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Crysis 2
Crysis 2 boxart
Developer
Crytek
Crytek UK (Multiplayer)
Publisher
Director
Cevat Yerli
Composer
Borislav Slavov
Tilman Sillescu
Hans Zimmer
Lorne Balfe
Engine
Version
1.9
Platforms
PC
Xbox 360
PlayStation 3
Release dates
March 22, 2011 (US)
March 24, 2011 (EU)
March 25, 2011 (AUS)
Genres
First-person shooter
Modes
Singleplayer, multiplayer
Ratings
Mature (ESRB)
MA15+ (OFLC)
16+ (PEGI)

Crysis 2 is a first-person shooter video game developed by Crytek, published by Electronic Arts and released in North America, Australia and Europe in March 2011 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Officially announced on June 1, 2009, the game is the second main installment of the Crysis series, and is the sequel to the 2007 video game Crysis, and its expansion Crysis Warhead. The story was written by author Richard Morgan. Another science fiction author, Peter Watts, was also consulted and wrote a novel adaptation of the game. It was the first game to showcase the CryEngine 3 game engine.

OverviewEdit

Crysis 2 is a first-person shooter. The player assumes the role of a Force Recon Marine called Alcatraz. Similar to its predecessor, it provides freedom to customize weaponry and abilities. Crytek wanted to avoid making another game set in a true jungle environment (as were Far Cry and Crysis); New York City has been dubbed an "urban jungle". The urban atmosphere offers new options with relation to progressing and planning attacks. Players are able to navigate between floors and buildings, as well as a destroyed cityscape.

CampaignEdit

The player assumes the control of a Force Recon Marine named "Alcatraz", who gains ownership of the Nanosuit 2.0 from Army Delta Force officer Laurence "Prophet" Barnes, who returns from the original Crysis. CryNet Systems has been hunting Prophet to retrieve the suit, inadvertently pursuing Alcatraz, believing he is Prophet. The aliens seen in the original game have undergone a major redesigning, abandoning the ancient, tentacled exosuits seen in the first game for high-tech humanoid armored war machines that stalk Alcatraz through the ravaged New York City. Crytek has stated prior to release that their intention was to surpass the original game graphically and gameplay-wise while also having lower system requirements and also supporting true stereoscopic 3D. More recently, with the release of the PC demo, it is clearly seen that the "minimum" requirements are what's required to run the game on "Gamer" settings at an HD resolution. The "Gamer" setting is changed to "High" in the final game, but for all intents and purposes it is exactly the same as before, and the game can be played at lower resolutions with hardware below the minimum requirements.

The new Nanosuit supports new and upgraded features. However, suit functionality has been streamlined; multiple modes can easily be used simultaneously whenever the user wishes. This is decidedly different than the first game, in which the suit was generally limited to a single mode at a time and multiple modes cannot be used simultaneously for more than a split-second. The first suit's Strength and Speed Modes have been combined into the new Power Mode, the suit binoculars function has been upgraded with an advanced Tactical mode, the Cloaking Device has been modified to allow increased sensory input and silent melee stealth kills and has been renamed to Stealth Mode, while the Armor Mode has been left more or less as is, with the exception of slightly restricted agility and an ever-decreasing energy level. There are two trailers, with one trailer showing the suit in a wire-frame state, the other showing the suit in a complete state. In-fiction, the suit is to feature many improvements over its predecessor, giving soldiers freedom to upgrade their suits based on their own style of combat.

PC Gamer magazine published a preview of Crysis 2, showing a park and a destroyed city street with an alien device in the center. In the article's interview Crytek hints at how the game will have "increased verticality" and will be set in a "new type of jungle".

Crytek confirmed to CVG that Crysis 2 would not use EA's online pass system. "All we can say/confirm is that we aren't using Online Pass for Crysis 2", the studio said in a brief statement.

SynopsisEdit

Characters and settingEdit

Crysis 2 takes place in 2023, three years after the events of the first game, in a destroyed New York City which has since been evacuated due to alien infestation. The game begins with news footage of a large outbreak of the "Manhattan" virus, a gruesome disease that causes complete cellular breakdown; civil unrest; and panic about an alien invasion by the Ceph, the tentacled, squid-like alien race behind the incident of the previous game, Crysis. Due to the breakdown in social order within New York City, Manhattan is placed under martial law, and under contract from the US Department of Defense, soldiers from Crynet Enforcement & Local Logistics (or simply "CELL"), a private military contractor run by the Crynet corporation, police the chaos.

