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Crysis 2 Gamescom 2010 Hands-On Multiplayer Preview

Our preview of a Crysis 2 single player mission at E3 had the GameOn team suitably impressed. The series' obscenely good visuals were somehow improved upon and the campaign gameplay looked impressive enough to match. However, who really remembers the original Crysis' multiplayer? Anyone? Crytek UK are setting out to change that with a host of new additions and it is already looking promising.

Crysis 2 Multiplayer

Crytek UK, formerly Free Radical Design, have a very promising pedigree having worked on the hugely successful console-based multiplayer Timesplitters series. Indeed, as we sat down before our hands-on time with the title they emphasised that this wouldn't be a by-the-numbers add-on. With a dedicated team of over 70 developers working hard to make Crysis 2 have a multiplayer component which would be both memorable and enjoyable, their progress already looks to be well on its way.

Focusing on what makes the Crysis games unique, namely the nanosuit, Crytek are aiming for a fast-paced and varied multiplayer experience. Initially we were bombarded with a huge number of statistics, many of which are rather impressive. There are a variety of different ranks in the game, unlocked by earning experience in what seems to have become a standard template for modern multiplayer modes. However, there are also different suit upgrades to earn each of which has 3 separate tiers.

Crysis 2 Multiplayer

 These improvements are unlocked by using different aspects of your suit and will allow you to tailor the experience to your specific play style. So, if you find yourself using your maximum armour ability in each match, the more damage you take will unlock these upgrades much quicker. Crytek took this decision to make experience directly useful to individual tactics, rather than making it feel like a general bonus which was essentially the same for every player.

There are also 250 collectable dog tags which can be retrieved from the corpses of your defeated enemies, which will confer you temporary bonuses in the game. The developers also discussed that there would be over 140 challenges to complete in the multiplayer portion of the game, though the exact nature of these and their rewards weren't made clear. Crytek were keen to emphasise that there would be a wealth of different tasks to occupy the player while they were engaged in one of the 6 different modes available.

Crysis 2 Multiplayer

Quickly jumping into the first of the two matches we got to play, we soon set about wreaking havoc using the nanosuit to maximum effect. The Marines vs. C.E.L.L. mode is a simple team deathmatch, but with the added benefit of having some advanced and incredibly expensive technology at your fingertips. Choosing the most rounded assault class with an assault rifle as a primary weapon, our team soon began to bite into the enemies. Getting used to the nanosuit is a little confusing at first, as you're not usually allowed this level of freedom in multiplayer titles.

Taking place in the "Impact" level, which features two buildings that have smashed into one another, the fighting was fairly close-quarters and surprisingly tense. Lacking the refinement and sophistication to play stealthily we took a very blunt approach, dashing towards enemies firing while hitting the maximum armour perk. This generally absorbed a lot of the damage, allowing us an extra layer of protection which was usually enough to survive their counter-attacks. Changing class to the more agile scout, who comes equipped with a shotgun, one of the most effective tactics was staying invisible and waiting for a victim to come close before dashing up to them and finishing them with a few close-range blasts before they knew what hit them. However, we were soon put into our place when one of the development team ruined our success with some thermal vision goggles.

Crysis 2 Multiplayer

Moving onto our second mode, Crash Site required each team to secure dropped alien pods in a king-of-the-hill type scenario. Playing on a slightly larger indoor and outdoor level set in the rooftop gardens of a high-rise tower; this level was all about vertical space. With the map expanding over several different floors, gaining the high-ground gave you an advantage but also made you far more vulnerable. The fighting grew very frantic around the ever changing pod locations and at times it was hard to keep up with the fast pace of the action. The nanosuit definitely adds to the experience, especially when you can hold down the jump button to launch yourself ridiculous distances.

Impressively, after only a short time with the game, the nanosuit felt easy to use and it was already clear that we were developing our own approach to the game. Perhaps Crytek's biggest challenge will be balancing the suit's abilities to players of all different levels. Similarly, with little time to see how the upgrades will work it will also be important to make each a meaningful decision and to prevent it from being a slightly hollow emulation of other successful multiplayer game experiences. Yet, with the nanosuit and maps which work on a vertical rather than horizontal basis, there is certainly a unique selling point for the experience. The real test will be whether or not it will find an appreciative audience, especially with the wealth of current first-person competition available across all formats.

Crysis 2 Multiplayer

evilgiraffeman | 1st September, 2010
Platinum's picture
Looks like it could be a fun lan game, any idea if there will be lan servers?

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