Crysis 2
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Crysis 2

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.[1] The story was written by Richard Morgan,[2] while Peter Watts was consulted and wrote a novel adaptation of the game.[3] It was the first game to showcase the CryEngine 3 game engine and the first game using the engine to be released on consoles. A sequel, Crysis 3, was released in 2013.


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.


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 stated prior to release that their intention was to surpass the original game graphically[4] and gameplay-wise while also having lower system requirements and also supporting true stereoscopic 3D.[5]

The new Nanosuit supports new and upgraded features. Suit functionality has been streamlined; multiple modes can easily be used simultaneously whenever the user wishes. 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,[6] the other showing the suit in a complete state.[7] 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.[8]


Characters and setting

Crysis 2 takes place in 2023,[9] three years after the events of the first game, in a destroyed New York City[10] 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.


On August 23, 2023, a United States Marine Corps Force Recon unit is deployed into New York City by the submarine USS Nautilus to extract former Crynet employee Doctor Nathan Gould, who may have vital information on combating the alien race. However, insertion goes awry - the Ceph, the alien race that is trying to destroy humanity, sinks the sub, mortally wounding Force Recon Marine "Alcatraz." Delta Force Major Laurence "Prophet" Barnes saves Alcatraz and is forced to kill himself in order for his Nanosuit to assimilate and revive Alcatraz. A recording left in the suit reveals that Prophet had been infected by the Manhattan virus, and that Alcatraz is to finish Prophet's mission to rescue humanity from the alien invasion. Believing Alcatraz is Prophet, Gould soon gets in contact with Alcatraz and asks him to meet up at Gould's lab. However, CELL forces, led by Commander Dominic Lockhart, target and attack Alcatraz, believing him to be Prophet. While on his way to Gould's laboratory, Alcatraz collects alien tissue samples from a crashed Ceph dropship and a Ceph soldier, which cause strange reactions within his Nanosuit, giving him some alien abilities. Alcatraz eventually meets with Gould, who is initially hostile after learning that he is not Prophet. However the last suit recording of Prophet's message causes Gould to relent, prompting Gould to explain that the suit has been busy rewriting its own code after absorbing the Ceph's tissue, speculating that the suit was creating an antibody for the Manhattan virus. Gould and Alcatraz commit to further scans at a Crynet base on Wall Street. The scans are cut short when CELL forces led by Commander Lockhart and Lieutenant Tara Strickland, daughter of U.S. Marine Corps Major Strickland from the first game, ambush Alcatraz and Gould.

During the middle of a prisoner transfer outside of the building, the Ceph attack the CELL personnel as a massive alien spire rises from underneath the Crynet building, releasing a spore-based bioweapon that kills most of the CELL troops in the immediate area. Alcatraz is left stranded and isolated for a period of time while dealing with a Nanosuit malfunction caused by the spore bio-weapon. The suit gets rebooted remotely by Crynet director and Hargreave-Rasch Biotechnologies co-founder Jacob Hargreave, a centenarian who apparently had foreknowledge of the Ceph and had spent most of the previous century using stolen Ceph technology to design the Nanosuit to be used as a defense against the aliens. Hargreave directs Alcatraz to another Ceph spire to conduct an important experiment for him.

On the way to the spire, Hargreave reveals to Alcatraz that the Manhattan virus had been spread by the Ceph as a method to clear out the entire human population from Earth, comparing it to the previous century's BSE outbreak. The Manhattan virus would cause all infected humans to eventually melt down into a liquidated mass of biological tissue, which could then be easily stored and disposed of. Upon reaching the alien spire, Alcatraz attempts to interface the Nanosuit's systems with the aliens' technology, but fails. During this crisis, the US Department of Defense rescinds the authority of CELL over Manhattan and deploys US Marines in their place under the command of Marine Colonel Sherman Barclay. The American forces attempt to drown the aliens out of lower Manhattan by ordering an air strike on the city's flood barrier. Washed away by the resulting wave of water, Alcatraz is later found in Madison Square Park by a squad of Marines led by Alcatraz's squadmate Chino, who survived the submarine's destruction. The Marines enlist his aid in evacuating civilians to Grand Central Terminal, the city's primary evacuation point.

Hargreave contacts Alcatraz to take a detour to the Hargreave-Rasch building. There, Alcatraz is told to find a stabilizing agent in the bio-lab to facilitate the Nanosuit's analyzing process. The trip ends fruitless after Ceph interference, with Hargreave telling Alcatraz to help with evacuation efforts at Grand Central. At the terminal, Alcatraz is reunited with Gould, who had apparently "escaped" Strickland, leading to the skepticism of Colonel Barclay. Grand Central Terminal is overrun by Ceph forces, but Alcatraz manages to hold them off long enough for the evacuation trains to depart, and escapes the building's destruction.

