboard memory controllers. Once you get above DDR2 400 (800 Mhz @ 5 tmings) anyway.

      That and I’d wager at anything but low resolution and settings Crysis will be GPU limited – so anything that can fuel that a mid range card should be enough to get decent framerates.

  7. El_MUERkO says:

    No DirectX10/11 support, a menu system taken straight from the console including no graphics options, a server lobby system that doesn’t work and gameplay that’s obviously hamstrung by console limitations.

    Overall a disappointment.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      “gameplay that’s obviously hamstrung by console limitations”
      Not sure I agree with that. At all.

      Also not sure I would notice/care about high spec DX support. It looks fantastic.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      Where are the huge maps from before?
      Why are things like Auto-Aim on by default?
      Why is it multi-player lobby based? Lobbies that don’t work.
      Why are so many textures low resolution?
      Why are we restricted to 16 player servers?
      Why is there less destruction than before?
      Less suit options (I like it, many dont).
      ‘Press Start’
      Checkpoint Saves.
      No editor.
      No mod support.
      No 64bit support.
      No DX10 support.
      No DX11 support.
      Having said all that I have to admit I like it, however Crytek have clearly abandoned their games unique premise and gone for a hybrid of Halo & CoD and while doing it they’ve made the Xbox 360 their primary concern.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Auto-aim has already been patched out entirely.

      Much of what you list aren’t flaws, they are omissions.

      And yes, this is a Halo/CoD rival, rather than anything else. I’m judging it on that basis. It’s a decent game.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      A decent game it may be, but still a disappointment. Far Cry and Crysis were games that pushed the boundaries of gaming visuals, physics and AI.

      Crysis 2 doesn’t.

      I’m not saying it’s an abomination, just that its combination of line-towing and platform indifference makes it ‘just another shooter’.

      Having seen Brink at the EG Expo I’ll likely play Crysis 2 till Brink comes out and then uninstall it for SSD space.

    • Tyshalle says:

      Personally I found Crysis 2 to be the best looking game I’ve ever played. Low res textures and all.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      @Jim “And yes, this is a Halo/CoD rival, rather than anything else.”

      I very much disagree – I can’t stand CoD and this feels NOTHING like it.

      I’d say it is more in line with Half Life 2 and purely combat-wise its in deus ex territory. (Patroling enemies, and multiple ways how to deal with them)

    • Beardface says:

      Crysis 2 may not be pushing the boundaries of what’s technologically possible like Crysis 1 did, but it’s an overall better game – isn’t that what matters?

    • Premium User Badge Joshua says:

      Whatever technology it uses doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is results. And if a game looks awesome without running in a slide show, that’s awesome, no matter what DirectX they used to do it.

    • PureUncut says:

      I agree with El_Muerko, I’m not really enjoying the SP. This has been further sullied by my frustrating experience with the slightly broken MP.

      Much has been said by some about the enemy AI. I’ve been playing on veteran and they’re pretty dumb (even ignoring the bugs).

      My favourite display of AI in any game ever has to be the grunts from Half Life. It was always a sheer joy to blast them into meaty chunks.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      @Ultra Superior – right, and as I say in the review it’s more interesting than most of that milieu. But it’s still in their space.

    • Premium User Badge Joshua says:

      Considering how running Crysis 1 on DirectX 10 mode only granted you a performance hit for no reason, and considering how awesome this game looks without it, I can see why they did not bother with the more ‘advanced’ DirectX’s this time. Its an non issue.

    • drewski says:

      Far Cry had awful AI. You could hide from an army in a knee high shrub.

    • yourgrandma says:

      Far cry had great Ai it was the final patch released for the game that screwed it up and gave all of the soldiers and mutants super vision.

  8. Premium User Badge Ridiculous Human says:

    I’ll feel good about paying €15 for this eventually.

  9. TrouserDemon says:

    It’s Ceph, as in Cephalopod, not Seth.

  10. subedii says:

    Ultimately, though, this is a moderately magnificent game. In its campaign mode it is a straightforwardly linear shooter, and fenced in by all the scripting and expectations of that genre, but I can’t help feel that its setting and scope are far more interesting and entertaining that any of the modern military shooters.

    Whilst this is stated as a positive, that’s probably the most disappointing assessment that I keep hearing. Probably because I was never really into the CoD style linear “showpiece” shooters.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      It shares an awful lot with them in terms of approach, but generally this is stronger, especially in terms of what combat can entail, and the environments it takes place in. It’s nothing like as open as the original, but it’s not all corridor, either.

    • subedii says:

      Put it another way then: More or less open than Crysis Warhead, like say the final Airfield level?

      Because really, that’s what made Crysis for me, the sheer open levels allowing you to choose your approach. You could pretty much decide to assault things like bases from any angle, and with head on brute force or Solid Snake levels of Stealth.

      I mean in my playthroughs of Crysis, I regularly bypass entire meticulously designed enemy encounters, what could be termed “action bubbles”. And the games perfectly happy with that. In the level “Relic” there’s an entire sprawling base of dozens and dozens of troops leading up to Dr. Rosenthal, complete with winding sandbag corridors and strategically placed MG nests. And the game doesn’t care if I simply move through the jungle, avoid a patrol, quietly snipe another two-man patrol, and sneak in completely undetected from the back.

      To this day the Harbour “Assault” level remains one of the best FPS levels I’ve ever played. And it’s pretty much because they dumped you into a massive map scattered with tools and said “Your objectives are here, here, and here. Go about this in whatever fashion you want.” And whatever approach you took, it worked out.

      If Crysis 2 can emulate something like that, then I’m all for it, that’s pretty much what I’m looking for.

    • jconnop says:

      I must agree with you. That Harbour “Assault” level was amazing. Only played the whole game through once, but I felt the need to replay that level multiple times afterward.

    • Monchberter says:

      I must say i’m in full agreement with Subeddii and Jconopp on the matter of what made Crysis good. And that exactly what made Crysis (and Far Cry before it) has been pretty much completely disregarded in Crysis 2. I still replay Crysis to this day because it’s emergent gameplay stands up so well. Where Crysis did fall down was when you were set on a fixed tight path as it just became another dull manshoot.
      I know Crytek have made a concious decision to chase the console money, but frankly given that this sequel seems to offer me nothing from the first game that was unique, I won’t be purchasing and will stick with some of the incredibly excellent community made maps for Crysis 1.
      For those of you interested, you can find some of the best user made single player maps here: http://crymod.com/filebase.php?lim=0&cat=35
      What a shame.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      There’s nothing of the scale of the harbour assault, no.

    • Frosty says:

      Ah man, do you guys remember the island level from Far Cry? That was the pinnacle.

      Thanks for the singleplayer map links, I’ll be sure to try some of those.

    • subedii says:

      I can’t even remember how many different ways I played that level, and almost every time I took a different approach. Go in on foot from the front? Grab a hummer and gun it towards that sniper tower maybe? Nick / snipe someone’s boat, cross the bay (or around the outside of it), and come in at the AA guns from behind?

      And that’s before you even get to the main harbour itself. Front entrance? head off to the side and jump over the wall where the piping is? Come in from the sea via boat, or heck, just swim there and pull yourself up onto the pier? Go for the explosives caches and incendiary rounds in the buildings to deal with those pesky hummers? Bounce up to the rooftops and do some sniping? Heck, there were even small underground sewers in the harbour that you could use to bypass most of the enemy forces.

