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 Huntress67

@cliffro..thanks for that info and with that it just closed my interest in this game. I use PC for my gaming and have no use for gamepads, etc. or the limitations consoles/ps platforms put on PC gaming if the dev's won't implement normal/usable keyboard/mouse controls ILO console control systems. In other words, I don't want a PC portal from console codes nor can I handle waypoint saves unless I can still make my own saves as well. Gah!

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@ Madgnad From what I've read over at lean and prone are both gone from Crysis 2. "Also, his approach of having consoles as a baseline and then scaling up to the PC only works in favour of consoles. The controls are worked specifically for the gamepad, which is why there are fewer actions (no prone, no lean, no suit menu, etc). They are not scaling up at all in that aspect since the PC version has the same restrictions on actions. Nanosuit 2.0 only takes away control from the user my automatically activating modes. I'm questioning why they call it Nanosuit 2.0 when it seems like a downgrade from the original Nanosuit." Source: << LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for RonTorque

I always loved Crysis because it always gives you options and tactics to do whatever you want, in the way you desire. In addition to that i can't wait to find out if Alcatraz is Nomad and he is just using the name to hide his true identity from Crynet system, and if he did steal the suit or not.

Avatar image for Penguinchow

First one had fun combat and a nice creative feel. I felt more like I was playing a tech demo than a game at times though. Hope this one improves the storyline! Pretty psyched though!

Avatar image for commander

still busy on that console pc stuff ha let me make it very simple for you, the xbox 360 and ps3 are nearly the same. Games look the same. some games only come out for consoles, but some only come out for pc. You can lay in your seat when playing with a console, with pc if you want to do that you must configure your system, but it's possible . Anyway a console is more user friendly. I always preferred pc though for the controls and the better hardware BUT the hardware of pc is always better true but it isn't always affordable. In 2006 I bought an x360 . My pc was only a 3 ghz p4 with 7600 gt. Bioshock crawled and looked ugly, crysis made my computer shutdown. The x360 ran games nice and smooth with excellent graphics. I mean come on 2 cores of 3 ghz , video graphics quality compared to a 7900 gtx. for what 220 $ or something. If I wanted that in a pc i payed 1500$. Today for 600$ i have an i3 530 hd5770 4gb ddr3 ram that simply obliterates x360/ps3. Anyway you put it you can be a fanboy of any console or pc but i prefer the better hardware. Mostly it is pc but sometimes a console is just affordable. A lot of consoles had this time period like the SNES, the playstation. and the x360/ps3. The ps2 and xbox, nes, sega master system, n64 couldn't even touch moderate pc hardware. So simply put my x360 is only used for watching movies now. So let's wait for a new consoles and hope it are superb machines like the x360 and ps3 once 'was'.

Avatar image for XCyberForceX

Next on my list of must get games. I heard the multiplayer may even rival Gears of War 2. Hopes its lives up to my expectations.

Avatar image for NorwegianWinter

@lithus No, we weren't nitpicking and playing semantics in the least bit. Yes, consoles will do more and more than they did in the last generation, but that's just the way it is or nobody would find them worth buying. PCs are always ahead of consoles and they probably always will be. You don't have to spend $1,200 for a good gaming PC anymore, you can spend around $800 if you take the time to look around for the deals. The PS3 was around that price when it first released. The PS3 and 360 were outdated before they even hit the market, despite the PS3's "revolutionary" technology. And to be quite frank, consoles gamers, in some cases, DO have to UPGRADE if you really look at the entier picture because of storage space a lot of people have to pay the unreasonable prices for a new HDD on the 360. PS3 gamers are better off with the HDD since they can use a standard laptop HDD and buy a faster, larger HDD. I Love my PS3 and 360, but I'm being realistic here. I'm not even saying that PC gaming is necessarily "better", I'm simply saying that it's always further ahead in graphics technology and capability and that's just how it is. When Crysis 2 comes out on console it will only look like the first Crysis did on PC at medium graphics settings or possibly a bit better depending on which setting you tweak. Consoles usually lack in draw distances, anti-aliasing, HDR, Parallax occlusion mapping, anisotropic filtering and so on. Consoles are very limited on memory as well.

Avatar image for Tha_DRP

This game is in the middle of my radar for early 2011 that's forsure, anyone who isn't interested even in the slightest can't be human!?

Avatar image for Lakonas13

Well I hope we all agree that Crysis 2 is going to be epic. whether it be on console or PC.

Avatar image for Madgnad

Personally I don't have a problem with the game coming to consoles. Thats just fine... but if it impedes the controls and they take away simple things like "lean" out of the pc's controls, and simplify the controls just to accommodate the consoles controllers, then that's when I have a problem with the idea.

