So who actually played the multiplayer in Crysis or Crysis Wars? Blimey, its quiet out there. Yeah the multiplayer included with the first part of the Crysis story was a little bit generic and lacked any real reason to keep playing after a brief drop in. However, with the sequel coming to consoles, Crytek had to make some decent mutliplayer to please the legion of console players used to Call of Duty, Killzone and Halo’s offerings. EA has released a little demo (which they have called a beta as new tradition dictates) and I have to say I quite enjoy it.
The most important thing I was interested about Crysis 2 on console is just how it plays. On PC, Crysis had a metric ton of controls for a whole set of different options, from binoculars to the various suit modes. Luckily, it controls rather smoothly and it was rather simple to pick up the controls and start playing. The controls are actually quite similar to if you played the PC version of the original (i.e. you were mental) but its all logical – wanting to jump super high? You switch to power mode if you hold it down. The two major modes (stealth and armour) are on the bumpers so its all good and super easy to blink out of view. The only weird choice is the grenade select – its more than just a simple button press away which does mean the game is less of a grenade spamming match.
So what has changed since Crysis? Well, you can now slide around like a crazy person if you sprint and crouch which is quite funny when you pop up in front of someone, there are almost as many weapons in the demo as there was in the original game and you get to see some of the new setting New York. The map available is Skyline and takes place on the top few floors and roof of a skyscraper which has received a little bit of beating which leaves one or two holes in the walls. Its obvious that Crytek are aiming for verticality in the sequel and you really have to break out of the Call of Duty mentality. On top of this, players are a lot more acrobatic with many jumping from rooftop to rooftop or disappearing down lift shafts while you’re chasing after them. Add into this the stealth mode and you are looking at a nightmare. The game also includes several kill streaks (aquired by collecting dog tags off fallen enemies) and death streaks which are all very Call of Duty style down to even the effects of the three default kill streaks. The modes in the game are limited to two – Team Instant Action (deathmatch) and Crash Site (or headquarters in COD-speak). Its Cell (PMC) in grey versus Marines (umm…Marines?) in tan fighting it out in each mode and I’m not a major fan of each sides respective dialogue.
Crysis is really famous for its graphics and although they aren’t quite as good in this demo, it actually runs for everyone rather than just the select few. However, its still packed full of the touches that makes the CryEngine awesome – there is water all over the map that drips over your visor and runs down it, the glass shatters as it does in real life, wood breaking looks amazing and when someone lugs the heavy machine gun into a firefight it rips the scenery apart. The UI is also perfect – killcams are actually the enemies view being hacked and live streamed back to you and like in the original it looks like the sort of thing a high tech nanosuit would display to the user.
The demo has a very slimmed down version of the full games multiplayer progression and it does reveal quite a bit about it. Like a certain other first person shooter franchise, custom classes unlock at level 5, each player has a dogtag/playercard and the starting classes (shotgun, sniper, heavy machine gun) unlock as you level up. However, instead of unlocking the weapons, attachments, perks and dogtag pictures via a set order, they can be all bought from the start. However, they require tokens which are gained in different ways. Weapons unlocks are gained via leveling, attachments via weapon usage and each of the three different suit types via gaining points while using that mode. So if like me you enjoy being a tank and using armour mode while firing off a heavy machine gun then you will rocket up the armour tree and unlock a load of armour perks attachments before you even think about the stealth side of things. There are also challenges to gain xp and a hugely detailed service record with all the stats you could ever want about your time in Crysis 2.
Before this demo, I had very little interest in Crysis 2 apart from maybe picking it up down the line. However, I am now actually quite intrigued by the multiplayer and I’m looking forward to seeing some of the singleplayer. I can see the multiplayer tiding people over once their interest in Black Ops has wained.