Crysis: Warhead Review for PC

Crysis: Warhead Review for PC

A Fresh Nano Suit Isn’t Enough

Crytek’s latest installments to the Crysis series, Crysis: Warhead and its packaged, stand-alone multiplayer component Crysis Wars, are the types of games that usually don’t receive much attention. They aren’t your standard, add-on expansion packs that require the original title. Instead, both can be installed and played without the original Crysis.

Crysis: Warhead screenshot

In typical expansion pack fashion, Warhead incorporates technical updates and tweaks as well as a host of new weapons and vehicles. In fact, the only thing that isn’t reminiscent of a standard expansion pack is the price.

Warhead isn’t a sequel or prequel, it actually depicts a storyline that runs parallel to the original Crysis. This time, the player dons the nano suit of an original side character, Sergeant “Psycho” Sykes, the hot-headed former British SAS operative. Players unfamiliar with the original storyline may feel slightly lost at the beginning of the game, since Warhead wastes no time trusting the player into the action. But, if story really isn’t all that important to you, then it probably doesn’t matter.

First and foremost, Crytek made some design changes to the way the visuals can be scaled. This is a response to the many cries of disappointment from users with mid to low-end computers that had problems playing the original. While there did seem to be some performance increases, it was difficult to notice any improvements. In fact, the way the visual options were designed, replacing regular scaling terms with words like “Gamer,” “Mainstream,” and “Enthusiast,” may be easier to understand for those who have never played a computer game before, but it leaves veterans scratching their heads a bit. Despite the scaling options, however, the game is still amazing to see. The photorealism achieved in Warhead is no small feat and its only current competitor in this regard is its counterpart.

Crysis: Warhead screenshot

The story, also similar to the original, revolves around the player infiltrating Korean bases on an island, attempting to uncover the mystery behind all the strange activities going on. Shortly thereafter, bizarre aliens begin to emerge and attack everything on the island. The voice acting is on par with the original, delivering quality dialogue and emotion. Unfortunately, if fans were hoping for a more engaging and personal story, you’ll only find it in bits and pieces, while the rest will practically you that, “Hey, this is an action game.” Moreover, players will be reluctant to find that the campaign is significantly shorter, so despite the amped up action, there is a lot less to work with.

Crysis: Warhead does provide some great opportunities for more engaging action sequences. Sure, if stealth is your thing, there are options for that too, but Crytek made it a point to make each battle as exciting as possible. Improved A.I. certainly helps, as enemies on this side of the island seem much smarter than the ones fought on the opposite side in the original Crysis. Even the aliens provide a more challenging obstacle to the player; no longer ignoring you like the Borg would ignore a kitten. Conversely, there still seems to be some issues with the A.I. For example, enemies are alerted to your presence, even when you’re prone in a thick set of bushes and foliage, still seems to happen.

Crysis: Warhead screenshot

A host of new weapons and vehicles give the player all-new ways of dispatching those pesky enemies; dual-wielding automatic pistols certainly makes for a fun ride. Weapons also appear to pack more of a punch against regular infantry, which is a nice change from having to plug half a magazine to drop someone wearing a t-shirt. Of course, the enemies wearing nano suits are back as well, and they are more difficult and challenging than before.

Crytek’s world design hasn’t seemed to change much. The open-ended feeling that was promised in the original Crysis still isn’t present. Instead, there are glimpses of non-linear gameplay, but most of it is short-lived. Players are presented with an objective and given free reign over how to take that objective.

Crysis: Warhead screenshot

However, most of those choices are limited to a rather narrow spectrum, so it’s like choosing from selections that were already picked by someone else. For instance, before assaulting a base, the player may have only a few options on how to do it, but not a choice about whether to do it and choosing a different base instead. Nevertheless, Warhead still delivers more options than most current first-person shooters, so while it isn’t the open-world we’d like to see, it still stands above most.

The controls in Warhead are identical to the original, and all the keys are fully customizable. Crytek tweaked the controls of the vehicles though, making them easier to drive and utilize to their fullest. Other than that, players can expect standard first-person controls and movements—they were done well in the original and they are done well here.

The multiplayer component, called Crysis Wars, is considered by Crytek to be a separate game. It includes a lot of multiplayer enhancements that the original lacked. There are a total of 21 maps available, including seven all-new ones, as well as all the new weapons and vehicles. There are also some new game types that, ideally, should have been present in the original. For example, a team deathmatch (TDM) gametype that doesn’t involve capturing and defending control points spread across the map. While the addition of a TDM game type doesn’t seem ground-breaking, it has special significance in this case, since the original Crysis multiplayer didn’t have it. Overall, it is difficult to find a reason why this multiplayer version isn’t an improvement to the original, especially considering how incomplete the original multiplayer was.

Crysis: Warhead doesn’t stray very far from the original Crysis formula. It still looks amazing, sets a great pace for an action title, and provides enough of a story to keep the player from going comatose. However, it’s difficult to justify paying the additional money for a whole new game when it’s just a standard expansion pack. Nevertheless, Warhead provides a great ride for those looking for a bit of a story, and it has potential for everyone else looking for that new multiplayer fix. While it’s certainly as fun as the original, it is tough justifying Warhead as a must-buy game. Instead, players who weren’t all that thrilled by the original probably won’t find enough new things to make them change their minds. But, if you’re a fan of Crytek, Crysis, or both, there really aren’t any good reasons why you shouldn’t buy this latest title.

It’s difficult to find fault in a game that achieves such a high level of photorealism and boosts performance on less powerful computers. 4.5 Control
The added improvements to vehicles make the controls in Warhead top-notch. 4.0 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Above-average voice acting, musical scores, and improved sound effects are only brought down by the occasional glitch. 3.5 Play Value
A short single-player campaign packed with fast-paced action sequences just doesn’t impress when it feels and looks so much like what has already been played in the original. 4.0 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Pulse-Racing New Installment: Play as Sergeant Sykes and experience a whole new side of the battle. A standard combat mission behind enemy lines becomes critical when you discover your enemies have captured something of vital importance to the ensuing war. It’s down to you to retrieve the cargo, at any cost.
  • More Explosive and Dynamic Gameplay: New customizable weapons, new vehicles, new photorealistic locations to explore, and a fully interactive war zone to dominate.
  • Enhanced human and alien A.I.: Intelligent enemies, bigger challenges, and all-new ally squad support.
  • Includes Crysis Wars: An expanded new multiplayer experience with new online modes and 21 maps including seven all-new maps to battle it out against other players.

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