Crysis 2 Multiplayer Demo Impressions

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Well, I gave the multiplayer demo for Crysis 2 a try today and I came away from it pretty unimpressed. Maybe it’s one of those cases where the PC version is just going to be head and shoulders above the console version, which is what I come to expect from something with the name Crysis on it. To start it off, I had to wait in a lobby for a good 5-8 minutes before I could get into a quick match. Since this is the demo, I’m assuming there might not be tons of people playing it, so I can’t really be too hard on the game for taking so long getting me into a match. Finally I got into a match and realized that the controls are identical to Call of Duty’s, which was nice. I didn’t have to fumble around with weird button layouts and my actions felt natural to me. The controls were solid, with aiming down the sight feeling a little cumbersome and not terribly useful, given the frenetic pace of the match. I found myself having more luck just firing from the hip and super-jumping everywhere like a wild lemur.

I messed around with the fancy suit powers which consisted of a super-jump, the ability to slide, and an interesting ground slam move that you can perform when you come down from jumps. There are also some options to have Predator-like invisible camo, which is cool and all, but practically useless. All in all, the extra mechanics felt like gimmicks and the sliding was quite silly. I slid up some stairs, melee attacked a dude once, and killed him. I actually felt a little dirty about that kill. There are also some killstreak rewards such as radar to see your enemies on the mini-map and the ability to call in gunships that circle around the map (woo).

The visuals are nice, with shiny water pools, excellent looking hardwood floors in one of the buildings I was running through trying not to die, and the lighting was nice and cast a soft, natural glow over everything. Overall, it is a very nice looking game, but it’s not mind-blowing in any way. I am going to assume that the overall detail in the environments take a hit in multiplayer since I saw some pretty bland textures in some areas, which is not something I expected to see in a game running on CryEngine 3. There were also some weird technical issues like people clipping through walls and getting stuck on them when they died and some of the sounds were oddly missing from the action. I went around to multiple windows and smashed them out just to see if I was imagining that it made no sound when doing so. I was not imagining it. I also noticed that the melee kills were one-hit deaths, which wouldn’t be a problem if the melee attack wasn’t just a rifle butt attack. The collision detection for the melee attacks was also quite questionable. Sure, this kind of makes me sound like a Negative Nancy and these aren’t huge things, but so often in games the little hiccups like these really take you out of the action when they are combined as a whole.

The multiplayer component of Crysis 2 is a decent multiplayer experience. There really isn’t much here that we all haven’t seen before. Super-jumps and acrobatic maneuvers have been around for quite a while in multiplayer shooters like Quake 3, Unreal Tournament, and Jedi Knight (still the best when it comes to sweet jumps) and really didn’t feel all that fresh and exciting this time around in Crysis 2. The suit gimmicks combined with run of the mill online FPS action just didn’t do it for me. I don’t mean to crap all over the game by any means, but if the demo is any indication of the quality of the finished product, it seems like the multiplayer experience in Crysis 2 will be easily forgotten. I hope Crytek gets these issues ironed out before they release the game, because with some tweaking and just a little more attention to detail, this could be a great online experience.

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