Crysis 2 Updated Hands-On

We find out what those invading aliens are up to as we venture back into the remains of Manhattan.


At this point, you're probably well aware that Crysis 2 has traded in the lush island jungle of the first game for an altogether different location in scenic Manhattan. Well, maybe it's not all that scenic. We're talking about the Big Apple post-alien invasion here. What we've seen of the game thus far has given us a good idea of how players can traverse the streets and rooftops of Manhattan using the signature nanosuit in Crysis--that impossibly powerful (and stylish!) piece of sci-fi outerwear that gives your character the ability to do, well, just about everything. With our most recent look at the game, we've been able to see what this first-person shooter's vision of New York looks like when you get off the rooftops and head toward lower ground.

France is going to be so upset when it sees what happened to its present.
France is going to be so upset when it sees what happened to its present.

The level in question is called Semper Fi or Die, taking place roughly halfway through the campaign. You awaken in a shallow pond in Madison Square Park amidst colossal piles of rubble and destroyed infrastructure. Dazed and delirious, a fellow soldier hands you a gun--all but assuring you that this nice little dip in the water isn't going to last much longer. There are grumpy aliens about, after all. You and the squad move through the remains of New York that have been violently scattered throughout the park. It's an environment filled with unsettling reminders of New York's former glory, including the disembodied arm of the Statue of Liberty sticking out of the ground like some terrifying beacon leading you forward.

You might be able to guess what happens next. You run into a cluster of giant bipedal aliens standing seven or eight feet tall with the ability to leap in and out of your way with deft ease. Fortunately, you're given a tremendous number of tools and amount of freedom to approach conflicts with these agile enemies, even with the game moving from the vast jungles of the first game into the dense urban streets of Manhattan. The reason is simple: This isn't the Manhattan that you visited with your family over spring break in 1997. It is, quite simply, Manhattan gone to hell--and that opens up a lot of new ways to move about each level.

This particular firefight took place in a massive sinkhole in the ground, where there likely once stood a large intersection between tall buildings. The daring types can take advantage of the severed water mains by sliding down the steep slope leading down below as though it were some kind of water park slide, which is a handy approach for catching the aliens off guard. If you're the more methodical type, you can use the scattered and overturned city buses to climb up to street level to gain a perch dozens of feet above your enemies to pick them off with a sniper rifle. And, then, there are the various other strategies somewhere in between those two that we won't even get into right now. This is a game where you're moving through areas of Manhattan that somehow feel wide open yet still dense with objects and scenery to use to your advantage, which leads to a lot of possibilities.

Most aliens you fight are a little taller than you, but some… some aren't that small.
Most aliens you fight are a little taller than you, but some… some aren't that small.

Maneuvering between enemies down on the ground, you have a huge suite of tools to choose from, but it comes at the price of a fairly sizable learning curve. It also becomes clear that Crysis 2 is a shooter fan's first-person shooter. A tactical visor allows you to overlay helpful locations and then manually tag them so that things like distant enemies and ammo caches stay highlighted once you've gone back into combat. There are also your nanosuit abilities that include features like stealth cloaking to sneak up on enemy aliens (stab their glowing fleshy bits from behind for an instant kill!) and armor reinforcement to temporarily become a flat-out bullet sponge. Of course, that stuff is familiar to anyone who played the first game. New to the series, however, is the ability to upgrade your suit. As one example, we got to try out a sensor proximity upgrade that beeped at a higher frequency as enemies drew closer to us.

Fully wrapping your head around all the different ways you can approach a given combat situation is something that, frankly, takes a bit of a time investment. There's a good bit of strategy that goes along with knowing when to switch on your suit's armor ability when you're taking too many hits; when to tag ammo crates in your visor mode that you'll probably need to run back to (it's very easy to burn through ammo); and when the best time is to swap out an ACOG for a reflex scope on the fly (which you can do with a few simple button presses). But even with this learning curve, Crysis 2 feels very much like a game that embraces experimentation--giving you plenty of incentive to learn the ins and outs of your various tools and abilities.

Beware the dropships bringing in reinforcements.
Beware the dropships bringing in reinforcements.

Our demo ended with protagonist Alcatraz overlooking a giant canyon in the middle of the city hundreds of feet deep--a yawning abyss carved deep into the guts of Manhattan. But as we looked up, we saw the city's skyscrapers towering above the ground line, essentially doubling the sense of scale in one quick turnaround. We didn't get a chance to see what happened next, but we're certainly eager to see what does. For now, expect Crysis 2 to arrive on March 22.

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Avatar image for keyan3d

why they didn't keep the aliens as they were?

