A few days ago I decided to purchase Crysis 2 (C2) largely as a result from reading this review at GameCritics.com. I wasn’t over thrilled with the first Crysis game; it had some nice open style sandbox elements and big explosions, however it seemed to lack depth especially when it came time to fighting the repetitive aliens. After reading the previous review, I decided to take the plunge into C2 and here’s what I found.
As a bit of a disclaimer, this experience is based solely around the single-player aspect of the game. My initial impression of C2 was that it felt a lot like C1. A few of the suits previous abilities such as power and speed are now being used as passive abilities whereas they were active in C1. I thought this was definitely a change for the better because there were simply too many choices in C1 and shifting to speed when I wanted to sprint and then back to armor was draining on my energy and felt tedious to boot.
This games story revolves around an unlikely hero that dons a suit that makes him something of a superhero and ends up fighting off the same creatures we saw in C1. Before you can get to them however you have to get through a lot of troops, and I mean a lot. Midway through slaying my way through various soldiers is when I started to lose interest. I was encountering bands of soldiers that would “spawn in” on top of their comrades dead bodies for reasons unknown. I would clear an area, sweep back around, and more live bad guys would be there right alongside the dead ones. I was never a big fan of this tactic when I saw it in CoD, where you have to cross an invisible line and stop the incessant spawning of men in any given area. It’s not fun and it’s certainly not realistic in a game that strives for a realistic immersion experience.
The second problem I had was with C2’s checkpoint system. As I just pointed out, killing enemies began to feel redundant as a result of them continuing to spawn in regardless of how many I had cleared out. Even though this wasn’t necessarily a consistent phenomenon (something else I didn’t like), it began to wear on me. As a result I began to experiment and promptly stealthed and sprinted my way towards the next checkpoint. Cha-ching. The entire game can more or less be beaten this way. There’s nothing stopping me from crossing a magic line into the next checkpoint zone and it’s no fun to have my realism taken away by having a endless supply of human soldiers spawn in. Once I figured this out, I was ticking down the minutes until the game ended.
My last point of contention with the game was once again with the aliens. They’re just not as satisfying to kill as a human being. They take much more damage and their intelligence is far more limited. Once they’ve spotted you they tend to charge and take on a suicide mission of killing you. In my experience the most fun is when enemies get smarter, not faster and more durable. There’s something to be said about having a range of health and speed for sure, but the majority of aliens (the grunts) are very nimble and take a good pounding before they go down. It just wasn’t satisfying to take them out.
I’m approaching C2 after playing Batman: Arkham Aslyum. While they’re 2 very different games, I enjoyed the combat in Batman whereas I didn’t relish it in C2. To me, I could let a lackluster story with inane odds and ends (the kind you find in C2) slide if the combat was great, but it wasn’t. Overall, the combination of unsatisfying aliens, hordes of soldiers, and the checkpoint system, I’d give C2 a 6/10.