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Opinion: Changes that Crysis 2 needs for its retail release

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I was fortunate enough to get the original Crysis with the video card of my computer that I custom built way back in 2008. Unfortunately I found the game to be rather boring – with convoluted suit controls getting in the way of an otherwise fine run and gun shooter – playing the game with a 360 pad helped, but after about 3 – 4 hours I got bored and didn’t play it again.

Crysis is used as a benchmarking tool for PC gamers to get to know how good their rigs are. If your computer could run Crysis at the highest settings then you were some kind of Internet god. Crytek – the developers behind the game announced that the games sequel, Crysis 2 would be getting releases on the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. “Finally!” I thought. Something that I can benchmark my 360 with!

With the multi player beta released on the Xbox 360 just a few days ago I decided to give it a spin – and indeed my complaints about control issues seem to have been addressed (well – partially, I’ll get on to that later). The graphics look gorgeous even if they take a noticeable hit on the Xbox compared to a high end PC – though there’s still a lot that I can criticise. With this being a beta I decided that I’d write down what needs fixing come the games March 25th release.

Proximity Alarm perk needs to go

Crysis 2 – like every other FPS game on the planet uses an EXP system to rank players – giving them points that they can spend on new weapons and perks as they go, Call of Duty style. This is fine – though one perk in particular, Proximity Alarm should be ditched.

Reason being that this perk has a chance of promoting camping when everyone discovers what it does. Given the close quarters nature of the multiplayer map in the beta and that you can turn invisible at will (more on that in a bit) makes giving people a warning alarm for when an enemy gets close a potential game breaker. Why walk around and get myself killed when I can just hide in a corner with my shotgun and wait for my alarm to go off?

Cloak needs nerfing

Using your armour powers is a big part of the core gameplay with Crysis 2 – somewhat akin to the armour abilities found in Halo: Reach. Hitting the left bumper hardens your armour – allowing you to absorb more hits at the expense of movement speed. Hitting the right bumper lets you turn invisible – useful for moving through open ground or sneaking behind enemy lines without being seen.

The problem is that this doesn’t seem to have any kind of disadvantage – which can make it difficult to distinguish invisible enemies from the scenery – and can at times make camping problematic as enemies simply hide in corners without any real warning signs to the player.

Taking a page from Halo: Reach – it may be best to make it jam a players radar, or perhaps have it slightly impair the players vision – simply so that it provides the user with an advantage that’s not too overwhelming. Nobody wants to play a game that just involves people hiding in corners.

Clunky movement controls

As far as where the buttons are mapped on the controller Crysis 2 is perfect – but the movement speed of your character feels clunky and sluggish – certainly not as rapid and responsive as you’d expect from a super soldier. I don’t really need to go in to great detail about this: movement controls need to be more responsive – and slightly faster player movement wouldn’t go amiss either.

Melee needs to be toned down

In a first person shooter melee should always be a last resort at close quarters – but in Crysis 2 it feels like every enemy encounter finishes up with a melee. People use cloak and sneak up on people because the melee is an instant kill, people will storm through hails of bullets to melee you. Even the almighty shotgun is sometimes bested by a smack to the face – in a game about shooting people this isn’t the way forward.

The range that you can melee someone by needs to be seriously reduced – as does the power of the melee. Make it a one hit kill from behind, but a two hit kill from any other side.

The killcam is… erratic at best

Much like the fabled Call of Duty series Crysis 2 shows you how you died from the perspective of the person who killed you – or at least that was the plan. Sometimes the killcam will give me a third person view of myself as I died, others it’ll glitch underneath the map, and in rare cases it’ll actually work.

The killcam also seems to lie about player positions during playback. Sometimes you’ll find that your character is in the wrong place, or that the person who killed you flat out missed all of his shots and still some how killed you. Problem with collision detection or just lag? Either way it needs to be addressed.

Connection issues need to be resolved

This is a beta and I have no doubts that this issue will be resolved – but waiting in a lobby for several minutes only to have the connection randomly cut out on you when the match starts isn’t cool.

In its current state Crysis 2 is looking promising – provided that Crytek can sort out some of the big issues with the multiplayer then Crysis 2 definitely has the potential to be one of the multi player greats of 2011. Here’s hoping that all goes well for the 25th March!

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Written by Pokeh

January 26, 2011 at 11:52 pm

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