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Denny Markovic
14 Oct, 2008

Crysis Warhead Review

PC Review | Maximum fun.
With so many game developers now moving onto multi-platform development and less exclusivity to platforms, the full potential of each platform being witnessed becomes increasingly more rare, particularly on the PC. Although the PC is ever evolving and benchmarks are difficult to set, the wizards at Crytek have managed to pull yet another show stopping tour de force out of their magic hat, namely Crysis Warhead, a stand-alone expansion to one of 2007's best looking games, Crysis. The good news is that not only is Warhead a visual tour de force, but also a very competent shooter at a budget price point.

Warhead begins with you being put into the shoes of Psycho, after he had parted ways with the protagonist of the original Crysis, Nomad. Warhead follows the story of Psycho and reveals to you what he had been doing in the time you were busy with the events of the original game. Your mission is to pursue a weapon of some sort that the Koreans have taken for themselves, and stop them as the threat is potentially enormous. In your pursuit you'll encounter many foes from the original game, and some new ones. Though the story keeps things somewhat interesting and has the game flow smoothly, it's ultimately a little shallow, like that of the original Crysis. Character development is improved, but not much, and your character Psycho is a much more intriguing character than Nomad was.

You are going to love making things explode like this.

You are going to love making things explode like this.
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But with that however, it's not the story that will keep you hooked onto Warhead, but its fast paced and over the top action, which even at its lowest points is nothing to be scoffed at. The nanosuit powers and weapon customisability is back, allowing you to take on your foes in any way you want, giving the game a sense of freedom. The level design complements this most of the time, like in the original, with many access points into villages and mission objectives. Not all levels are open ended like this however, with some being quite linear in progression, having almost on-rails gameplay. This is redeemed somewhat with the dazzling display of triggered events, intense fire fights and many new weapons, such as dual wielding Sub Machine Guns and the Grenade Launcher, which is sure to put a huge smile on many gamers faces.

Warhead has also managed to improve upon the multiplayer aspect of Crysis substantially as well, with the introduction of Crysis Wars, which comes on a seperate disc. Several new maps have been added with Crysis Wars and one new game mode called Team Instant Action, which was mysteriously missing from the original game. With much more content and a more consistent online experience available, Warhead's multiplayer experience is certainly nothing to scoff at, and is great to log into once you've completed the somewhat short Campaign mode.

More explosions! The most enjoyable part of Warhead.

More explosions! The most enjoyable part of Warhead.
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On a visual note, Warhead continues what Crysis did before it, and sets a benchmark for visual splendour. Warhead looks stunning. Everything has been improved from the original game, with lighting now gleaming even more beautifully, and textures even higher in resolution. Physics are incredibly well done as well, with realistic reactions and a feeling of weight to everything in the world. Buildings will crumble to explosions accordingly and will always make you stare in awe at the beauty of it all. As always with PC gaming though, visuals come at the cost of computing power, and Warhead, though demanding, is surprisingly very well optimised and runs better than the original. With a Quad Core, 4GB of RAM and GeForce 8800 GTX, we experienced little to no lag at a resolution of 1680x1050 with settings split between high and very high (named 'Gamer' and 'Enthusiast' in the game, respectively), which was very impressive considering the performance reduction from the previous game when being set to the approximate same settings. But even at lower settings, Warhead is a technical wonder, and Crytek are to be commended for not only setting such a high benchmark in visuals, but making Warhead so well optimised and able to be run competently on lower end machines.

Audio wise, Warhead sounds great, especially with surround sound. Sound effects such as explosions are crisp and have just the right bass, giving off a satisfying sound to an explosive battle, and ambience such as birds chirping in the jungle help in immersing you into the game's world. The directional audio works a treat as well, with bullets zipping by your ears with crystal clarity. It all sounds solid and complements the game's visuals well, and with heart pumping music also booming in the background, Warhead delivers an intense experience, constantly having you on your feet.

Get Psycho with Jason Statham.

Get Psycho with Jason Statham.
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Warhead, much like the original Crysis, delivers a very intense and fast paced gameplay experience that constantly changes throughout the battlefield, with the changes being dictated by you. Your nanosuit allows you to do almost anything, and Crytek were wise to stick with the formula that made the original so good. That being said, Warhead is shorter and a bit more linear than the original, though it's far more action oriented than Crysis. The short length of the game is redeemed by the now much more functional multiplayer component however, and it's all at a budget price too. For fans of the original, Warhead is a must, with more weapons, thrills and action that caught your eye in the first place. For the price, Crysis Warhead is a highly recommended purchase, even if just for its unmatched looks.
The Score
Crysis Warhead is a visual tour de force, an excellent shooter and, for the price, well worth purchasing.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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9 Comments
5 years ago
This is an awesome game. And even on low, with physics and water on high, it still looks nearly like an acceptable PS3/360 game. And Crysis Wars is so fun. Hope the new iMacs can run this on very high.
5 years ago
I've played through this a couple times and I really enjoyed it. The action and combat are very well paced so it is consistently fun. It also has enough variety for the 4-5 hours to vanish in a blink of an eye.

I'm running it on a quad core with an 8800 GT so I can't max the settings but I can run it all on gamer, but to increase performance I turn the textures down to mainstream to get a decent 40fps or more.

Everything about the Crysis games keeps me coming back for more. I wonder what type of machine I'll need for Crysis 2???
5 years ago
I wish my laptop ran this icon_sad.gif

It shuts down and cries in the corner when it hears the word "Crysis"

I hope the next gen of consoles exceeds these graphics
5 years ago
dizzan wrote
I hope the next gen of consoles exceeds these graphics
I don't. Already it seems to me that more time and money now has to be spent meeting the graphical expectations of current gen consoles, leaving other aspects of games to rot - like solid single player experiences, unlockable content (as opposed to achievements - *yawn*) and fresh gameplay ideas.

It's Soul Calibur IV and Ninja Gaiden 2 that particularly gave me that impression. Ninja Gaiden 2 looked great but never played or flowed as well as number one and had none of the fun unlockables... apart from a giant crystal skull that does nothing... awesome. And SCIV's single player experience was pathetic. From a series recognised for it's interesting story... shameful.

GTAIV is another example. That game was *empty* compared to earlier games in the series. Somewhere in the transition to HD the fun got left behind - leaving you to hit a few stunt jumps, spray cops with a firetruck, shoot some pigeons(!), or visit the strip joints or the club. Or, if you're truly masochistic, play the poorly implemented minigames.
5 years ago
But the thing is, Crysis is Awesome fun, even on low it is one of the most fun games around. I might even get the first one now.
5 years ago
Loved my play through of this, it goes full throttle from the start and the action really doesn't let up till the credits roll. About the only "slow" part was a section in a cave but it was so short and good looking (The lighting OMG dose it look good in the section) it didn't really matter
5 years ago
This review is nothing to scoff at. :P

Good game too.
5 years ago
[quote=jomonjin]stuff[/quote]

Can't we have both?

Graphics and gameplay all the way.
5 years ago
Yes! Thankyou! Less dialogue, less trying to implement a shitty story, more blowing shit up icon_biggrin.gif
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  25/09/2008 (Confirmed)
Standard Retail Price:
  $49.95 AU
Publisher:
  Electronic Arts
Genre:
  Shooter
Year Made:
  2008

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