Crysis 2 First Look

Nomad takes his nanosuit to Wall Street as we check out the Xbox 360 version of this sequel.

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Crytek is aiming to explore new ground in more ways than one. The German developer originally made a name for itself with 2004's Far Cry, a gorgeous first-person shooter that used its lush tropical setting to push the levels of modern PC graphics into truly impressive territory. It was a similar story three years later with Crysis, another critically acclaimed shooter that combined postcard visuals with free-form sandbox gameplay. But rather than go for a hat trick of PC shooters largely set in wild jungles, Crytek is taking a different path with Crysis 2. This sequel will take you to the streets of New York City, and beyond that, it will also mark Crytek's cross-platform debut.

At a press event held last week, Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli answered the evening's big question right away: he would be demoing a stage from Crysis 2 on the Xbox 360 to give everyone a look at what his team has done with this generation's console hardware. Anyone who played the original Crysis knows what a tall order approximating those visuals on consoles was going to be, but after seeing protagonist Nomad tackle aliens and private military contractors on a devastated vision of Wall Street circa 2023, it was hard to be anything but impressed. The sun peeking through the distant haze above crumbled buildings, the bits and pieces of concrete and glass erupting from stray gunfire, and the vibrancy of the oddly lush rooftop gardens were just a few ingredients combining to make for a very pretty demo.

We could go on about the sort of tech running beneath the surface--and Yerli was quite keen to point out specifics--but the simple fact of the matter is that console owners are going to be impressed with Crytek's debut outing on non-PC platforms. Having not seen the PC version, we can't yet say what the visual disparity is going to be between the various platforms, but Yerli told us later on that the PlayStation version is nearly identical to its Xbox counterpart and that the PC is still very much the lead platform. Basically, Yerli told us to expect every bit of the hardware-devouring ambition that Crytek displayed with the original Crysis for those planning to pick up the sequel for the PC. We'll wait and see how things turn out on that front, but it was reassuring to see how well the game ran on Xbox 360.

The iconic nanosuit has undergone some changes in Crysis 2. In the first game, this high-tech exoskeleton allowed you to toggle between maximum strength, speed, stealth, and power--but all four options were mutually exclusive from one another. In Crysis 2, those abilities have been shuffled a bit to allow for more mixing and matching between power-ups. This time around, the four options are strength, stealth, power (which has had speed folded into it), and a new vision mode similar to the previous game's binoculars, which layers tactical information onto your field of vision. The big difference now is that strength and stealth are the two either-or base options (which Yerli describes as choosing between a "predator" and a "tank"), while power and tactical vision can be simultaneously used on top of either of those two for a total of three at once. All these abilities will once again drain over time, but now there's a lot more flexibility with how you use them. On top of that, Yerli also teased the ability to customize upgrades to your nanosuit over the duration of the game to allow for more personalized skills. We're intrigued by this new feature, but it seems smart to avoid holding out hope for a Modern Warfare level of perks and upgrades.

Nomad is back with a nanosuit that's more customizable than before.

The power ability was the first one we got to see in action, as the demo began with Nomad standing near the edge of a skyscraper's blown-out wall, exposing Manhattan in all its "catastrophic beauty"--to borrow a catchphrase frequently used by Yerli. Switching to the power ability in the nanosuit allowed Nomad to deftly leap from this building to the rooftop of the next one over. Here he took on a squad of PMCs using a contrasting mix of stealth tactics and loud weaponry. Like in the original Crysis, you can grab enemies by the throat and toss them from high perches (in this case, entire buildings) while in power mode. But now imagine being able to do this while quickly speeding to your next hapless victim without toggling between abilities, and you've got a decent idea of what to expect from some of these new nanosuit abilities.

The demo eventually moved from the rooftops down onto the streets, where Nomad traded in his shotgun and assault rifle for a grenade launcher to take on the robotic-looking humanoid aliens patrolling the sidewalks below. The big intersections and partially destroyed buildings offered a large battlefield for this fight. On a similar note, Yerli also mentioned the verticality that these Manhattan skyscrapers offer as another reason to believe the gameplay will maintain a similar level of open sandbox exploration as the original game. Either way, the combat looked impressive, with realistic damage going on all over the place and frequent switching between nanosuit powers showing how quickly you can adapt to a given situation.

Obviously the PC version will look the best, but console Crysis is nothing to scoff at.

There's a very deliberate reason that Crysis 2 is set in New York City. Yerli is the first to admit that Crysis may have been a beautiful game to look at, but its story was sorely lacking any sort of "emotional buy-in." Crytek has chosen to set the sequel in New York to add more emotional resonance to the game's alien invasion story. "If I could pick one city to protect, it would be New York," says Yerli of their decision to set the game in a city widely regarded as one of the great triumphs of humankind. To help flesh out that story, they've hired award-winning sci-fi novelist Richard Morgan as lead writer on Crysis 2. Morgan arrived on the project during what he described as a "storm of creativity" between artists, animators, and programmers. But despite that, he's focused on adding a twisting narrative that explores some moral gray areas during the game, with the invasion having become something of a "vexed political issue." Morgan also talked a lot about the nanosuit playing a big role in the story, going to the point of "becoming a character in its own right…with its own [story] arc."

