Crytek have been notoriously boastful about how powerful the game engine running their upcoming title Crysis 2 is, for many months now. The executives have made bold statements like “the CryEngine 3 could run any game” and putting emphasis on the ‘superior’ aesthetic quality of Crysis 2. Expectation as a consequence was very high, with critics and fans eager to see this new standard of graphical eye candy.
A month and a bit later all the multiplayer demos are live and firing, and there seems to have been a very mixed reaction. Multiple sources feel that the PC version is by far the strongest, and various gaming magazines have been debating whether the PS3 version is inferior to the Xbox edition. Crytek’s Nathan Camarillo only today has denied reports that there is a “meaningful difference” between Sony and Microsoft’s consoles.
My initial reaction to Crysis 2 was how normal everything looked: no eye popping visuals, no super detailed textures, no polished and silky handling, and no jaw dropping lighting effects. While normally I rate the graphical calibre in context of the whole game, considering how much big talk there has been specifically about the looks of this game I couldn’t help but feel hopelessly disappointed by the demo. Have Crytek been fibbing to us or is this one big misunderstanding?
Instead of the dreamy FPS I drooled over in the trailers, I’m playing a choppy, fuzzy, jagged, and very flimsy looking approximation of the game I’d been expecting. For someone like me I was excited to see something emerge that could match the looks of Killzone 3, and in all honesty the demo barely looks better than Alien Vs. Predator.
Obviously there could be some smoke we can ignore because the demo could be a very old build of the game (as some have suggested), but in my opinion, if you are going to put a demo out there for people to try out, hoping they will want to buy the full game afterwards, you should make it as close to the final product as possible! And the demo does not reflect a product I want to buy.
Crysis 2 does look noticeably average, and it stings all the more because they’ve been ranting about how amazing it will look since the announcement. With any luck Crytek will have a very different and far more polished game ready for us all next week, but these demos didn’t deliver the goods at all.