Some PC fans have been waiting years to get their hands on the sequel to Crysis, 2007's masterful shooter. Just now the multiplayer demo has been released, so you can finally get a taste of what CryEngine 3 has to offer on state of the art hardware. As well, the second Xbox 360 and PS3 demos have been released -- grab the former via the source below, and the latter directly via PSN.
Impressions are strong based on our ~1 hour of playtime. As promised, dedicated servers are in tow and work well with filters, favourites, and so on. In-game chat is of course present -- text or voice. Accounts are still handled by Gamespy, but signing up is a piece of cake in-game. Gameplay is quite fun, and the unlock system seems like it will provide for many hours of addictive play.
On a graphical level, Crysis 2 is simply gorgeous, perhaps a little moreso than expected given Crytek have had to keep things in check due to the game's multiplatform status. A wide range of impressive graphics effects are on display -- you won't get tired of this anytime soon. Check the screens here to see for yourself.
Note unfortunately for the demo, no graphics options are available excepting resolution, V-Sync, and a general setting (Gamer, Advanced, Hardcore). Naturally a wide array should show up in the final version of the game. Advanced was the default setting and changing it appeared to have a negligible effect on performance, which was far from desirable (20-35fps). While Crytek have said the game will be optimized for current hardware, it looks like this doesn't mean it can't punish even formidable setups (in our case, a 1GB 5770 GPU, 1055T X6 2.8ghz CPU, 8GB DDR3 1333mhz RAM).
Update: for those concerned about aim assist, according to Crytek's senior community manager, it only takes effect when a controller is being used, though oddly, we could switch between mouse/keyboard and controller at any point. As for the lack of graphics options, Crytek's senior community manager says, "The demo does not feature everything included in the retail version of the game; this includes menu options." Finally, DirectX 9 is confirmed to be in use here -- hopefully in the final game we see use of DirectX 10 and possibly 11.