While we were quite impressed with Crysis' single player experience, we weren't blown away by the multiplayer modes we sampled. It's not that they were terrible. It's just that there was nothing there that transcended the norm.
Instant Action is your basic free-for-all death match mode. As expected, it's chaotic, frantic, and a ton of fun running and gunning down every person that crosses your path. But it's also just like any other multiplayer death match you've ever played.
Fortunately, Crysis' team-based Power Struggle mode was more compelling. Each map features a set of control points that must be dominated in order for your team to prevail. When you spawn, you'll be able to purchase weapons and equipment based on your prestige points. You'll need to kill enemies and help capture control points to gain more prestige, allowing you to start your next life with better weapons than the next guy.
If your team holds the alien crash site control points and you have enough prestige, you'll be able to access one of the coolest weapons we've ever seen, the freeze gun. In one instance, we fired the freeze gun at an enemy jumping down on us from above. We managed to freeze him in mid-air and his fall broke him into a million little pieces.
But at the end of the day, Crysis' Power Struggle mode seems to offer little more than a slight variation on the traditional control point games you've played before. As with Instant Action, Power Struggle was a ton of fun with well-designed levels, but offered little that you haven't already seen.
And of course, there's Crysis' graphics. The game continues to amaze on the visual front. But it's important to keep in mind that our time with Crysis was spent on dream machines that we'd never be able to afford in our wildest dreams. This begs the question, "How will Crysis look on the average Joe's rig?" When asked, representatives from both EA and Crytek have repeatedly stressed that the game will be fully scalable to run on average gaming rigs, but failed to talk much about how the game will look with its video settings turned down.
We pressed Crytek for more details and got some surprising answers. You can hear what they've got to say about how Crysis will look on an average rig, and see the video footage we've prepared based on their answers in our interview, which we'll post later this afternoon to decide for yourself.