This past weekend I had a chance to download an install the demo for Crysis 2. The multiplayer demo. To be fair I really could give two shits about the multiplayer aspect of the game. I rather enjoyed the single player parts of Crysis, even the latter half of the game with aliens had it’s moments, and the finale is one of more epic final levels in a game (and nearly brought my PC to its knees). I’ve also been enjoying Crysis: Warhead (the “expandalone”) which is actually a bit tighter in terms of gameplay.
Playing the demo for Crysis 2 marks first time, in a really long time, where I’ve been exposed to a server browser. Say what you want about the outcry generated by Modern Warfare 2’s “console like” matching for multiplayer it can’t really be any worse than having to navigate a damn server list. The multiplayer experience in Crysis 2 is as a far cry from the single player experience in the first two games. Thanks in particular to the fact that you don’t have the time or luxury to really stop and think about how you’re going to approach combat. There is a far greater reliance on reflex and a steeper learning curve when it comes to the Nanosuit 2.0. The multiplayer in Crysis 2 makes some significiant changes to the suit mechanics that I’m guessing will translate into the single player as well. Perhaps the best, or at least the most useful, is that the Strength mod is more or less context sensitive and activates automatically when I jump. In previous games Strength was used to steady aiming as well (particularly when sniping) but it looks like the new Armor mod takes care of that here. Like every modern shooter Crysis 2 has implemented an experience system and each of your suit mods gains experience based on usage as you play.
Of course the aspect of Crysis 2 I’m looking forward to the most is the single player; mostly since the story was written by Richard Morgan (Altered Carbon) and Peter Watts (Starfish). I honestly don’t think the multiplayer conveys how the gameplay feels in single player. The game looks good on my now aging PC and runs as well as the previous games, if not slightly better. I’m thinking that CryEngine 3 is a bit more versatile and far better at scaling than CryEngine 2. I can’t say I noticed any destructibility in the environments during multiplayer but I am a bit spoiled by Bad Company 2.
The next few months are brutal; absolutely packed full of games from Dragon Age 2 (along with Crysis 2) in March, Portal 2 in April, and Duke Nukem Forever in May. Not to mention titles like The Witcher 2 (May), Brink (May), L. A. Noire (May), FEAR 3 (May), Dungeon Seige 3 (May), and InFamous 2 (June). 2011 is really looking like a brutal year for gaming…and I’m damned excited about that (also terrified).