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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@NorwegianWinter and @Madgnad: plain and simple. Consoles are doing more and more every generation that PC's once had over consoles. You're last It was lost............................................................................................................... Fact is: PC games can and often do look better. But you guys pay such a price for it. You DO have to upgrade from time to time to keep up with new technology. You DO have to invest in a new rig over time. Not to mention compatibility issues and lengthly installation. All of which console owners DONT have to deal with. Consoles even have patches, fixes and add-on's now. So you can shove the "PC is superior BS" and play that self-righteous card elsewhere...

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i am getting a feeling this has not been advertised enough. probably a lot more near its release date. maybe EA is pushing its holiday titles and keeping it low.

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I'm looking forward to this game even though I did not have a computer at the time and even with the computer I have now is no where near playing games on yet but Im still looking for to playing this and since I own a 360 that's version I'll be getting mine on and I'll finelly get to play this series I'm hopeing to hear something on if the first one would be remade for the consoles if not that cool, every play hard peace.

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this game will own.i hope the transition to console is 360 at least. also,@ sergeant,pc is not a race of people and halo reach is awesome

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@xXTH4k00LXx granted a good game is a good game regardless of what it may look like, but with cryteam boasting cutting edge visuals in crysis 1, im hoping to get my socks blown off when crysis 2 comes out. so since we now have choice whether to pick it up for console or pc, im gonna grab the pc version since mine can handle it

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haven't played the first one yet. I better get on that.

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@ xXTH4K00LXx What do you mean, "you PC people"?....racist, go back to Halo Reach, console boy.

Avatar image for xXTH4k00LXx

i dont see y pc people care so much about graphics a good game is a good game. i just play this like 8 bit game on where all you do is jump from building to building and it is sooo fun. but then again i would too if i was always blowing money on upgrading pc's and graphics cards. good i have PS3

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@Truelori Why is 6v6 sad? If you can offer a great reason I would gladly take consideration to you pointless remark. Obviously, you have never emerged yourself in Crysis, nothing has ever come close to comparing, nor will anything likely in the near future. There are millions of people who prefer small tactical battles, as opposed to , large scale. Personally I like both, but that ultimately depends upon the game. MAG is great, but Crysis will definitely carry a profound impact on MP via a small scale. The tactical abilities of the suite would cause mass frustration on say, 16V16. Of course that is merely opinion, but we will see. Either you will like it or not, or you will rant and hate like all other naive children of the world, no matter their age.

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6 vs 6 is still more than Gears.

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I always wanted to play Crysis but never had a pc that would handle it. I am building a new machine and it should be up and running by release. There a lot of great games coming out around this time. I am most excited for Brink though.

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@TrueIori I don't think people will be buying this game for the MP, Crysis has never been about the MP.

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6vs6 MP lol how sad is that xD

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anyone else having problems loading the video?

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Great, i will play it in xbox version.

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Nice... lol

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@TevoxZi I do not know how long ago I see it but the cry eng 3 did run better on 360. I went back to see if they made any kind of headway on it. I found something about how it ran better on PS3 then found one that was posted about a week ago and they stated that the game runs and looks the same on both. I'm more of a PC guy my self. I work with video and work with UDK 3 to add into some of the video work I do. I also just got the cry eng 3. It's a lot better than UDK 3 and I'm gonna work with it more. If I get this game, it will be for PC hands down.

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I just hope the Campaign is an immersive experience worthy of a plethora of play thrus instead of the crap the industry has been feeding us since '07 when it became all about online MP. Fingers crossed right? A new series needs to shine. Crysis 2 needs to be "The FPS of 2011". If it's only mediocre... it'll be bad.

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Looking sharp!

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Oh and I play halo :-P

Avatar image for nightrider505

This game kind reminds me of halo but also COD its like wierd ass mixture but i like it :-P

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Crysis 2 looks like a game to keep an eye out for. The single-player looks slick and engrossing, and the multiplayer looks like a genuine Halo-killer and I can see it racking up thousands of hours of multiplayer matches.

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I just hope the multiplayer doesnt turn into a COD-type cause in that case count me out..that crap got so repetitive.

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the pc has a lot of better quality video games , like modern warfare 2, just cause 2 , dragon age etc-- the consoles' graphics card is equivalent to the nVidia 7800 or so, which is over 5 years old card. particles and shadows and water looks better on pc.

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@TonnFool23 the 5770 in crossfire is a very decent little setup! i love the current scaling on both ATI/Nvidia for sli/crossfire at the moment. I'm still hanging on to believe that crytek wont screw us on this! not like rockstar did with GTA at least. fingers crossed.

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Although im a pc gamer through and through - i think opening this up to consoles will make the developers streamline the gameplay. More players should (in theory) lead to better development.

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@amazon09 in my opinion bringing crysis 2 to the ps3 and xbox360 is a great idea we will try it on the analog sticks controls:) m and seriously do u have to buy a video c ard for a game and u have a great grphx for ps3? rofl, face the truth boy/kid pc is not a gaming console .. its true pc got awesome grphx but gamplay goes better for consoles and ps3/630 grphx r just awesome ..

Avatar image for Sergeant_

One thing is for sure, the minute I jump off the helicopter and start to charge into a massive battle between aliens and marines...I'm going to j!zz my pants. I hope to god they have a spare Nano Suit.

Avatar image for enflame66

LOL this flame war is ridiculous I think its safe to say this game will look kick ass on all platforms. And a few jagged edges dont bother me as long as the framerate is good then fair game. I will be getting this on 360 which will look tbhe worse and i will still look phenomenal so quit your bellyaching and start talking about how you are gonna kill aliens while New York crumbles around you.

