Hands-on / Crysis 2

Yesterday, even before the Penny Arcade Expo opened up in Seattle, there was an outpouring of gamers shooting and fighting in the streets – of New York, that is. Crytek gave us an early look at the multiplayer portion of their upcoming FPS Crysis 2 and it is pretty.

Taking place inside and outside a building, the graphics are phenomenal. With wiring dangling from the ceiling and rafters jutting up from the underlying floors, the atmosphere of a partially destroyed urban environment is palpable through the television. Particle effects, bullet holes in walls, and desks strewn her and there finish off the look, but we didn’t come here to look. We came to fight.

Starting off, the game gave us a choice of starting classes and then threw us into the fray. Cloaking is a useful power, as is the nanosuit’s power armor, but won’t do any good if we couldn’t hit our target, and that’s the problem. There seems to be just a little something missing from the game, a little nagging complaint that we can’t really put our finger on. We would shoot at someone and they may or may not die. Were the guns powerful enough? Were we even shooting at the enemy? It was a bit hard to tell.

The guns we chose did not have a visual power graph displaying damage potential/reload time/ammo capacity, so choosing the most deadly weapon for our playing style was difficult. However, even when we did find a gun we were comfortable with, figuring out who was on our team was difficult and shooting blindly isn’t the best tactic, no matter the game. Yes, there were friend/foe indicators above each player, but we had to get really close to see them and by that time, the enemy – who had no aversions to just praying and spraying – and shot us numerous times.

All in all, Crysis 2 feels like a solid first-person shooter. The game runs smooth as silk, the leveling system seems intact (we had no preview of that), and it is beautiful game.

But without fixing those issues mentioned before, the game will find itself stuck in the middle of ¬†mediocrity. Thankfully, it’s not due out until next year and hopefully everything is tuned and ready to go before then.