      It was a game that really wanted you to think and plan for yourself, and it rewarded you for that.

      EDIT:

      @ Jim Rossignol: Pity

    • skalpadda says:

      Funny, all this talk of Crysis 2 lately made me want to go back and play through parts of the original again, so just before I came here and read this I did the Assault level, and it is indeed excellent. I went through the sewers btw, and proceeded to stealth around, grab single patrols all around the base and throw them into the ocean. Great fun.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      I loved first one until aliens came.

      Now I love crysis 2. I think it is a better game. I think it gives you MORE freedom of choice than the first. Much more.

      The scale of the battlefield is smaller, but it is much more varied and vertically structured.

      Also the usage of nanosuit is much better, which gives you more options to solve problems.
      As a Deus Ex fanatic I hereby declare that Crysis 2 is as augmented as they get and it has

      NOTHING IN COMMON WITH STUPID CALL OF DUTY

      omfg – CoD – from cover to cover, shooting heads, spawning hordes of enemies. Constant rush in single ridiculously restricted corridor.

      crysis 2 – nothing like it. Patrolling enemies, stealth, peaceful way, rambo way, explosive way, sniper way, melee way… in almost every area I’ve visited you could go under (sewers, or lower level) Over (scaffolding, rooftops) or around (shops, back alleys).

      It takes place in a CITY for sake – its much more varied than island, where harbor was the cream of the crop, otherwise just palms with occasional fence and watchtower.

    • KenTWOu says:

      @subedii says:
      “Assault” level remains one of the best FPS levels I’ve ever played. And it’s pretty much because they dumped you into a massive map scattered with tools and said “Your objectives are here, here, and here. Go about this in whatever fashion you want.” And whatever approach you took, it worked out.”

      And actually Crysis doesn’t work so good as you said! Cause it has few flaws with enemy spawning. For example during “Assault” level you can change your order of objectives, destroy the second AA gun, then flank the first AA gun from the rear and from there if you move to the beginning of the level you can see enemies spawn right in front of you! “Relic” level also has such issue after Rosenthal’s research dome, If you escape from there down the river and try to return to the dome again by the road you can see enemies spawn before your face.

    • subedii says:

      And actually Crysis doesn’t work so good as you said!

      OK, I’m not quite sure but, are you seriously trying to tell me I didn’t enjoy Crysis as much as I did here?

      I mean I don’t remember talking about spawning (don’t remember seeing any enemies spawn in either, but that’s separate). I definitely took the approach you suggested on one playthrough (took out the second AA gun, came in on the first from behind), and yeah, all I can say is that I was loving the ability to craft my approach.

      You know I’m seeing people getting called out as “haters” here, whatever, but come on, it’s not alright to simply like the style of the first game now?

      In short: Yes, I still maintain that Assault is one of the very best FPS levels I’ve ever played.

    • skalpadda says:

      What he’s saying is that if you complete your objectives in an odd order and then go back to where you originally came from, which you have no reason whatsoever to do unless you’re either trying to break the game or doing some kind of weird disjointed exploration, the game will spawn enemies too close to you instead of far away or out of sight like it normally does. I don’t see how that is a significant problem in any way.

    • subedii says:

      Ah, I see. You’re right, I don’t think I ever returned right back to the start of the level. Since as you say, there’s little point.

      Cancel that order of “moderately affronted” please waiter, I’ll settle for the “mild reproach” instead.

    • KenTWOu says:

      @subedii says: Yes, I still maintain that Assault is one of the very best FPS levels I’ve ever played.

      Well, actually I agree with this statement, but I think that you obviously didn’t try all different ways when played that level, cause you didn’t know anything about enemies spawn problem, but I did. : )

      I don’t think I ever returned right back to the start of the level. Since as you say, there’s little point.

      The point is make big surprise for your enemies, attack them from the back, when they didn’t expect you. But the problem is developers didn’t expect this possibility too.

    • subedii says:

      You’re right, I didn’t try all possible permutations. That would be impossible for me. I didn’t try running around the level three times backwards either, but that’s not really the issue.

      Like skalpadda said, managing to do things in a completely bizarre manner and throw off the game in literally one or two occasions by making enemies come in to view a little too close compared to how they ordinarily would is not a significant problem. It’s reaching for flaws.

      But most pertinent is I just don’t get what you’re trying to prove? That Crysis 1 isn’t perfect and this should be some major point of contention for us or something? Because that’s all I’m managing to read here. And well yes, it most certainly isn’t perfectly constructed. I don’t recall saying anything different, and that didn’t stop me enjoying it as much as I did.

  11. Sekrin says:

    In the game’s subtitles and in the extras menu, the aliens are actually referred to as “Ceph”, not “Seth”.

  12. Yosharian says:

    Disappointing review. You gloss over the game’s awful flaws, and you praise… what exactly? That it has some good cinematic moments? Also, the Nano Suit has been dumbed down and is really boring to use.

    Really bad game, and after about 3 hours (not counting the 2 and a half or so that it took me to get it working properly) I was packaging it up to send it back to my retailer.

    The worst thing is that I loved Crysis 1. Everyone laid into that game but I thought it was quite excellent.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I found the suit far more interesting to use this time. With more situations in which it was actually worth using it. Crysis 1′s suit was sort of pre-nerfed and awkward.

      It’s clear what I’ve praised – the fact that it’s a slick-feeling linear shooter with solid combat.

      I liked Crysis 1, too, and reviewed it highly.

      What “awful flaws” are glossed over here, exactly? Shame you don’t get a little further in, it gets better and better. (Apart from the final fight.)

    • dancingcrab says:

      I liked the review, and will pick up the game on your recommendation, but find it interesting that you didn’t directly address one of the main issues people are complaining about – that Crysis’ sandbox nature appears to mostly be absent in the sequel.

      Also, PC Gamer’s review notes that you cannot punch people as you can’t select fists. You imply you can punch like Tyson – does that mean fists are selectable (and PCG are goons) or were you merely referring to the pistol-whip/butt-bash melee attack?

    • beloid says:

      “Apart from the final fight.”

      What? again. Hope it’s nowhere near as dreadful as Crysis’ final fight.

    • Vandelay says:

      I’ve seen a few people complain about the suit powers of the original game and they slightly bamboozle me. Energy doesn’t deplete as quickly as many people seem to think, except for when you try and cloak and charge every. Cloak and crawl along and it lasts ages. I also liked the way the game didn’t seem designed around the suit, which it sounds like this might be. I was a superman in a real world, with all the odd awkwardness (of which there really wasn’t much) that might entail, but also the magnificence of it.

      Still, after playing the MP demo for a little while, I grew accustomed to the new suit and it certainly didn’t seem too bad. I don’t like that armour drains away constantly and the huge reduction in movement speed when it is enabled. Making strength always on doesn’t seem a massive issue. Wish you could run without using speed mode though. I do like the grabbing ledges and sliding stuff. It seems to have quietly beaten Brink to that.

      Definitely be a purchase for me, but I think it might be best not going in a comparing.

    • Yosharian says:

      http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.273162-Crysis-2-Sucks-Heres-why

      I wrote a thread about it.

      Essentially I feel that C1′s suit was all about juggling abilities, and the cloak could be used to supplement gameplay strategies. E.g. cloak to an area, fight it out in armor mode, escape to a new area.

