Published on January 3rd, 2011 | by Hubert McReed1
Crysis 2 – Preview
How do you take the uber-powered nanosuits which made the first Crysis such a riot and successfully tune them to a multiplayer mode which is balanced and fair, yet can stand up against the first-person shooter genre’s best, such as Call of Duty or Team Fortress 2. This question is bound to have obsessed Crytek UK, the developer formerly known as Free Radical Design of Timesplitters fame, but they’ve already managed to craft an experience which is absolutely unique in the bloated space.
Centre to the online play is the suit itself and the supernatural potential of being one with technology. With a press of a button, players can enter into various modes, such as Predator (which makes the player turn invisible for a short time), Armor (which makes the inhabitant slow but provides a shield boost), or a Hyper Agility (which enables players to sprint and jump 10 feet and engage in a little parkour to flank enemies in imaginative ways). The customisation potential is truly staggering, with over 20 different nodes available across 80 different levels, which vary from the more standardised abilities we mentioned previously, to very specific ones such as silencing a player’s footsteps or extra offensive abilities, such as the ground stomp which sends out a burst of energy to disable enemy suits in a short radius.
Thankfully, this functionality is facilitated by a system that allows players to hotswap between their suit’s different nodes instantaneously, which is key because the gunplay is so fast. We sampled Rooftop Gardens set atop a skyscraper, and even though the map was rather small and only had a handful of inside areas, it perfectly showcased the game’s varied combative potential. During a round of the game’s team deathmatch (Team Action mode) teammates and enemies were being stabbed from behind by invisible enemies, sniped from seemingly impossible to traverse locations and killed by enemies which managed to survive entire clips of fire due to the various suit abilities. After only minutes of play we found tactics changed as people managed got to grips with the system, and every skirmish we haphazardly wandered into had a tangible feel of unpredictability to it. All these abilities are governed by energy usage, but we respawned so often that usually the cooldown element wasn’t an issue.
Centre to the online play is the suit itself and the supernatural potential of being one with technology
The final game will have six different match types, but thus far only the former has been revealed, as well as a new Capture the Flag-inspired mode where teams race to a crashed enemy probe site and eliminate the alien hostiles, before defending the spot from the opposition.
Weapons seemed more of a standard affair, with shotgun, assault rifle and sniper rifle variants all offered, none of which made a great impression. However, when you have the ability to stab a foe from behind while entirely cloaked, using a projectile weapon just seems like you’re wasting your potential.
Buff-based combat is something all PC gamers know very well, yet Crysis 2 offers a thoroughly enjoyable amalgamation of the grittiness of Modern Warfare 2 with the balls-to-the-wall craziness Team Fortress 2 offers. The biggest test will be if these powerful abilities can be balanced to create a compelling multiplayer component, but rest assured, at the moment this is definitely shaping up to be an experience not to be missed.