Ambush is the latest multiplayer map to be put on show by Crytek. Like the maps revealed in August (Rooftop Gardens and Impact) and like the single-player campaign, it's set in an evacuated New York City. Ambush, a nighttime map, consists of a three-level hotel car park, the hotel next door, and the street outside where cars are wrecked and overturned, with papers blowing through the abandoned streets. Ambush's setting is grittier than the glasshouses and bright skies of the attractive Rooftop Gardens, and it's about one and half times the size of that map and more vertical, with the multistory car park at its centre.
The modes we were playing across the maps were as before: Team Instant Action, the team deathmatch mode, and Crash Site, a moving capture-and-defend mode in which an alien ship fires a pod onto the map and the teams (six versus six, marines against C.E.L.L.) compete to secure and hold it until the next pod lands. As outlined previously, the multiplayer classes are defined by their nanosuit abilities as much as their weapon loadouts. Nanosuit abilities are set by the three suit modules assigned by the class (either assault, scout, demolition, sniper, or stealth-favouring ghost) or by the player in the custom class.
When you finish a match, experience points are funneled into the weapon, armour, and stealth categories according to how you've played, as you progress toward upgrades in each category. Customisable weapon unlocks are available, too, but the character customisation is geared less toward weapon modification and more toward suit modules, with some interesting options among the 21 modules on offer. One module makes enemy bullet and grenade trails visible to help you seek out enemy fighters. Another module makes your footsteps inaudible to improve stealth, with another that removes your shadow for the same purpose. The air combat module enables a stun ability, letting you end a jump in a powerful ground stomp that temporarily disables enemies in range.
The combat itself still feels fast and fluid, especially with the supercharged sprint and sliding kick melee attack. The suit abilities--including an armour-boosting mode and the near-invisible stealth mode in addition to suit modules--also add a layer of complexity to the first-person shooting, even beyond that of, say, Halo Reach's relatively small armour ability selection. The key armour and stealth modes drain the energy reserves in your nanosuit; these reserves can also be upgraded as you gain experience.
The game will ship with six modes when it comes out in March next year; expect to hear more about Crysis 2's multiplayer between now and then.