It's pretty good. Honest to god it's pretty damn good.
Okay, first off, the graphics. Holy balls it looks good. Crytek may have dropped he texture resolution but I can't tell where the data went. Now there is one nit I must pick, and that's the graphics settings. Part of the reason I can get modern games to run on my old clunker is that I can micromanage things. I can trim out things I don't need, such as AA and AF, and minimize the impact things I do need but my rig struggles with. Crysis 2 doesn't have such options. Secondly, I had a general visiblity problem. Anywhere there might be even the slightest hint of shadow I could barely see the end of my gun, and holy hell if I dared go somewhere truly dark. But I'm not going to knock any points off for this, Crytek should not be expected to compensate for my dying backlight.
So, to fix both issues, I downloaded a configurator app. I spammed some HDR and Bloom, turned the AA and AF down to 2x a piece, turned shadows down to minimum, and bam. Graphics still look quite good, game runs pretty well. Better than Crysis 1. I dare say, Crytek, bravo!
Now, onto more game-like matters. I always thought the Nanosuit was a welcome change to the typical power armor in shooters these days. It lets you custom tailor yourself to a given battle, lets you try methods not normally done, and overall just adds a bit of tacticool. In Crysis 1, this nifty piece of kit was controlled by a radial menu accessed by middle clicking. Took a bit of getting used to but I got the hang of it. Now, though, the various functions are tied into keyboard shortcuts. I'm divided on this change. For starters it is quite a bit easier to toggle the modes, BUT WHERE THE HELL IS MY SPEED MOAD!?
The levels are quite linear. There's no more pretense of a sandbox, here. You've got a linear path connecting encounter to encounter that any Half Life fan will recognize. And ya know what? IT WORKS! Crysis 1 had a bit of a problem regarding the linearity. It was a bad thing there, because the game touted it's sandbox nature. Crysis 2, however, doesn't care. It knows it's linear, it knows you know it's linear, you know it's linear, and it just plain works. It's one of those rare titles where linear is good.
The AI...well TBH they're pretty damn derp. But that might just be because I have the difficulty turned down. I'll experiment a bit with harder modes to see if it makes much of a difference. I gotta say though, the aliens are quite a bit smarter than the humans.
The storyline is also quite good. I'm only a few hours in, but never once have I gotten bored and started meleeing things randomly. Hell I'm even getting quite immersed in it. I only stopped playing because Boot to the Head started to object. Probably overheated the poor thing...d'oh well.
If you want a tl;dr, here's one: The whiners are missing out on one of the best games of 2011. Seriously...one of the best. I wouldn't dare put it above Portal 2, that would be blasphemy before the gods of PC gaming, but it is a solid top 5 candidate...if not a podium.
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