Crysis 2 Updated Hands-On

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

455 Comments

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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killer690

@GodOfSyn Thanks for clearing the prices thing for me, I'm a mac user, so when I last upgraded a pc was kind of expensive, plus I'm not from the US so things can get pricey over here, and I don't think ps3 does everything, doesn't do in game music for most games, or party chat (last I heard, maybe with a new update) but then again, with the xbox 360 you can use media center and you don't have to use you HDD, which i mostly use to store a few songs, and to save all of my Add-ons, so while I try to enjoy both consoles, I just don't think neither one of them does everything, while ps3 has blu ray, xbox has zune and netflix, and we can go on and on, but they don't do everything. That's the way I see it, and it is great to own both consoles, that way you remain neutral, and don't miss anything out. @squallgunblade7 thanks for clearing the dashboard stuff, still I have to disagree on the hardware topic, for instance, I Find it that Samsung has better TV sets, sony came up with motion flow, but samsung came up with LED tv's, and now the refresh rate is as good or better than sony's motion flow, or SHARP, with the Quatron model, LED TV, with four colors instead of three, it looks amazing honestly, and as for blu ray players I can't really say since I don't own, have owned or will own (asides for the ps3) so I don't know if you got a point or not XD

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monktheking

I have to agree with TheJamin - I've been playing consoles for over 25 years and I decided to buy my first PC rig in 2009 - boy what a difference. My PC games never hiccup while my console games are constantly slowing down - and like Jamin my TV is top notch. I would love for Crysis2 to run smoothly on the consoles but i'll most likely pick it up for my PC instead. (I'm running a GTX 275 but swapping it for 2 Radeon 6870s in CF - No way can my PS3 or 360 keep up with that)

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devrindare

in a FPS only graphics and environment with weapons are important only. otherwise all the FPS are same in gameplay cause we can only see hands and guns of the player and we have to target and shoot only or to hide some time nothing else more

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TonnFool23

@TheJamin In order to get a good gaming PC you need to spend over 1grand in ordet to do so, and who in god's name is going to do that if you can get a console for cheaper but with lower standards. Even though i'm a PC gamer, i just hate it when ATi hardware fails on me :/

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sorin_ro

meh cry engine 3 doesnt seem so impressive now..i hope im wrong and there will be great improvements from cry engine 2..

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socoldan

marfa este foarte tare

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Dragonsingh3000

anyone know if this game will be Move compatible??

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tinker0007

crysis rules

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TheJamin

@squallgunblade7 you seem to keep moving back to the fact that the ps3 has a decent processor. It does, this is true. but the entire system screams bottleneck. it would be like me buying two Xeon 6 core cpus and dropping in a nvidia 7800GTX to play crysis 2 Anyway, i'll hush up now.

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TheJamin

@squallgunblade7 i havent seen a decent looking smooth running console game yet mate. Not trying to troll... just telling you how it is. after playing the majority of games maxed out with at least 50fps you start getting picky. and console games never look the same since. for example, i am currently playing uncharted 2 as i didnt get around to it. it is indeed a good looking game (for console standards), however the frame rate dips really badly, but to make it even worse, it then rises above the refresh rate of my tv and causes texture tearing. my TV isn't crap either. buy a pc and you can tick a box to stop that ;o)

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Virus_Tornado

Will this have online multiplayer?????

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vn_chauhan1

Crysis is seriously responsible for global warming.....but who cares......bring more details ...more real world interactions ...also with ATI and nvidia wars heating up ...lets see who delivers it best.....

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Hydrafiend

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

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ecw1983

@Bashers79 M-O-D-S !!! F-R-A-M-E-R-A-T-E-S P-E-R S-E-C-O-N-D!!!!!!!!! (Sorry I really have to spell it out for you) That aint graphics mate. You really are not too bright are you?! There is nothing worse than a moron like Bashers79 trying to act intelligent

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daveg1

no talk of how the game looked or ran?? come on gamespot was it even running on the ps3 this demo???

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aferrara50

@squallgunblade7 yes you can spend $10k on a comp, but that computer won't just be used for gaming, but more useful things like folding @ home. I spent about $8k on mine after watercooling the whole thing (all components minus hdd) and couldn't be happier. It's nice playing games at 3x the resolution of a ps3/360 with AA @ 100+fps. Not worth the $ in terms of gaming ability, but it is worth the $ because of its ability to fold extremely well. Unless you are playing with 2d/3d surround or eyefinity there is no need for a gaming comp over around $1000. Then with surround you're looking at around $3k-4k. Anything above that is solely for epeen or if you want a machine for rendering / folding

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marxux_1

there is no second thought on the matter that pc will be an eye candy but as the game is being ported to xbox too so i dont expect high pc sales...any way i'll buy it for my pc coz in in my country PC games are much cheaper than console versions..few games are even 40% of console versions.