Alcatraz is then tasked with defending a secondary evacuation point at Times Square, and this time manages to repurpose an alien spire's spores to be lethal to the Ceph. This causes a cataclysmic self-destruction of the Ceph in the area, and apparently removes all traces of the biological warfare agent. With the evacuation from Times Square complete, Gould instructs Alcatraz to make his way to Roosevelt Island. There, Alcatraz is told to infiltrate a Crynet complex named "The Prism", where Hargreave resides. Alcatraz foils Commander Lockhart's attempts to ambush him, and kills the commander in the process. As Alcatraz makes his way through the island, he is suddenly captured by Hargreave, who wants the Nanosuit for himself so that he can finish off the Ceph personally. Hargreave then attempts to remove the Nanosuit from Alcatraz's body. However, the Nanosuit rejects its removal from Alcatraz since it had already completely assimilated with its wearer, revealing memories of Prophet's fallout with Hargreave in the process. Having seen Prophet's flashbacks whilst on the operating table, Alcatraz and his suit regain their power. A CELL guard is ordered to execute Alcatraz but he is killed by Strickland, who reveals herself to be an undercover CIA operative responsible for Alcatraz's deployment. Strickland tells Alcatraz to capture Hargreave, but upon entering Hargreave's private office, Alcatraz instead sees Hargreave's body in a vegetative state stored in a cryonic chamber. Hargreave reveals to Alcatraz that the entire time, his consciousness had been communicating through an advanced computer system, and that this had been the only way for him to communicate ever since he was injured in an encounter with the Ceph at Tunguska. Hargreave gives Alcatraz a last Nanosuit upgrade, the "Tunguska Iteration", before the Ceph invade the island. Hargreave triggers a countdown timer for the self-destruct system of the complex, and orders the remaining CELL forces guarding the Crynet Prism complex to aid Alcatraz's exfiltration. Alcatraz barely escapes the massive explosion of the complex, which destroys much of Roosevelt Island and the Queensboro Bridge. On the shores of Manhattan, Alcatraz reunites with Gould, Strickland and Chino.

Alcatraz is notified by Colonel Barclay that the US Department of Defense plans to launch a STRATCOM Tactical Nuclear Strike on Manhattan Island with little regard to collateral damage and nuclear fallout. Alcatraz and his comrades make their way through the city toward the center of the alien infestation, and spot a massive alien "litho-ship" rising out of the ground beneath Central Park, lifting a large section of the park into the air. With the peripheral aid of Gould, Strickland, and Barclay, Alcatraz assaults the floating section of Central Park, where he has a 20-minute window to end the conflict with the Ceph before they launch the nuclear missile, and succeeds in making his way to the alien spire at its center, which serves as a massive dispersal point for the alien spore bio-weapon. Alcatraz successfully turns the spire's bio-weapon against the Ceph, causing the Ceph in the entire city to self-destruct. After several days, the city begins to recover with the help of Gould, Strickland, and the US Military. Alcatraz, while unconscious, communicates with Prophet, whose memories, experiences, and personality had been stored in the suit. Prophet tells Alcatraz that, while the mission in New York is a success, their work is not yet over since the Ceph, who had been present on Earth since prehistoric times, had built constructs globally that were not only limited to New York and the Lingshan Islands. The Nanosuit then assimilates Prophet's memories into Alcatraz. Upon waking up in Central Park, Alcatraz receives a broadcast from Karl Ernst Rasch, the other founder of Hargreave-Rasch Biotechnologies, asking for his name. Climbing out of the crater, Alcatraz, speaking for the first time since donning the Nanosuit, responds, repeating the same phrase as Prophet, in the beginning of the game: "They call me Prophet."


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, 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. The Microsoft Windows version is built on DirectX 9, with an optional DirectX 11 add-on.[11] Crytek looked to surpass the original Crysis, which was still a benchmark of PC graphical performance in 2011.[12]

Crysis 2 did not use EA's online pass system.[13] On April 14, 2014, Crytek announced that the multiplayer mode for Microsoft Windows will be unplayable after GameSpy switches off its servers on May 30, 2014.[14]


Retail versions

On August 17, 2010 EA announced that there would be two special editions of the game.[15] 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",[16] 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.[17] 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.[18] 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.

