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 Psychokillaz

This game is going to rock on my PS3! Day one copper

Avatar image for doontime

The game is going to be fantastic! Stop Stop Bitc&ing and fighting over which platform/console, is the best. Just play the game on what you want to play it on. Seriously, when will these F*%&ing immature wars end, they aren't getting anyone anywhere, so don't brag about how this is better or how it should be an exclusive or how it's being dumbed down. Stop pissing your pants about it

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

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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.

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Looks great but really wish they would work on a proper fov ,mask or no mask.

Avatar image for paranormalnut

@TevoxZi At the time it did. I seen a new read on it today. The games runs and looks the same on both 360 and PS3. How ever they will not run in 1080 or 720p. They just don't have the power to run it in that res.

Avatar image for jonnyboy5555785

these comments are insane.... pc v console wars really suck the fun out of talking about gaming with anyone... everyone gets so defensive over the platform or platforms they play on, and end up at eachothers throats, forgetting that it is about THE GAME. we play GAMES, people, not GAME ENGINES. enjoy the game on whatever console u can, and have a good time, jeez lemme explain to everyone why this argument is self defeating, simply: the computer is not rendered obsolete if it fails to be upgraded, the same way the console is not rendered obsolete by the fact that IT CANNOT BE UPGRADED... they both play games.... so lets move past this stupid crap and enjoy games, people... we're living in a golden age of video games, i dreamed of games like this when i was a kid, and now they're here.... so stop finding something to complain about when there's so little

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

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I think console graphics are pretty darn good. Maybe not as good as PCs but meh! The experience is just as good. I never got into PC gaming because of the cost and I don't like playing on a desk with a mouse. Yes PC gamers rule with their keyboarding skills and mouses but I prefer to sit on a nice living room chair in front of a nice flatscreen with my dualshock thank you very much.

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@NorwegianWinter I couldn't have said it any better.

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PC gamers do NOT have to upgrade any component of their PC every time a new game comes out unless they feel the need to do so per some personal reason, but it's surely not a necessity. Now, they will eventually have to upgrade if they want to ensure they can play games at the highest detail that may release a year or a couple of years down the road. I built my computer with all the top components about a year ago and I can still play games either at the highest detail and still get around 45fps or higher. PC building is obviously more expensive than buying a console but also far more rewarding, so we're not just spending a lot more money for the same experience and quality as console gaming at all. I've been PC gaming for over 10 years and even more with console so I know how it is, and I don't need 20 or 30 years under my belt to know these things. You're making declarations of PC gaming with basis of your own personal opinions and that isn't practical either. PC gaming is like flying from Chicago to London on First Class instead of Coach.

Avatar image for Madgnad

@lithus I don't even know where to begin... Firstly I never said that a 5 year old computer can run any game at max settings... So I don't know where you got that from. Secondly of course there is always someone buying a new PC or upgrading, thats whats so great about being able to upgrade your machine, so you can play the newest games on full if you really want your performance to being flawless with zero lag. So I don't know whats so bad about being able to upgrade vs. using a console and you will never see your graphics improve. You also said " I'll bet that hardly anyone could tell which platform a bunch of screenshots were taken from if given the chance." << LINK REMOVED >> Take a look at the difference between the PC cryengine 2 and console cryengine 3. If you can't see the difference then I'm sorry. But the rest of us can.

Avatar image for lithus

@Madgnad: I didn't say "every PC gamer" (individually) needs to upgrade everytime. You're playing semantics. But there's always someone in the PC gaming community that has to upgrade at some point. And no guy, it's not voluntary. lol If you don't upgrade, you get left behind. And anyone who claims they can run "Any game on max settings" with a 5 year old computer is a liar. Yes you heard me............................................................................. I'm not some console kiddie either, I took all the classes and still do. A+, Net + and CCNA (Cisco). I know what PC's are capable of and can gurantee I've been gaming on the PC longer than most people on these boards have been alive.........................................Gaming on the PC is like buying a Ferrari just to go to and from work. It's not practical. And from my experience, PC gamers are just as snobby as any jerk driving a Ferrari...

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@sid440 Part of the PC experience is being able to decide what peripherals you want to use. If I want to use a steering wheel for a racing game.... that is my decision because my PC allows it. Just because some uses a gamepad on their PC doesn't mean that it's a console. Using a mouse and keyboard doesn't make a machine a PC. If I plug in my mouse and keyboard into a ps3 that doesn't mean that the ps3 is superior than a console. It's still a console. @lithus PC gamers don't need to upgrade every time there's a new release. People voluntarily choose to do it. I have 2 systems. One is a 2 year old build that can run any game at max settings no problem and the other is using 4-5 year old hardware that can still run any at about console settings.