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nomorepain4u

i cant wait for this game though

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nomorepain4u

i think i smell a graphic comparison coming sson between the ps3 and 360. i think that both the xbox and ps3 have the same graphics really.

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Mitchell_1797

Imagine if the graphics were better :O

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cyclonebw

@franci17 The xbox version definitely does. They have to fit it all in 8gb. At least with the ps3 you have around 60gb to work with. (kz2 used half of it) But unfortunately i do believe the pc will suffer due to the console versions... ;(

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sammoth

@squallgunblade7 Your Kidding Right ? $10K for a Gamming Rig. High End you can get these days for under $1500. $750 for a decent Rig that plays all the top end games. PC Hardware is much cheaper now than it was. PC gaming has never died down. Have you checked the WOW Sub base lately just as an Example. Don't pull the PC Gaming is Dying Card. That is Utter Crap. Apparently you have been out of the loop for a while. Plus you can do a hell of a lot more on a PC than a console. Cheap as they come link below. << LINK REMOVED >>

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franci17

seriously, they have to release new generation consoles in order to game industry can bring more updated graphics and new stuff, now I had an ATI HD6850-1GB (US$ 214.00) and it barely wake up with todays games.

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franci17

I hope that the console versions dont limit the potential that the Pc version has to offer

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acasero44

Crysis 1 obliterated Halo 3 in terms of graphics and gameplay i just hope its the same for crysis 2 as halo reach is tough to beat these days.

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HaRdNiPs

@killer690 I'm pretty sure you know what you're talking about but PC is a desktop not owned by Microsoft but some PCs has Microsoft's processors that's why you always get viruses since their firewall is crappy. Console war really who cares the gamer should get the best out of it no matter which console. Just keep your fanboyness down no one wants to hear it. Crysis 2 I feel like its been dumb downed for "Fun" which really means for idiots who exploits the game.

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GodOfSyn

@killer690 you have my thoughts exactly on the console wars, everyone wins, I've always been neutral in the wars, but lately have been leaning towards my ps3 more just because i use it for everything from blurays to the PSN store and gaming, like they say, it does everything lol hell you could install Red Hat Linux on it for awhile. anyways, i do have to disagree on the pricing comment, "updating your pc's not as expensive as buying another console". Thats exactly not true. Graphics cards to run high powered games like crysis range anywhere between 300-600 bucks and thats not counting the other components required for great gaming, which those have dropped in price in recent years, but if you need a new motherboard, cpu, or power supply, it can get pricy specially for gaming rigs. a new system is a one time buy of 300-600 bucks at launch, but isn't upgradable so you it doesn't scale like a pc's equipment would with newer games. other than that, you were pretty much right on the money for alot of those comments.

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squallgunblade7

@killer690 what i meant by dashboard was really for the main stuff and don't forget sony makes other hardware like top of the line tv's and blu-ray players and such so sony is always profiting not quite as big as microsoft but they still making enough to not bat a eye at by microsoft

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waterdragon222

Dear aliens- Consider surrendering before I even get on the game. Sincerely, Your happy New Yorker

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killer690

Console wars are so Fun, Are they not? XD Here's something to think about, PC doesn't win, xbox 360 doesn't win, ps3 doesn't win, gamers Win honestly does not matter which is you favorite console, or platform, great games are coming our way, and also Microsoft is the big winner here, financially, since he owns both xbox and PC......

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killer690

@squallgunblade7 I was right there with you when you mentioned the ps3 cell processor, but the you lost me when you said Dashboard. @aferrara50 you are right, by today's tech standards, consoles are pretty outdated, but what can we do? if they release another console with better components it's gonna be pretty expensive, and that is another strong point to pc gaming, updating you pc's not as expensive as buying another console, but the fact remains that as long as there are multiplatform games, consoles' capabilities won't be exploded at maximum capabilities, and even if the hardware on both the ps3 and xbox 360 is at its limits, we can always rely on the game engine which is the heart of the game itself, I've said once, and I'll say it again Gears 3 is a fine example that the xbox 360 still has some trick up its sleeve, thanks to the engine's update (Unreal 3).

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Johny_47

The top picture, that's the torch of the statue of liberty, I'm gonna make those aliens wish they'd never come to Earth for that =P Looking forward to this, very nice this is coming to consoles aswell and at all the people complaining that the consoles will 'bring down' the PC version, Crytek have already said that the PC version will be superior so stop the complaining =/

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fireballonfire

idk95, my guess the frame rate should stay within 1 - 200 fps depending on settings and the hardware it runs on.

