Crysis 2 Hands-On Preview

The City of New York takes a beating in our hands-on with the Crysis 2 single-player campaign.


New York is fertile ground for cinematic disaster, forever laid waste by meteor or flying saucer, or trampled by French Godzilla. In our most recent run-in with Crysis 2, the Big Apple was plenty wrecked by alien invaders even before the level finale, in which a devastating wall of water surged down a skyscraper-lined street at us--something like The Day After Tomorrow, but in place of Jake Gyllenhaal, the improbably named Crysis 2 protagonist Alcatraz: a futuristic supersoldier in skintight nano-armour who could topple a Cloverfield monster in a pinch.

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Not that Alcatraz is overpowered. In this sequel, Crysis remains a first-person shooter for first-person shooter fans hardened by the steepness of the original's learning curve. Except for some cockroach-like bugs, the armoured alien foes are variously fast and tough, equal to Alcatraz's extensive arsenal and super-suit, and the game is quick to punish you for underestimating the enemy. As for the legacy of Crysis' PC-pwning graphics, Crytek's Nathan Camarillo tells us the game, powered by the still-fresh CryEngine 3, is locked at 30 frames per second on the consoles. (Of the prospective Crysis 2 console players, the Xbox 360 contingent has already had access to a multiplayer demo, while Crytek has said PC players will get a demo on March 1.)

The level we played ran from New York's City Hall subway, through infested and flooded tunnels, out into large, sunken arenas of collapsed roads and smashed vehicles, with huge metal spines--indeterminate alien technology linking our three objective nodes--stuck into the ground and arching up high. The open, sandboxy areas crawling with alien forces demanded a tactical approach, as did the several pointed reminders to activate our tactical visor: a visual overlay that tags distant precious ammo crates and mission objectives. Other visual overlays add Predator-like heat vision to your view. Exploration with Alcatraz's nimble ledge-grab move revealed some sinkhole-type areas had sniper nests from which to pick off targets, and even the relatively linear tunnel segments provided multiple approaches, such as overhead walkways.

We ventured into the wrecked subway tunnel with a plan to locate a friendly team with whom command had lost contact. After finding the team had been disintegrated, our plan broadened into assaulting the enemy hive core--that is, fighting through a host of armoured, tentacle-headed aliens to "interface with" (punch out) vital panels in the spiny alien infrastructure. The fast, agile tentacle heads were especially good at evading our aim, and picking off their armour plates to expose squishy flesh was tricky. Other enemies were bulkier, tougher mecha-types that required blasts from a guided missile or several sniper rifle hits to take down.

If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere.
If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere.

The SCARAB assault rifle and automatic pistol were sufficient elsewhere, coupled with the powers of the extensively upgradable nanosuit--among them the key stealth cloaking mode and armour boost mode. The upgrades, with which suit properties such as mobility and stealth are tweaked and improved, are bought with a collectable "nanocatalyst" resource and accessed via a menu overlaid on one of Alcatraz's gloved hands--a menu that doesn't pause the game, but lets you add in suit upgrades on the fly. The upgrade options arranged along the protagonist's fingers include, for example, a mobility upgrade that reduces the energy drain of sprinting and jumping. These nanosuit perks correspond to the suit modules previously encountered in our multiplayer hands-ons.

With the crucial nodes in the giant spine structures good and punched, we struck out to destroy the central alien edifice, but nothing goes right in disaster-movie New York. As the level ended, we were racing for a helicopter on a skyscraper-lined street, a wall of water tearing towards us, invaders unvanquished. Look out for New York City taking a further pummelling in the full single-player campaign, out from March 22.

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Avatar image for zeebenzene

@MrPopek lookie here boy, are you a troll. I've had my computer for 4 years and it's still good enough to play virtually everything I get on high. I'm not rich enough to do that either, and don't. You obviously don't have experience with the subject and are just assuming that what you've heard is right. Don't criticize what you can't understand.

Avatar image for MrPopek

pc gaming is dead, consoles are the future. p.s no, no im not rich to change every year my old computer just to play games

Avatar image for eliebaz

Havnt played the first game but it looks like a great game good to see games challenging COD which honestly has been running a monopoly for first person shooter games, since it was the only game with smooth physics apart from a couple other games. Glad to see the market expanding.