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I really don't see the point in the discussion going on here. I mean, we're all different people, trying to convince others that your opinion is the most valid, well that's just wasting your breath in the end. I personally own both consoles and a more than decent pc, and i think shooters like Crysis were born and is still best played on PC, but i see the great advantage of just having to put in the disc and play without having to worry about whether your machine can take the best graphic setting. PC's can be a pain, what with the crashing that occurs on a home-built, and the constant need to update, but in the end, it has far more options than it's preset counterparts. Whether that's a bonus or not, well that's just a matter of taste, and there's certainly no reason i arguing about it.

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hopefully there isn't too much of a platform jumper game and has a decent story flow

Avatar image for TevoxZi

@paranormalnut Not to start a consolewar, but Crytek said the exact opposite - that it runs better on the PS3. After all - this game optimizes the Synergistic Processing Elements of the CPU's more. So therefore kind of like Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Crysis comparison; You can play Crysis better with a duo w/ a better GPU, but Bad Company 2 runs better on the better CPU even w/ a worse GPU. They demand different parts. For example: to prove my claim: << LINK REMOVED >> It looks amazing on both the systems though.

Avatar image for RainbowStalin

A PC that can run a game better than a console will always be able to run it better than the console, regardless of whether or not they upgrade it.

Avatar image for ironmonk36

I love Halo and COD but Crysis 2 will crush them

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To clear something up, I have been using the same gaming computer for the past four years (when I built it it was around $1800) and have played Crysis, Crysis Warhead, GTA 4, Sins of a Solar Empire, and Fallout New Vegas to name a few all on max graphics with a 24" screen. I am upgrading my machine for the first time and to replace all but the power supply and and case for a i7, 6 Gb triple channel DDR3, and 1 Gb of GDDR5 with the motherboard and 6 Gb/s drive it costs less than $1000. Consoles are still cheaper but PCs have dropped in price a lot and do more so the choice is all yours. As a side note, building a basic computer from scratch costs around $200 if done right. Can't play modern games with it but the classics are always going to be classics.

Avatar image for lithus

@sid440: Well said. Sure you can make a game look better on the PC. But again, at what cost? I'm always hearing PC gamers talking about having to upgrade their rigs every time a game comes out. Where as console gamers simply buy the game and play it. Most cases, not all, I'll bet that hardly anyone could tell which platform a bunch of screenshots were taken from if given the chance.

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You guys need to understand that games arent being dumbed down on consoles (with the exception of RTS's) If your willing to put 2000$ on a PC im sure its worth it for the superior graphics, but unless you actually take the time to play games on the Xbox or playstation you just assume that the games suck when their on consoles, that's simply not true you get the exact same gaming experience on the consoles its just not as pretty. also if you use a controller on the pc you have no reason to argue, EVER.

Avatar image for Rufrgt2001

This game looks intense! I loved Crysis, but this seems like it's going to be even better.

Avatar image for USArmySniper529

You had me at, "Manhattan gone to hell."

Avatar image for snow_yellow

I remember when they said that ultra graphics settings in Crysis were reserved for some future hardware. I doubt that future ever came to my house as a mainstream gamer, at least not yet. And still they are warping us more into the future. It's like American foreign debt :)

Avatar image for MatthewSnyder86

Shooter of 2011, hands down!!!!!!

Avatar image for Sardinar

Why does it say 'Video' on the front page? I press it and the link leads me nowhere. I am pissed off for the second time now that I wanted to see a Crysis 2 video.

Avatar image for lithus

Great and all, but are we (the console community) going to get to play the 1st Crysis? Meh, atleast I wont have to spend any money buying or upgrading a rig just to play this game. ;) Benchmark this ..i..

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Avatar image for amu_safdar

What tha HELL!!!!

Avatar image for devrindare

this game is really cool and I have pity because of this you know. the reason is that to play this game I need to resurrect my PC which is very expensive for me. oh god, I am dumped

Avatar image for TheJamin

@TonnFool23 it is an expensive hobbie, true. i understand the "bang for buck" that you get with the consoles. but you cannot compare with a pc, but i suppose the question is, why should we compare? they arent exactly in the same price bracket. it would be like comparing a Ferrari to a Citroen 2cv. @Bashers79 well, i'm not one for synthetic benchmarks. i don't drop 2k on a pc to sit and watch the fps counter go up and down on 3dmark and get off on the point score at the end. stats are not important, what is important is the real world performance you get from your hardware. you can get a much longer life span out of your games with a pc, for example i have played crysis and warhead about 3 times all the way through just because i've upgraded and wanted to enjoy the extra "eye candy". and then, you can revisit much older games, such as GTA SA. try playing that with 32X multigpu super sampling AA. it looks fantastic! even better than most of the games you will find on the current generation of consoles. i built my pc because i just wanted to enjoy the best gaming experience for that generation of hardware, three years later it is still maxing out everything i throw at it (with dx11 being the exception). as for the performance, it is your opinion that it's fine and mine is that it's not. so i suggest we leave it at that. i'm glad you're enjoying the experience.

