Crysis 2 Demo

In a crowded few days for shooters with the over-the-top fun of the Bulletstorm Demo (XBL and PSN), Modern Combat: Domination (PSN) and Breach (XBL) here are my first impressions the Crysis 2 demo that hit Xbox Live (exclusively) on Tuesday

Let me start off by saying that I havent played the original Crysis – my home PC wheezes in the face of fancy high-end graphics and once took a 3 day nap when I dared trying to launch a browser-based game – so this mini review is treating Crysis 2 with fresh eyes

The demo contains one multi-leveled map ‘Skyline’, which is set across the rooftops of a small cluster of New York buildings with a helipad, green houses a roof garden and large indoor gym facilities. You also get 2 game types – the first is ‘Instant Action’ which is your standard first-to-50 kills 6v6 team deathmatch and the second ‘Crash Site’ is a time based zone defence match which is only unlocked once you reach level 6

You start with 4 the fairly standard class options (Assault, Scout, Sniper and Gunner) and a further 5th Custom Class is unlockable as you level up

You go straight into your first game with no tutorial so you may spend the first few games getting to grips with the control layout but probably the two most important buttons are the Left and Right Bumpers which enable your Nanosuits special abilities, Armour Mode and Stealth Mode respectively

Armour mode is essentially a shield which will offer you a few extra seconds of protection against enemy fire while Stealth mode turns the wearer mostly invisible, except for a Predator like distortion effect, giving you the ability to hide in plain sight and sneak up on unsuspecting enemies but your invisibility drops immediately if you open fire. Both modes are limited by an energy bar which rapidly depletes when either mode is engaged (and is also depleted by sprinting and power jumping), so careful use is required unless you want to be left vulnerable at the worst possible moment

Crysis 2 appears to have learned a few things from the Call of Duty series with the addition of Kill Streak rewards. There are 3 rewards available in the demo. 3 Kills gives you ‘Maximum Radar’ which makes enemies visible on your mini-map, 5 Kills give you the Hammer of Dawn style ‘Orbital Strike’ and 7 Kills gives you a ‘Ceph Airstrike’ which summons an A.I controlled hovering gunship.

The good thing about the kill streaks in Crysis 2 is that you can’t just earn them by getting the kill, instead downed enemies drop their dog tags which only you can collect and only when you do collect them does the kill count toward your kill streak. This seems to work really well as it encourages a more run-and-gun open play style rather than reward camping.

As with most recent shooters, as you play, you gain XP from getting kills and completing certain objectives and this contributes to both your overall rank and to your abilities with the XP spread between your armour, stealth and power, depending on how they are used (capped at level 3 in the demo) and give you access to unlock further weapon and ability enhancements

Obviously it would be hard to talk about this game and not mention the graphics which are, as expected, very nice but a 5-year-old console isn’t going to match up with the previously groundbreaking visuals that you could expect on a state of the art gaming PC. Don’t get me wrong, Crysis 2 is still one of the best looking games on the Xbox 360 so far but there wasn’t the ‘wow’ factor I had hoped for

The game itself is fun, especially exploring the limitations of your armour ability, like seeing if you can make that long jump between buildings and there is pure satisfaction to be had in landing a knee drop multikill or using the stealth suit to sneak up on an enemy and snapping their neck. Unfortunately, there are a few problems that are currently diminishing some of the excellent work that has gone into making the game.

Spawn points are a definite issue here especially around the greenhouse area where there seem to be three main spawn points which can all to easily be camped on by a player with good use of stealth. There also seems to be a slight problem of players spawning directly behind an enemy which I’m sure is hard to control on maps of this size, but can be very frustrating when a potential kill streak is ended due to the AI picking a bad spawn point and again this seems most common around the greenhouses.

Weapons in general can appear to be very hit or miss on occasions with some questionable hit detection and one odd design choice, which I assume was dictated by the limitations of a control pad, is having grenades mapped to the right side of the d-pad which can be cumbersome in the heat of battle and although it potentially removes some of the grenade spamming issues that plague the likes of COD, here it makes grenades a much less effective weapon.

Summary

Crysis 2 is an enjoyable game but the demo doesn’t offer anything that we haven’t seen elsewhere before, expect maybe slightly prettier, and unfortunately being released on the same day as the Bulletstorm demo has made this feel slightly stuffy against Bulletstorms’ more vibrant and innovate approach to first person shooters

Despite some minor disappointments with the Crysis 2 Demo, the full game is still two months away from release and I am quietly confident that, if some of the key niggles can be ironed out, there is a very impressive game waiting to unleashed that we just haven’t seen the best of yet

EA have announced a ‘Game with Developers’ event this Saturday, 29th January with full details here: http://www.ea.com/crysis-2/blog/game-with-devs

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  1. Hey Steve,

    The game is just 2 days away from release now! I think they improved it even more and there’s going to ba a lot of fun. I don’t know if this will again be the big FPS hit of the year and I agree, Bulletstrom is different and brought something fresh.

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