Mar 292011

I started playing a bit of Crysis 2 last night.  Of course, there’s lots of “crappy console port” rage flying around this game, but in thinking about it, what PC games don’t have that element these days?  Even huge PC sellers like CoD and Bad Company 2 have been assaulted by the rage of PC gamers, so does “crappy console port” have much meaning these days?

As we previously covered, much has been made about the glaring lack of options available through the game’s menus.  Thankfully, there are many configurable options under the hood, and Wasdie’s GUI utility makes them simple.  Why weren’t these options available in game, or made accessible via a Crytek config utility, like other notable PC games have used?  My guess would be to meet the game’s release window, corners were cut.  Rumors are already swirling (some started by Crytek devs)  that we’ll see DirectX 11 and advanced configuration options in-game in a soon to be released patch.  It’s great to hear Crytek will be providing some meaningful post-release support for the game, but at the same time, it’s continually disappointing that developers use post-release patches to actually finish their games.  I’m looking at you Bad Company 2!

The single player story early on seems serviceable enough, continuing on some random bit of time after the end of Crysis 1.   Playing through the streets of NYC is sufficiently interesting and provides a refreshing setting for a shooter.  You still have some freedom in completing objectives in that you can try to go the stealth route, relying heavily on your cloak, go for a full frontal assault with lots of shootery goodness, or some mix in between.  The game also continues the trend of providing plenty of collectibles and upgrades along the way to keep dangling the carrot on the string.

I was dismayed, however, to find the lack of quick saving in game.  Saves are all automatic checkpointing, and there’s really no way to save your game yourself.  Consolification?  Possibly.  Checkpointing saves can actually be acceptable if done right.  The Assassin’s Creed series is a great example of this.  Crysis 2 doesn’t seem to get it quite right, as I had to quit out of the game and was disappointed that I had to replay a few minutes of a level I had already done where there should have been a checkpoint.  Obviously, a full on save system is almost always preferable.  Devs, please be considerate of gamers. Having to keep playing until I hit the next checkpoint to quit, rather than being able to save and quit at any point, is annoying and frustrating.  Ugh.

Giving the multiplayer a test, not much has changed since the beta aside from more game modes and maps.  The server browser works a bit better, although I think it’s still not reporting accurate pings.  I couldn’t find a server that pinged under 100, even though they were nearby, which leads me to believe that you’re better off just ignoring the ping.  I was mildly surprised to see that it kept my friends list from the mp beta, after how fickle it was with us at the time.  I’ve yet to play through all the maps and modes, but the few maps I did play on “Team Instant Action” (don’t call it TDM!) were varied and seemed more interesting than many of the maps in CoD Black Ops.  The gameplay is very much CoD inspired, from the level up system, to the kill cam, to the end of round kill replay and match rewards.  Entertaining enough to play a few rounds here and there.

So all in all, Crysis 2 seems relatively solid so far in both aspects.  It’s hard to say it’s outstanding in either sp or mp, and there are plenty of well-documented frustrations to complain about, but if you enjoyed Crysis 1 and/or like CoD-style multiplayer, I’d suspect you’ll be reasonably content with Crysis 2.

We’ve started an entry for Crysis 2 in our wiki here.

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