Avatar image for russian_takeout

gaming pc dont cost as much as they did 3 years ago. now you can get a nice/great pc for under $1,100. i did two month ago. IBUYPOWER CPU: i7 3.4ghz 12GB RAM DDR3 1600 nvidia GTX 470 win 7 home edotion and pc you dont use just for games... at least most of the times. everyone has a pc at home that cost at least 500 bucks. plus the console, and you already looking at 800. so why not spend that extra few hundreds and get a nice rig. dont forget how much cost a new PS3 or Xbox when they came out... if not mistaken, you couldnt get one under 700 bucks for a few months. anyways, crysis will look great on all of the systems any how. for me, it will play beter with keyboard and mouse... and i do use ps3 joystick on many game, but not FPS.

Avatar image for ste-g

this place has turned into another bit**ing ground. every 1 can admit that pc's are far more powerful and have far better graphics than what xbox or ps can do. but that all comes at a cost. pcs have to be upgraded and unless you have sufficient knowledge most "mr/mrs casual gamers" dont really have the option of pc gaming. where as getting either a xbox or ps everything is there 1 box 1 job. put the disk in bang your playing. its a crazy and pointless argument. pc's = hardcore gaming. xbox/ps = some hardcore gaming fans but many familys and children too. p.s crysis looks awesome whatever platorm you choose.

Avatar image for Mengsk

I hope they allow cross platform playing so I can drop all those console playing fools using my keyboard and mouse : )

Avatar image for Lotsofweapons01

Can't wait looks awsome

Avatar image for SaldanhaBoss

I cant wait!It looks sick!!!!!!

Avatar image for Gorge09

This is a fps and in this case a mouse and keyboard are unbeatable. And for those ho say that games look better on consoles or that spending some money on a gaming pc is waste are wrong because if you manage to build a nice pc you will not need to upgrade-it for a wille in order to play. In fact my pc has more than 3 years and i still can play, not with 16XAA but the game still looks good.

Avatar image for Anitrex

Played Both Crysis And Crysis Warhead,,,Liked Both Reasonably Well,,,Really Looking Forward To Playing This Game... But!! Ahh I Guess I'll First Have To Upgrade My PC To Play This.... :-P

Avatar image for bodpbucho

ugh, the final reveal of the looming alien threat was the worst part of the first game(maybe the VTOL was worse). Hasn't this type of thing been done to death? Kinda tired of aliens and super-soldiers. but whatever

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superb man my pc will rock crysis 2

Avatar image for kmconstable

@lithus. Yeah I agree. I hope that other things I like about the PC can come as well. I like Xbox Live, but find it lacking for more advanced online match making. I admit I have not used it much so I may not be savvy about it. I also think that consoles tend to plateau in what they can do after awhile and cannot make advances due to hardware limitations. That's why they make new ones from time to time. The flip side is more A+ titles as developers don't have to spend so much time and effort making games work on the lots of different hardare like they do with the PC. In the longer run I would not be surprised to see things head towards a platform like OnLive where they upgrade the hardware for you and then you just hook up to their gaming server farm and play the games with little load time and no worries about updates in games or hardware. They do it for you, but home internet bandwidth is still an issue for that to truly take off yet. And btw I totally get why you don't want to drop all that bank on a gaming PC. You are smarter than me I guess, lol. Here's to hoping Crysis 2 is all that!

Avatar image for lithus

@kmconstable: I'm not all that much concerned with the extra few seconds of load time as much as I am about paying triple for a gaming rig. Guess that's why I'm not a PC Enthusiast anymore. My last set up cost me 1,200 USD. Not to mention the costly hardware upgrades later on. In the end, the console just wins out for me. Everything a PC once had over a console has been done. My 360 may not have the high resolutions your rig has now. But in the next generation or two, I suggest it wont matter anymore. Consoles will cross that hurdle one day too and you won't be able to tell the difference anymore. PC Enthusiast or not.

Avatar image for kmconstable

I agree that PC users have to load the games and that takes time. No argument from me there. Although if you are doing the same with a console I guess that is a tie, lol. To me the advantage of the console is that you can just put the disk in. Don't you think? Although I can guarantee my SSD will load faster than your console. And by technically superior I did not mean to put consoles down. Games look very good on them. That is why I used the word Technically. The technology in a gaming PC is superior in every way technically when compared to a console and if utilized properly will be able to play games with more bells and whistles enabled than a console. That was my whole point PC enthusiasts, and I am one of those, notice all those details you say you don't care about. PC enthusiasts want every last ounce of detail and power and have way more of it than consoles. Again that does not mean the console as bad at all. Consoles are very good, but not quite a good as PCs in terms of technical specifications .... As far as updates I have a 360 and it updates quite a lot as does the wii. I mean they are all just computers after all. And like I said PC enthusiasts that are honest would indicate it is more expensive than consoles, other than software which often is cheaper on the PC, and that it is not realistic for everyone to buy a gaming PC. Anyway, I did not mean to be snobbish, but I do believe there is a technical difference between your 300-400 dollar console and my 2000 PC. You do get what you pay for, but the return is less and less the more you pay. Obviously it not worth it to you to spend that money and I think that is a fair thing to say........ regardless, this misses the point which is that Crysis was a sweet game on the PC and Crysis 2 should be amazing for both PC and console.