Avatar image for shirish_yindia

Without getting into a platform argument here, all i'd like to say is i'll be picking it up for both my PC and PS3. And all of you who think I spend a grand each time a new game with good graphics comes around, well you're wrong. I've had this rig built for crysis (my first rig), no upgrades yet, FYI, I maybe upgrading my graphics card for $150 if I feel mine does not handle Crysis 2 as it should. Although it is a bit disappointing that Crytek had to cut corners on Visuals and likely, gameplay elements, to bring it to the consoles which have limited hardware development scope. But, the game isn't out yet, so keeping my fingers crossed.

Avatar image for chechak7

so super

Avatar image for memitojeremy

PC vs Console argument again ?

Avatar image for YouVandal3

hell yeah! i'm glad they're making this for all platforms finally, i wish they could make the first crysis for the 360 and ps3 though

Avatar image for 22bat

yaa! ist good that every one can play it. x360 and ps3 and pc. im xbox360

Avatar image for Gupa_the_inuit

Yay, let's all be internet tough guys ^_^ Sadly, the most innovative shooter on the market has adopted a more linear level design :( However, a good 40% of the sprawling jungle environments provided in the first Crysis served no relevant purpose at all. And certain levels used other means to force the player through a linear path, i.e. using cliffs, those pesky sharks and landmines in order to give an impression of freedom with only one real path. With this said, I still loved the game, and it has definitely won my respect for its visual beauty, free flowing level design and thrilling shooter action. And when I say visual beauty, I mean eye popping graphics baby. Sadly, in order to enjoy this level of visual beauty combined with vast jungle maps and fast paced first-person shooting, you need a machine that can keep up. It's only natural that a system with better graphic and frame rate capabilities will cost you more. Use the PS3 as a comparison to the Xbox 360 within the console world. PCs are just a step up from that. A good gaming computer will cost you a handful, but @-Unreal- summed it up perfectly. In summation, I leave you with an analogy: A go-kart is compact, affordable and will provide you with hours of non stop excitement; however, if you are willing to spend extra time, money and effort, you could be driving an F1 ;)

Avatar image for -Unreal-

Crysis has been turned into a linear rail shooter. Also it doesn't cost £2000 or even $2000 to build a PC which runs Crysis, so you're either misinformed, lying or being duped. We don't pay "all that money, just so we can sit on our PC high-horses", we pay extra to experience better visuals, better customazability, mods, maps, skins, better sound, true 1080p rendering and all on the same machine we use to browse the net, watch our movies, listen to our vast music library, buy and download from a vast library of new and old games and use services (which massive games like SC2 and WoW use) such as and Steam. There's perfectly good reasons why people don't mind spending extra on PCs and it's not so we can "sit on our high horse".

Avatar image for tizmond

If done right, it'll still look amazing on the Xbox 360. I don't really care how much better the PC graphics are. I paid 200 bucks for my Xbox 360, which is far better than paying 2 grand for a PC capable of actually playing Crysis. You may get what you pay for, but to me, paying all that money, just so you can sit on your PC high-horse, isn't really worth it.

Avatar image for advanracer

Im a PC and Console owner 4ever. It's nice to have all the goods.

Avatar image for arkadiyk

Im a PC 4 life

Avatar image for QWERTYCommander

Some of you* not all of you.

Avatar image for QWERTYCommander

Guys, THIS GAME WILL NOT BE THE SAME ON CONSOLES AS IT IS ON PC! CRYTEK HAS STATED SEVERAL TIMES THAT THE GRAPHICS WILL BE BETTER ON PC! The head of Crytek even said that he hated it when the PC gets ports of console games. Just let us console gamers have a piece of the pie, will ya? You all act like elitist jackasses to people who can't afford more than a thousand dollars to build a decent gaming computer, and upgrade it for hundreds of dollars every time a new game comes out that has amazing graphics.

Avatar image for italiano72

On the PC version of the game they created super HQ graphics and left gamers with the trouble to find hardware to make it work. This time they are programming for very specific console hardware and a specific lower resolution which should be 1280x720p so much easier to optimize

Avatar image for Tacoholic23

@JATR1X Crysis 1 on PC had great graphics..just most people couldnt run it. @Hercules321 Holy S*** dude, you will run it just fine..and BTW PC's do look better than 360 if you have a '8 series' card or better you graphics are better that 360

Avatar image for JATR1X

xbox gamers say that graphics is even worse then crysis 1 on PC

Avatar image for Hercules321

Does anyone know realistically if this will look and play better on my Xbox 360 or my computer with 4 GB RAM, Q8300 2.5 GHz quadcore cpu, and GTX 470 gpu? Like if I put the graphics settings on my PC high enough to a point where it looked better than the 360 version, would it still also get a better framerate than the 360 version?