Avatar image for fxxl

Can't decide if I should get the Gigabyte gtx 560 ti 950 SOC or the gtx 480 SOC for this game.

Avatar image for Arkady_16

Ill most likely be skipping this game for sure... I loved the first half or so of Crysis. Stalking through the jungle using my suit abilities to play with my korean victim's, expecially sneaking behind them in cloak mode, switching to strength mode then throwing them off a cliff into the water.... good times. The alien half wasnt nearly as fun it just didnt feel like I was playing the same game they werent nearly as interesting to play around with.

Avatar image for World_War_gamer

The SCAR was my favorite rifle in CRYSIS 1.......glad 2 see i returns in CRYSIS 2....bigger and better.......IM GONNA F****** BUY THIS GAME AND I SUGGEST EVERY FPS PLAYER 2 DO THE SAME!!!!!!!

Avatar image for hoomanlp

i played the whole game (not proud of it) and i`m definitely gonna buy this game. its awesome, best fps ever its both fast and tactical shooter. graphic is amazing and everything in this game is better than last one. you can use cover behind objects but its not sticky like gears of war instad you can stay behind object and lean up or right simply by right click. nanosuit is very easy to use and more automatic. btw the theft version is not complate and dont have AI dont play it and w8 for real one

Avatar image for GwaltWart

NO DX11 at launch :( Gameplay looks similar to Crysis but hard to say just by playing multiplayer, look to be a great game for console but good(not great) for pc. Graphics not upto par with original Crysis but again thats due to limitation of console HW(meaning graphics limited on PC compared to what is possible due to being ported).

Avatar image for sonu_likon

it is a great pc game......too bad it looks like a console port....

Avatar image for Optimus_Prime83

Seems CoOL cat wait totry it on X360

Avatar image for firzok

i agree with you antz13 as i believe pc should be the primary platform for any game as after developing a good pc title it can be ported and downgraded to make it run on the consoles. I liked the original Crysis but am not impressed by Crysis 2 after trying the demo, as one can clearly see that the PC version is a console port, i mean none of the advanced graphics options of Crysis are available and we are prompted to press start button i believe there is no start button on keyboard. But atleast we would be getting the amazing sequel to battlefield 2 and taking a look at that game one can clearly see that how great it is turning out to be just because it is developed for pc. I have no grudge against the console gamers but atleast the developers should be taking advantage of the modern PCs as no one buys a 300-500 dollars graphics every 1 to 2 years to play badly ported games like saint's row 2, GTA 4 and the list of poor ports goes on and on.

Avatar image for DaNubianPryns

I read on another site that the PS3 version of Crysis 2's multiplayer specifically is not looking too hot. I'm all the more worried about the single-player campaign because of the fact that it took them up until 3 - 4 weeks before the games release to show any PS3 gameplay footage. My hopes for this game are slowly diminishing because of these facts. :-( Link: << LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for cduran1983

Nice!! Want it definitely!!!

Avatar image for thenephariouson

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

Avatar image for greatwhiteape

If this campaign is anything like the simpleton releases recently, ie MF and its cones, reach, H3 etc I will cry into my cornflakes.

Avatar image for shansss123

can't wait to play it on my new i7 pc

Avatar image for gunslayer5

But my X360 can :P

Avatar image for gunslayer5

Lol... Too bad my com cant play this AWESOME game

Avatar image for Jim60360

PC, the most uncomfortable and inconvenient way to play games.

Avatar image for hamburgerbob321

This game is going to be fantastic!

Avatar image for antz13

sad to say but the cry engine 3 seems a step backward instead of moving forward due to multiplatform support. dont get me wrong, i love my ps3 but the best way to go (graphics-wise) is play this on a high end pc.

Avatar image for joygenius

Eagerly waiting....

Avatar image for romanon5

YYEEEAAHHHHH!!!!! I am waiting for this!!! Looks like a movie in the end....

Avatar image for advanracer

knajz391 :: Well if you ran Crysis and Crysis Warhead without a hitch in performance, then you should be good next month. So if anything, your nuclear powered rig will do just fine. Heck mine's ready to go...just need upgrade my Plutonium from 239 to 240 in the next few weeks. haha..

Avatar image for knajz391

it looks very good, just wonder what will min. req.wil be...! i played the first two and i am thriled...! looking forward to its release...!

