An attempt to play the Crysis 2 demo
Seeing as I did one for the previous game, and hey, free demo, I figured why not, though to be honest I’m not expecting much. The info given to the public has lead me to believe a few things.
1) The graphics quality will be worse than the first one, which I might add was in 2007. Not because they ran out of juice or decided to take the art style in a different direction, but because their primary platform is the console. They’ve also decreased the field of view enough that the gun takes up about a quarter of the screen and increased the bloom enough to be detrimental to gameplay.
2) The multiplayer gameplay will play more or less like Call of Duty, with something weird done to the nanosuit modes. Might actually be an improvement to the multiplayer gameplay due to the first Crysis’s multiplayer functioning like a bad Battlefield clone but it does mean it’s not going to anything amazing and new.
3) Everyone can turn invisible and can kill enemies instantly from behind whilst melee. Whilst it remains to be seen if this is something that will screw up everything the very concept hurts me deep inside for some reason.
So how is the demo? Well honestly it’s not bad. But it’s nothing as special as the first Crysis was.
When I first started the game I saw the 3D moving menus, which was kind of cool. Then I spent a few minutes trying to get my gamespy account working. Annoying, but I’ve heard a lot of people have had much more trouble than I did, waiting hours for new accounts etc, but hey it’s a free new release, it’s to be expected.
So fine so far, I went to the graphics options to raise my resolution and graphics options considering I have a computer actually capable of running anything on high. Kind of an enthusiast if you will. I like things to look pretty, and Crysis set the bar extremely high in that respect.
So you can imagine my despair when I saw this.
Really? 4 options, not even an ability to customize texture quality or AA?
And the graphics options include “Gamer” “Advanced” “Hardcore”. What the hell do those even mean? Which one should I choose? You’ve assigned values to arbitrary terms without explaining what they are! This isn’t good design!
So after 30 seconds of trying to figure what I should set it to I searched around for a bit trying to find some more options, instead I found this.
So. Aim Assist in a PC multiplayer game which is automatically on. It’s like the menus alone are designed to make people who enjoy games on the platform not want to play. I can understand specifying your game for consoles because hey, that’s where most of the money is. But you can’t bring over the ENTIRE platform onto the PC, it can’t be done. The crosshair option kind of irks me too, it’s like they expect people to get annoyed with it or something.
Okay, turn auto-aim off because I’ve used a mouse before and don’t feel like cheating, leave the options menu before I find the audio is 16 bit mono or something, and went searching for a game. Servers are everywhere of course, it’s a free game right now, so I sorted by ping and chose one with an empty space.
Okay, loading now, not feeling too great about the experience so far. Oh, the header for the server has a .de domain name. Interesting. (On later investigation I found that many servers were labeled with 0 ping. Probably should watch that)
Oh well, this should make for a interesting test of the lag compensation in the game.
So I finally got in, and I was greeted with this:
Actually this isn’t too bad right? Except I’m coming from crysis 1 and warhead, which looked like
So basically they’ve basically given the game a different lighting engine, toned down the textures and turned the motion blur up to maximum. Also that picture is the most colourful place in the entire demo. Now it’s not a BAD looking game, but it’s the sequel to a game that was boasted the best graphics yet, so it’s a little disappointing. Also the blur is slightly overdone which can be quite distracting at times.
So now we get to the gameplay.
My gods the gameplay.
(You might notice a change in tone at this point)
After a slightly shaky start, the game became this amazingly fluid fps. I was climbing walls, throwing grenades, ambushing people and picking them off with ease and style. The lag of being on a german server was almost nonexistent. The gameplay annoyances like everyone being invisible at all times or tanking with armor and being completely impossible to kill just weren’t there. Everything was functional, everything performed as expected.
There’s only two gamemodes to start with, team deathmatch and king of the hill, though both well done and balanced for the two maps, skyline and pier, both of which accommodate any playstyle you can think of in the game, which is also encouraged by the custom class feature that gives you many interesting alternatives to the standard 4 base classes.
The weapons are surprisingly well balanced at this stage, with just 4 weapons. The Assault rifle is decent at any range, the shotgun is good at close range, the sniper rifle is good at long range and the machine gun is effective but rather difficult to use in most situations.
So I’m in a bit of a confused what to think of this game. It’s a shooter that’s unashamedly a Call of Duty clone. The weapon damage is similar, the playstyle is mostly the same, killcams are present, heck, it even has killstreaks COD4 players might find remarkably familiar.
It’s clearly a cash in for the console Modern Warfare crowd, quite boring graphically, and utterly generic in most places and yet for all the things I feel I should dislike about it, it undeniably delivers a good experience that has completely changed my stance on the entire game. Kind of reminds me of COD before they kept making the same game but kept putting more unbalanced weapons and random junk in it. It’s beauty is in it’s simplicity, but you can use it to do exceptionally complex things.
Now it should be noted that this was only a demo, and even the game boot screen warns “THIS IS NOT A REPRESENTATION OF THE FINAL PRODUCT” (Which I feel is rather counterproductive really, make a good demo and say “You get more of this if you buy the game”), so some of the annoyances present could get better or everything could get worse. Could be the game was full of bad players at this stage so I had a lot of fun. Could be they plan to dump a whole load of unfair weapons in the mix just for laughs.
So I guess I’m cautiously saying this could be something good, though I can’t help but feel doubt the final product may have some changes I don’t like. Only time will tell. If you’ve got the time and space for download just under 2 gig and a system that can run it this is definitely worth a look. I know I’ll be keeping an eye on the full game.