My initial impressions of the Crysis 2 demo left me on the fence. Wanting to place words on what I was feeling, I played a few more hours of the demo. In the extra time spent online, I have deduced the five following points that describe my overall feeling of Crysis 2.
Despite not showcasing its DirectX11 features, the game still looks fantastic in DX9. You would think that Crytek would want to show off the new engine, but when the retail version will get DX11 patched after release, my next point may have something to do with this.
Things like adjusting contrast for my TV and seeing a “Press start” prompt is normal for console games. Also unusual for a PC title is the relative lack of responsiveness in the multiplayer. This gives it somewhat of a console like online experience which is typical from the heavy use of interpolation and client prediction. I will not outright call it a port, but there are several indications that this may be the case.
The basic gameplay mechanics are quite fun, and create some interesting moments. The maps are designed to allow some clever combinations of your nanosuits abilities. Jumping between the armor, mobility and stealth at the right times can become quite challenging, but pulling it off is quite rewarding.
While the mechanics are fun, the online gameplay is less innovative and somewhat lackluster. Even with the impressive mobility available, the maps are too large for the small amount of players on each team. If the player cap was bumped up from twelve to twenty or so, it would take out most of the downtime and make the multiplayer much more fun.
Lastly let’s not forget that I am looking at the demo after all. Many weapons, skills and customizations elements are not present in the demo. I probably don’t need to mention that the two maps and game modes are only a portion of what is available in the retail release.
Overall I quite like the multiplayer in Crysis 2. There may be a lingering feeling of a console port but it does not significantly impact the overall experience. The added content found in the retail release will give the console version a good shot at success. On the PC version the lack of players on the relatively large maps is holding it back. Having twelve players total seems to work well for the console versions, but on PC it creates large gaps in the action. With a few tweaks, the PC version should be the definitive version to get.