Avatar image for Slavadil

@hman11 If you have such a great life why don't you get back to it. Or is trolling part of that 'great life' of yours.

Avatar image for lithus

Oh and out of the dozen or so games that came out this holiday season for the PC, only half of them made an 8.5 or better. None of which scored higher than the same title on the PS3 or 360. And there are 3 times as many titles available on the consoles...yeah, that's just seething "Superior"! :roll:

Avatar image for lithus

@kmconstable: Thank you for being civil (it's a rare PC gamer quality). But you are wrong on a few points to say the least. 1st off, consoles gamers don't miss the point. Just read these comments. With the exception of you, none of the PC gamers think console gaming is good. Consoles are demonized plain and simple. Even you brag about superiority....................................................................... And no, PC gaming is NOT the best. Let me repeat. PC gaming is not the best. Faster load times?, are you also including the lengthly installation times? Um hate to break it to ya chief but us "inferior" console gamers can install games directly onto our 360's hard drive to minimize load times too................................................................ Compatibility issues, benchmark tests, driver updates, upgrades, messin around with video and sound sliders just so your game doesn't get choppy (we all know you're not gonna be playing Crysis 2 all maxed out). Basically you're burning money for slightly better graphics and shading. That isn't's wasteful snobby stupidity with a superiority complex.

Avatar image for kmconstable

Lithus ... people that play their games in DX9 really don't know the difference and to be fair you are correct that most won't care. That is where console players miss the point. It is not that console gaming is bad. It is pretty good. It is that PC gaming is the best. Let me repeat that. It is that PC gaming is the best. That does not mean the least expensive or simplest, but it is the best. Graphically superior, faster load times, highest resolutions, better shadows, less aliasing and higher framerates. PC Gaming is technically and graphically superior to console gaming in every way. And I can still use a controller. The main argument against PC gaming is expense and the ability to just throw in the disc. Both are advantages to console gaming I agree. Although once a game is loaded on a PC it is much faster than a console.

Avatar image for lithus

@Kastigador: You really have to be a stickler to notice minor graphical differences. With the exception of the camera zoom, my 360's Dragons Age looked just as good as the PC version. I've seen both play. It's not like you're forced to play the console version and THAN play the PC to notice the differences. (Even though that's what you'd have to do to see the differences) geez :roll: Anywho....Gaming on the PC is over-kill these days. It's like buying a shotgun when all you needed was a flyswatter. PC's are more expensive, take up more physical space (tower, monitor, keyboard and mouse) have compatibility issues, LONG install times and honestly, don't really offer much more of a gaming experience than that of a console. I've been gaming on the PC long before the Dial-up days (longer than most of you have been alive). But years ago I've decided to stop dumping money into a rig just to keep up with new tech. So you PC elitists can shove the fanboy rhetoric... ~my 2 cents

Avatar image for advanracer

hman1111 :: Based on your Achievments here in Gamespot and on your Xbox seems to us all here you really do "have a Life". Time to save up for a PC. ;)

Avatar image for hman1111

I love how fiesty the PC nerds get. Im sorry Im not going to spend $1000+ on a gaming PC like you did, I'd rather use that money on many other things because I actually have a life.

Avatar image for DrZeuss

I hope this game has a special caring to PC version because if it's just a stupid port I will... damn... I will kill my kitten!!!

Avatar image for kiavashparvar

I think the pc version will be the best between the other two... as every time...

Avatar image for Dragonsingh3000

i wounder if the ps3 version will have Move support, that would be kool, now that Move has the Sharp Shooter gun for killzone 3 would be epic to see that being used for Crysis 2 also.

Avatar image for ODST-516

this is gonna be intense, i just hope it doesn't turn out to be like Dragon Age where because of the computer port it's not gonna look as stellar as they're showing it

Avatar image for Kastigador

I predict the console version is going to be vastly inferior. It's going to be a PC to console port so textures will be blotchy. Dragon Age is a good example of this. The game just looks bad on the 360 and PS3 it's hideous. You can argue that is the dev team's fault, but PC's are simply so far beyond consoles these days. Not coincidentally, we're back at that point in the hardware cycle when gaming studios start pushing out PC focused/exclusive titles. Fine with me, I prefer gaming on my PC vs. the consoles I own. If they released this as a console to PC port, I wouldn't buy it.

