Crysis 2 is an outstanding experience from beginning to end, with really only one flaw: the story. You can ignore it if you play the game for what it is: a blockbuster FPS. Coming in at just under 9 hours for an experienced FPS gamer, there are few lulls in the action and a solid suit-upgrade system to keep you engaged. Let’s get to it.
Based in a nearly demolished 2024AD New York City, you play as Alcatraz. A U.S. marine who is just an average guy like you and me until he dawns the trademark Nanosuit. The suit has four modes: strength, speed, armor, and stealth. This affords the player several creative moments during the game where the suit speaks to you as truly the protagonist in the game. It’s almost as if the folks at Crytek intentionally turned the tables on us. Instead of controlling the badass, the badass is controlling us. Giving us a few options to succeed by leveraging the four modes of the suit. You have plenty of opportunity to build your battle plan. The game’s flow is essential as follows: a cut-scene to setup the chapter (19 in total), a quick battle against either aliens or human mercenaries, and then a larger battle. The environments are highly detailed but do not vary much. You are either outdoors in NYC or inside of buildings. Due to the complexity of the story, you will find yourself in many situations to either stealth through a battle, storm the enemy, or flank them. There are a variety of weapons with a very well implemented attachment system. You may carry two weapons and two explosives such as C4 or a rocket launcher. The weapons are all useful and believe me, you’ll use them. The aliens especially can take a lot of damage. And depending on how you use your suit’s modes, every weapon can be used throughout the entire game.
As you juggle the suit’s modes and the various weapons you’ll find yourself performing amazing stunts that are not always easy to repeat. Within the chapters there is plenty of opportunity to create your own unique story. Sometimes I went stealth and I felt like James Bond. Other times I used a lot of hand-to-hand combat and suddenly I was Jason Bourne. I found that when I fought the aliens I was more like Rambo. I would activate armor mode, pull a turret off a Hummer and rip through a large horde. Don’t get me wrong: this isn’t an easy game. The enemy AI is solid. Still I was reminded of another Crytek game: Far Cry. It was an open world game within a linear story. Crysis 2 is similar but more controlled. The scope of your creativity is more narrow than Far Cry.
Wrapped around the fun “create your own” gameplay is the story. I had to pay attention to it for the sake of the integrity of this review. But really I think the game is more enjoyable when you ignore the story. I felt like Crytek purposely avoided hammering in the story. It’s just not the strong-point of the game. You’re a one-man wrecking crew. You’re the Hercules of the future and you’re given enough rope to create your won unique story inside the world that has been created for you. This leads to huge replay value; more so than any FPS I’ve ever played.