PlotEdit

Crysis 2 missions
"In at the Deep End" • "Second Chance" • "Sudden Impact" • "Road Rage" • "Lab Rat" • "Gate Keepers" • "Dead Man Walking" • "Seat of Power" • "Dark Heart" • "Semper Fi or Die" • "Corporate Collapse" • "Train to Catch" • "Unsafe Haven" • "Terminus" • "Power Out" • "Eye of the Storm" • "Masks Off" • "Out of the Ashes" • "A Walk in the Park"

DevelopmentEdit

Main article: CryEngine 3

Crysis 2 was announced at E3 2009 on June 1, 2009, and was in development from 2007. Crysis 2 is the sequel to 2007's Crysis which was lauded for its impressive visuals. German based studio Crytek Frankfurt which developed the first game is the lead developer of the sequel along with help from Crytek UK, formerly Free Radical. It is the first game using the new engine CryEngine 3. Crytek brought their technical expertise for the first time to consoles and seeks to uphold their reputation of creating some of the most visually impressive games. The PC version of the game is currently built on DirectX 9, with an optional DirectX 11 add-on. After long uncertainty and speculations inside the gamer community Crytek announced that they "are working to get the best out of DX11." Crytek looked to surpass the original Crysis, which is still a benchmark of PC graphical performance in 2011.

Crytek has claimed that Crysis 2 contains the best graphics in the history of video games. Nathan Camarillo said that Crysis 2 has the 'best graphics you've ever seen'. The studio also reckons Crysis 2 offers a "complete gaming experience like no other". Crytek boss Cevat Yerli has claimed that the enemy AI in Crysis 2 is the most sophisticated in video game history.

Crytek’s Nathan Camarillo has declared that developers need to start churning out titles capable of scoring in the 90s if they ever want to be recognized in today’s competitive market conditions. Camarillo commented, "We're going to put out the best game that we can make and that's probably over a 90 rated so it's a fair statement to make." Camarillo went on to say that the need for review scores of 90% or more did not just apply to Crysis 2 and its FPS competition though: "I think you have to be 90 plus to make an impact in any genre now. The quality bar is so high and publishers and developers have put so much effort against high quality games. If you want to be recognized at all, regardless of genre, like anything you need to create the highest quality product possible and anything else is not going to get noticed." He has also said that today's FPS games need 'awesome multiplayer'. "I don't think it has to have multiplayer to have longevity and I think there's plenty of titles that don't have multiplayer that do quite well, but that's more of a genre specific decision. For an FPS game yeah you really have to have it unless you're a very unique kind of FPS depending on what your delivery platform is and what market you're going into." he said. Camarillo still believes that Crysis 2's multiplayer is completely unique, "It's different from other FPS games in that you are this ultimate super soldier that has the ability to cloak at any point in time, so it's different than modern military shooters, it's different to Halo. You have the maneuverability, you're in an urban environment, you can jump, you can slide, you can climb. There's so much you can do in that first-person experience that the other multiplayer games don't offer."

In May 2010, Epic's Mike Capps said he was surprised people could take Crytek seriously as a cross-platform engine company given it had yet to release a console game. In January 2011, Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli, responded with saying that no other engine could have delivered Crysis 2 and that CryEngine 3 could handle "pretty much any other game", but claimed that its rivals Epic Games’s Unreal Engine could not handle Crysis 2.

MarketingEdit

Retail versionsEdit

On August 17, 2010 EA announced that there would be two special editions of the game.

The Limited Edition of Crysis 2 is available at the same price as the regular game, but in limited quantities. It comes with bonus experience points to "immediately boost the player up to Rank 5, giving access to all the preset class loadouts", a digital camo weapon skin for the SCAR, the "Hologram Decoy" attachment for the SCAR, and unique in-game platinum dog tags. The Indian Version, on pre-order, also includes the Threat Tracer Suit Module (Early Access), and, on buying from the EA store, a gold dog tag and desert camo for SCAR.

The Nano Edition of Crysis 2, which was only available through pre-order, includes the Limited Edition copy of the game in a Steelbook case, an 11" statue of Alcatraz posed on top of a New York City taxi, an art book, and a Nanosuit backpack "modeled after the in-game super suit." The Nanosuit backpack is large enough to accommodate a 17" laptop. As of September 26, 2010, the Nano Edition was made available for pre-order on the EA website for a $149.95 price tag but was sold out before March 2011. After the game's launch, those who preordered the Nano Edition had their shipment delayed. EA gave the affected customers a 75% off coupon and later a free digital copy of Crysis 2 Limited Edition as compensation.

