Since I was one of those who had Crysis 2 on pre-order via Steam, I could not wait until 9am CST Wednesday March 22nd, the time the game became available for me to download through Steam. A day later, after completing the single player campaign on "Veteran" mode, in about 7 hours, while broadcasting a live stream of my session. I can honestly say the game was well worth the money and the wait.
Like I said, I decided to make my first play through the game a little more challenging by playing it on Veteran mode, and it took me about 7 hours from start to finish. It was challenging, but still easily doable and a lot of fun. Since I was also broadcasting my gaming session live via X-Fire and LiveStream, I was not really exploring all the paths you can take or areas of the game, so I missed a large number of the games "collectibles". That's not a problem since, in my opinion, it gives the single player campaign more replay value. I intend on playing through it another time or two to collect all the items available.
Well, I can sit here and type out a few boring paragraphs about the games story, or I can just give you a couple videos that will do the job a lot better. Not to mention be far more entertaining.
This first one is the official "Crysis 2 Story Trailer".
This next one is the games introduction sequence that I recorded and uploaded shortly after I got it downloaded and installed. So you can get an idea of how the story starts out.
I really liked the story and the direction they took it. Without giving away any spoilers, I can say that it's left open for more games in the series, something I hope to see in the coming years. Any fan of the series or Sci-fi stories will like this one.
Well, it's Crysis, it's what you expect and more. Lots of weapons to pick up and modify with different attachments throughout the game. Great melee and stealth attacks, including the ability to kill with a silenced pistol and remain cloaked. New attack methods such as "Air Stomp", "Power Kick" obstacles like cars onto or into an enemy, and power sliding under barriers and pumping the enemy full of lead. You can pull off combination's of such moves for some great kills. There is also a nice cover system where you can peek over barriers and around corners to fire at your enemy.
You can also purchase enhancements for your Nanosuit with points "harvested" from enemy kills that augment your different powers and have any one of them active at any given time in each of four categories. It's a lot of fun and adds a new level to the gameplay.
For a game that was cross-platform developed, they look pretty damn good on the PC in high-resolution and at the "Extreme" setting. I am not a an of cross-platform development when it impacts quality on the PC for the sake of inferior console hardware. No console can dream of doing what a nice high-end gaming PC can and I like to see games that actually take advantage of modern PC gaming hardware. I am a PC gamer for a reason. I like the power and I expect my games to use it. Crysis 2 does not push my system anywhere near it's limit, but it still pumps out good looking graphics. However I had to see for myself how it compared to a console.
So I went out and rented a copy of Crysis 2 for the 360 and did a side by side comparison between the two versions. The 360 version does look very nice, on the PC, it's comparable to the games "High" settings.
However, once you set the graphic quality on the PC version to "Very High", you can notice where the console hardware falls short. Once you push the setting to "Extreme", it's very obvious the PC version looks a lot better than the console versions at high resolutions. Though the game does not use DirectX 11, supposedly there will be a patch that will add DirectX 11 features and support. However you can see DX10.1 features being used in some aspects of the graphics.
So it's nice to see that Crysis 2 is not a pure "console port". However it does suffer from cross-platform development in the fact you have no control over any specific graphic settings, such as AA, AF, texture quality, shadows, post processing effects, and all the rest. You have the ability to adjust your resolution, v-sync, and one of three quality presets (High, Very High, Extreme), that's about it. A disappointment from the perspective of a PC gamer and fan of the game series that used to be well known for its graphic power and customization. Something that should be standard on all good PC games.
Beyond that the game looks great when you run it on "Extreme" and at 1080p resolutions. It's also has 3D display capability if you have hardware to support it. Though I seriously hope that if they continue the series, they stop making concessions for inferior console hardware and give the PC gamers a version that can actually take advantage of the far superior PC hardware available.
How does it run?
On my system, the game ran great, averaging about 70-125 FPS easy and across the board, with dips down into the high 50's while broadcasting my live stream in maximum quality and running the game at all maximum settings. Those dips into the high 50's very short lived and unnoticeable save for the fact I had my FPS being displayed via X-Fire.
My system specifications are listed on my Strider's Gaming Rig Specs and Benchmarks page as well as on the right column of this page near the top.
Just like the Demo, the MP on Crysis 2 is fantastic and a sheer blast to play. It takes the best elements of the single player gameplay we all have come to love about Crysis and brings them to a great multiplayer experience. I am not sure what else to say about the multiplayer aspect of the game, perhaps this calls for a few good videos again?
This is a great game and well worth the price tag in my opinion. The single player campaign takes about 6 to 7 hours to complete, if your not rushing through it and including a couple breaks, but that's not including locating and acquiring all the collectibles in the game. So the campaign has good replay-ability and will not leave you feeling like you were sold short. There are 4 different difficulty modes, multiple path options, and a lot of different ways to achieve the objectives, I love the "Tactical" mode, and I think you will too.
The multiplayer experience is a blast and very unique. I also don't see it dying anytime soon since there is already DLC on the horizon. There are a lot of "gratifying" ways to take down your enemies in MP, a must for any online gamer looking for a good time.
If you got the extra money to drop on the game, I say go for it, it's well worth it and that's not something you can say about many games these days.
I give it an easy 8/10. Docking two points for the cross-platform development and lack of individual graphic setting customizations like I talked about earlier.