The creative force behind the Crysis franchise — developer Crytek — is legendary in gaming. The company builds the engines that run games, licensing them to other companies. In doing so, they imagine what the video game systems of the future will be capable of visualizing.
Their work has become a badge of honor. Whenever a new graphics card came out in the past, it was common to hear customers say, "Can it run Crysis?" That's how demanding Crytek's engines and games can be on hardware.
Crysis 2 lives up to that legend. This is one of the most visually impressive games on any console.
The first-person shooter's main gameplay element that separates it from the rest is a nanosuit worn by the main character. The suit offers three modes: stealth, strength and armor. Stealth allows you to turn invisible; strength allows you to run faster, jump higher and melee harder; and armor turns you into a very slow walking tank.
The game's most impressive moments come from combining these abilities on the battlefields in a futuristic Earth to pull off some amazing stunts. At first, you probably will stick to invisibility, but once you're familiar with the power, you'll combine strength, invisibility and armor to create some "wow" moments.
And most shooters funnel you down a set corridor with no option of where to go or what to do, but Crysis 2 offers open sandbox-style gameplay.
Crytek did an excellent job of implementing large-scale diverse battlegrounds with many assault options. Stealthy players can sneak around, invisible, and take down enemies from the shadows, or Rambo types can go in with guns blazing. More tactical options include setting off booby traps and bombs.
Crytek doesn't make it easy for players, though. The enemy human soldiers will play smartly, react to the battles and do things you might not expect. You can hear them talking on radio, and often you will hear them strategizing on how best to take you down or warning others of your location. They will even regroup and try different attack scenarios if a frontal assault doesn't work.
For all these excellent features and technical prowess, the game isn't flawless. There are a few glitches, such as enemies getting stuck, wandering aimlessly or running into lots of invisible walls. These are minor, though, and don't detract too much from the experience.
This is one of the most polished, fun and impressive shooters out there. Anyone who enjoys shooters — anyone who enjoys gaming in general — should check this out; it will keep you playing for hours.