Avatar image for paranormalnut

@superty69 and Mercaptan.. Maybe you did not get it. The new eng that the game is running on is better and wont need top of the line hardware. If you have a video card and CPU made 4 years ago, the game will run very well. A 5750 AMD card will run the game well over 30 fps. Now on the 360 or PS3, they will not run run the game in HD. Not even 720p. They can't do it. The 360 has that edge with a little more video ram and a 3 core CPU but nothing to run home about.

Avatar image for superty69

true very ture but in order to have a pc like that u need to sell your car, wife, and probly a few of ur kids lol

Avatar image for paranormalnut

@ratclif PS3's video chip is is a nvidia700 chip set that is 5 years old. Your 580 SLI would eat the game. How ever the game is watered down for both PS3 and 360. It also run a little better on 360. I seen the video on youtube. I also wanna point out that the game will not be as hard on hardware like the first on was. New eng is able to make the game look nice and use less hardware power.

Avatar image for santinegrete

I really liked the chances the game gives you to experiment. It's pretty cool to jump high into, well, high ground and take advantage from there ^^. Made me feel pretty smart XD. Hopes this chances don't come short as in Crysis Warhead (still great, but it was a little more constrained).

Avatar image for K2synch

I can't wait for this game. Crysis 1 and Warhead were great PC benchmark games, even if they had a few...ballistics issues. I'm hoping they don't slack on the PC graphics engine, since this is going multi-platform. Now that I can run even Chernobyl Clear Sky at 100+fps, I need something that can make my GPU sweat a little. Keep pushing boundaries, Crytek!

Avatar image for pierrey22

@C4nnon not true, Crysis 1 (and Warhead and Wars) used the CryEngine 2 (FarCry being the first game from Crytek and the CryEngine 1 game) Crysis 2 will use the CryEngine 3 which is the best of every thing we know, best physics, best demolition (better than BFBC2) best graphics (better than Crysis 1, as there is not comparison close to it) and best frame rate (ok you could say shut up now, but it runs of 60 fps (average and abouts) most games are about 70 to 75 (about) so this game runs smoother and with less possessing power , Cryteks vision is more with less, even the 3D will have not graphical drop like with most game it does) end of rant, just please think about what you say first will be amazing pre-ordered nano edition priest here we come :)

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@ecw1983 Mods and FPS aren't the only things that make PC the ultimate platform, you know.

Avatar image for Eazy-a1

cry engine 3 looks great on pc, decent on consoles

Avatar image for giedrius1001

stop pointless arguing, crysis 2 will be outstanding at all platforms, at pc it will be best looking, but from what we saw of console footage it will be best looking game at consoles, so stop saying nonsense about graphics and console limitations, this game will rock on all platforms, whatever you chose ps3, xbox or pc

Avatar image for tenaus

Sounds pretty good. I have never played the first one, but Crytek seem to know what they are doing.

Avatar image for killeroo

im sure this will suck

Avatar image for Drakkengoth

watched a vid of this game it is freakin' gorgeous. im gunna b so broke in the coming months(broke right now thnx to xmas :\) Deadspace2, Bulletstorm, Dragon Age2, Brink and now this...

Avatar image for ecw1983

@Bashers79 MODS!!!!!! I And yes well done your going to get a Framerate of 20-30FPS which to 95% of PC gamers is unplayable. I am starting to lose my patience with you !

Avatar image for C4nnon

im a crysis fan myself and can not wait to get it! @gaptor crysis 2 will have the same engine that cyrsis 1 had,so they didn't do much to it.

Avatar image for gaptor

the first crysis is awesome, but this one will be epic!!! p.s. crysis 2 will have the best graphis in the world!!!

Avatar image for malcorn2

@bashers79 You don't know sh*t. You obviously never played PC gaming back when PC gaming was the good days. You pipe these little crappy *ss consoles like they are some bad *ss machines or something. You obviously don't have a clue as the wide open options to a game on the pc if it is designed and built for a pc platform. Modding, Dedicated servers without a company putting a 15 dollar price tag on them, which dumb*sses like you line up like little ducks in a row to pay.... and the list goes on. You are blind and dumb.

Avatar image for Bashers79

@TheJamin Thats the thing though, the performance of the consoles isn't "shoddy", only deluded PC Elitist snobs that spend far to much time dribbling over performance stats, would think so. @ecw1983 You can spell out what ever you like, you're still missing the point. Aside from the Graphics being better on the PC version, Crysis 2 will be the same experience on all platforms and I very much doubt Crytek and EA will release a game where the Frame rate detracts from the game play so please stop flogging that dead horse, you're getting boring.