Crysis Warhead Review
developer: Crytek Studios
PIV 2800, 1GB RAM, 15GB HDD, 256MB video card
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Sep 16, 08
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Speaking as someone who completed Crysis, I must say the folks at Crytek delivered an excellent first-person shooter, giving it a gripping cinematic edge to boot. Of course, in order to witness the game in its full visual might you needed some sort of futuristic super-PC, stuffed with enough video memory so it doesn't choke and scream in agony, while the incredible amount of detail is being rendered on screen.
We're almost one year away from the first game and I think it's safe to say things haven't changed much. Okay, it does run a tad smoother than its predecessor, so to run Crysis Warhead in "very high" settings at least you may not need an imaginary, super-high-tech-monster of a rig (preferably one that's manufactured by Skynet or some alien race with technology superior to our own).
Wait, did I say high settings? What I really meant was "enthusiast settings." For the purpose of some weird-ass marketing stunt, this time around the developers changed the terms for "low", "medium" and "high" settings to "minimum", "mainstream" and "gamer". Yeah, there's also "enthusiast settings." Perhaps this is a subtle way warning anybody with a low-end ring to back the hell off and avoid "very high" settings, since that would be too enthusiastic. If a more modest rig is at your disposal, stick to "mainstream" or "gamer" settings. Otherwise don't be too "enthusiastic" unless you have a decent CPU and a GeForce 8800GTS (at least) to keep you company. Also, from what I hear, you can play this one on that famous $700 PC EA and Crytek have been jabbering about for the past month. Again, this rig contains an Intel Core 2 Duo E7300 Processor and a GeForce 9800GT 512MB video card (hardly you're average GPU these days). So, if you ask me, yeah, Crysis Warhead is still a hardware hog. Maybe a cleverly camouflaged hardware hog, but a hardware hog nonetheless.
Crysis Warhead succeeds in one thing. It has a solid chance of captivating gamers right from the outset with its stunningly detailed environments, dynamic single-player campaign and superb atmosphere. The single-player portion is intense, perhaps, in some instances, even more than the original. Unlike the first Crysis, here you'll be playing as Psycho - or rather, Sergeant Michael Sykes. You'll have a range of primary and secondary objectives, but one goal will remain the same throughout the campaign. No matter what happens, you're job will be to seize precious cargo from the North Koreans.
The general story here is known (if you've played the first game), so it's basically the same thing told from a different perspective. Admittedly, no matter how corny it all may seem (aliens freezing everything, battling North Koreans, etc.), Crysis Warhead is a well-designed first-person shooter with an impressive cinematic quality. The plot is good enough to make you play all the way through the entire campaign, which, I'm sorry to say may be finished in a single afternoon. Well, it's an expansion pack; what did you expect?
8.3 Very Good
It's a fair bargain, excellent multiplayer, exciting single-player campaign, cinematic atmosphere;
"High settings" still demanding for modest rigs, AI bugs present from the original game.