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i never said crysis 2 ps3 will look better than crysis 2 PC version, crysis 2 PC version will focus on upcoming graphic card so i can understand it will look better than crysis 2 PS3 version, but man crysis 2 PS3 > crysis 1 PC is a truth :):):) But my PS3 got YLOD so i cant play on it anymore :( i am gonna get a new graphic card and replace my 8800gt card soon :P

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@amazon09 I'd rather not get into a big flame war of what platform is better but I do remember a few months back the developers saying that the PC version will have a more in-depth visual then any console platform only because of the options to edit the graphics. And I do remember console owners being butt hurt over that fact but its OK, you still have Halo Reach.........................................................................................................................................................

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@amazon09 Sorry to do that, man, but... rofl. Really.

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@amazon09 lol don't be silly, there are no AA on the console and you can clearly see the jagged edges on the console version, if you want a fps get a pc.

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I know how they will boost Crysis 2 performance on xbox and ps3. They will do as they always do by setting FOV (field of view) to 50 or so. So the engine will only have to render part of what is usualy on the screen of PC. For example let us take the recent console ports: MOH, Black Ops, Dead Space, etc. It is barely possible to play them unless, in case of Black Ops, you can change it through console. So no, it will not have the same graphics quality as PC. Unless you like playing for one-eyed soldier.

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@TheJamin I understand where you're coming from, even i've just spent some amount of money just to upgrade the graphics card to crossfire 5770 and i'm enjoying metro on max same as bad company 2 which console can't deliver (better fps gameplay too). But what i'm concerned about is Crysis 2 will not deliver in depth graphics as crysis 1-warhead, i'm hearing the Crytek 2 engine got dumbed down just because of console.

Avatar image for TevoxZi

@paranormalnut Thus I said the video of yours is an obsolute source of information compared to mine. Anyway, it sounds like you called me a fanboy by saying you don't care about it - yet leaving me out of it. Might be - might be that you didn't. But trust me, I'm more of a PC gamer than a console gamer. Once again, you ran off the subject, you also started this 'arguement' by claiming something without backup - and once I posted a source to argue against yours - you posted an even older source where they ran "identically" completely ignoring the newer source - that I put yet still fighting against my arguement with it. Anyway, this is useless until you realize the newer source is more important than an older source. Things change withing time. I never asked how difficult it was to code for the PS3 - because it is obvious that it's more complex, that there is one point off your arguement skills. Let's drop it, but the truth goes that the PC version is the best, PS3 is the 2nd best to buy Crysis 2 on - currently, (might change later in the future, but I cannot say until I see the newer sources of information myself.) No, I'm not claiming the X360 version is bad either, I'm just saying what the source of mine posted April 2010 had in it.

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@amazon09 Then I cant imagine how good it will look on the pc...

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crysis 2 on ps3 will look at least 5 x better than the crysis 1 PC version with ULTRA setting :)

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

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@fredder77 A common garbage argument from mainly console users. Firstly, you don't have to use your computer on a desk. Secondly, you can use any gamepad on a PC. What's the next excuse?

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Crysis on the Console will set the Mark on the New Standard for First Person Shooters Graphically and Environmentally. Thats assuming anyone who read this owned and played Crysis 1.

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One loas thing. I posted this "Also look for "CRYSIS 2 REAL DEMO GAMEPLAY PS3 AND XBOX360 NEW " on youtube. You can hear them talk about what it took to make the game work on PS3. Not to start a fanboy war.. Just making a point to show how much work it took for this game to run on systems." Why did I get -2. They were talking about what was some of the stuff they did to make it run on PS3.. It was not a bad thing at all. It was the brains making something work they way they wanted and needed. Not that the PS3 or 360 was weak or could not push it... You guys need to learn how to read...

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@TevoxZi. Read the comment under this. It's for you as well.

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@figo16v I do not care about 360 vs PS3. I went back and looked at some of my posts and I do not know why but in one post it was cut off. At the start the game ran better on 360. Then it started to run better on the PS3. Now they run and look the same. I seen a video that was uploaded a few days ago about it. They run and play the same. How ever I'm getting it for PC... So I when. LOL. No really. They run the same on 360 and PS3. 30 fps, same res, same everything. No one is at a loss. A good looking game we all can play.

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@Gollum_85 They have so you're setting yourself up for disappointment man. I'm not making any arguments for PC vs Consoles, I'm just stating the obvious considering that PCs have A LOT more resources than consoles to use for games.

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The first one was very good on the PC, I just hope they haven't dumbed it down for consoles.

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PS3 version FTW (:

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@paranormalnut.. Do people still give a crap about system wars? lol Guess nothings changed in the world of gamespot. CryTek have some of the best programmers out there. the chance that there are any differences in the already compromised console versions will be extraordinarily slim.

Avatar image for TevoxZi

@paranormalnut Except that you're going off the arguement, I was responding to your "It runs slightly better on X360" - whereas Crytek had confirmed it runs better on PS3. Now you're saying they run identical - but then why did you claim otherwise before then? :) I never asked about the development times either. Also, please note your YouTube video is an older source than the source I granted you. Crytek said in 2009 they're identical, in 2010 they claimed the PS3 version is currently running the game better. So basically you didn't void my arguement against your claim. PS3 CPU is indeed more complex because of its SPE -minicores, however when the development time has been utilized so that their project optimizes the hardware right - the time hasn't been spent in vain. I'm also quite sure neither of the versions run in native 720p - however upscaled will do. @Psychokillaz Same url I just used. xP

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Oh btw if you want to know which system to buy it for, here is a article talking about how the PS3 version is the best. << LINK REMOVED >>