Multiplayer demoEdit

EA and Crytek launched a multiplayer demo of Crysis 2 on January 25, 2011. Crytek announced that the demo would only be available until February 4, 2011. The demo was exclusively on the Xbox 360, for Gold members to download, although on January 27, Crytek confirmed that there would be a multiplayer demo for the PC. The demo featured the maps Skyline and Pier 17, as well as two multiplayer game modes to play: Team Instant Action and Crash Site. Team Instant Action puts two teams against one another in a team deathmatch style, while Crash Site has players defending alien drop pods like control points. Within hours of its release, thousands of complaints were reported after numbers of players were met with disconnects from games, crashing during loading and, oddly, a temperamental incompatibility with the Xbox Wireless WiFi adaptor. Crytek issued a statement telling players it was aware of "technical issues" with the Xbox multiplayer demo of Crysis 2, and managed to fix most of the issues in time for the PC demo. Some bugs still exist as of the current trial build but are mostly if not entirely visual and do not noticeably affect game play.

Speaking at an EA event to PlayStation Universe, Crysis 2 producer Nathan Camarillo said PlayStation 3 gamers "can probably hope for one". "We want as many people to play Crysis 2 as possible," he added. "I can't say anything too specific ... we haven't announced [the demo] yet." Camarillo went on to say there would be no difference in quality between the PS3 version of Crysis 2 and the Xbox 360 one, which had seen a pre-release demo. Crytek released the first footage of Crysis 2 running on PlayStation 3 on February 24, 2011. The end of the video confirmed that a multiplayer beta is on the way for the system, but no date for the PS3 beta was announced.

The second Crysis 2 multiplayer demo was released on March 1, 2011 on both the PC and the Xbox 360, with a PS3 demo launching "soon". Among bug fixes from the first beta, the map 'Pier 17' was added to the Xbox version and extended to the PC version. PC gamers have commented on Xbox 360 remnants in the PC demo version, such as the prompt to "press start to begin" or to "adjust your TV settings" when configuring the game brightness. It has also been reported that the PC version would not be released with support for DirectX 11, which will instead be implemented with a patch "later on". On April 8, 2011, Crytek announced – still without marking delivery date – that a DirectX 11 patch was being worked on.

On March 15, 2011, a multiplayer demo was released on the PlayStation Network, featuring both of the maps featured on the Xbox 360 version of the demo, being 'Pier 17' and 'Skyline'. On March 18, it was removed from the Store and the servers were shut down due to server connection delays. Crytek stated they have "identified the root cause and have decided to close the PS3 demo ... to ensure all issues are resolved when the game launches next week", as their priority is to "ensure that the final product is flawless at launch."

Leaked betaEdit

A beta version of the game dated from January was leaked on multiple torrent sites on February 11, 2011. Online reports indicated that the leaked beta is a partially functioning developer's build compiled on January 13, 2011. The leaked version included the entire single-player campaign and multiplayer component, but contained numerous bugs, was plagued by frequent crashes, and was only partially completed with many placeholders and textures missing and was limited to DirectX 9, rather than the DirectX 11 which are expected in the retail game. Crytek released a statement saying they were "deeply disappointed" in piracy, which "continues to damage the PC packaged goods market." Some reviewers remarked that Crytek's statement was strange, considering that no PC demo of the game had been released yet, and moreover, the source of the leaked beta was almost certainly an internal employee (rather than pirates). On February 14, 2011, Crytek released a statement by Cevat Yerli that stated that despite their disappointment caused by the leak incident, Crytek is overwhelmed with the support they have received and they can assure the community that PC gaming is very important to them now and in the future.

Crytek producer Nathan Camarillo called the Crysis 2 game leak a "really ugly version" that the studio did not want people to see:

"Piracy is a real concern. The PS3 has been cracked now as well and people are downloading PS3 games and 360 games are being downloaded so that's a threat to just the industry in general. For us specifically, it was a very traumatic experience because we're really excited about the game and the quality that we were able to get into it and what we were able to accomplish... We're at the end and we're really excited about where we're at and your game gets leaked. And it's not even that the final version of the game gets leaked, you know? People are like 'It's 40/45 days before launch, Crysis is leaked' but that build was already from the middle of January. With 250 people working on a project, thousands of bugs get fixed in a heartbeat. So that version is like a really ugly version that we don't want anyone to see... All this stuff starts going up in pieces and even if someone downloads it and plays it themselves they might make a bad decision based on the fact that there are so many bugs in it. 'Oh, there are so many bugs in the game I wanted to play. It's so buggy, I'm not gonna buy it now.'"

In the beginning of 2012, PC Gamer reported that Crysis 2 was the most pirated PC game of 2011 with 3.9 millions downloads.

Downloadable contentEdit

The first post-launch downloadable content package, titled Crysis 2: Retaliation, was announced on May 10, 2011. The 'Retaliation' DLC features four new multiplayer maps - Park Avenue, Transit, Shipyard, and Compound. It was released on May 18, 2011 for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and costs US$9.99.

On June 14, 2011 a second map pack entitled Decimation was released for the Xbox 360 and PC. It included five new maps (5th Avenue, Chasm, Plaza, Prism, and Apartments) as well as two new weapons (FY71 Assault Rifle and the Smoke Grenade). Decimation was released onto the PlayStation 3 platform on June 28 in North America and June 29 in Europe.

