I wouldn't consider myself a serious gamer; I play video-games mainly for a few hours of distraction, nothing more. First-person shooters are my favourite genre, and I've played everything from BATTLEFIELD:BAD COMPANY, GHOST RECON:FUTURE SOLDIER, to all the HALO games. The front-cover of CRYSIS 2 has a quote from a reviewer, saying "the best-looking game on console". That might sound like damning with faint praise, but it isn't. While I don't think the game is perfect, I do think it is in a league of its own in terms of sheer visual quality, level design, and storyline. It's certainly one of the most original FPS I've played (no terrorists, no SCALAR weapons!). While playing it, you feel like you're participating in a Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster. I don't mean Michael Bay, or Roland Emmerich, more like something from Neill Blomkamp (District 9). The visual detail, the cityscapes, the action sequences (the manifestation of aliens and their technology in the city, for example) are certainly striking and original. However, though each level is different, inevitably in games such as this there is the occasional feeling of repetitiveness. But that doesn't detract too much from the overall experience.
My main criticism is reserved for the enemy AI: it is pretty poor. Not only the aliens, but the humans too. Quite often I found myself laughing out loud at how the human enemy C.E.L.L. soldiers would kill themselves accidentally with their own grenades. It happens so often it's almost predictable. Also, the soldier animation is so poor that often an enemy soldier will get 'stuck' behind an obstacle, and after a few minutes will DIE! It's quite comical: they're walking around, then get trapped behind something, and you'll hear them saying "Ahh!", "Owww!" as though their being shot. Then they promptly DIE without you having to do anything! The alien AI is little better: it's predictable, and often an alien combatant will - quite inexplicably - turn their back on you in mid-combat allowing you to finish them off quite easily.
I've never played the first CRYSIS, but I do know there are many CRYSIS fans who were angry, annoyed, or just disappointed with this console sequel. I'm sure part of it was just pure snobbery against the idea of their precious PC game going anywhere near a console; and part of was that they don't think it has kept true to the original. But whatever the truth, if you want an original story, stunning visuals, and challenging combat (AI problems aside!) you really can't go wrong with CRYSIS 2. The studio and all those involved really do need to be praised, for putting together a game that - despite its faults - truly stands out in a saturated genre. I for one will be looking forward to CRYSIS 3; it's hard to see how they can improve on 2...except maybe the AI!