      The change to the suit results in downtime where you can’t tank or cloak, all you can do is sit there like a wimp, hiding. It’s a very boring mechanic and I got absolutely sick of it after a few hours. Basically it’s rinse and repeat ‘cloak to A, hide, cloak to B, hide, cloak to C’.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      The final fight is incredibly weak. In a very different way to the original.

      @dancing crab – I thought I made it pretty clear how linear it is. It has plenty of large “arenas” but nothing like the original’s villages and valleys.

    • SuperNashwan says:

      “…one of the main issues people are complaining about – that Crysis’ sandbox nature appears to mostly be absent in the sequel.”
      This isn’t true at all, there’s plenty of open play in Crysis 2. I get why people would fear the change in location would mean otherwise but Crytek have done a sterling job of creating areas for you to exercise choice in and you can take a variety of approaches from full on frontal assault to headshots and backstabs, or anywhere in between. There’s actually more variety in the level design and how you have to approach it than Crysis’ tropical setting allowed for, it’s just physically more compact. Unfortunately the AI still isn’t as involving in full on combat as Halo’s from all those years ago but the enemies are satisfying enough fodder for your abilities.

    • Dominic White says:

      Yeah, the sandbox stuff is far from absent. The original game was a linear series of objectives with a lot of big open fields inbetween. Crysis 2 is a linear series of objectives with a series of big open streets/city-blocks inbetween, with lots of vertical play, areas to climb, stuff to jump over, etc. The environments in the original game were mostly monotonous. One tropical field with some trees and maybe a ridge or two is as good as another. City environments can be far, far more varied.

    • Hanban says:

      I absolutely love the way the suit is handled in Crysis 2. This time around I feel that I am much more in control of what I want to do. In an instant I can adapt to the situation make some havoc. Or no havoc at all should I like it.

      I think they balanced it nicely. If I want to stealthily take them out one by one, I can do that. If I want to shot rockets into their faces and then power-slide behind a corner and shoot someone in the groin with a shotgun I can do that.

      Excellent game I think. I enjoyed it much more than the first game. I get that people are disappointed because the first game and the second game are quite different. But if you can try to judge Crysis 2 as a stand-alone package it’s a really neat experience. I recommend it, really.

  13. MrWolf says:

    Install at your own risk, of course, but there’s a nifty and handy community-made tool for tweaking the PC settings:

    http://www.incrysis.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=33008

    • Optimaximal says:

      This…

      Points of Note – firstly, run it as Admin in either Vista or 7 – the game stupidly stores all its config files in Program Files, which has been bad programming design since 1937.

      Secondly, if you have the kit, use the ‘Extreme’ settings wasdie has added – it deploys an extra level of visual niceness that the game currently withholds with its generic catch-all settings (and Crytek are presumably reserving for the imminent DirectX 11 patch).

      Runs fantastic (never below ~50fps) on my i5/GTX460.

  14. SirKicksalot says:

    The first couple of levels, until the church, are bollocks. That’s where the game turns from a merely solid shooter into a great one.

  15. edit says:

    I’m bored with games that try to be blockbuster films. I’m more interested in what gaming can do that Michael Bay can’t.

  16. Vinraith says:

    So they took a somewhat-inventive, semi-open-world shooter and made a sequel that is a completely linear, scripted, checkpoint-based shooter. What is it with all the franchise devolution going on lately?

    I enjoyed the original Crysis but why on Earth would I buy a “sequel” that eschews everything that made it fun to play?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      “Accessibility.”

    • Vinraith says:

      Riiiiiiight.

      *wanders off to play STALKER*

    • Yosharian says:

      Nail. Head. Hit.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      You liked the first one? I thought it was a tedious, bland, unoriginal manshoot-with-one-gimmick (which feels an awful lot like the default genre for the past few years) that didn’t have a very good gimmick, since the suit was fun to play with for fifteen minutes and that was it.

    • jconnop says:

      I enjoyed the original mostly for the exploration of the beautiful outdoor levels. The man shooting just seemed to be a barrier/pacing mechanic to this.

      At least until the aliens showed up, then it got pretty meh pretty quick.

    • Tyshalle says:

      Stalker’s more about gritty atmosphere. Crysis 2 is about beautiful spectacle. Ultimately Crysis 2 is a more solid game (more gloss, meatier combat, better looking, etc.) but it will ultimately be forgotten about very quickly, whereas I think a lot of people will still be talking about Stalker a decade or two from now.

    • Bhazor says:

      Reply to MikoSquiz

      Which “gimmick” are you referring to exactly? The fact its a action bubble sandbox leading to every level feeling completely different everytime you play it? The on fly weapon customisation that allows you to turn a pistol into an (ineffective) sniper rifle? The vehicular combat? The game changing powers of the nanosuit? The magnificient AI which uses genuine tactics to track you down if you hide in the foilage? Did you mean the wholly destructable foilage which you can shoot down to use as cover and which the AI is smart enough to use on it’s own? Perhaps you mean the Zero-G sequences? Maybe the fact it is still the most beaufitul shooter ever made?

      So… you didn’t play it then?

    • Hanban says:

      I agree fully with Tyshalle. Stalker and Crysis 2 are good games but for very different reasons. And the scope of what they try to achieve are also very different. Crysis 2 is a fantastic game, but ultimately it’s something to be enjoyed for the brief duration that it lasts. In stalker you spend hour upon hour terrified of your environment and situation. Which is indeed excellent, but in another way.

    • Generico says:

      Couldn’t agree more. The original was MUCH more fun than this game, and there’s one reason for it… Crysis 2 was built for the lowest common denominator, in every way. It screams “I would have been so much better if I was just a PC game”. Every problem the game has is the result of the fact that it’s multi-platform. It’s a step backward from Crysis in virtually every way aside from graphics, and it’s really not because the engine can’t do better. It’s because it can’t do better on a console.

      As far as accessibility goes, I’m fairly certain the industry is heading toward a trend of games that play themselves, because actually playing games is just too complicated for the important comatose gamer demographic.

    • skinlo says:

      Stalker is one of the dullest game I’ve played. Crysis was infinitely better, as was COD4 even.

    • Tyshalle says:

      Well there’s no use discussing taste. Even terrible, terrible, just awful and very very wrong taste.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      The pointless nanosuit was the ‘original’ novelty gimmick. I’d completely forgotten about the zero-G sequences, I have to admit. Make that two gimmicks, then.

      Having AI (even AI that relies on the magical ability to see through solid objects) is not an original concept or even an unusual feature to have. Neither are vehicular combat or destructible cover. Or weapon customisation.

      I had quite a lot of time on my hands at the time, so I did play Crysis through to some point around the part where you’re helping the soldiers pull out as the aliens swarm everywhere before I realised I really wasn’t enjoying it at all any more. Still, “pretty but indifferent” is much better than “absolutely beautiful but aggressively tedious and irritating” like Far Cry 2.

      But not as good as “actually good” like Far Cry was, back in those halcyon days.

    • Vinraith says:

      You liked the first one?

      Yup.

      I thought it was a tedious, bland, unoriginal manshoot-with-one-gimmick

      That’s nice. So why are you in a thread talking about the second game in a series when you didn’t like the first one and apparently aren’t interested in the second one either?

