Gamers playing the recently released Crysis 2 demo appear to be gaining access on a random basis to a second map, entitled Pier 17.
Eyebrows were raised at the size of the 1.8GB size of the Xbox Live download, especially when it was discovered that only one map - Skyline, set on the rooftops of New York City - was contained within the demo. However, recently, the new Pier 17 map appears to be manifesting to select players.
Unfortunately we haven't been lucky enough to stumble across the map during our play sessions, but YouTube user ITheFatNinja has, and had his capture card ready, giving us our first glimpse at the new level.
Pier 17 looks to be considerably more expansive and detailed than what we've seen thus far in the Skyline map and also demonstrates CryEngine 3's real-time global illumination tech in a somewhat more spectacular manner. The lighting in most games is actually mostly pre-calculated, or "baked in" to the levels - CryEngine 3 does it all in real-time, allowing for greater flexibility to level designers and potentially more dynamic lighting options in-game.
Unfortunately, getting access to the level appears to be a case of raw luck, with the stage very occasionally appearing on the voting screen for the next map.
Posting on the MyCrysis forum, Crytek staffer cry-tom discussed the Pier 17 situation.
"Some players may have noticed a map other than Skyline enter into their map rotation. This is not in error, but due to us testing playlists and backup systems. However, this other map will not be widely available in this demo period, and therefore you will not be able to unlock it yet," he said.
"During this demo and the period up until launch we will be adjusting and balancing the game and fixing bugs, and we will announce in the coming days what happens after the end of this 360 exclusive demo on Feb 4th."
Digital Foundry's analysis of the demo will be posted on the weekend.