These are my thoughts and opinions on the Crysis 2 multiplayer demo which is now available on the official site and on steam. These are my impressions of the pc version and what you can expect to experience, see and do in the demo. I will try to give as much detail as possible but I will mostly concentrate on the things I feel are the most important.
Anyone who has played a FPS multiplayer game in the last few years will know basically what to expect from the Crysis 2 multiplayer demo. It will feel very familiar to veterans of games like Call of Duty 4 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in terms of gameplay and layout. A lot of the ideas from these games feature heavily in Crysis 2 multiplayer modes. The obvious comparisons are the whole rank, badges, perks and unlock system.
You can gain ranks which are awarded by killing enemies or completing objectives and winning matches. When you level up you can unlock new classes and when you reach rank 5 you can customise your class which again is similar to Call of Duty. You get tokens that you can use to purchase perks and new weapons for example you can use a weapon token to get a new shotgun or a new pistol. With the weapons I don’t understand why they are uninspired when its set around the year 2020. All the weapons are so traditional they could have at least been a bit more creative, maybe they get better. Tokens are also used to purchase perks for the suit for example a perk that reduces footstep noises, one that improves recoil or a perk that has the ability to detect nearby enemies. This is all good in the way it makes you want to keep playing but it still feels a shallow attempt to give you a sense of achievement. Of course this is a fundamental problem with FPS games they aren’t normally known for their originality compared to other genres.
Having ranks means if you’re rank 1 and someone is rank 10 they will have a big advantage over you without even taking skill into consideration which will always put off new players or people who don’t play multiplayer games religiously. Another problem with the ranks system is the boredom of waiting to get to level 5 to customise your class and unlock assignments. Sure it doesn’t take long but why don’t they allow you to do it straight away? Your basically time-wasting until you get to rank 5 and because of the ease of it, it doesn’t make much sense to delay it. Until you get to rank 5 you won’t have any real care for your character, your just a faceless grunt with a choice of stereotypical classes.
A feature that is nearly redundant is the badge system you can decorate your badges with various backgrounds or country flags. I like to pretend I am from some far away place like Albania and still have better ping than the locals. You can gain new badges by getting dog tag tokens or by getting awards by doing various things in a match such as getting the best accuracy, the last kill or jump down the highest without dying.
While Crysis 2 multiplayer may seem unoriginal it does a feature some new ideas. The nano suits powers allow some creativity in the way you combat the enemy and the maps. You have two powers, stealth and armor. Stealth allows you to blend into the scenery and stay out of sight and the armor power allows you to soak up bullets and improves you physical attributes such as speed and jumping. Both these powers lower your energy which governs how often you can use these suit powers. If your energy gets to low the nano power will go off so if your hiding in a corner you might not realise your visible again resulting in getting shot in the face. Managing your suit energy level is important in being successful in combat and will give you the edge in a fire fight. The nano suit allows you jump up on to ledges and climb about which makes the maps seem more vertical than traditional horizontal maps. This means you have to think differently and concentrate above you as well as around you.
What I like about Crysis 2 is the ability to play it without any real problems. Crysis was notorious for being like a spoiled child who doesn’t like a certain hat. It didn’t get along well with a lot of people systems at the time and meant a lot of people had to upgrade. Maybe I was expecting too much or they learnt their lesson but the game is less demanding on its requirements and therefore seem more realistic in its demands. If you can play any recently released game with out much problem you should be able to get Crysis 2 to run fine you may have to choose gamer from its three level graphic setting. Which include gamer, advanced and hardcore but at least its playable despite its basic configurations settings. This means you can enjoy the game and it will still look great. The reason the game isn’t as demanding as before is because it is being released on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 which would make Crytek have to have these platforms in mind. People may complain that the game seems like a port from the console versions which is probably true but it means us mere mortals can at least play the game with no problems now. Also its the way the industry is going which isn’t all bad if it bridges the gaps more between the various platforms. That can only be a good thing right?
The visuals will remind you of the original Crysis and they all are what you would expect from a new game. They look good with various little touches that make it shine such as the light effects and water effects. The reason I’m not going to talk much about how good it looks is because you will be so concentrated and focused in trying to kill people, the game could have cardboard cutouts and you won’t probably notice the difference. But saying that it all looks pretty.
The sound effects are typical FPS fodder with guns and explosions sounding like guns and explosions but what would you expect? Sound can’t get a lot better these days. The nano suit powers are always at treat to activate and the voice that tells you what you activated never gets tiring. The biggest thing I miss is the females voice for the suit, the mans voice is ok but its good to have a choice. The music has a few nice touches and its ok in general but not that special. The voice acting is good when it tells you stuff in the game such as enemies are here etc but when the round ends the voice acting is bad and nearly embarrassing especially if you lose.
Game Modes and Maps
The multiplayer demo features two game modes, Team Instant Action (team deathmatch) and Crash Site (defend a location). Team Instant Action is more fun as its consists of two teams shooting each other to death and the winner is the team with the most kills. Crash Site requires both teams to capture and defend a crashed alien ship which randomly crashes somewhere on the map and explodes after a while. This means one team can’t camp one point. If a player waits within the capture circle the team gets capture points and the team will get closer to victory, the player also get 30 experience points. If the opposing team is nearby, the capturing team can’t continue to get points until the enemy leaves the area. The opposing team can control a location at any time by capturing an unguarded location for themselves, this means matches can quickly turn any time. Teams will need to be alert to the situation. Both modes can be played on any of the maps. There are two maps Skyline and Pier 19. Skyline is set on some New York rooftops with green houses and exposed ledges while Pier 19 takes place in a harbor where water and open ground need to be taking into consideration. Out of the two maps Pier 19 is more visually interesting but is bigger in size and requires more running around. Skyline is better for more close up action and the map is small so it’s a more intense experience. Skyline is good for both modes while Pier 19 is better when playing Team Instant Action. What I don’t understand is, why is everyone fighting to take control of alien ships? and why don’t they work together against the aliens?
Overall the Crysis 2 multiplayer demo is worth playing to see if it lives up to the original Crysis in terms of visuals and gameplay. Also its good to check the power of your PC even if it’s not so graphically advanced as the original was back then. If you have been tired of FPS multiplayer games since call of duty 4 (like me), you won’t find anything here to make you feel any different about the genre. It’s all what you expect and feels too familiar. Whether Crysis 2 overall will feel like a worthy successor to the original is hard to tell at the moment from only playing the multiplayer demo. If the full game is anything like the demo then the multiplayer experience will be above average for normal people and will probably feel rubbish to Call of Duty players. The only reason I would probably play Crysis 2 is for the single player and not for the multiplayer. Check out the demo if you like seeing numbers popping up on the screen for shooting people in the face.