Avatar image for Accuracy158

I have a core i5 760 and single overclocked GTX460 but that should still beat the PS3.

Avatar image for ponorac92

The games graphics are sooo realistic... Wonder how games in 10-20 years will look like... :)

Avatar image for ecw1983

@snake_6483 Crytek has stated that the system requirments for Crysis 2 are lower than Crysis 1 and Crysis Warhead. And yes Its because of the consoles lack of power but yes we will have a superior game. @best510 I am sure you will be looking at 20-30 FPS on consoles, not too sure about load times

Avatar image for ANGUS-RYO

CRYSIS 2 is gonna b d best game of 2011... this game have now much more cooler aliens gigantic robot which look like a modern terminator..

Avatar image for buft

for all the people complaining about the "consolification" of games know this, I own an oscilloscope for which some of the first games where made and I am utterly furious about the "PCification" of all games since then. why are no developers supporting tennis for two? I'll tell you why because people are using their personal computers to play games now that its popular and I went out to buy the latest HD display only to find out it wont support Crysis... I feel you pain!!11

Avatar image for SamSharp505_UOC

Recently built my first computer, and just got an HD 6870 so hoping the sys reqs aren't too high :D Looks awesome though, gonna play the first one soon and merry christmas guys

Avatar image for MrIllustrate


Avatar image for salmannabi

@TrueIori "and" @PitchBlack999 Yes it may seem to be on the low side but if you played crysis you will know that one crysis man in that Nano Suit is far more than 4 normal COD men. May be thats the reason it is 6vs6. But still COD is for multiplayer and crysis was always for the single player, exceptional graphics and the extreme hardcore gameplay.

Avatar image for s1rpwnalot

aaaaaaahhh can't wait for this to hit shelves.

Avatar image for xarismaster

JUST AMZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS GAME IS A DREAM!!!!!!!!!

Avatar image for PC-G4M3R

Crysis 2 has been ruined by consolization. It’s in a city where your completely limited on every corner there will just so happen to be a big ass truck blocking any exploration it’s just FEAR 2 now basically and they go on about the tall buildings as if it’s something new …. no it’s not we’ve seen it all before in Half-Life 2 and Episodes. Totally disappointed with this game so much for the new benchmark game.

Avatar image for snake_6483

My PC can play the first one maxed out pretty well, there are ocasional slow down when helos go down in the jungles and trees and stuff get thrown everywhere though or sometimes in the snow levels towards the end. But otherwise it goes 45-60 the whole ride. Warhead is even smoother and looks better. I'm hoping this game delivers not only similar graphics, but better stability and a part that is like the interior of the mountain in the first game. That place was insane and I did not expect it!!

Avatar image for ash162

couldn't play the first cause my rig couldn't handle it. played warhead though and totally loved it. glad it will come to consoles this time. hope they use every byte of that blu-ray disc!!

Avatar image for skywalkerforce

I love how GS says for PC as well. DUH! The game originated on PC. Anyway. The Console vs PC thing is whatever. I have both PS3 and 360, Im in the process of building a nasty gaming rig and no, you dont need a $5000 gaming rig to play Crysis on Max, this game will be even easier to run because it will be optimized unlike the first. Hey if you cant afford the PC then console is a great way to go. Obviously a 1000-1500 dollar gaming rig will play it better if one knows how to manage their money and has tech background in building rigs. You got people with i7s or x6's and crossfire or sli top end cards running this, yes it will destroy this game but if thats not you then a console is just fine. As for the game itself. Meh, the first looks better. I dont like the run down, war ridden street look. Its played out. The Korean warm forest which turns into an ice land was way more appealing to the eye than this.

Avatar image for capthappy8p

@xXTH4k00LXx well yeah for farcry 2 they gameplay was a bit hit or miss, sometimes it was fun other times it was tedious and boring. crysis' single player was alot of fun, it allows u to complete objectives how u see fit, guns a blazing or sneak past everyone. crysis' multiplayer wasnt as much fun as other more multiplayer oriented shooters, atleast that was my expirence.

Avatar image for Bendee

played a beta version of this game recentley on xbox 360, as a fan of the PC original, I was quite blown away with how good it looked and played on a console. Can't wait for release.

Avatar image for xXTH4k00LXx

@John_Doe69 and no offense if you think about us "console people" are still saving money. Consoles ALSO come out every 5-6 years . the ps2 came out in 2000 and the ps3 came out in 2006. but i bought a ps3 slim for 250 with a free controller and game. sounds alot better to me.

