Reviewed: September 23, 2008
Released: September 16, 2008
Crysis Warhead and Crysis Wars are both now available continuing the other side of the island story of Crysis with Psycho. Anyone who has played the game Crysis heard from the character Psycho and how he worked his part in the storyline of the original game.
Psycho is one of an elite group of American Delta Force soldiers responding to a situation in North Korea where alien activity is the major player. The storyline is much the same as Crysis and even much the same as many games with a main military force as the enemy but with a bit of a twist in a new and deadlier rival in aliens.
Your character, Psycho, is equipped with a few weapons and a state of the art Nano suit that can increase armor, speed or even camouflage itself depending on your needs. The suit works great and adds a new and unique style to the game of Crysis and Crysis Warhead but kind of makes a downturn when lots of others have it as well. It gets even worse when everyone in the multiplayer gaming has the same suit and weapons but Iíll get to that later.
The main gameplay and story of Crysis Warhead is the same but from a different viewpoint of the original Crysis with you having to find out what is going on with the situation in North Korea. After arriving on scene you start out pretty much in the thick of it and work your way across the island chasing a container.
The container has something of value and you need to chase it down which is not all that hard because it weighs a few hundred tons and is the size of a cargo container. Your mission throughout the seven levels of Warhead is to chase this cargo container from one end of the island to the other.
Along the way youíll move from above ground on a lush island to underground after an incident transforms the island from tropical to arctic. Underground is some nice fast paced close quarters work and then you move again above ground for some interesting alien fighting.
This change of scenery is nice but happens rather fast, pretty much each level is a different type of environment with a few repeating. The alien fighting happens in the third level following along with a quick and short campaign.
The entire game of Warhead will last about 5 to 7 hours on normal difficulty and comes in at seven levels with about 70 automatic save spots. The seven levels make for an interesting game but the game follows too much with the aliens and not enough with the sandbox environment I was hoping for.
I was kind of disappointed with Warhead in that much of the game was less like the first Crysis levels with wide open gameplay and more like the second half. The alien invasion and flying aliens are not the easiest to fight against and leave very little open ended gameplay.
While much of Warhead is a great game and fun it made for more of a linear game and less of an open ended game with you choosing how to attack each objective. Other than one level that has you riding on the back of a train protecting it along the tracks you are in a sandbox environment but you donít have much of an open ended gameplay.
Even on the train level you can jump off and make your way how you want but you do have a pretty tight time schedule and have to pretty much take the train. I found that many levels were like this with having to make your objectives quickly or you would not complete your assignment.
The last level is pretty much the main boss fight with you going to a large tower and then to a crashed cargo plane and then hitting the big alien for the finale. This level is pretty much a straight line from one end of an airfield to another and back again.
Aside from going a little into the woods around the airfield you have no choice how to approach the level other than fight your way from one end to the other. Aliens abound and while flying they are very difficult to kill other than using the BFG that sits in the crashed cargo plane.
The main boss battle is not too tough and a little trial and error gets things done the right way eventually and is about the hardest boss battle in Warhead. In a few other levels you will also meet large and unforgiving types with big guns or lots of death dealing alien type appendages but they are not too hard to kill, especially with your nanosuit.
Your choice of weapons is pretty good and you will never be without some kind of resupply or upgrade along your route. The nanosuit works very well and is a great addition to your personal armor as well as weaponry. The suit works simply and quickly with a single button where you click the suit menu and move your mouse to highlight the mode.
Once you turn on the mode the suit will change to that type of specialty and be useable according to the power drain of that ability. The power draw will depend on what youíre doing and a good example is the cloak, the faster you move the faster the power is drained.
The multiplayer portion called Crysis Wars is very much like the first games multiplayer but on some new maps and with a few varied modes. You still have the same problems that I found in the first games multiplayer for a few maps but the larger ones are much better.
Crysis Wars is an all out fight on varied maps that are pretty good and you do have the various modes of team death match and the previous Power Struggle. I really do not care for the power struggle but the team deathmatch is very fun, especially the vehicles map.