SoundtrackEdit

The Crysis 2 Original Soundtrack was composed by Borislav Slavov and Tilman Sillescu with the help of Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe. A new rendition of the song entitled "New York, New York" by Grammy nominated artist B.o.B was used in the launch trailer.

There have been four official releases of the soundtrack to date. Three albums are available in digital form (via iTunes and Amazon): The Original Videogame Soundtrack, released on the game's launch date, with 15 tracks; Be Fast!, released on April 26, 2011, with 16 tracks; and Be the Weapon!, released on June 7, 2011, with 17 tracks.

The most complete version, consisting of two CDs and 46 tracks, was released on April 26, 2011 under La-La Land Records.

ReceptionEdit

Crysis 2 received critical acclaim from critics. The reviewers praised various graphical attributes as well as the empowering Nanosuit, but criticized the linearity of the gameplay in contrast to its open world predecessors, Crysis and Crysis Warhead, as well as Crytek's acclaimed debut title Far Cry.

One early review of Crysis 2 was published by Official Xbox Magazine, which gave the game a 9/10. According to the magazine, it was the multiplayer that tipped the balance. It describes the online experience as "some of the most exciting, angry and satisfying action you'll ever have". The sheer spectacle of the single player campaign also left OXM impressed, and the magazine said the game's Nanosuit "is both massively empowering and intelligently balanced by the need to manage its energy levels".

Gamereactor reviewed all versions simultaneously and awarded the game a 9/10, noting that "its design is an exciting contrast to the jungles of the original, and New York is filled with destroyed landmarks, ruined neighbourhoods and the beauty of disaster that Cevat talked about. The amount of detail is insane, and the effects are incredible." On the other hand, the reviewers criticized the story, noting "the dialogue often feels over the top and the characters feel flat and uninteresting. Crytek have clearly been inspired by Half-Life 2, but they never even come close to Valve's league despite their high ambitions." They concluded that "it would simply be a shame not to call this the best action game so far this year."

A review for the PlayStation 3 version only was published by Official Playstation Magazine, which gave the game a 8/10. OPM calls Crysis 2 "excellent - technically strong, visually outstanding and full of welcome fresh ideas." OPM's main gripes are with the shooter's "bungled" opening section, and their view that it takes several hours of "persisting" through "a thorny, poorly signposted and indifferent shooter" until Crysis 2 really kicks off. "Developer Crytek has a deserved reputation for pushing gaming hardware to the brink, and its debut work on PS3 is first-rate," it says. "It doesn't just look good, it looks different. The Manhattan mix of crooked concrete spires and green urban spaces is refreshing after the relentless dark khaki backgrounds of Call of Duty and Medal of Honor."

The Telegraph considered that the game heavily borrowed from the Call of Duty shooters, being much more scripted and linear than Crysis, calling the game a "walled in" experience. The Telegraph also criticized the enemies' "utterly atrocious" AI, "problematic" sound, and "uninspiring" multiplayer.

GameZone gave the game an 8.5/10, stating "With plenty of in-game collectibles in both the multiplayer and single-player modes, as well as solid multiplayer gameplay options, players will find plenty of bang for their buck, and the stunning power of the CryEngine needs to be seen to believed."

Unlike the original Crysis, which allowed the user to extensively change various graphical settings, Crysis 2 at launch provided fewer options. However, advanced settings and DirectX 11 features were added in patch 1.8 along with high resolution textures. The high-res texture upgrade can be used in either DX9 mode or DX11 mode (the graphics card must have 768 MB or more video memory), but can only be enabled on 64-bit operating systems.

As of June 30, 2011 over 3 million copies of the game have been sold across all platforms.

In April 2012 it was awarded with the Deutscher Computerspielpreis in the category Best German Game.

Crysis
Media
CrysisCrysis Warhead (Crysis Wars) • Crysis 2Crysis (comic)Crysis 3
Main characters
NomadPsychoAlcatrazProphetJacob HargreaveNathan GouldTara StricklandHelena RosenthalSean O'Neill
Supporting characters
Ji-Sung LeeDominic LockhartSherman BarclayChinoRi-Shan KyongStricklandRichard MorrisonEmersonDr. RosenthalKarl RaschJesterAztec
Locations and factions
Locations: IslandAlien shipIce sphereUSS ConstitutionNew York City
Factions: United StatesNorth KoreaCeph (TrooperScoutHunterWarshipSoldierDevastatorPinger) • Crynet Systems
Gameplay
TimelineNanosuitWeaponsAttachmentsVehiclesPower StruggleInstant Action
Development
CrytekElectronic ArtsRemoved featuresCryEngine 2CryEngine 3
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