    • DOLBYdigital says:

      Since people are mentioning Crysis and STALKER. I figured I would point out the STALKER recreation mod for Crysis that is being created. Its still very early but an ambitious team is recreating STALKER in the Cryengine2. Should be sweet:

      http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/02/07/modders-recreating-stalker-in-cryengine-2/

    • Tyshalle says:

      Based on everything I’ve seen on it (admittedly not much, a few trailers and screenshots), it looks like it imports a a few avatars and weapons and the UI, but none of the atmosphere that makes Stalker so great.

    • Optimaximal says:

      That’s nice. So why are you in a thread talking about the second game in a series when you didn’t like the first one and apparently aren’t interested in the second one either?

      That doesn’t make his points or opinions less valid – I thought Crysis looked nice but was a massive step backwards from Far Cry in the gameplay aspect. Yes, it still had some level of emergence (and Harbour Assault was great) but I never felt the entire game was anything more than a badly paced but nice looking mess.

      What little i’ve played of C2 so far shows it to be a better, much more punchier (*zing*) game.

  17. Walsh says:

    The sound in this game is fantastic. The gunfire sounds feel meaty and mighty unlike the modern based man shoots.

    Its a shame they gave up their position as graphics leader to accommodate consoles. No one will be using this game as the benchmark for their new super rig.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Right, they’ll still use Crysis ;)

    • gganate says:

      Honestly, the original felt very poorly optimized. If they’ve kept the graphic quality while improving performance, I can’t complain.

    • Nick says:

      really? I thought it was brilliantly scalable, to the extent I was able to run it and still have it looks half decent on a terrible system at the time.

    • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

      Well, the original Crysis was optimal enough to run with onboard-GPU and still look better than any other game you could buy at the time.

      For me it’s perfect optimization.

      I think that all the people whining about C1 optimization in fact cry that they cannot run it in full details – well, pity, but that’s what for the settings are – so that you could set the game in a way it’s playable for you, not to raise your ego.

      Crysis 2 however isn’t optimized at all – compare low to hight graphic settings, the difference is so very slight that I have a feeling like it’s made to run on High details at recommended settings (which ain’t demanding in a first place) or not run at all.

  18. SuperNashwan says:

    “I’ve only played a couple of hours of the multiplayer, but I’m pleased with how it has felt so far. (Although it clearly needs some patching to fix various reported issues.)”

    You’ve been luckier than me then, I’ve tried to play a couple of hours of multiplayer but right now virtually none of the ranked servers work at all so you’re stuck with the level one default class and loadout if you want to play. Not to mention rumours sprung up sometime yesterday that pirates were able to access the multiplayer, which is astoundingly incompetent if true.
    Fortunately the singleplayer isn’t half bad when the AI isn’t running in circles (no, really) or humping the furniture.

    • Premium User Badge Matchstick says:

      Fortunately the singleplayer isn’t half bad when the AI isn’t running in circles (no, really) or humping the furniture.

      The singleplayer isn’t half bad until you hit the bug that deletes all your collected Nano Catalyst (the ingame currency you use to buy upgrades in the SP game) and decides that you shouldn’t be allowed to collect any more.

      Somewhat screws things really.

  19. triprotic says:

    After the appalling consolified multiplayer demo, I’ve been totally turned off Crysis 2 completly. But with all the positive comments about the single player (which is what I loved about the first game) I decided to get Crysis 2 after all.

    If only I had a faster connection to download it quicker…

  20. kyrieee says:

    The lighting effects clearly look a lot better than in Crysis, but something about those jungle envionments make them more visually striking, to me at least, even though that game is three years old now. I hope Crysis 3 goes back to the jungle. Maybe we’ll have new consoles then that can actually handle big environments.

  21. l1ddl3monkey says:

    I hate EA, I hate overly picky DRM, I hate install limits; these are the things that make me mad.
    I’ve been playing Crysis 2 for the last 4 hours and it’s fucking superb and anyone not playing because they, like me, hate the above is cutting off of the nose to spite face.

    • Mattressi says:

      Well, the face is kinda just another linear manshoot, which isn’t really that exciting.

      That said, I will never buy a game with install limits or other ridiculous forms of DRM, no matter how good it is supposed to be: I will not die if I do not buy a game, but I will beat myself up if I waste more of my money on a game which I don’t really own.

      Besides, when Crytek representatives say things like “I know there’s a lot of negative feelings toward DRM. But, I mean, what are we supposed to do? The actions of a few are causing maybe a mild inconvenience for others. If I’m playing a game and it has DRM on it, do I notice? Not really. I just know that there’s something going on, but doesn’t really enhance my play experience. So, it’s something that we’ll have to look at in the future”, it makes it clear that they’re more committed to pretending to hurt pirates than giving their customers satisfaction.

    • SuperNashwan says:

      The DRM is meaningless, it’s been cracked already, unsurprisingly. I’ll be installing it on as many machines and as many times as I please, whether EA want me to or not.

    • Hanban says:

      You’re so cool Nashwan. I wish everyone did like you and we’d have no games at all. Power to the people!

    • SuperNashwan says:

      “I wish everyone did like you and we’d have no games at all.”
      Because using a game I legitimately purchased as I please is killing the games industry, yeah? Sure, DRM which is always cracked is the only thing preventing the total collapse of the games industry, it’s an inexplicable miracle it survived all those decades before online authentication servers.
      People like you are the reason customers are forced to jump through hoops that pirates don’t, giving paying consumers a measurably inferior product for zero benefit. I’m the one harming the industry? Jesus.

  22. VeliV says:

    *snip*

    • bill says:

      wow. i hadn’t noticed that. you must be right! And they tried to keep it so secret too!

    • noobnob says:

      Wouldn’t be so sure of that when we’ve had somewhat “unfavourable” WIT articles of games that were advertised here (full page ad, too). Such as the Mafia II WIT.

    • westyfield says:

      How are those new rocket boots, Jim?

    • Mman says:

      If you seriously think this sounds like a paid review, then the amount of money handed over must have been pretty poor.

    • Nick says:

      Yeah, if you subscribe you actually get some profit share from all the bribe money they get for their WITs. I’m currently wearing gold plated socks.

    • DiamondDog says:

      I dunno, I can see Jim giving a favourable review in exchange for a nice cuppa.

    • pepper says:

      The dragon age 2 first couple of hours thing was also quite harsh on the game whilst it had a fully paid advertising behind it about said game.

      How do you RPS chaps keep those people paying? Have you hired hypnotoad as your marketing dude?

    • Zwebbie says:

      VeliV: the advertisement rather had me thinking that the review would be much more critical; more advertisement games get treated remarkably rough on RPS than favourably. I still remember Starcraft, Mafia II and Dragon Age II, for example. Few titles that big caught as much flak.

  23. shaydeeadi says:

    Did anyone else notice that Redford from Bad Company 2 is the voice of loads of the enemies?
    I heard it all the time when I played through a but of it.

    Fun game too.

  24. Premium User Badge Carra says:

    Does it run well on older gigs? Still got a dual core E8400 8 & 8800GT here.

    • World One Two says:

      Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry report said it runs surprisingly well on older machines. Your set up should be able to play it on default settings (essentially what you’d get on the consoles, and still visually scrummy) at 30-40 fps. I think.

    • Premium User Badge Carra says:

      Looks like I’ll wait a bit longer to buy a new pc then :)

    • skinlo says:

      Consoles look very average. Even with the old PC, due to optimisations etc, I’d expect you to play it on highish settings.

