It's like parkour (free-running) with guns... at least that's what developer Crytek is hoping for with their shooter Crysis 2.
I played through two matches of team combat in the game last week alongside 15 other people. While I found the gameplay quick, responsive and fun, it had some issues.
Chief among them was the lag that seemed to pop up at the beginning of each match. We were playing with unfinished code in Germany against a team of developers at Crytek UK, made up mostly of the Free Radical folks, based in England, so there are plenty of things that can still be tweaked and adjusted.
The gameplay is solid shooter with some added abilities.
When you play a match you're on the side of the Marines or Cell, but it doesn't really matter which side you pick because, other than appearance, there's no real difference.
The matches all take place in New York with twelve "recognizable settings", the developers told us. The matches we played took place on a rooftop garden and in a high-rise. The rooftop garden level had a sort of "oasis in the sky" feel. The high rise took place over two different buildings, a title company and a hotel that has collapsed into the title company. That means that the hotel's levels are all tilted as if leaning against the high rise, which is a neat effect.
The game's multiplayer includes five pre-set classes and five custom classes. It also has 80 ranks and specific suit ranks
The nano suits, which give our characters special powers, has more than 20 modules each with three tiers. The game also has more than 20 weapons, more than 250 dog tags and more than 140 challenges.
While playing an online match, landing an online kill nets you a dog tag, which can be used to unlock special abilities, like a radar sweep.
The game's controls are pretty standard with a few exceptions. For instance, the shoulder buttons can activate the suit's abilities like armor or stealth modes. Stealth makes you nearly invisible to enemies and armor gives you added protection.
The added benefit of the suit abilities adds a new facet to tactical combat in multiplayer, but it's even better when you learn to combine the abilities.
For instance, if you run and then slide toward an enemy — something you can do with two button pushes — turning on your armor makes you stop in place and pop to your feet instantly. Doing that in the middle of a slide and following up with a melee attack lets you dodge fire and knock someone back, prepared for a gunshot finisher.
The game's potential in mulitplayer looks like it will come with the blending of these abilities, along with some fancy controller finger work.