Summary: So is the upcoming Crysis multiplayer component better than Far Cry's? JCal gives us the lowdown on his hands-on experience with the game right here.
For their next game, the sci-fi first person shooter Crysis, it's already looking like the single player game will also be an entertaining and visually arresting experience. We've seen and played the single player portion of Crysis a number of times at press events held by the game's publisher Electronic Arts as well as CES, E3 and GDC. However, we have never actually played the game on our home computer and have never experienced the multiplayer portion of Crysis. That is until EA allowed FiringSquad to check out the currently running closed multiplayer test of Crysis. While they have allowed us to write about the experience we have not yet been allowed to take screenshots, videos or do benchmark testing on the test (the screen shots included in this article were provided by EA).
Crytek's new approach to FPS multiplayer has been labeled by them as Power Struggle, a team based game play mode that combined elements of Counter-Strike, Battlefield 2142's Titan mode and Unreal Tournament's Assault mode. The multiplayer beta test is just one map at the moment, but its easily one of the biggest multiplayer maps ever made for a first person shooter. It takes place on a tropical island setting where the US and North Korean forces are fighting it out for control of both the island and the alien technology that they can access.
The multiplayer beta starts you out with a tutorial that gets you up to speed. Veterans of first person shooter games may try to bypass it but that would be a mistake; Power Struggle has so much going on around it (maybe a bit too much) that it can be quite confusing if you just start out. Basically you begin by loading out your character with weapons, equipment and other items. While you can customise your load out if you wish there are some pre-loaded characters that you can try out with different styles of gameplay (Assault, Scientist, Driver, etc). For once even if you don't have any weapons you are not completely defenseless. The game allows you to fire up the Nanosuit from Crysis's single player game to handle things like super speed, strengh, cloaking yourself and more.
Crytek gave players in Power Struggle a lot to do, so much so that this time the amount of stuff to keep track of can be rather daunting at times. You have vehicles you can drive (including unarmed trucks and armed hovercraft) are numerous and you will need them; trying to run around the massive map we played took forever on our own. The multiplayer beta's visuals at this stage are also somewhat below what we have expected from Crysis. Textures are more bland and visual effects like weapons fire are a tad disappointing (except for the nuclear explosion effect; that never gets old) The biggest problem with the game is that it's still in beta which means slow frame rates and laggy gameplay. While the game still has a little over two months to ship we hope that's enough time for Crytek to polish up the visuals and optimise the net code to avoid what happened to Far Cry's multiplayer.
Hopefully more versions of Crytek's Power Struggle multiplayer mode will address our major concerns about this part of the game but there's no doubt that this gameplay design is a lot more detailed than what we are used to seeing in a first persons shooter game. We hope to have more info and hands-on time with the game before Crysis ships to stores in mid-November.
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