Crysis Warhead Review

We go Psycho with Crysis Warhead.

Review by Darren Cartledge
Published 23rd September 2008

Crysis Warhead

  • Developer: Crytek
  • Publisher: EA Games
  • Release Date: 18th September 2008

It seems to be fairly popular for sequels to offer an alternative story running along a parallel timeline as their predecessors. This is exactly what EA and Crytek have done with the follow up to last years Crysis.

Crysis Warhead places you on the other side of the island and sees you take up the role of Sergeant “Psycho” Sykes. Psycho’s mission runs parallel to that of Nomad’s from the original game and sees Psycho pursue Col Li as he tries to escape the Island with a valuable and powerful alien artefact. A nice thing about the story of Warhead is that you don’t need to have played the original game to follow what’s going on as the two stories run along side each other, meaning new players can jump straight into Warhead.

On the whole Crysis Warhead doesn’t really serve up that many new tricks. Psycho’s suit is just as capable as that of Nomad’s. However, Psycho does come into possession of some weapons and vehicles that Nomad didn’t have available but these don’t really change the way the game plays. Warhead isn’t just a simple rehash though, it’s a little more refined then it predecessor, offering a nice number of tweaks that make the game more appealing to play.

Crysis Warhead still offers up a dose of intense shooter action, however things have been pumped a fair bit as enemies flock to your position and even call in reinforcements. Also just as you think you’ve found a safe position to pick them off from a distance, they will often flank you or move round behind you. You will also find yourself drastically outnumbered and not just against foot soldiers, heavy armour and air support will be zeroing in on your position so before playing make sure you’re up for a real fight because Warhead does provide an intense and challenging experience. It’s not just the Koreans that seem smarter as the alien characters will also try out these manoeuvres, also using the games environments to their advantage, hiding behind the games thick vegetation taking shots at you.

As mentioned already Warhead introduces a couple of new weapons and vehicles to the Crysis universe. These are a dual wielding micro machine gun the AY69 and FGL40 six shot grenade launcher. The two new vehicles are ASV which is an armoured personnel carrier and a hovercraft that lacks any weapons but is highly manoeuvrable. Vehicles handle better then they did in the original game, yet to be honest they still haven’t been perfected. While these additions don’t really offer any new gameplay features they don’t really need to, Crysis was already an excellent first person shooter and Warhead follows closely in its footsteps. The only bad thing about it is how short it is, many will be able to clear the single player campaign within 4 to 6 hours depending on how often you die, however as it’s only priced at expansion pack rate you don’t feel like you’re getting ripped off like in some full priced games I could mention!

Despite not introducing many new features into the single player campaign Crytek have added a fair bit of new content to the games multiplayer aspect, Crysis Wars.

A new multiplayer mode is introduced with Warhead, Team Instant Action whilst Instant Action and Power Struggle both return from Crysis. Warhead also introduces several new multiplayer maps, six to play on in Team Instant Action and Instant Action and one for Power Struggle games. For those new to the franchise Instant Action is basically a death match mode whilst Power Struggle is similar to conquest. Team Instant Action is obviously the same as team death match. Playing online is a pretty intense experience, maps vary in size quite considerably but all of them provide an intense and action packed experience, probably why Crytek choose the names for the game modes that they did.

When Crytek announced Warhead they said they were going to make the game more accessible, so it would run on a wider range of PC’s. However, to see the game any where near its full glory you’re going to need a pretty serious piece of kit. Whatever graphics setting you play the game on Crysis Warhead still looks fantastic. The games environments are dense and feature huge amounts of detail such as small animals running around in the forests to mist rolling in when in the swamp. Everything looks absolutely stunning with smooth textures and lush colours. Character models feature excellent facial details, whilst alien units sport nice special effects. Weapons fire and explosions all look amazing whilst character animation is flawless.

A mid range machine should be able to run the game at a fairly good detail level and still maintain a decent frame rate, however as mentioned already to see the game in its full glory your going to need a decent games setup.

The games audio features the same level of quality as its visual, voice acting is superb, character voices reflect the onscreen action well, whilst the games soundtrack helps to create an intense atmosphere. Explosions and weapons fire all sound excellent and the games full of ambient noises such as enemies shouting to each other, wildlife in the background and so on. It all adds up to create an intense war zone feeling.

Whilst it may not innovate the Crysis game in any real way Warhead provides another intense, yet refined first person shooter experience and whilst it may not include massive single player campaign when you consider it’s the same price as your average expansion pack or budget game you really don’t mind especially as the games multiplayer action is so good. Whether you have the original game or not Crysis Warhead is well worth a look!

Review Score: 9/10

Please note, this review was scored using our old system. For more information please see our review policy.

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