    • Premium User Badge dhex says:

      i have an opteron 180, 4gb ram and an 8800gts 512 and it runs very well.

      there really is no excuse for not including a menu for specific graphics options. a minor pain, but baffling nonetheless.

      if you liked the first but aren’t married to it (or have an open marriage) it’s worth a shot for the sp. if you’re like me and you liked the first a lot and loved warhead a whole lot, it’s going to feel semi-satisfying. it’s great, but not.

      partially magnificient, as mr. rossignol said above.

      A good comparison would be what happened between fear and fear 2, but not nearly as stark/terrible/neutered. a similar process of accessibility/consolification/fucked it up/streamlining at work.

  25. Dominic White says:

    Dear god, some of you will never be happy in your lives. The first game came out, and everyone and their dog decried it as a cynical attempt to sell video cards, and a hollow, soulless experience.

    So when the sequel is actually a less graphics-centric, smoother-running game that actually offers a steady stream of well paced action without abandoning the two key pillars of the original (the nanosuit and open combat areas), it’s suddenly forsaking PC gamers in favour of console retardation.

    I do most of my gaming on PC, but dear god, PC-only sites tend to have the grumpiest comments on the internet.

    • subedii says:

      The first game came out, and everyone and their dog decried it as a cynical attempt to sell video cards, and a hollow, soulless experience.

      You’re taking two conflicting opinions from two different groups and saying “AARRGH YOU’RE ALL NEVER SATISFIED!!!”

      Personally, I’m not “everyone and their dog”, and I was one of those people who really loved Crysis 1 and what it achieved (I don’t think there were that few of us, given that it did in the end sell about 3 million copies).

      If you want to know why, then perhaps instead of raging, I would actually suggest reading what I posted above with regards to what I was looking for in a sequel, because I pretty much go into what I felt was good about the first one. What’s disappointing for me is that Jim actually said it doesn’t go that way.

      So gee, opinions I guess? You’re free to love it all you want, I’m not going to stop you.

    • Bhazor says:

      Reply to Dominic White
      This.
      I lost alot of faith in RPS in the comment thread for the MP Demo. Honestly, they sound like a press start screen murdered their parents.
      “rivalin says:
      March 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm
      yep, exactly how I found it, with the vague resemblance to the original, the glaring deficiencies are even more obvious, frankly it’s pathetic and suggests that Crytek paid literally no attention whatsoever to the pc version during development; absolutely everything is oriented around consoles, right down to the moronic “press start to begin” screen, oh really, start, why that’s right here on my gamep… OH WAIT, I’M PLAYING ON PC AND I DON’T HAVE A BLOODY START BUTTON YOU CRETINS!”
      Although I will point out that *it is* a much more linear game than the original though I’d say thats almost certainly a design choice rather than any kind of hardware limitation (I mean Just Cause 2 exists for christ cakes).

    • Mattressi says:

      You know Dom, it’s kind of funny; the most negative comments I see on here are usually coming from you.

      It’s also interesting that you seem to think ‘the internet’ is one entity: is it not painfully bloody obvious that the people who complained about a certain aspect of the first game might not be the same people complaining that that aspect was removed/changed/fixed in the second game?

      I for one think both games are crap: the first Crysis got boring very quickly (all the weapons felt the same, all the enemies were the same, the suit abilities got old quick and the game really wasn’t as open as people seemed to tell me) and it looks like this game will do the same (though, maybe even faster).

      Sorry if you find my negative opinion to be too grumpy for you; perhaps if PC gaming sites are just too grumpy (i.e. too many people don’t feel positively toward a game), you’d be best suited to reading the sugar coated press releases from devs/publishers and entirely skipping the comments.

    • Dominic White says:

      Funny how I’m the negative one, when a lot of comments in this thread are attacking the review, the reviewer, and even accusing RPS of selling out to corporate interests.

      But yeah, *I’m* the negative one.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      And now you’re complaining about the people complaining about your complaining!

      Dear god, we’re caught in a loop. Help us.

    • Nick says:

      Your definition of ‘a lot’ is an odd one. Actually, so is your apparent definition of attacking.

    • DiamondDog says:

      Actually Dominic is one of the few people on RPS that seems to try his hardest to only comment on things he likes.

      He’s right as well, it’s so tiring to see the same thing for all these big releases, DA2 included. Crytek are making games for hundreds of thousands of people, not just a few bitter cynics. They don’t have to conform what they make to what a miniority feels is the right design.

      Take Crysis 2 for what it is and enjoy it or don’t. Don’t whine that it isn’t a rehash of Crysis.

      Stalker is still a thing that exists.

  26. airtekh says:

    Nice review Jim.

    I loved the original, and I’ve heard positives elsewhere about this sequel, so it’s definitely going on my ‘to buy’ list.

  27. Vandelay says:

    They are allowed to make games in a different setting. Complain about them going with the cliché New York rather than a more novel city (it is a probably a city that is least accommodating for their open style of level design too,) instead of them not doing the same thing again.

  28. Mario Figueiredo says:

    I’d like to know more about the single-player campaign. Is it as short as the first game? Not being a multiplayer, while Crysis was no doubt absolutely marvelous, its short campaign made this one of the least played games for me. Far Cry 2, in contrast, took a couple of months of my time, playing and replaying.

  29. Alistair says:

    Jim R is pretty much spot on. A must buy on the PC (and exactly what Crytek said it would be). Smaller areas, but more interesting vertical levels, and free choice of routes around or through.

    MP server browser seems like the only real problem.

  30. ChampionHyena says:

    The Crysis 2 Experience:
    Why won’t it save my MP CD key?
    Why can’t I alter my graphics settings?
    Why is there no quicksave key?
    Why aren’t I storing more nanocatalyst?
    Why do some of these servers refuse to start?
    Why doesn’t the killcam match up to what I saw?
    Why can’t I BLEEDING BLOODY STOP PLAYING!?

    This game needs a patch or three. It is also absolutely GREAT. I’m quite willing to shrug at its slightly rough landing (assume they dust it off) since I’m getting so much entertainment out of it.

    Also, here’s hoping they tear the DRM out of it after a while. The original Crysis is still locked down, tho’.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Unfortunately this game has serious nanocatalyst issue!

      For example thread about it on steam forums
      http://forums.steamgames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1806080

      This issue brakes whole positive experience from the game and especially from battles with aliens. Don’t know exact reason, but it looks like the game decreases you nanocatalyst points every time you exit from the game. And if after next restarting of Crysis 2 you have zero nanocatalyst points actually you have negative number of it! That’s why it looks like your points stuck at zero and you can’t earn points anymore.

    • Premium User Badge Matchstick says:

      You can at least tweak some of the graphics properties outside the game by using the 3rd party tweaking tool from here http://www.mycrysis.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=12953

      Working out quite how big a bunch of idiots Crytek have to not include this themselves is left as an exercise for the reader.

  31. Navagon says:

    It doesn’t sound too bad. What a shame Crytek have to go and dampen my interest in this game by saying they want to incorporate some kind of clusterfuck DRM into this and their future games. How they’re going to manage that with this game I don’t know. Are patches going to bring more problems than they solve? Time will tell. But it’s needlessly ominous and not very encouraging all the same. Add that to the recent EADM debacle and it makes you wonder if EA even want customers at all.

