Clearly, the Crysis series isn’t the first franchise to bring physics-defying features into the multiplayer arena. However, after sitting down with two multiplayer modes and maps from Crysis 2, we’re finding it hard to think of another title that manages to implement the sci-fi technology in such an interesting way.
The first of the two maps that we get to demo with Crytek UK has us scrambling over the rooftops of New York. We were playing through the mode Crashsite, where bases drop from the skies that need to be captured and defended. It’s a perfect way to get accustomed with the controls in this battle of Marines vs. Cell, darting around the large map with adrenaline-fuelled enthusiasm.
Crysis 2 doesn’t just let you acquire a host of mouth-watering weapons; you are the weapon. The Nanosuit will offer a variety of ways for players to approach the opposition. Whether you want to make use of your Stealth mode, sneaking over the rooftops while cloaked making silent takedowns, then the Nanosuit offers the possibility; if you want to charge through maps with just a rifle and a disregard for safety, then the Nanosuit’s Armour will assist any headfirst burst into the battlefield.
The verticality of each environment also offers some versatility to proceedings, allowing not just for vantage points, but also for some interesting parkour-style gameplay. Ladders and stairwells aren’t to be relied on. Instead, you make use of you suit’s ability to defy gravity momentarily to grip onto ledges to scale the arena’s many tiers. It makes for a frantically paced multiplayer experience.
Jumping into Impact, the second map we were allowed time with, it’s a much richer backdrop to the action. Literally a collision of cultures, the map has a office skyscraper crashing through an old New York building, mixing the two creates an arena that feels vibrant, creating multiple avenues and a stylised setting for action.
Team Instant Action mode allowed the chance to get a bit more familiar with the class system. We picked Assault for a while, which was quite an easy way to get comfortable with the system. One module that is available to the Assault class is Stamper, effectively a ground-punch that can be activated from the air to destroy nearby enemies on the ground. Connecting a kill from a Stamper is assuredly one of those fantastically gratifying multiplayer moments in gaming.
We also try the Ghost class for a while, which has stealth-centric modules and an experimental energy weapon that drains enemy Nanosuit energy in addition to health. While we weren’t anything bordering on successful in this class, it was proof enough of the supporting modules and weapons for different methods of play.
If you’re also thinking that there is a lack of Call of Duty-style support options, then that’s where the dogtags come in. Players are rewarded dogtags by making particularly skilled shots, which have to be collected from the recently deceased body. It’s a move that Crytek UK hope will stop those pesky campers from gaining all the best support attacks without running around the field.
While there were a few niggling flaws, it certainly feels intuitive and inventive enough to provide something different to the crowded online arena. At times it may feel like it borrows a little too much from Halo or CoD but with a fast-paced edge, inventive sci-fi and gorgeous visuals, we’re sure it has enough legs to outrun the opposition.
With enough features, variety and enticing gameplay to rival any of the major releases this year, it could prove to be a breath of fresh air. While clearly it won’t be a patch on the PC version, the visuals translate onto consoles with sheen uncommon on the 360, while the New York setting offers a metropolis environment that is brimming with versatility. There’s a bewildering amount going on with Crysis 2′s multiplayer, along with what we’re promised is an equally thorough campaign mode, it could potentially be the definitive first-person experience of next year.
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