In the multiplayer gaming you start any game by spawning in the map on your side of the fight with only a pistol and then you have to rush around and grab weapons to join the fight. The maps are varied with plenty of cover, which is good, so using things like sniper rifles or even the gauss rifle is pretty easy on bigger maps.
The smaller maps are great for really close quarters work so there is a good variety for whatever style you like, hopefully with more to come. The game menus and getting into a game is very easy with a nice filters choice so you can choose the settings and game types you want as well as a saved favorites for servers.
The multiplayer is pretty good with plenty of variety and for the lower cost of $30 you canít ask for much, while this is billed as a standalone expansion it is in all aspects a regular full game. One thing you do have to take into account with the multiplayer is everyone is wearing a nanosuit, the harder part is hitting the other guy enough to drop him before he drops you.
The same glorious graphics, great cut scenes and very well done terrain is here from the original Crysis but with a few more problems. I had a few glitches, some of them were fantastic, but not too many that it took away from the gaming too much.
The games terrain and lighting was great, just like the original and it seemed like they did a little tweaking to get the game optimized more for lower end computers. I had no problem playing on higher settings but could not quite get my mid to high end computer to play on the best or Enthusiast settings without some lag.
The explosions and all the graphics effects were well done but like I said I did have some spectacular glitching, twice they were game shut down good. I had one scene where I was in the tower near the end and was trying to make my way to the crashed plane when I got killed and respawned back at the top of the tower.
When I respawned I fell through the floor and to my death, the tower is like twelve stories tall, then continued to glitch through the floor every time I respawned to continue the game from the previous saved point. I had to shut down the game and restart at the same save point to get to the next glitch that was in the crashed plane. I would respawn there partly in the floor of the plane and would have to jump or move quickly before the collision detection killed me off.
Other than this and a few glitches in scenery there were no major problems and the game ran well with the same great effects and attention to detail that Crytek is now famous for. There is more of everything like crabs and rats and more critters in general as well as other things in scenes so the actual scenery looks better.
The sound effects and general music was again well done and all the game had very well put together parts for a complete and well made game. This is the kind of product that you can tell was well made and for the most part tested out before shipping off to the store shelves, or drives of digital downloads.
The voice acting was very good and there were no major problems with the sound track other than a few glitches or skipping. The sound effects, explosions and weapons all sounded great and very realistic with plenty attention to small things as well as large.
One of the surprising things with not only Crysis but other games from the same company that makes you stand and wonder while in the game is the attention to so much that is put in the game. Little things like birds calling or rats skittering around, noises of the forest or even the ship creaking while youíre on it add so much to the game.
In Crysis and now in Warhead the animals make the usual noises, trees creak in the wind and you have the myriad sounds that come from everything around you that adds to the general din of your surroundings. Itís this added realism that makes a game so great without you realizing it until you start to ask what this game has that so many others do not.
The single player section of Crysis Warhead is just too short; there is no getting around that some people like single player while other like gaming online. I like to spend my time sneaking around in the woods sniping and this game gives you some great weapons to do that with but not enough levels to do it in.
The single player gaming will take about 5 to 7 hours to get through on normal difficulty but of course some may go faster while others take more time. The single player does offer a great way to quickly jump into your favorite levels and even sections with the saved spots so going back and having some fun trolling the woods for unsuspecting bad guys is always just a few load times away.
If you liked the Crysis multiplayer than the offerings of Crysis Wars is about the same so you should have plenty of fun with the added mode and maps. There is a good variety of maps and even a vehicle one so getting a variety to your online gaming should not be a problem.
Crysis Warhead and Crysis Wars are both a part of the same package, a standalone expansion to the original game and only costs $30. Each is a separate disc or loading so you do get the two for a low cost and they are fun even though I donít care for some of the multiplayer all that much.
The single player campaign gives you a short campaign following in the same vein as Crysis from a different viewpoint and with a much varied mission. The same bad guys are here but with a little better game altogether for some better Crysis fun.
If you liked any part of the original Crysis the expansions Warhead and Wars will be well worth the cost as the game is about the best looking one around. There is no matching the complete attention to detail and great looking graphics as well as the ability to do so many different things with the open ended environment and your nanosuit.