Crysis 2- Final Impressions
December 15, 2013
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After two months of purchasing Crysis 2, I’ve finally beaten it. The second half sees Alcatraz defending Grand Central Station from the swarms of Ceph forces and Times Square from the same to buy civilians enough time to evacuate. Upon finishing this task, Alcatraz is sent to infiltrate the complex on Roosevelt Island, where Hargreave is located, and takes down Commander Lockhart in the process. Reaching the complex means finding Hargreave in stasis after an injury sustained at Tunguska: the subsequent conversation ends with Alcatraz receiving the final upgrades to the Nanosuit. The last goal in Crysis 2 is to destroy the Ceph spire in Central Park before the US Department of Defense launches a tactical nuclear strike on Manhattan. Once Alcatraz makes it, the game ends on the note that the Nanosuit has assimilated Prophet’s memories into Alcatraz, bringing Prophet back to life and setting in motion the events of Crysis 3, which would release in March 2013 and is so GPU demanding that my current loadout can only run the game on high settings, rather than ultra settings.
- The Grendel fulfills the role of Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4‘s Battle Rifle. A high-caliber battle rifle, the Grendel has semiautomatic and three-round bursts, making it useful as a marksman rifle at medium to long ranges. Lacking automatic fire, it’s less useful at closer ranges, meaning I typically will pair a shotgun with it.
- There’s a Swarmer missile launcher in Grand Central Station somewhere; it is particularly useful for shutting down the Pinger that storms in later. Crysis 2 performs very nicely on my system, running at a cool 80 FPS, but the frame rate does drop sometimes when I’m inside a building.
- I don’t think I have any images or mention of it, but the X-43 MIKE is a high-power experimental directed-energy weapon based around weaponized microwaves, causing the water and fat molecules in organic systems to heat rapidly to quickly take down a target. Against the Ceph, even a short exposure causes them to explode violently, making the weapon useful against Ceph Devastators. The MIKE only makes an appearance five times in the campaign and extra ammunition cannot be found for the weapon.
- There are two separate phases where one will need to hold out against the Ceph. At Times Square, there is a HMG that will shred the Ceph: the Ceph are tougher to kill compared to CELL operatives, although they can be downed very quickly with stealth kills. These are surprisingly entertaining to carry out, even though there are only a few animations for the stealth kills.
- A careful eye reveals that the cityscape on either side of Roosevelt Island is the same, but that doesn’t matter, since the overall effect is very pleasing. By this point in the game, I had enough Nano catalyst to unlock all of the stealth upgrades and had an incredible time sneaking around the complex, dispatching CELL soldiers with stealth kills or silenced headshots from a silenced SCARAB (which I had discarded earlier for the SCAR).
- Commander Lockhart is protected by a force field of some sort, and wields one of the few Gauss rifles in the game. A combination of stealth and use of cover allows for the distance to be closed, and any opposition to be silenced. From there, defeating Lockhart proves to be straightforward enough: it’s not a true boss battle, but a cutscene, since Lockhart is an ordinary man with a Gauss rifle and probably would result in a disappointing fight.
- The interior of Hargreaves’ complex is very ornate and in fact, brings to mind Drake’s castle from 007 Nightfire (the console version). Previous iterations of the Nanosuit can be seen in the glass cases, and soon after Alcatraz meets Hargreaves’ true form, Ceph break in. It is advisable to have a good close-quarters weapon at this stage to make the fight easier.
- After Hargreaves announces his intentions, he orders the CELL to assist Alcatraz along with the self-destruction of his facility. The ensuing explosion wrecks the Queensboro Bridge while Alactraz is running across it, providing a harrowing few moments. As powerful as the Nanosuit is, Alacatraz is taken off the bridge by a falling vehicle, but is found by Gould and Strickland.
- En route to the floating remains of Central Park, the player is given a rail-shooting assignment. Even though Ceph soldiers and Devastators stand between Alcatraz and the destination, the tank’s main weapon is very effective, while the missile launchers make things a little too easy. For one reason or another, I love rail shooters, as they allow me to focus entirely on shooting while someone else focuses on driving.
- The final “bosses” in Crysis 2 is an entire army of Ceph (they defeated by a bit of patience and stealth), and four Ceph Guardians. The Guardians can cloak and have the highest durability of any Ceph in game: when I first encountered them, all I had was the K-Volt. I managed to defeat all of them by emptying entire magazines into them at near-point blank range and drawing each one out individually for a stealth kill. Once they are beaten, crawling into the Ceph spire will effectively end the game; beyond this point, the Nanosuit takes care of everything else, and thus ends a thrilling ten-hour journey through New York.
As an eight-dollar deal on Steam, Crysis 2 was something that I was considering when it went on discount back in October. Upon beating the campaign, I was very satisfied with the solid, tactile feeling from the gameplay. The Nanosuit, despite feeling less powerful compared to its Crysis iteration, allowed me to play through sections of the campaign as I preferred. Collecting nano catalyst from downed Ceph and upgrading my suit to fit my preferences was a very nice touch, giving me superior armour. By the time I reached Roosevelt Island, I had defeated enough Ceph to fully upgrade both my armour and stealth ratings. I took a liking to using silenced weapons to place headshots on distant soldiers without my cloak dropping: this is something I couldn’t do back in Crysis. I also cannot stress enough how enjoyable it was to have the ability to grab onto ledges and perform power-slides. These elements add variety to the gameplay, and though Crysis 2 may be less open than its predecessor, it captures the feeling of an urban jungle very nicely. The story aspect is, while a little inconsistent or inconceivable in some places, nonetheless entertaining enough to stand on its own. As a shooter, the gunplay is solid and the weapons feel powerful, again, being customisable to one’s preference. Overall, limitations in its graphics and story aren’t enough to take away from what is a fitting entry in the Crysis series. Of course, the fact that I netted this for eight dollars means that a part of my enjoyment did indeed come from that Steam Sale.