Crysis 2: Call of Halo -- Beta Review

Dixon goes in deep to bring you the juicy details on the hot new mulitplayer beta for Crysis 2.

The first Crysis game was legendary for taking an absurd amount of hardware to run on your PC.  If you had a PC at the time, it doesn’t matter what kind of hardware you had, you probably couldn’t run it at full graphics enabled.  Because of its abject beefiness, it never made it to the console.  Hell, to be fair, it probably never made it to your PC either, at least not in all its wonderful glory.

This game, however, is going to be a cross-platform release, which only fuels the PC/console arguments even further.

This game is made by EA.  It’s important to note that, because whatever your feelings on them were before this game, they’ll probably remain. I haven’t played a lot of EA titles online, so I can’t speak too much to their quality of their online experience, but I’ve heard good things about the Battlefield series, which is also released by EA.

If you want a quick synopsis of the game, it’s Call of Halo.  Guns take more damage to take someone down, but it almost exactly uses the Call of Duty control scheme, excepting grenades (relegated to the D-pad), shields (left bumper) and cloaking (right bumper). There are even perks, and on the default controller setting, you dash by clicking in the left thumbstick. You can create classes, and there are dogtags and all that useful stuff, if you like growing your online sticker collection.

The  big balance issue so far is that melee attacks kill in one shot, which makes the cloak-and-dash technique very useful.  Seriously, EA.  Did you not pay attention to Modern Warfare 2 when this was proven to be a horrible idea?  By far, that’s the number one thing I’d change, is the lethality of the melee attacks.

The game looks gorgeous, though.  Seriously, this is probably the best looking game I’ve seen in quite a while.  Then again, that’s what I get for playing so much Minecraft recently.   When you run through water spraying, it sticks on your visor momentarily, much like it did in Grand Theft Auto when you were driving in the rain.  You can bust through glass, you scale obstacles almost effortlessly, and it’s pretty easy to close the distance between you and your opponent quickly.

As with all first-person shooters, teamwork is paramount.  You can be a beast and take down multiple people, but that takes a little more skill than it does in Call of Duty titles, because aim here is pretty important.  The weapons seem pretty varied, although, to be honest, I haven’t quite spent enough time between them to know the plusses and minuses between each. But it’s a beta and many things do, in fact, change.

Right now, this game looks like a winner.  Will EA have solid netcode?  The killcams look pretty, especially if you score the headshot, but I’ve seen a lot of times where it looks like the person that killed me clearly missed, even after I got the drop on them.  Is that an issue, or the byproduct of playing games over the Internet?  I’d like to see a few of those things spruced up, but so far, this is shaping up to be a release day buy for me.

(Editor's Note: Dixon wrote this the day before the game's developer came out and said, "There is a bunch of shit fucked up in our beta." So there's that.)

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