Crysis 2 is considerably different from the first game. Gone is the ability to free-roam a luscious island located within the East Philippines, and now you are placed within a linear-progression cityscape of New York in the year 2023 (3 years following the events of Crysis).

You play as Alcatraz and assume the role of Prophet in stopping an alien menace that threatens the world as we know it. There is a considerable amount of human resistance against you by an organisation known as CryNet from the belief that you are Prophet and their main aim is to recover the suit, even if that means killing you in the process.
Throughout the opening chapters the Nanosuit v2.0’s abilities slowly unlock and before you know it, you are skilfully combining the sneakiness of your cloak with the all-absorbing (for about 4 seconds) armour abilities to unleash guerrilla-warfare style play upon hordes of enemies.
Now the reason I state the style of play being akin to guerrilla warfare is because that style of play has the best chances of survival, and that is down to the way the game’s mechanisms are made. You can run-and-gun to your heart’s content, but unless you have the reactions of a panther on copious amounts of narcotics then you probably will not survive long.
This allows (or I could equally say, forces…) the player to be very flexible with their tactics and actually makes it a challenge at the time in the sense that the A.I is fairly adaptive so you really need to take advantage of the environment if you wish to survive. Of course there is taking advantage of the environment to provide a heated combat situation and then taking advantage of the fact that certain enemies are unable to reach you in certain sections which provides a very stale experience, most of the time this can happen in the preceding area to where you will fight the next batch of enemies. Numerous enemies really do catch bullets and just keep catching them, right up until the point you could have written you name backwards and in fifty-foot high letters across a building if you wasn’t just firing them into a single point between the enemies eyes.
Now conflict’s aside, let’s talk exploration. Exploration was a staple of the first Crysis and there were a considerable amount of expectations placed on Crysis 2 to allow gamers that level of freedom once more. Instead with Crysis 2 you have these very large sections of level with numerous locations surrounded by a multitude of routes. This actually works surprisingly well and these sections boast a large enough area for you to be satisfied while playing. I did encounter a number of invisible walls and places I felt I should be able to get through but I understand the limitations that have been imposed on the developers by having to work within such a linear and narrative-strict setting.
Upgrades! We all love upgrades. Throughout the game you collect parts of the aliens and when you have enough uhh alien juice? You can spend the points earned on a number of upgrades. Now it has to be said a fair number of them are completely useless and I would recommend grabbing the Bullet Tracer/Armour Enhancement/Speed Enhancement and then just saving non-stop until you can get the Stealth Enhancement(most expensive).

The guns within Crysis 2 are incredible. They feel right, they shoot right and they are just so damn satisfying! Have a bunch of on-the-fly modifications you can make as well such as scopes/barrel extensions. ‘nuff said. (They really are that good)

(Before I continue with a discussion on the technical elements I should make a point that after playing the first chapter with a standard Field of View set to 55 by the developers, I really was not enjoying the game. It should be noted that typical First-person FOV used within PC games is approx 84-90 degrees. The gun actually takes up half of the screen on Crysis 2 at 55! Now this is understandable for console gamers and it actually has a lot of sense within it. But on the PC platform I expect to have a setting close to 90 and the diagram below should explain that. I did remedy this issue by forcing the change by adding various target extensions to the shortcut, but the point is I shouldn’t have to Crytek).

The reasoning behind the Field of View in games is to provide the best immersive experience to the target audience. I believe it was the developers intention to unify the experience across the platforms with the console gamers “view”. This diagram to the right explains why. If you can imagine that first blue square being where a monitor would sit for a PC gamer, then the back square is the distance of a Television Screen, at the close distance for a PC gamer, the console gamer’s view is uncomfortable and vice-versa.

Now the boundary redefining graphics that Crytek brought to the market back then with Crysis (2007), which forced many gamers to upgrade their machines and are still very impressive to date, have been brought forward again with some very impressive engine tweaks and very taltented texturing. I have seen some reviews judge harshly on some of the textures they have used but I understand from a technical point that what they have accomplished with Crysis 2 is by no means an easy feat. Undeniably the game prompts true aesthetic design and incredible visuals but a lot of this does actually comes down to the abilities of the finely crafted CryEngine 3.

While it may have been a poor decision on CryTek’s part to release the game without the DirectX 11 features enabled, that does not mean the game does not look fantastic. It is clear the main target market this time around was for consoles (graphically), but it is also clear that they did not forget about the PC gamers in the sense of gameplay.
I’ll give an example of how the game allows the player to progress in as much of their own possible way while still adhering to a strict narrative without passing too many spoilers.
At a certain section in the game, an enemy regiment carrying enough armament to level a first-world country turn up to deal you some pain for taking down 4 of their best in an effort to stop you reaching your goal. I, by this point was tired from a rapidly approaching 9 and half hours single play session, simply activated my cloak and ran my merry arse off towards this paticular sections finish line.
I regrettably wish I had stayed to fight now as that would have certainly added more to that section of the game. But unlike other games in the genre that punish the player for such actions, Crysis 2 does not enact that upon the player.
TL:DR – Overall, this game what it lacks in exploration truly makes up in explosive gun-toting action. The narrative is very linear but that is not to say it isn’t enjoyable. The defining moments are not what is at either points A or B and instead are found travelling between them.
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