PAX 08: Crysis Warhead
Crysis blew a few minds – and computers – when it was released in November last year. The open-ended shooter took the highly praised gameplay of Crytek’s shooter Far Cry and improved the graphics and physics, propelling it to insane heights of hype. The game was received very well, but sales were a bit lackluster – a problem caused by high amounts of piracy, according to the developers. Crysis Warhead is a semi-sequel, putting players in the shoes of Sgt. Psycho – the comic relief character from your squad in Crysis, in a parallel story to the events in the first game. He’s not so funny this time around, though, as Crysis Warhead puts players in his shoes during a “secret mission” that took place during Nomad’s adventure in Crysis.
In the time that I spent with the game, I experienced an almost carbon copy of Crysis. The nanosuit was the same, the guns were the same for the most part (save for a new SMG and a grenade launcher I wasn’t able to try out.) I was told that it had been optimized to require a slightly less insane computer than the first; this, however, seemed a little iffy. The PC we tested was said to be a $699 machine running an nVidia 9800GT. I was surprised, then, that the game ran at a crawl in some spots – ironically at the same points my EA rep decided to tell me how the computer was running the game at a constant 30fps. The game looks largely the same; not that Crysis really needed improving. The demo on offered featured a hovercraft chase over an ice flow – however, I opted out of using the vehicle and set off on foot. The amount of freedom seems to have been extended – the level was not only huge in a linear sense, but open, featuring ice plains, mountains, and frozen forests.
Crysis Warhead is largely the same as the previous title; the fact that it’s being released less than a year understandably raises a grumble or two. However, the game is being released at a price point of $29.99. We were also informed that the multiplayer has been revamped completely, adding more objective based modes and supporting more players – the mode will be billed as Crysis Wars. With lower requirements, an even larger focus on open-ended gameplay, and an extensive multiplayer mode, Crysis Warhead just might be a worthy addition to the budding franchise.