Crysis: Warhead – Reviewed – PC

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By Philip Dunkley

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We don’t get round to doing many PC Games these days, and when we do, it’s generally for the larger releases. Last week though was a little different, as Acer South Africa launched their new Predator series of Gaming PC’s, and to coincide with this launch, I decided to take one the most graphically intense game out, and throw it at this hardware.

My experience was very surprising.

Let’s start with the Story around this title. The game is set at exactly the same time as the original Crysis, just on the other side of the island. You play as Sergeant Sykes, AKA “Psycho”, one of the supporting characters from the first game. As the action unfolds of the original game, you will now play his role in exactly what was going on in the background.

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One thing I immediately noticed was how much more I enjoyed this character, as he felt more “real” to me, and he was a character that I could relate to almost instantly. He has a different way of doing things than “Nomad”, the original games character, and EA have managed to show a more personal side of a character than in the first.

The gameplay in the title is pure First Person Shooter action, as it was in the original, but they have tweaked a lot of things in this title to go above and beyond the original. The first thing that grabbed me about the game play is that it’s more action based. No more stealthy strategy kind of environment, more pure intense action with a little less brainpower required than the original. This is not a bad thing at all. One of the differences between this game and a standard FPS is the Nanosuit. Integrating the ability to change your character to suit the specific circumstances just feels right, and gives the player the sense of actually being a super-soldier. Where else can you shoot into a crowd of enemies, set the speed option up and run into them by surprise, and then switch to strength and throw the enemy across the terrain. It’s one of the most well implemented mechanics in a game for a long time.

crywarscreen3.jpgAll the standard Nanosuit options have returned, where you have the ability to Cloak your character, and not be seen by enemies. Specifically the strength and speed option have a more refined feel than the original. The weapons look largely the same, but seem to fire better and accurately, and a few new additions are a welcome extra, specifically the grenade launcher is particularly cool. One thing they have tweaked is that in the lower difficulties, you no longer have to manually pick up ammo; instead just walk over the guns and the ammo is added. Driving vehicles is also a lot better than the original, taking something that I did not enjoy in Crysis, and making it really fun.

In almost all aspects, this game has improved from a gameplay point of view for me.

Now lets get to the meaty stuff, as one thing the Crysis series is known for is it’s great graphics, and EA promised to deliver on this part. The promise was made not only will the game run on a more variety of PC’s, but that it would look better than the original, something that I thought would be very hard to do.

Rest assured, that they have delivered on every part of that promise, and the game looks amazing. To me it looks noticeably better, not just from terrain and bush, but they seems to taken away the clinical element of the graphics in the first, and made it more vibrant. I can’t remember how many times I just stopped and looked around in awe, as the vistas and villages blew my mind. And yes, it does run faster than Crysis. I was running it at 1900 x 1200 and the highest level, and the Acer Predator I was running it on, was up to the task perfectly. Okay, so it’s one hell of a machine, but I did compare it to the original, and it performed much better.

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The sound is equally impressive, and one of the best sounding games I have ever heard. Voice acting is specifically good, with “Psycho” putting in one the best performances yet.

I could go on and on here, but I really don’t need to, cause it’s as simple as this. Crysis Warhead is simply one of the best FPS games I have ever played, period. It’s almost perfect in every way, the only issue being it’s over too soon, about 6 hours, but hell, I’ll play it over and over again.

Buy now, or you are missing one of the best games out there.

Scoring:
Gameplay: 9.5/10 [Balls to the walls action] Presentation: 10/10 [Mind Blowing] Sound: 9.5/10 [Unreal] Value: 9.0/10 [Please give me more, a little too short]

Overall: 9.5/10 [This game is a fantastic addition to the Crysis World]

Last Updated: September 29, 2008

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