PAX 2010: Crysis 2 Multiplayer Hands-On

John Funk | 3 Sep 2010 23:29
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The game's classes, too, resemble the popular "layout" system used in games like Call of Duty. You'll be able to choose what weapons you bring with you, as well as unlocked Modules that are essentially Perks. This one removes the "shimmer" effect from your stealth, that one lets you do a cool stomp-down attack from midair, and this other one gives your acrobatic running, leaping and climbing a bit more speed. We were told that the classes were more than just layouts, and would actually have differences (such as increased armor on the Demolitions class) that would become more apparent as they leveled up. However, given that all of the classes were the equivalent of scrawny first-level newbies at this event, there didn't seem to be much of an appreciable difference at all.

The Crysis name comes with more expectations than just sci-fi elements, of course. It should go without saying that Crysis 2 looks phenomenal, even on consoles (we played it on the Xbox 360). Both of the maps that were available at the event - a territory control-esque map set in a rooftop garden, and a deathmatch in a bombed-out apartment complex - were actually fairly small and well-suited for a match of 6-on-6. What was impressive was how much it felt like the map was part of a much larger whole, particularly on the rooftop map - where you could look all around you and see a destroyed, bombed-out New York City. Helicopters fly by, smoke wafts from distant buildings; the game does a great job at making the backdrops feel alive (and making the areas feel bigger than they are).

Of course, the Crysis graphics combined with the visual noise of an urban environment results in a game that is very visually busy, and it's easy to lose track of what's going on in a firefight if you aren't a veteran. It's by no means impossible if you're playing it on an HDTV, though it isn't hard to imagine that gamers still using SDTVs might have trouble identifying everything on-screen in a timely fashion. In fact, it isn't a stretch to imagine that anyone playing on a SDTV is going to have a lot of trouble playing the game at any level where they're likely to be challenged.

Perhaps that's just the tradeoff for looking great. While the demo felt rough at points (some of the animations in particular were immersion-shatteringly jerky, in particular) Crysis 2 does look stunning. In fact, at one point I found myself admiring how the scenery reflected off of one of the glass panels of a greenhouse.

And then I was promptly gunned down. I guess Crysis 2 doesn't offer much time for players to stop and smell the roses.

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