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Barbouchalos

Even if the graphics turned out to be no better than the original Crysis on ultra, I would still be content with them...I couldn't care less about DirectX11 personally...what I am interested in the most is the campaign length....for God's sake, don't give us another 5 or 6 hour campaign like most shooters these days...there are still gamers out there that prefer a decent single player experience over multiplayer...give us a good, long story that's as good as an FPS story can be...please Crytek!!!

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idk95

how many frames per second does the pc version of crysis run on?

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fullxtent

@squallgunblade7 I know the 10k was an exaggeration but its way over the top, the highest might be 3k if you were insane enough to build one but a computer around 1k is enough to play all recent games at good settings. you also pay for other capabilities that the consoles don't offer and that is why buying a PC costs so much. I own a PS3, Xbox and a gaming PC but i didn't buy the pc to play games exclusively, its just an added feature thats nice to have. bottom line is, buying a $600 PC for home use and an Xbox or PS3 that costs $300-500 costs about the same if not more.

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squallgunblade7

@sammoth but what makes console better than pc is that you don't have to pay $10k to get a descent looking game and you know everyone is having the same experience and some 1 else getting a better experience just because they have more money console owners only gotta worry about buyin the game and pop in and play no installing nothing for the most part i love pc gaming but to think pc is far superior just because a few people can get the full experience is kinda ignorant pc gaming is dwindling you know that right most people prefer console cause it is more easy excess able

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stealth2142

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

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squallgunblade7

@SgtDarthVader opps 6 after the 360 wasn't suppose to be their i know the 360 has 3 and wait i thought that it was the same for all 7 cores can you prove to me that i am wrong as i am still strongly believe it is a 7 core processor with all the same strength

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sammoth

What’s funny is I see all this talk about consoles CPU wars here yet PC not even mentioned. This game has and always will be PC first. Ported then to consoles AKA: Dumbed Down. You will never see the full potential of the Cry Engine until you play it on the PC with a nice Vid Card / CPU power to start. I am happy to see the Port but, to even compare is just stupid both console are powerful in different ways and use there cores differently. Graphic wise they are about the same. With some Very MINOR differences.

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TheJamin

@sorin_ro Nasa still uses old motarolla chips in the space shuttle. you don't want a NASA machine! but yup, this game is going to be a lil hard on the hardware. but that's why we love crytek! always pushing the modern gaming rigs limits! Yay!

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TheJamin

@Bashers79 you stopped pc gaming because you were worried about your pc keeping up with modern titles? so you just bought a console and are happy that you get the same shoddy performance that everyone gets? lol >.

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TheJamin

@squallgunblade7 even if it had 500 Cpu's... not alot of good without some GPU horsepower is it.

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anotherone10

@gtDarthVader The PS3's CPU has 1 PPE core @ 3.2GHz (a more conventional core), and 7 SPE cores @ 3.2GHz, which perform more GPU based tasks. Don't know where you got the 300 - 600mhz figure from.

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Vancelvany

in terms of graphics, will this sequel match its predecessor? Crysis 2 might end up as a crisis. But I think it's still going to be a great game, now more accessible since it's going to consoles.

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SgtDarthVader

@squallgunblade7 the PS3 actually has 1x 3.2ghz and 6x 300-600mhz that it uses to help the big CPU with mathematical calculations, also the 360 doesn't have 6 CPUs, it has 3x 3.2ghz

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squallgunblade7

@aferrara50 alot of ps3 games take full advantage of the 7 core processor of the ps3

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squallgunblade7

@killer690 hum ps3 has 7 core cell processor so it is far more powerful than the 360 6 in which it can actually use ingame 1 it uses for dashboard and stuff

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aferrara50

@ killer690 the problem is that most games aren't coded for multicore cpus so they rely on at most 2 with the exception of very few games out there like Civ V (when calculating games and i know it's not on console, but using it as an example). The problem comes in with the gpus in consoles being utter crap by today's standards. Yes it can render at 1080p (big deal....) but it cant do it with AA which makes it look sooooo much better. The ps3's gpu is prettymuch a 8800gt and the 360s is the ATi equivalent which right now are pretty much garbage

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killer690

Well in theory ps3 should be superior because the Cell processor (that's its name right? XD), the main advantage that the ps3 has is the blu ray, since the graphic compression doesn't have to be well, so compressed lol, and therefore can render more easily higher res textures, but if the xbox 360 could use blu ray or some drive of higher capacity, should be able to render much higher resolutions textures, since it has a 3 core processor and 2 video cards (I'm actually not sure about this last one). Well in theory, but who knows, I still like both consoles in spite of not actually owning a ps3.