At this point, it's pleasing to see just how nice the Xbox 360 version of Crysis 2 looks. It would have been nice to see more game, as the presentation we saw was heavy on tech demo reels and light on gameplay. But for the 10 or so minutes of the game we saw in action, there was a lot to like. Now we're eager to see just how ridiculous the PC version looks, as well as how that "verticality" of leaping between skyscrapers figures into the game. We should have more on Crysis 2 leading up to the game's release later this year.

Discussion

546 comments
zeroflame33
zeroflame33

this was one of the best trailers i 've ever seen

vsivertsen
vsivertsen

The xbox 360 hardware is aging. Long live the PC

TahaPrice
TahaPrice

i'm realy looking forward to this one

WarlikeOaks
WarlikeOaks

E3 footage leads me to believe this game will be all about how pretty a game can look, and nothing about game-play.

whenwewerekings
whenwewerekings

I sure hope you're right about that performance improvement, Trickymaster...

Trickymaster
Trickymaster

You can already see that explosions have been downscaled compared to the original engine. But I think the big advantage over the old engine is the fact that it can show the same thing with less resources. You might play Crysis 2 (highest setting) at 100 fps while Crysis at 60 fps.

whenwewerekings
whenwewerekings

Going to be needing 3 more 5870's... dammit. Hell, Crysis Warhead only gets 70-85fps with Quad-Crossfire 5870's.

whenwewerekings
whenwewerekings

"There's a very deliberate reason that Crysis 2 is set in New York City." -Consoles can't handle the extreme draw distances of the original Crysis. With tall buildings everywhere, that problem is almost easily solved. Duuuhh!

thestrateger
thestrateger

Superb!!!! I really have to buy that awesome game!!!

Raisiine
Raisiine

on the 360 and ps3 as well? oh man ooh man.. gyíkok mondom vegyetek konzolt

ohanrowan
ohanrowan

It's great that they have hired a novelist to create the story and hopefully make it an essential part of the game because that is what some games are missing like the first Crysis game.

Agumnivek
Agumnivek

Now this is going to be worth the $60 :).

Limey163
Limey163

New York seems to be a big factor in C2. Many other games have portrayed the destruction of NY but I think C2 might actually capture it! Finally glad it's on consoles though not everyone can afford a $3k computer!

pcex
pcex

did u guys know that 3 Turkish game developers would ever make such good games???but wtf we all like there games

pcex
pcex

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

BalkanBoyo
BalkanBoyo

should I buy Crysis Wars for multi player or I should wait for Crysis 2 m.p.? Is there going to be something new in Crysis 2, actually is there Crysis 2 m.p. mode at all?

advanracer
advanracer

This is gona be good regardless on what system you get. Though, PC Gaming, has been the "standard" platform for Crysis, I'm impressed on how Crytek is able to "hopefully" match the type of gameplay environment found in PC's and share the tech down to the console level. Can't wait. I just hope they throw in some real world weapons. hehe "Maximum" uh..console fun. LOL.

gaptor
gaptor

this game will be just great. the first CRYSIS is one of the best games i have ever played. i am sure that the graphics on PC will be much more better than on consoles. the PC has much higher power!!!

Ruslan2993
Ruslan2993

Hehe, and i'm not gonna upgrade my pre-historic computer for any game cuz it is unupgradable anymore lol... ps but want to buy a new one in few years.. :)

sanjeevbgupta
sanjeevbgupta

Best I remember, I had upgraded my Graphic Card to GTX-260 (JUST TO PLAY CRYSIS) from 6800GS (ok ok , the truth is - i delayed and built a new PC when reviews put it down as playable on these card). Bring it out, and I don't mind to upgrade or bring in new PC again!. psst.. I started saving money,controlling my impulse buying habbit....

thesilentkiller
thesilentkiller

I'm making plans to upgrade my core 2 to a quad core within the next few months just for this game. I want to be able to play it at maximum graphics. Splinter Cell and Crysis are my two all time favorite games.

ib_banging
ib_banging

Just when hardware caught up with crysis, they go and bring this out... Phew. Looks great, cant wait to see the PC version!

brianthesnail12
brianthesnail12

crysis is looked upon more as a benchmark game than a actual fp shooter ... and how many kids bought the first crysis only to get it home and it wont work... answer : dad , can i borrow £100 to buy a nvidia gts250 ! so what kind of hardware will we need for crysis 2 ... 3 way sli and a core i7 .. hang on a minute while i ring the local loan shark ... joking aside "crysis 2" looks a awesome game and if crytek market it correctly it could be more succesful than cod modern warfare 2 .... and if sony release the playstation 4 then crysis 2 would be a excellent release game and Carl Jones of Cytek has stated during his speech at India Game Developer Summit 2010 that Crysis 2 will have lower system requirements than the original game but better graphics ... this is what also happened with "dirt 2" ... the original would bring my system to a grinding halt however the second installement ran really well and the graphics were 200% better basically the newer game engines allow developers to write better games using far less resources... everyones a winner...( well except for nvidia and amd... when we dont need to buy another graphic card ) expect to see "crysis 2 " in the shops at the end of the year... we cant wait .... !

davidgh97
davidgh97

awsome game... I like it and I certenly I will have it.

