We may as well be blunt and say outright that Crysis 2 is a lot better on PC than on consoles. That may seem an obvious statement and the reasons for it are similarly blatant – mainly that the graphics and controls are both immeasurably improved – but it’s still astonishing just how much better it is on PC.
Really; going from console to PC is like playing two entirely separate games. The former is marred by the speed of the interface and the frustration of long-distance combat fought with thumbsticks. The latter is gloriously slick, so that flipping between tactics and suit powers feels more like experimenting with bits of a toy box than slogging through yet another modern shooter.
Neither is perfect, however. There are a number of flaws that are consistent across both platforms, especially regarding the AI, although there are subtle differences. The Xbox 360 enemies seemed prone to running back and forth in circles, vaulting repeatedly over the same concrete barriers. On PC the enemies seemed keener to jump on their own grenades, however.
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There are bugs too. One of the most recurring issues was a physics glitch that struck when we power-kicked enemies sometimes, with the recoil somehow throwing us 50 feet to the right.
None of these issues are of critical importance, and Crysis 2 never collapses under the weight of them, but they're worth mentioning because they strip the title of some of its sheen. It also saves us from having to repeat some of the flaws we spotted in our Crysis 2 Xbox 360 review that are universal across both platforms, such as the idiocy of the plot-holes and dullness of the characters.
Content-wise there’s no difference between Crysis 2 on PC and consoles. Both platforms tell the same story of a US marine, Alcatraz, whose squad is sent to rescue a scientist from New York. They aren’t sure what they’re supposed to be rescuing him from, but it quickly becomes apparent than an alien invasion is underway, that CryNet mercenary forces have seized most of the city and that a mysterious disease has wiped out most of the populace.
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When Alcatraz’s squad is all but wiped out, it falls to him to complete the mission on his own – and that’s just for starters. On the plus side, he does get a fancy new Nanosuit that lets him turn invisible, shrug off bullets, flip cars with a single punch and a whole lot more besides.
It’s the Nanosuit which is the single greatest feature of Crysis 2, as it elevates your character above the level of his prey and makes available impressive, emergent tactics. Crysis 2’s largest battles are evocative of the Hitman games in some ways; the meticulous planning beforehand and the beautiful chaos that follows when all that planning collapses. Frontal assaults can turn into fighting retreats, sniping can becomes grenade spamming and stealth tactics can culminate in kicking cars off of buildings.
It’s baffling that so much fun can be eked out of failure, but it's in these moments that Crysis 2 shines its brightest – especially on PC, where you can target and adapt that much faster. This alone makes it a game worth playing, although there are also those fancy graphics to consider too.