One of the best looking games just got better. A whole lot better! Did that sound like a slogan for a publicity campaign? Well, EA can quote me on this one; because I’m dog-tired looking for non-existent flaws and you know your looking at something close-to-perfect when you need to scrutinise just to find something worth nitpicking.
For many of us the original game was something special — never-seen-before graphics and life-like environments, superb weapon effects, and a well told albeit far-fetched storyline. In Crysis you played Nomad, part of Raptor squad; an elite group of commandos tasked with rescuing scientists captured by hostile Korean soldiers on a desolate island. What starts as a non-routine rescue-cum-destroy mission quickly goes out of hand as a mysterious distress beacon triggers the awakening of a gigantic alien life form buried beneath the islands surface. This alien transforms the lush paradise into a frozen wasteland. There is a large icy globe that emanates from this large being and is steadily moving outwards icing anything in its way. The large alien being also unleashes a horde of alien creatures in a variety of exoskeletons whose only goal is to ensure you’re fish food. Between the straggling Koreans and the hostile exoskeletons you were largely occupied with staying alive while also getting off the island and destroying what is now identified as the alien mothership before the icy zone expands to proportions of endangering entire countries.
Now here’s where EAs evil genius is to be appreciated; how do you repeat such a success story? Since the team is scattered each person individually goes about completing his objectives while working together via commlink. Given this, how about giving you the chance to play as each surviving member of Raptor Squad? So you get to play different campaigns with the same base storyline. There are three surviving members of Raptor Squad — Nomad, Psycho and Prophet. Nomads’ story has been told. Warhead covers the adventures of Psycho. So you may see Prophet in the near future…
That being said, Warhead plays like a new game and there are no repeats. Psycho starts on a different part of the island and has very different levels and a gung-ho type of personality which grows on you. He’s also British, so prepare yourself for some tongue-in-cheek dialogue delivery.
In terms of visual quality, the best in the business just got better. Even on DX 9, Warhead is noticeably better looking than the original. Of particular interest are the HDR effects and sunlight reflections on water and weapon detailing and glowing embers on debris; all these are real visual treats that you should not miss. The game does run a little slower for that. Gameplay is brilliant and some weapons have been tweaked. You’ll notice Warhead plays a little faster though this may be due to Psycho’s rather dynamic care-a-damn personality. The game is also noticeably easier, for all you God-mode lovers.
If only EA had made something a little kinder on PCs I’d have been a little kinder with my rating; Warhead murders my 8800 GTX and if you don’t watch it, you may just be tempted to shell out for an upgrade. Any gamer worth his salt must try Warhead; it’s one of those select few games around that deserves all the hype it gets. Please upgrade your graphics card and RAM before playing because while the game is good enough to play without all the eye candy, the devil is really in the details.
Publisher: Crytek Studios