TheFox-13
TheFox-13

Looks great. I'm gonna have to decide between PC or PS3 version. I fear that my PC can't run it on full power...

Otchron69
Otchron69

new looks, new aliens Looks great

mrclutch87
mrclutch87

what were those monsters hiding in the building

monkeysmoke
monkeysmoke

crysis 2 should be good though halo reach is going to wipe it out in terms of fun, multiplayer & sales.They should make it look equal or better in xbox 360 version if they realy wanna sell well.Xbox 360 owners patronize games more than any others platform owners.

Walking_STD
Walking_STD

man this is going 2 be really annoying cause i wont be able to run this when it comes out as my pc cant even run the first 1 on high witout lag

ancalimonungol
ancalimonungol

I'm sure the only thing inferior about Crysis2 will be the ragdolls and there won't be realistic violence. (no bullet holes, grenades won't do real damage to people, etc)

zeebenzene
zeebenzene

@ live_Grenade509 I see much irony in you're statement, though I feel the same about my pc.

advanracer
advanracer

this is gona be good regardless..on what equipment you have. IN my case..i'll stick to the PC concept..but then again..if a demo comes out on both consoles..why not give it a go.

live_Grenade509
live_Grenade509

Yes I realise that it's of no real significance to anybody but developers, but I thought I'd make the fanboys shutup for a second. Proof that ps3 does not look better than anything but the wii, regardless of what sony fanboys see while getting high off their own egos. And yeah I don't pay $70 for games on the 360 either, my $125 video card from two years ago is still going strong.

Yossi1007
Yossi1007

live_Grenade509 u didnt understand it well they just said that the ps3 engine is low quality and complicated but as they say they made a way to manage all the cores while playing and take adventage from it and they kept all the physics from the pc its great its not my bussyness cos ill have better gfx(pc user)

the-wayward
the-wayward

I just hope ....wish .....beg you... DON'T MAKE THE SINGLE PLAYER SHORT !!!!

live_Grenade509
live_Grenade509

I love how ps3 fb's don't stop about how 'better it looks', regardless of the specs and developers telling you that it's graphical capabilities are lower than the 360 and much much lower than current pc's. But if anything will put cracks in your faith, it will be this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0hkSsBNlNc Start playing from 9.01, what's that you say? Low end gpu on the ps3?

wenisman
wenisman

sheesh anytime there is a major cross platform game there are fanboys popping up everywhere claiming their system is better... for all the rants and raves the question remains "does it really matter"?? play the game on your favourite system and enjoy it for what it is... let others worry about the flaws in their chosen platform

goyo_nemesis_89
goyo_nemesis_89

QUIERO JUGARLO YA AUNQUE NO ENTIENDA NADA POR QUE NO JUGUE EL 1 PERO ESTE SE VE QUE ES BUENO!!!!!!!!!!!!

mnmlboy
mnmlboy

The best thing about these games; is the innovation they put into it....Cry Engine is so awesome!....this will be great! no doubt.

666shan666
666shan666

right u are @calum1984 By the way, it also says Nomad takes his nanosuit to Wall Street. That means no psycho. Does that means there will be a crysis warhead 2 too?

calum1984
calum1984

RO-nin187 your an idiot who cant read i quote "Having not seen the PC version, we can't yet say what the visual disparity is going to be between the various platforms, but Yerli told us later on that the PlayStation version is nearly identical to its Xbox counterpart and that the PC is still very much the lead platform" Meaning the ps3 version is not much different to the 360's if its going to be even noticeable that there is a difference. If you want to boast, get a pc and then boast about having the far superior system for the game.

RO-nIn187
RO-nIn187

and finally a cross-platform game that seems to use the advantages of the ps3... most devs are just too lazy to make the extra effort and adapt the games better on the ps3 hardware... anyone who compared the specs of the 360 and the ps3 know that its better... so dont cry fanboys :P

RO-nIn187
RO-nIn187

seems interesting, the first one was ok but there are other shooters out there that are better... also playing it in an urban environment gives the developers a lot of possibilities. lets see how it will play.... and @GunGriffin I have a Core2Duo E8400 @3 GHz, one BFG Geforce GTX 285 OC2, 4 GB DDR2-800 RAM and Win7 Ult 64Bit (Vista Ult 64 before) and I played the first one @ 1680x1050 with all maxed out except AA (had 2x) and had around 50 fps all the time... dunno what you did wrong but check your settings (I have high quality set in nVidia control panel)... the way you set up your system can make a huge difference in game performance...

Hellsasin
Hellsasin

Hope they explain what happened to Prophet after on Crysis he went back to the island and survived a NUKE!