Avatar image for TheDragonManiac

I surely want this game!! that one is better than the previous one. okay so I hopes for this game:1.enemy are esiear to kill more bug

Avatar image for Krinnium

i hope the campaign isnt short. i hate good games with short campaigns

Avatar image for candyman305

I played the beta and must say I cant wait for this game to come out especially finding out that the game is a sandbox fps and the online has alot depth to it by upgrading your suit and the visuals are great by playing the beta I must say that this just might be one of the best fps ever its the perfect combo of COD and Halo but at the same time does things to make it its own unique shooter

Avatar image for deadkillerQX


Avatar image for wikkiwild1

Never played the 1st game, but may play this.

Avatar image for advanracer

Blitzkrieg129 : u can always get them online lol..oh wait did I say ONLINE? oh comes the GSCP: Gamespot Censor Police. LMAo.

Avatar image for Flatland013975

@8Dark8Wolf8 Instead of a 480, he should get a 570. Better performance with lower temps and power consumption. Whee :D

Avatar image for Blitzkrieg129

All these great games are coming out in wallet won't see the end of it!

Avatar image for gamespotboys

Thanks for the info msp19. I'll test it out first on the GTX 285 (2GB RAM). Everything else runs very smoothly with my current setup. Dragon Age Origins, WoW, SC2 and Mass Effect 2 all run in ultra/max details at 1920x1200 and clocks around 30 to 60 fps. I don't like running SLI or Crossfire because it's just too darn expensive. Plus unless I buy two top-of-the-line video cards, setting up an SLI from last year's models just makes me feel like I'm a wannabee. :-) I can't afford it plain and simple. Unless the frame rates are absolutely trash, I'll wait for a few more months and see if the new 580s drop prices.

Avatar image for Alizerothree

hoping to run this on an Asus G73!

Avatar image for tyolchamp123

how do u not hav a PC

Avatar image for thenephariouson

Looks great, i only wish i had a PC to fully appreciate it, ah well, im sure it will be a great experience nonetheless. Day 1 for me for sure.

Avatar image for 8Dark8Wolf8

@analogjunkie24 Your video card its just fine, b ut if you want to upgrade (and im sorry Im a Nvidia User) get a 470 ot 480, this way U get any game U want in FULL, im with a 470 and can run anything I want with no compatibility issues, also might want to consider motherboard upgrade and RAM, but again its not mandatory yet, just things we always need to keep in mind. Frag On!

Avatar image for game_eater

Finished the Beta version a week ago, this is gonna be a very good FPS without the bugs. Also online mp is developed by 70 dudes.

Avatar image for agonselmani

oo i cant wait to play this game im waiting for years... the gameplay looks awsome hope its gone be better the other 2 parts

Avatar image for Senior_Rosa

Now they have made a cryengine compatible with xbox360, it will be nice to have a remake of the original crysis game on consoles

Avatar image for Gamer-Geek

Finished the first, now for warhead expansion then i'm all set for this one

Avatar image for DrStrangelove29

So does the story of this continue with the 1st game or do we meet Nomad later in the game.

Avatar image for Shanks_D_Chop

And here was me thinking you got to be Nomad again. Shame.

Avatar image for jacekkaminski

oww sorry geforce for 199 E :) << LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for jacekkaminski

AMD Quad (140 euro) , and a evga geforce gtx 470 clocked (200 euro by the alternate online shop), and I happy for a year whit al the games:)

Avatar image for jacekkaminski

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

Avatar image for destroier_vitor

Gráfico impecavel, promete a sequencia deste incrível jogo ! para os fanáticos em games e suas formas e gráficos inpecavelmente perfeitas !

Avatar image for msp19

youre lucky then mate.. The beta just runs fine at 1920x1080 maxed out on a geforce gtx460. Its only dx9 though. But if the developpers are any good, dx10 and 11 wont take much more then for dx9.. But.. The gtx285 is not that good anymore.. I suggest an upgrade towards a gtx460 superclocked edition. It goes for 200 us dollars i think.. For mine i paid 160 euros which is 219 dollars.. But if you have the money, i suggest an sli set, or triple sli.. But for triple sli gtx460 you have a gtx580, so gtx 460 superclocked sli is your best shot.. And for vader.. For you goes the same.. since dx11 is the standard now for pc games.. But a 295 is very very good.. But if you have the money in the future, do upgrade..