    It’s just a shame that unlike most of Ubisoft’s offerings, underneath it all EA’s games tend to be good (recent C&C games and DA2 aside). .

  32. World One Two says:

    My copy is in the post. Did someone say earlier there’s no selectable fists this time around? And can this be confirmed? I’m not sure I can fully get behind a videogame that doesn’t allow me to punch a man halfway across Manhattan.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      The melee is with the weapon you have in your hand, although it can be “charged up” for extra damage.

    • Dominic White says:

      You can also still grab people and throw them 30 feet straight up. Always fun, that.

    • World One Two says:

      Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the holy trinity of grabs, throws and pistol whips. But I find a good knuckle sandwhich transcends the lot.

  33. reticulate says:

    Good review, and I’m not surprised at your summary. Crytek made it pretty clear this was going to be a more linear, scripted experience than Crysis a while back, so it’s not like some huge shock that it’s turned into a wide corridor shooter. If it’s a good wide corridor shooter, then it should be (and has been) reviewed on those terms.

    I get that people are infuriated that the sequel has gone down this path. But you can’t then argue the game is terrible because of it. You have to measure it against how well it does as it is, not what you wished it was. There’s a reason people like that aren’t very good reviewers.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      It doesn’t bother me much, really. The only difference was that the first wasn’t a corridor shooter. But it was still pretty much linear in every regard. The idea that Crysis had anything of open-ended or sandbox was quite an hoax.

      Still enjoyed the game greatly… for it’s technical achievements. So this second one no doubt will find its way into my house. Once it goes on sale after the initial craze.

    • drewski says:

      All of Crytek’s games have struck me as corridor shooters – they just give you big corridors.

      And personally I’d rather a nice solid wall stopping me exploring than instadeath from a magic helicopter gunship.

  34. Ultra Superior says:

    I’m playing the game and I love it -

    While bulletstorm talks about having fun killing with skill – Crysis makes no such claims, just delivers it – you will enjoy ridiculous skill-kills every minute.

    While Deus Ex HR makes a special video where it shows you how they are reinventing THE FORGOTTEN ART OF MULTIPLE PLAYSTYLE CHOICES – look! Stealthy way! Shooty way!

    Crysis again delivers – level design is really lovingly varied – in both “planar” and vertical and tonal way – arenas are intertwined with dark sewers, sunny scaffoldings, cramped interiors (in shops around) spacey boulevards/squares.

    Those who think that the island was better because it was huge – it wasn’t – because mostly you were just running on a single plane hiding behind stuff – in crysis 2 there are zillions of vantage points, niches and passages around single combat area.

    Also I’d like to know what Jim thinks about the INSANE amount of detail put into the game -

    -copiers and printers hurl paper, monitors and notebooks can be switched on off, phones beep etc.
    - every artificial light in the scene is dynamic (as in you can grab it and make it shine elsewhere, or kick it somewhere – if its mounted than you can at least destroy it)
    -if you run fast under traffic lights, you get a speeding ticket and police camera flashes :D
    -every stupid piece of garbage lying around can be battered, deformed and destroyed
    - even objects you thought rigid can be deformed and destroyed if you apply enough force. If you blow the doors of a car you can see how well it is modeled inside etc.

    Above all these details, buildings and streets are torn apart in a huge-scale way.

    It feels like developers implemented every silly idea they came up with during brainstorms.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      “Also I’d like to know what Jim thinks about the INSANE amount of detail put into the game”

      I thought “I wish RPGs would do this”.

    • World One Two says:

      “I wish RPGs would do this.”

      It’s a money issue I guess. You can get a hell of a lot more funding, allowing for the development of such lovely incidental details, if you say your game is gonna have guns and nanosuits in. More people like war than they do stories, which I’ve always thought reflects badly on us a people.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Oh yes.

    • Premium User Badge Joshua says:

      @ Jim

      Didn’t the Witcher 2 devs say they were going to do this? Destroy something with the aard sign in a normal area and people will react to the destruction you caused and all that?

    • Premium User Badge wengart says:

      I would imagine it’s a bit more than a money issue, well in a way. An RPG could be given the same amount of cash as Crysis 2, but the detail probably still wouldn’t be there. With a linearish FPS that runs 5+ hours all of that cash can be put into a very tight space, while with an RPG that runs 20+ hours it requires that it be spread out more.

      Of course I’m saying cash when really it’s more a limit of time and manpower which is affected by the amount of cash you have available.

    • World One Two says:

      Yep, for sure. I tell you what though, I’d love to play a fairly linear RPG that was seven or eight hours long, packed with as much detail as Crysis. Perhaps set somewhere that’d appeal to a mainstream audience — because although I don’t have a problem with amply endowed Elven temptresses and amulets of eternal fury per se, I can appreciate that they’re a tad niche to receive a budget that’d compete with your major man-shoots.

    • bill says:

      Unexpected. Ultra superior has made me want to play this game. I was imagining it as a basic shooter, so i had little interest, but the idea that it’s got all the different routes of Deus Ex (without them being fixed and signposted like Human Revolution) suddenly makes it very appealing. I love that kind of play.

      @World One Two:
      And i also agree with you. I don’t get why ALL rpgs have to be epicly long. A much shorter more tightly packed rpg would be a nice change of pace. and would open itself up to other settings and much more flexibility. Has anyone ever tried one?

    • Ultra Superior says:

      @bill

      That is an excellent point – RPGs need this! To get rid of the epicness and create tight intense drama with less but deeper characters.

      I remember one very very old, and by today’s standards ugly RPG -

      Siege of Avalon (Digital Tome) It was an episodic release, and each episode was focused and non-epic but more so incredibly detailed and thorough. I loved the first episode where you begin in a besieged castle. The whole game is just the castle and its surroundings, but there was so much content and things to do.

      Another example would be Greyhawk, Temple of Elemental Evil- it is still looking good today and it is a rare and precious gemstone – because the combat is TURN BASED !!! Story isn’t interesting, though.

      Planescape Torment would be I think a good example – it has certain minimalism in scale and inventory – but the atmosphere is unforgettable, story is deep, bold and personal rather than “epic”.

    • TheSquarePear says:

      I thought “I wish RPGs would do this”.

      See Fallout New Vegas :P

  35. Wooly says:

    “The enemies are generally fired in from overhead Seth dropships, too, which is a bit Halo…”

    OH NOES ITS LIKE DRAGON AGE RAGE RAGE RAGE

  36. jstar says:

    I have to say that I am finding it incredibly disappointing so far. Admittedly I have only played for a couple of hours but I keep looking at the CRYSIS 1 box on my shelf and wishing it was more like the original. It feels like every other run of the mill corridor shooter now as you are ferried from A to B. The AI of the enemies is also terrible.

    Most annoyingly the story telling and the way the game starts is rubbish. I literally have no idea what is going on, who I am, why I am running round New York etc. I love stories that reveal themselves slowly but this just feels badly told and poorly presented.

    But then I haven’t played the whole game so maybe I am being unfair. I can’t seem to play it for more than 30 mins without getting bored though…

    • Aemony says:

      To be fair the second half of Crysis 1 was also quite linear straight after the revelation of the aliens. CryTek probably understood the hardship that would be required to deliver an immersive story with open levels and as such opted for a much more linear approach since it would at the end prove to be superior, which it has.

      Crysis 1 was fun the first half but Crysis 2 is fun all the way through. It feels a lot like playing Halo 2, IMHO.

