It's a bit of a shame when developers put out a demo only to have it quickly taken down because of problems that seem to magically arise out of nowhere. Regardless, we managed to get some time in with the Crysis 2 PS3 multiplayer demo - which is no longer working at the moment because Crytek wants to address the problems that users have been complaining about, specifically something to do with connection issues, before the full retail game hits stores on Tuesday this coming week.
I'm going to be frank, regardless of what Crytek or other critics say about the game, it looks great, but not that great, and for understandable reasons too. It doesn't break the game or the experience. First of all, if you're looking for hyper-realistic graphics on a console, you're barking up the wrong tree. You're going to have to invest in a high end PC for visuals like that. Sure, PS3 games like Uncharted and Killzone 3 look amazing, but they're all stylized and utilize more post-processing effects than you can shake a waggle stick at. Anywho, I digress, Crysis 2 looks great and it plays great as well.
There are two game modes available in the demo, one being your standard team deathmatch and the other a kind of Conquest variant, called Crash Site, that is unlocked once players hit level six or some criteria like that. Jumping straight into a game of team deathmatch, I was surprised to find myself at the top of the scoreboard. I'll admit that I love first person shooters, but I'm not the best at them. Either way, I was equipped with a badass, cutting-edge nanosuit and worked my way through the game with relative ease. Abilities are mapped to the D-pad, with skills like "nano vision," which is basically a thermal vision, that lets you detect other active nanosuits on the field.
The available maps are large and offer a good deal of verticality during combat. That gave me ample opportunities to try out the Air Stomp manoeuvre, a move that slams your entire weight into unsuspecting enemies below you. Of course, I missed, but I still managed to recover and shoot my target in the head, so it's all good. I particularly enjoy the level design, there's more than enough room to accommodate various play styles, but more importantly, plenty of ways to outflank the enemy. In addition, getting promoted netted me a class unlock point. Classes include your standard assault, sniper, scout and gunner. Naturally, I went with the gunner class. He packs some serious firepower, but at the cost of accuracy.
The game itself plays quite well. It's very fast paced with plenty of adrenaline and testosterone to go around. Aiming and shooting is as standard as it comes, with the shoulder buttons used for said actions. The traversal aspect is what really adds to the experience. You can slide into cover, or slide and shoot simultaneously. Players can also jump up to a ledge and have themselves pulled up automatically. This really opens up the maps by making it easier to get to places. Jumping is also much lighter than most shooters out on the market. With the nanosuit, you can press and hold down on the jump button for a boost in height, and as mentioned earlier, you can perform an Air Stomp with a push of the button should the situation call for it.
Team deathmatch doesn't require that much teamwork, at least not to the point in games like Battlefield or Killzone 3, you can essentially run around by yourself and still come out with minimal scathes. Crash Site, on the other hand, will require some form of team work as you're tasked with defending a crashed pod. The enemy team can destroy the pod, so just standing by it isn't the best of ideas. Just like the saying goes, the best defence is the best offence.
All things considered, Crysis 2 is an enjoyable, fast-paced experience with some really nice visuals. It's too bad the demo suffered from problems and had to be removed, that probably isn't a good sign of things to come either, considering the game hits stores on Tuesday. Regardless, fans of first person shooter might want to check this out. If you're a hardcore PC gamer, more power to you for your insane rig, but visuals alone don't make or break a game. Thankfully, the core mechanics of Crysis 2 appear to function just fine.