Avatar image for xXTH4k00LXx

@John_Doe69 naw im good. ill still with consoles i could care less about that. i dont need to spend all that money just to see a game look that good. ill just play it on my 50" plasma with my ps3. id really care if its the best version or not like with AC2 . the 360 version was better but i didnt go and buy a 360 just cuz better framerate and etc. i still enjoyed and beat the game. to me graphics arent everything

Avatar image for xXTH4k00LXx

@capthappy8p yeah true. but from what i heard. no actual experience. crytek knows how to have crazy visuals but not actually gameplay or game. But from what ive seen of crysis 2 it looks seriously sick.

Avatar image for advanracer

@lithus :: There's no sense arguing here about something you wish you have and hating the people who have it. We all can read through your frustration. If it was the other way around, it's guaranteed you'd be bashing on the Konsole Kids saying how your Custom Gaming Rig will eat Crysis for lunch .. hehe. Bottomline, if they can afford a 5000 dollar rig with no hesitation..then for sure your 299 dollar Xbox 360 is nothing but change to those guys..and you won't see them making a big deal about it here.

Avatar image for TrueIori

@simonsolidsnake Good point, but still for a pc game 6v6 is kinda on the low side.

Avatar image for best510

i wonder with these great looking graphics what the frame rate will be and will there be a lot of load time?

Avatar image for Eazy-a1

looks great, can't wait :D

Avatar image for Elgranpimp

I am hoping this game delivers on all platforms. It definitely looks awesome!

Avatar image for Madgnad

@lithus Man I really don't know what your problem is. You keep saying how "snobby" we are, when your the one that comes off as being snobby. If you have a valid opinion like Lakonas13 and enjoy consoles because it suits your personal game style then that's fine, but don't try to fool anyone by saying PC gamers are snobby and we're stupid for building our rigs. Here's my reasoning for not sticking with a console. We have owned 3 xbox 360s and all 3 of them have red ringed which is inconvenient because then you have to send it out to microsoft. Although we spend more in the beginning for our systems we pay less in the end. You pay $60 for a new release. We pay $50. We have steam were there are AMAZING deals. My buddy just bought Bad Company 2 for $6.79. If you add up the amount of money you guys pay for games it will surpass that of a PC gamers budget.

Avatar image for PitchBlack999

@simonsolidsnake Call Of Duty was never for its MP either mate :)....Just Saying

Avatar image for ninjaxax

man my pc rig will explode in the minute i try to install this game...

Avatar image for ninjanutta

i own both consoles and just got a rocking gaming pc for the first time,i can honestly say now,i know what all the fuss was about,the pc and crisis 1 at ultra settings full hd on my 3d monitor is truly a sight to behold,my ps3 and 360 will still get just as much love too,its just now i can also say i get it.hell, ive actually got 2 ps3 and 2 360 but thats another story that cant be discussed here so im no fanboy,just love my gaming,have for 27 years now.

Avatar image for narsinian

OMFG Guys get a grip. My gaming rig is awesome, I will be modding like hell with it, thats why I'm buying an xbox and a ps3 too, I can mod for them. Those consoles are wicked. I envy my friends who have them, they envy me for my PC. Big whoop. Stop being so elitist...if you dont like console dont play it...if you dont like Pc same rules apply. Just be glad we can all enjoy an amazing looking game and stop worrying about other peoples gear and enjoy your own.

Avatar image for cf_Kage

lol! I haven't upgraded for 4 years since I built my PC, and it ran Crysis fine then. All it needs is a new graphics card now, which will cost me around £150 to enhance it further. That's after around 5 years, but I probably won't upgrade for 6

Avatar image for Lakonas13

@lithus: since when did one guy on a comment section represent the entire pc gameing community? I built my own computer in 2006 and it still runs incredibly fast. But I don't brag about how epic crysis is on it nor do I put down the Xbox or any other console. Playing a game like madden 11 on a 47 in. hd tv with my buds is one my favorite things to do on the weekends. Try to becareful not to blame a whole group of people who play on the pc based on what one dude said.

Avatar image for lithus

@John_Doe69: Umm I've had my 360 since much in upgrades have you had to spend in those 5-6 years? .................................. FYI...I spent ZERO.... NO upgrades. So by your math...I spend $300 every 5-6 years and you still spend $1,500...Yeah...what a bargin! Just goes to prove what a snobby lot "you PC people are" braggin about how much money you burn. It's like buying a Ferrari just to deliver pizza...overkill...But Go you! :roll:

Avatar image for DavidFry1

I wish I had the type of hardware to play this on. This upgrading situation is getting scary. I do plan on getting an upgraded computer but their will probably be another game after this to upgrade for. I don't like PC to be something you always have to upgrade for. Yes I had a Geforce 7800 gtx when the first one came out. But I couldn't get it play an higher than 1024 X 768 at a playable framerate. I think this is ridiculous.