  37. skinlo says:

    Its all subjective.

  38. Vinraith says:

    How long do you think it will take Crytek to blame piracy for the low PC sales figures?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I can’t imagine they will bother to even comment this time, not with the leak prior to release.

    • Vinraith says:

      I suppose the next question is “what are the odds Crysis 3 will even get a PC release?” Not that I really have a horse in that race anymore, I suppose.

    • subedii says:

      Didn’t they use the leak itself to start raging on PC piracy?

      Bit odd that, it was pretty clearly their fault that the freaking thing got leaked. If they had leaked a fully working console version that still would have been a terribad situation to be in. Heck for that matter, the fully complete console versions were leaked before the game release as well.

      The almost complete dev code getting out was just poor control on Crytek’s part. Or possibly publisher EA’s.

    • Optimaximal says:

      I don’t think they ever commented on the leak itself (why should they, it’s an internal matter).

      Their beef this time was with the download crowd leaping on the leak to distribute it and the actual quite significant number who downloaded it, whether maliciously with intent or out of curiosity.

      At no point, however, can this be more than tenuously related to lost sales, as the game couldn’t be bought.

  39. skalpadda says:

    Thanks Jim, this is the first review I’ve read that actually talks in some detail about some of the things I wanted to know, like how it plays rather than how it feels, looks and sounds.

  40. Aemony says:

    I loved Crysis for its open levels fun combat (at least until it hit partway through and the game suffered from a forced linear approach) but I must admit I love Crysis 2. I love the awesome looking light/color bluriness (the light from objects are blured and expanded on the screen, which adds a lot to the immersion), I love the Ceph (Squid a.k.a. Covenant) and that the game pits you against the human Cell opponents occasionally and the whole story is fantastic and highly interesting. Comparing Crysis 2 to Halo 2 gameplay-wise is quite good since they both share the same kind of feeling and many gameplay elements (enemy reinforcements during active combat from the air, stealth-approach-one-hit-KO-tactics, and even somewhat the aliens).

    Crysis 2 is superior to Crysis 1 in both gameplay and graphics. Sure, the open and big levels is gone but it has been swaped to a much better story, more fun gameplay, more engrossing multiplayer segment and overall a much better experience and immersion.

    And hell, the game looked just beautiful at 1680×1050 on Advanced preset with my G73 laptop. The visual details might be somewhat lacking sometimes but the overall visual quality and the awesome looking color play is just magnificent.

    Though a fair warning would be that your initial reaction from all the colors jumping around and playing on your screen can be a bit confusing at first. But now I’m somewhat bored that my other FPS games doesn’t blend and mix and blur and twist and smear out all the lights and colors as Crysis 2 does, with all those little nice lens flares as well.

    8.9 / 10

    Now I just hope that a patch gets released to fix all those annoyingly little A.I. problems… I have countless of stories to tell about enemies trying to walk through a non-existant door (texture exists, but there’s no actual openable door there) and enemies standing on a small ledge at the side of a building trying to walk back towards the center of the building since they fell of the roof and such.

  41. Lobotomist says:

    Thanks for review. Just cemented my opinion not to buy it.
    I have no need for 50$ graphic tech demo.

    Wake me up when a shooter that is actually about gameplay and not graphic coming out.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      You’ll be missing on the most varied, fun FPS made in years.

      Also, it is no benchmark, it looks great on any spec same or better than years obsolete consoles.

    • Aemony says:

      The game delivers in many of the other segments as well. I actually feel that the graphics doesn’t have the same focus anymore as it did in Crysis. Crysis 2 has an immersive gameplay, awesome visuals and fun arcade MP. And the requirements are really low for what you get.

      I enjoyed every minute of it and will begin my second playthrough right away simply for the sheer gameplay enjoyment.

    • Frools says:

      hah, if that’s what you got from this review I think your opinion was pretty well cemented before you started reading!

    • Vagrant Zero says:

      @Lobotomist: An FPS that’s more about gameplay than graphics?

      Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

    • Lobotomist says:

      Hmmm….

      Well people opinions are contrary to tone of the review. Which can mean only that the game is bit deeper when you scratch the surface.

      I liked Crysis. But not as much as Far Cry (which is by my oppinion one of best shooters of all times)
      And I got impression that Crysis 2 complexity will be even more sacrificed for sake of graphic (and consoles)

      Right now with all this contrary opinions – I can only say , I will look for demo. And i am not writing off the game

    • subedii says:

      Only problem is that the demo’s multiplayer only.

      That’s a real shame. I pretty much bought Crysis ASAP off of the strength of the demo they released for it. I was amazed at how varied I could approach everything.

    • Lobotomist says:

      Maybe there will be single player demo in future ?

  42. Teddy Leach says:

    I must be the only person who never ever quicksaves.

  43. DiamondDog says:

    Reply fail.

  44. Ultra Superior says:

    Reading the replies of satisfied nay sayers:

    “another corridor fps, another call of duty”

    I NEED TO CLARIFY:

    This is the most open FPS with the most varied leveldesign made in years!
    You always have multiple options and multiple paths between checkpoints.

    Just look again at the screenshots….
    And if are looking at the last one and seeing CoD’s corridor, then bear in mind that there are sewers below you, back alleys, watchtowers, accessible scaffoldings/rooftops and opened shops all around you.

    • subedii says:

      This is the most open FPS with the most varied leveldesign made in years!

      Haha.

      Not that I’m going to disagree with you, but that’s really not giving us much to work with here. :P

    • Premium User Badge Joshua says:

      What I get from the description is that Its not open in the way we are used to (A la FC (2) or Crysis or Stalker open) but much more ‘vertical’.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      @subedii

      Just play it.

      I had the same prejudices against it and now look at me, doing all the hard marketing stuff for crytek even after I paid THEM my 49.99 EURO.

    • Dominic White says:

      Outside of true sandbox games like Far Cry 2 and STALKER, he’s right, though. The majority of combat in Crysis 2 occurs in large, varied, multi-level environments. You’re usually given a very vague objective like ‘get to the other side’, but how you do this is entirely your choice. Personally, I make a beeline to mounted weapons whenever possible, demount them, and go full Terminator using Armor mode and power-aiming (almost no recoil, even on HMGs) until I reach a fresh cannon to tear off its mounting.

      Most players seem to favor the stealth/knife/silencer headshot approach though. Personally, I can’t stand being so subtle when there’s an enormous chuggy death-gun waiting for my gentle, loving embrace.

      Better still, enemies actually react to this. Hearing “HMG! TAKE COVER!” and seeing enemies just scattering for somewhere solid to hide is great.

    • Mattressi says:

      This is the most open FPS with the most varied leveldesign made in years!
      You always have multiple options and multiple paths between checkpoints.

      Er…the Stalker series, Far Cry 2, Fallout New Vegas and the Arma series all seem a lot more open than “multiple paths”. But I agree with you; no recent (nor long past) corridor manshoots have been non-linear…which is why I dislike the genre and prefer open-world FPS games.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      @Joshua

      You are right – it is not open in this way but it is as open as deus ex. It is understandable as it takes place in a city.

      I prefer this kind of “variey” over the “openness” of Crysis 1 – there was more space and bigger distances, but less things to do in it. Less possible “approaches” to given situations.