In May 2012, Crysis 2: Maximum Edition was released for Microsoft Windows. It included the game and previously released DLC, including nine additional multiplayer maps and new game modes for them, two new weapons (FY71 Assault Rifle and M18 Smoke Grenades), the Scar weapon skin, a Scar hologram decoy to attach to the player's weapon, platinum dog tags, and access to bonus XP through custom and preset classes. Also included is the high resolution texture pack.[19]

Multiplayer demo

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 on the Xbox 360, for Gold members to download, although on January 27, Crytek confirmed that there would be a multiplayer demo for Microsoft Windows.[20] 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.[21] 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.[22] 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 that a PlayStation 3 version was possible, also stating there would be no difference in quality between the PlayStation 3 version of Crysis 2 and the Xbox 360 one, which had seen a pre-release demo.[23] Crytek released the first footage of Crysis 2 running on PlayStation 3 on February 24, 2011.[24][25]

The second Crysis 2 multiplayer demo was released on March 1, 2011 on both Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360.[26] 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"[27] 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".[28] On April 8, 2011, Crytek announced - still without marking delivery date - that a DirectX 11 patch was being worked on.[29]

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.[30]

Leaked beta

A beta version of the game dated from January was leaked on multiple torrent sites on February 11, 2011.[31][32] Online reports indicated that the leaked beta is a partially functioning developer's build compiled on January 13, 2011.[33] 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 was expected in the retail game.[34] Crytek released a statement saying they were "deeply disappointed" in piracy, which "continues to damage the PC packaged goods market."[35] 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).[36] 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.[37][38]

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.'[39]

In the beginning of 2012, PC Gamer reported that Crysis 2 was the most pirated PC game of 2011 with 3.9 millions downloads.[40]

Downloadable content

The first post-launch downloadable content (DLC) package, titled Crysis 2: Retaliation, was announced on May 10, 2011. Retaliation 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.[41] 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.


Crysis 2 (Original Videogame Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
Borislav Slavov, Tilman Sillescu, Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe
ReleasedMarch 22, 2011 (2011-03-22) (Digital)
April 26, 2011 (2011-04-26) (Audio CD)
GenreVideo game soundtrack
Length36:24 (Digital)
49:04 (Disc 1)
48:20 (Disc 2)
LabelE.A.R.S. (Digital)
La-La Land Records (Audio CD)
Crysis 2: Be Fast!
Soundtrack album by
Borislav Slavov, Tilman Sillescu, Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe
ReleasedApril 26, 2011 (2011-04-26)
GenreVideo game soundtrack
Crysis 2: Be the Weapon!
Soundtrack album by
Borislav Slavov, Tilman Sillescu, Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe
ReleasedJune 7, 2011 (2011-06-07)
GenreVideo game soundtrack

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 B.o.B was used in the launch trailer.

There have been four official releases of the soundtrack to. Three albums are available in digital form (via iTunes and Amazon): The Original Videogame Soundtrack,[42] released on the game's launch date, with 15 tracks; Be Fast!,[43] released on April 26, 2011, with 16 tracks; and Be the Weapon!,[44] 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.[45]


Aggregate score
Metacritic(PC) 86/100[46]
(PS3) 85/100[47]
(X360) 84/100[48]
Review scores
Game Informer9/10[50]
GamePro4.5/5 stars[51]
GameSpy4.5/5 stars[53]
OXM (US)9/10[55]
PC Gamer (US)89[56]
X-Play4/5 stars[57]

Crysis 2 received positive reviews 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. Review aggregator website Metacritic rated the PC version 86/100,[46] the Xbox 360 version 84/100,[48] and the PlayStation 3 version 85/100.[47]

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".[58]

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."[59]

A review for the PlayStation 3 version only was published by Official PlayStation Magazine, which gave the game an 8/10. OPM calls Crysis 2 "excellent - technically strong, visually outstanding and full of welcome fresh ideas." OPMs 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."[60]

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.[61]The Telegraph also criticized the enemies' "utterly atrocious" AI, "problematic" sound, and "uninspiring" multiplayer.[62]

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 be believed."[63]

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[64] along with high resolution textures.[65] 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.[66][67] Due to an unresolved bug in Crysis 2, DirectX 11 mode does not function properly on Windows 8.

As of June 30, 2011 over 3 million copies of the game have been sold across all platforms, which is less than Crysis on PC only.[68]

In April 2012 it was awarded with the Deutscher Computerspielpreis in the category Best German Game.[69]


A sequel titled Crysis 3 was released on February 19, 2013 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.


  1. ^ Additional work by Crytek UK


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