The much-anticipated Crysis 2 might not be arriving in time for the holidays, but the folks over at Crytek have just started sending out invitations for the closed multiplayer beta to make the wait less agonizing for fans. Back in June, EA said the first round of invitations would be offered to people who signed up at the game's community site. There are no details on exactly what will be in the beta or when it will be launching, though Crytek has confirmed that it'll be exclusive to Xbox 360 players "this time around" and an Xbox Live gold account will be required.

We are assuming that means PC and PS3 owners will get their chance to play the beta sometime before the game launches, though for now no official announcement has been made on that front.

This was one of the most anticipated games of 2010, and now 2011, after it was delayed from autumn this year to March of the next. Crytek has promised to raise the bar for first-person shooters with impressive visuals courtesy of the company's CryEngine 3, support for stereoscopic 3D, and a compelling story. If gameplay footage shared by the developer and short demos at past expos are anything to go by, Crysis 2 may very well be worth the wait.