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 BlackWaltz_No_3

Optimization is the key here. I hope I don't need to wait for the expansion to get the new Cry engine to work at its finest. Crysis: Warhead played leaps ahead better on my system compared to Crysis. I don't mind waiting for another month until they get it down right.

Avatar image for HaloinventedFPS

Crysis 2 on consoles is quite garbage, low res and tons of jaggies and 30fps, have you played the 360 beta? those are bullshots guys anyway, PC version will be the best altho it has a good chance of selling poorly on PC due to the $60 price tag, good going EA....

Avatar image for Anthony414

I hope my crossfire 4870s and C2Q can still handle this. This system's getting old but is still hanging in there.

Avatar image for amplex007

I really, really hope they optimize this game for pc. If they do, it might just give me a reason to finally build a new rig. :-)

Avatar image for Xxhed_shotxX


Avatar image for tidus_david

I think this game is looking a lot like Halo, just that it haves a lot of cool things (like graphics, vehicles, gameplay) that halo doesn't have, still I like a lot Halo but this game is very cool too

Avatar image for jedediahpelland

Lets hope they focus on the PC version, and not just bring us a crappy port, unlike other recent games.... like say BO, and many others. Since they are making this game for consoles, I hope they have not abandoned PC.- now dont get me wrong I Love my 360, PS3, and Wii, but certain games are just MADE for PC.

Avatar image for maybock3000

Yeah, X360 and PS3 will outsell the PC 10 to 1, even if the PC looks better.

Avatar image for Reuwsaat

My HD 4850 is already having nightmares...

Avatar image for onthe_dl

crytech know good graphics. good graphics are still being pumped out on xbox and ps3. It's fun watching all the people make comments about how this game shouldn't be cross platform. Sorry I don't feel like buying a 1000$ PC. My 360/PS3 set up on my 55" LED is good enough for me. They've revamped the engine to incorporate consoles because games sell on consoles.

Avatar image for MichaeltheCM

looks sweet!

Avatar image for kramer_inc

Looks great can't wait for it. never played any of the previous Crysis games.

Avatar image for skywalkerforce

@Jean_rainier I agree. Im not fond of the new surroundings that Ive seen so far. They are making it look too typical. Im sure they had to tone it down for console gamers. I know there will be DX11 for PC but still, if its in a familiar surrounding then who cares. Crysis looked beautiful, this looks like a mix of Halo and COD. Like you said, if I have enough money then I will pick it up but Im far more excited for Elders Scroll: Skyrim.

Avatar image for advanracer

PC's Good to Go. Bring it. =]

Avatar image for dr-shokry

I Hope my pc can run it!

Avatar image for fend_oblivion

hehehehe I can't wait to play this game! :D

Avatar image for fanirama

I hate how gamespot salivates on a good giving excellent previews and then rates the final game a 6.0/10. gametrailer p/reviews are much better.

Avatar image for unhappymatt1

It's just a game. You'll play it and the next thing comes along and it'll be forgotten.

Avatar image for hasancakir

I hope this one wouldn't want a nuclear powered PC to run on high quality settings like the original Crysis :)

Avatar image for Jean_rainier

this has honestly gone off the radar for me. so many good releases around that time of the year, i loved the first game because of the foliage, it felt unique now its going to have environment similar to most shooters. if i can afford this after getting LBP2, dragon age 2, marvel vs. capcom 3 i'll consider this. also my computer may be out of date for it.

Avatar image for ChiefFreeman

Looks awesome, even better than the first. But Crytek, makean OPEN beta for the multiplayer....PLEASE!

Avatar image for thugzilla2killa

@hailedjohndman im sorry, but your sound just like a fangirl, you have a biast statment

Avatar image for thugzilla2killa

@plagueless yes that may be true, yet have you noticed that most "new" EA partnership games favor the PS3?.............. battlefield bad co. and medal of honor. another reason for that is that because of the Xbox's lower, but still great, processer forces game producers to almost make the game custom for xbox. they want to make money, RIGHT, so they make the game suitable for all game systems............... and have you noticed that ps3 exclusive games have a streak for getting GOTY and best graphics........ demons souls, killzone 2, mgs 4, and, of course, uncharted 2. i dont believe crytec will step down, even for Xbox. dont get me wrong im not trying to hate on Xbox.

Avatar image for trodeback

This game is gonna be sick! Can't wait.

Avatar image for GravityDs

@max_1111 Pc graphics quality will be nothing for us to worry about. Crysis looked awesome even with medium quality graphics, the one area PC gamers have to worry about is how much money we are going to have to dump into a rig to run this game at high or max settings.

Avatar image for athenian29

@gugler990 There are "evil" humans in this game too, from what I hear.

Avatar image for athenian29

Still super pumped for this, but am I the only person who thinks this game looks less impressive in motion? The HUD bobbing looks kinda silly to me.

