Gamescom 2010: Crysis 2 Multiplayer Preview - Invisible War
Written Saturday, September 04, 2010 By Dan WebbView author's profile
“Be the weapon,” is Crysis 2’s multiplayer tagline meaning that the Crytek UK developed component of the 2011 title looks to put the power of the Nanosuit at your fingertips. Crytek UK knows a thing or two about multiplayer as well - formerly Free Radical Design - with great multiplayer titles like TimeSplitters under their belts, you’d have thought that the multiplayer aspect is in safe hands. At Gamescom this year, we put two of the maps through their paces to see whether they still had that golden touch.
Boasting 6 modes and 12 recognised locations to battle in, Crytek UK are looking to spoil you with choice. Taking part in some team deathmatch, battling against various Crytek UK developers in the UK, we headed to two distinctly different maps: Rooftop Gardens and Impact, to get our multiplayer fix.
Rooftop Gardens, which you might have seen if you’d caught the live-stream of the EA press conference, is set on the dizzy heights of one of New York’s skyscrapers. With a few interiors, the map mostly takes place outside, with players battling through the greenhouse, ducking in and out of the ceiling fans for cover and on the chopper pad.
Impact is a more interesting map and one where the creative juices must have been flowing in the conceptual stage to come up with this. Set mostly indoors, the Impact map exists where two skyscrapers have collided with one another, meaning the level has two totally different looks and feels.
The power of the Nanosuit at your fingertips is immediately one of the first things that separates it from any other FPS out there and not only can you run, jump and climb your way around the map, but you can also make use of the cloak and armour aspects of the suit that are frequently used in the single player.
Using the cloak may seem like a nightmare waiting to happen as it’s generally quite difficult to pick someone out who has it activated. If it wasn’t for the shadow - something you can remove with a perk later on in the game - they’d almost be completely invisible - it’s not like Halo: Reach here when you can quite easily pick them out. However, that being said, as soon as you pull the trigger, your cloak will disappear and make you visible once again. To balance it out a little, even pulling the trigger once cloaked won’t mean you immediately fire bullets, oh no, there is a split second needed first for the suit to deactivate, meaning you’re completely vulnerable for a split second.
The armour aspect of the suit on the other hand is a tad more straightforward and generally means you can soak up a little more damage. Choosing and coaching yourself when to use them in a match is half of the battle.
Like most shooters these days, when you spawn you are given the choice of selecting 5 preset classes which are based on the traditional class bases that we see time and time again - assault, close combat, recon and so on. For those looking to mix it up, there’s even the ability to create custom classes as well, so it’s all about tailoring your own experience.
So yeah, the gameplay… it handles in much the same way as every other shooter on the market does, with responsive controls to boot. With the ability to jump from great heights to ground pound someone into an early grave, the options are there to separate it from the competition, but with the stealth and tank abilities locked to the shoulder buttons (or L1 and R1 on the PS3), it effectively means that stuff like throwing grenades is bloody awkward because your usual grenade buttons are already taken up. In truth, they could do with a bit of work, although with so many abilities and such, it’s hard to see a potential solution for that.
With 80+ ranks, 20+ suit upgrades - which all have three tiers - 20+ weapons and 140 challenges, it’s clear that Crytek UK has really put some thought into creating some reward for those that truly stick the hours in. They’ve even gone so far as to split the levelling up into three different categories: weapon, armour and stealth, which you’re rewarded after the match has finished based upon how much you use each of the skills and rewards you accordingly. For instance, using the cloak ability and sneaking up behind foes to knife them in the back without them knowing will net you serious stealth points. It essentially means that’ll you’ll level up based upon your play style, although that being said, we were scoring heavily in each category in the post match round-up.
It’s fair to say that the multiplayer aspect at the moment is a little rough around the edges and with various animation glitches and a distinct lack of anti-aliasing, it’s clear that the product is still in a pre-alpha state. Those minor mishaps aside and looking past that it’s nowhere near as stunning to look at as the single player aspect, the fundamentals for a deep and solid multiplayer are there. With perks galore, the ability to ground pound foes to your heart’s content and some seriously deep progression, the multiplayer currently reeks of potential. Tapping into that potential is now the key and we’re hopeful that Crytek UK can build upon that in the coming months to provide another leg for Crysis 2 to stand on.
Crysis 2 is now currently scheduled for a spring 2011 release.