Avatar image for 666shan666

@MW2ismygame, u mean a suicidal... Niiiice..

Avatar image for dhruv990

Graphics for PC are only toned down if the game is a console port, if its got PC exclusive version(meaning made from scratch) then it won't be graphically flawed. They'll just be compressing the textures on console versions as others said. This plus Dead Space 2 & Ghost Recon Future Soldier are on my must buy list for next year!

Avatar image for MW2ismygame

why do i have the feeling my GPU will kill its self as soon as i bring the game home?

Avatar image for YoungSinatra25

I'm hoping for a great game. Anything else is trivial. If it's mediocre.. It's bad. Tired of campaigns not worthy of more then a single play thru and way to much emphasis on MP. (and they mess that up) I want more personally and am expecting more from Crysis 2...

Avatar image for undeniablefate

Who cares about the differences...let's appreciate that the sequel of one of the greatest shooters ever made is coming to consoles so that all can enjoy the gameplay that is Crysis.

Avatar image for lithus

@Lakonas13: atleast there's one semi-rational person here. Back at ya man, you assume I'm talking about every PC gamer. If you've been paying attention, you're one of the few PC gamers here that doesn't resort to rig-bragging and console-demonizing. As for the rest of you (the same four bitter PC elitists who always chime in when I talk). Nice try with the sad attempts at turning this debate around by making me the bad guy (you"ve been talking to my Ex haven't you). Stop blaming consoles and enjoy the golden years of your PC gaming.

Avatar image for icebox98

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

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@blackhawk340, dude did you not watch the interviews and hear all the developers saying PC will have their own version and they know what the PC gamers expect? .... Damn, a lot of you seem to not of noticed.

Avatar image for mergulho456

Worry not pc gamers. The game will only be toned down on the consoles, because of their limited capacity in graphical terms and such. Tho the consoles are advanced and have games with awesome graphics, there's no denying the pc beats the consoles by a million points. Crytek said that the consoles where holding them back, BUT the pc will have the most awesomest graphics their new engine will be able to offer. Assuming your pc is good enough....

Avatar image for SheepdogXpress

Why does everyone keep saying that the PC version will have toned down graphics? This game will likely be the best looking PC game to date when it launches. Just because it is being released cross-platform doesn't mean the PC version wont be polished....we are talking about Crytek think they are going to cut corners and leave us PC fans in the dust? I don't think so. Stop worrying about the visuals, it will be amazing I promise =]

Avatar image for Parn85

It was a wise decision for Crytek to enter the console market in order to secure their survival. I don't think people understand that the new engine is built to scale on all platforms, PC owners won't be getting a bad console port. It will be a graphically better looking game on your pimped out rig while still being an accessible experience for console owners. I would think that my PC brethren would be rejoicing over the fact that they are being given the privilege to show what the game is really meant to look like in comparison. << LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for xboxgameman

@samme_da_kol43 Yes, I lot of people do...its natural.

Avatar image for samme_da_kol43

i like pie

Avatar image for advanracer

@BlackHawk340: Speak for yourself. I'm not at all disappointed. In a way im glad its going to be the "urban jungle" so to speak. Regardless, it's still going to be the same "destructible environment" fast paced, sandbox style gameplay Crysis is known for and being its from Crytek, and assuming you own and played the game; Then for sure its going to be good. I mean why be disappointed in the first place? If your machine could play Crysis then, Surely Crysis 2 would be a cinch for your rig much more the consoles. The only difference I think would be the MOD options Crytek will offer for the PC owners as it was with Crysis and Crysis Warhead. So don't worry at all mate Crytek's environments will lay the new standard in console gameplay paving a good example for game makers to inspire upon. It just gets better and better. So have your rig ready to go or buy a console and try out both types of gameplay. Regardless, in the end its gona be fun. << LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for BlackHawk340

People here are not acting like jackasses or elitist PC owners, they are, just as me, disappointed Crytek had tone down the game in order to make it run on consoles. The Crysis we know was a huge free-roam world with A+ graphics and we just wished Crysis 2 would have been the same. But it is a logical and wise decision of Crytek to make a Console version, just more and more people own consoles these days for gaming instead of PC's, Crytek just can't live of good reviews tey need money aswell. I just hope they have left Crysis intact and we get another awesome mindblowing game that even console owners can enjoy.

Avatar image for Alex_09

I hate fighting robots in games.