      @Dominic @Mattressi
      Of course – Far Cry 2 and Stalkers are much more OPEN. Thing is, English isn’t my mother tongue so I tend to generalise a lot when forming an opinion into words. For me, Fallout NV and Stalkers are different genres, though seen from FPS perspective and sandbox manshoots like Far Cry2 are spacey but lack “the focus” or “intensity”.

      That said, I love all mentioned games and would prefer them always before corridor shooting galleries on rails, no matter how nice.

      (looking at bulletstorm)

    • subedii says:

      Guess I’ll give it a go.

      WHEN they finally patch in an options menu so I can get rid of that terrible motion blur and terrible terrible Temporal Anti-Aliasing.

      I’m not exaggerating when I say there were one or two points where the AA, motion blur and closed in FoV were conspiring to make my eyes water during the multiplayer demo. Honestly, the game would look so much sharper without the AA and blur.

    • subedii says:

      I’ve seen that thread. Believe me, I’ve been keeping track of Crysis 2 because I am interested in it. :P

      That said, I’m still seeing plenty of people saying there that some options don’t work, getting weird results (like Subsonix post on pg 24, I’m guessing that’s an artifact of the Temporal AA at work getting bugged out by some setting changes) or having outright crashes when trying to change things.

      I want Crytek to fix this stuff. Because honestly, that is fairly basic.

      Still, I might break and give it a go. Have you been able to disable all that stuff successfully yourself?

    • Ultra Superior says:

      subedii:

      Yes, it was pretty simple – so far no issues.

    • subedii says:

      http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/253/crysis2advancedgraphics.png

      Oh thank goodness there’s an option to toggle mouse smoothing off. I don’t know why so many games put that on by default, it’s terrible!

      Well, guess I’ll see about getting a copy off of Steam or D2D.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Doom also let you kill monsters in many and varied ways. I’d avoid the word “open” to classify Crysis.

      “Good” game. “Fun” game. That will work for me.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      @Mario Figueiredo
      poor analogy.

      If you think that openness of THIS

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8YUJ3IqOoo
      is comparable to doom…

      …then you are fooling yourself.

  45. Moni says:

    I’m quite pleased to hear that the multiplayer is quite good. Hopefully it’ll ring in the Free Radical comeback, and we’ll get that TimeSplitters sequel.

  46. Serenegoose says:

    I have a question: Is it in the Call of Duty 2 part of ‘spectacular’ where stuff happens but you still get to -play the game- and do all the fun things, or is it in the BLOPS/Homefront realm of ‘spectacular’ where you may as well be watching a movie? I’m fine with the former, but not the latter, and knowing that could make all the difference.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      it is like Half Life 1 and 2 – big stuff happens, but the set is all yours.

      Only the set in crysis 2 is 100000x bigger than in half life 2.

      I disagree with the statement that crysis 2 is in the same league with CoDMWBLOPS. That is entirely untrue. I hate those games.

      Gameplay wise I’d say Crysis 2 is like Deus Ex – without soul and limited to combat and stealth. And gorgeously beautiful.

    • drewski says:

      Sounds like the combat’s about a billion times less wonky than in Deus Ex from what Jim’s saying.

      I could call DX’s combat a lot of things, but “solid” would never be an adjective that occurred to me…

  47. DOLBYdigital says:

    Well after playing the massively disappointing MP demo I think I’ll wait for a Steam sale for this one. I can’t justify paying full price for a single player game that is largely linear so replay value is likely low even if its a good single player game. (at least that’s what I got from the review above). Thanks for the detailed review :)

    • gganate says:

      Yeah, the single player sounds fun, but if it’s only 10 hours I can’t really justify buying it, especially since I’m not much of a multiplayer gamer. So maybe in six months we’ll get a steam sale.

  48. Premium User Badge Joshua says:

    So, mr Rossignol

    Did Crysis 2 just set the new standards for performance and ‘Linear’ shootingness in the same way that Crysis 1 set the new standards for graphics and open wordliness?

  49. J-Han says:

    Hmm, much like the original it’s still way too easy even on the hardest difficulty. (And I suck at first-person shooters.)

    • ix says:

      I did wonder why Jim played it on normal. Normal these days seems to mean “you’ve never played a game of this type before”, so I automatically select hard whenever I start a new AAA title.

  50. QualityJeverage says:

    Good review. I loved the game, and frankly I’m getting pretty sick of the PC gamers whining about it. Far as I’m concerned, the only legitimate complaint is the lack of video options and the need to use console commands for real control. I didn’t care because I had it on Extreme (Max settings) anyway, but a PC game should always allow more control.

    It’s hardly more linear than the original Crysis. You progress through the story in a linear way, but the environments and battlefields are quite large and allow a huge amount of experimentation and strategizing. The maps aren’t quite as huge as the original, but that was a jungle and this is a city. What exactly do you expect there? I’m going through a second playthrough right now, and am even looking forward to a third. Because of how large and dynamic the environments are, there’s a lot of room for battles to play out differently each time. If you compare Crysis 2′s singleplayer to the modern Call of Duty games (MW, blops, etc.), you’re basically admitting that you either haven’t played the game very much or you’re just unreasonably pissy that it’s not exclusive to your gaming machine of choice anymore.

    The whole “It doesn’t support DirectX11!” argument really grinds my gears. It’s true for sure, the game only runs on DX9. Did we all expect DX11? Yeah. Does the game look incredible on DX9? Yes. It does. It runs like a hot knife through butter too. I’m sure there are a number of technical reasons why I’m wrong and someone will helpfully point them out, but if you ask me Crysis 2 both looks and runs noticeably better than the original ever did, even on DX10. Even if you were really banking on DX11 support, you cannot deny the game credit for how good it looks even on DX9. It’s quite remarkable. It may not be the graphical revelation that Crysis was but for my money it’s the best looking game out there at the moment, thanks both to the visual fidelity and how smoothly it runs.

    As for the Nanosuit, well, people complaining that it’s been “dumbed down for dem console casualz!” are clearly people I’m not interested in interacting with. It has been dumbed down, a phrase which here means “Made usable, intuitive, and not frustrating during combat.” The suit in Crysis 2 can do everything it could in Crysis 1. No abilities have been lost. It’s just infinitely easier to leverage those abilities in interesting ways during combat, rather than having to swap back and forth between modes in the midst of trying not to be shot.

    Ultimately, Crysis 2 has just been one of those games where I resolve to ignore all the whining and play it. The plan worked out, because I’m having a blast with the game. It’s easily one of my favourite shooters in years, and feels like a big middle finger to the MWBLOPS’ we’re so accustomed to now. I’d highly recommend that people who are dismissing it “on principle” just take their medicine and sit down with the game. It’s pretty great, if you just let yourself enjoy it.

    • drewski says:

      I like this comment a lot.

    • KenTWOu says:

      @QualityJeverage: Be strong. Be fast. Be invisible. Be the middle finger to the MWBLOPS!!!

    • Jad says:

      @QualityJeverage

      Bravo! You said virtually everything I wanted to say.

    • Commisar says:

      here here, I second this comment in full, from what I can gather from the demo and others reactions, Crysis 2 is a fun, solid, great looking FPS on PC. Why does everyone keep whining that is it “consoletarded”???? I swear, when BF3 comes out, there will be people whining that is isn’t EXACTLY like BF2, but it shouldn’t be identical. Also, once it gets down to about $40, I’ll probably get it.