Avatar image for gugler990

He is shooting down a human VTOL on the 3rd screenshot.

Avatar image for Sukharevskaya

HAHA, France upset about ole Lady Liberty >:)

Avatar image for max_1111

@Landon_Ricketts Fanboyisms aside, PC users do have legitimate reasons to be concerned over (the possibility of) the game's quality taking a hit now that it's going cross platform.

Avatar image for Gaming_Terroist

@Landon_Ricketts sorry but pc is better than xbox and ps3 and putting games like this on consoles brings down the quality and sometimes campaign length

Avatar image for R6ex

Come on, Crysis 2! Give our GTX 580 SLI PC system a proper workout, yeah???

Avatar image for filip_sj92

@Mehdi-Y . PC will handle this a zillion times better than those lame consoles. Crysis 2 shouldn't have been confirmed to be made on consoles that must be THE dumbest thing ive heard in a long time. Crysis didnt sell a lot of copies NOT because it was a bad game, but because it was so hard to run on MOST peoples computers. just because you spend ur money on high end processors and graphic cards doesnt mean everyone does. plus, multiplatforming = more copies sold , more copies sold = more money in the bank. more money in the bank = better games. get a brain lol

Avatar image for Diebye

Ehh, im all for multiplatform games so game devs can decrease the chance of a game flopping just because you are unable to find a large enough marked or a good release date on one platform. Kinda glad this is moving to consoles because even though the graphics wont improve much over the last one it will be better coded so you dont need a supercomputer to run it.

Avatar image for MrArmageddon8

Game looks good, one of the many good looking titles for 2011!

Avatar image for HailedJohnDman

@thugzilla2killa lol the Amount of times I've hear that, multiplats 99.9 percent of the time looks better on xbox , I could make a four page blog about this but let me just tell you that having a "superior processor" doesn't make crysis 2 look good on consoles it's the optimization of it and as we've seen before ps3 has terrible issues with multiplats and optimization

Avatar image for Mehdi-Y

PC will handle this a zillion times better than those lame consoles. Crysis 2 shouldn't have been confirmed to be made on consoles

Avatar image for Plagueless

@thugzilla2killa you tell that to the 95% majority Xbox 360 has on multiplatform games running better on it

Avatar image for thugzilla2killa

@plagueless, the Xbox may sell more copies, but the system itself will have a hard time handling this beast. The PS3 has a much larger, newer, and overall better processer. Each version for each platform is givin the same amount of care each. A monster PC will do best. a PS3 2nd and the xbox last. performance and graphics all come down to processer and your tv strengh.

Avatar image for meke186

used to have xbox and even got the slim. But now i have ps3 so dont call me a fanboy (you can if you want to) But ps3 technically has more core power than xbox and it functions with bluray. So PC is the best obviously, but with xbox and ps3 there is no doubt ps3 will have better graphics with 1080p, bluray, and more power altogether

Avatar image for meke186

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

Avatar image for Landon_Ricketts

@killer690 Here here! The console and pc fanboys need to butt out. Consoles be glad that as great a game as Crysis 2 is coming to consoles. And PCs need to stop complaining about how the consoles are going to drag down the quality of the game. Each platform is great in its own way and the fanboys need to quit arguing and get back to drooling in anticipation for Crysis 2 like everyone else.

Avatar image for tekno_monkey12

@sc_skullz 1080p isn't graphics, it's just screen resolution. PC has had higher resolution for years and still does. As for graphics, of course the PC will be better due to the fact that graphics cards are more powerful and easily upgradeable.

Avatar image for max_1111

@idk95 Spoken like a true console fanboy who knows nothing about PCs or PC gaming. Way to reinforce the stereotype.

Avatar image for sc_skullz

@killer690 Have you seen 1080p graphics on the PS3? Crystal Clear.

Avatar image for Drakkengoth

good stuff, this... brink, bulletstorm and fear 3 will help me forget about halos declining multiplayer

Avatar image for PuppetMaster786

this will own Call of Duty (in terms of highly rated FPS games)

Avatar image for KOBE23IVAN

Does anyone know what will be recommended system requirements for this monster... ps: good luck to consoles, and i don't mean just with graphics :)

Avatar image for killer690

Looks good really, so you guy's fighting to see wich console is better? They're all great fanboys, each one of them has it's strengths and their weaknesses, Like ps3 has blu ray, xbox 360 has halo and a lot of other crap that I don't even use but have to pay for (Zune's great though Makes up for the lack of a blu ray drive) And PC has better graphics (right?).

Avatar image for emperorzhang66

@idk95 i find it hard to believe you have played crysis on ultra with mods. Also. Its not just about looks. mw2 a game played on average @60fps with a gimped res plays at 200+ on a average gaming pc at 1080 or higher. Bump the console version up to the sme res and see what happens. more power + upgradability = more possabilities = better games = future proof.