Crysis Warhead is a science fiction first-person shooter computer game developed by Hungarian studio Crytek Budapest and published by Electronic Arts. It is a spinoff of the original game that retells the events from the perspective of Psycho, a supporting character from the first title. Crysis Warhead is a standalone game and does not need Crysis installed to play. It was released in September 2008 for Microsoft Windows personal computers.
Crysis Warhead, like the original game, is based in a future where an ancient alien spacecraft has been discovered beneath the Earth on an island east of Taiwan. The single-player campaign has the player assume the role of Special Air Service operator Sergeant Michael Sykes, referred to in-game by his call sign, Psycho. Psycho's arsenal of futuristic weapons builds on those showcased in Crysis, with the introduction of Mini-SMGs which can be dual-wielded, and the Plasma Accumulator Cannon (PAX). The highly versatile "Nano Suit" returns. In Crysis Warhead, the player fights North Korean and extraterrestrial enemies, in many different locations, such as a tropical island jungle, inside an "Ice Sphere", an underground mining complex, which is followed by a convoy train transporting an unknown alien object held by the Koreans, and finally, to the airfield where the game ends with Psycho recovering the alien object.
Crysis Warhead updates and refines the gameplay of the original game through a side-plot involving Psycho, one of previous protagonist Nomad's allies. The game is a parallel story that follows Sergeant Michael "Psycho" Sykes, a character from the original Crysis, as he faces his own trials and challenges on the other side of the island during the time period of the first game. It features new fully customizable weapons, vehicles, and enemies, along with new multiplayer content. It also showcases a new, enhanced and optimized version of CryEngine 2 and is the first game developed by Crytek's Budapest studio.
Main article: Crysis Wars
In addition to the single-player campaign, Crytek has also emphasized the multiplayer modes, titled Crysis Wars. In addition to the Instant Action and Power Struggle modes of the original Crysis, Crysis Warhead also features Team Instant Action mode, as well as 21 playable maps upon release. Crytek has made numerous changes to the multiplayer gameplay including tighter vehicle controls, weapon rebalancing, and Nanosuit alterations. Crysis Wars is included on its own disc, has a separate installer and logo, and is considered a separate game by Crytek; regardless, it comes bundled with Warhead at no additional charge. From 10–12 October 2008, Crytek held a free trial weekend during which people could download and play Crysis Wars for free.
|Crysis Warhead missions|
|"Call me Ishmael" • "Shore Leave" • "Adapt or Perish" • "Frozen Paradise" • "Below the Thunder" • "From Hell's Heart" • "All the Fury"|
Crysis Warhead was announced on June 5, 2008 when a teaser website depicting Psycho holding two AY69 submachine guns was released. Warhead is not to be confused with Crysis 2, the true chronological sequel to Crysis. The developers have also claimed that due to further optimizations of CryEngine2, Crysis Warhead performs better than the original Crysis. In their review, IGN confirmed that Crysis Warhead looks graphically better and runs better than the original Crysis.
Crysis Warhead retails at less than normal games' RRP though the game's feature set is close to those featured in full-priced games. While Warhead has the same system requirements as the original game (with the exception of hard drive space), most reviewers agree that the game runs better and is better optimized than the original.
Crysis Warhead received largely positive reviews. Most reviewers praised the improvements over the original Crysis in areas like AI and gameplay pacing, citing the original game's criticism that battles were few and far between. The new protagonist, Psycho, was also received better than the original's less developed Nomad. The revamped multiplayer mode, Crysis Wars, was also praised for adding a team deathmatch mode, the lack of which most reviewers criticised in the original game.
Criticism of the game by reviewers includes the short story mode and a lack of new features over the original game. Some continue to cite the game's high system requirements as unacceptable even a year after the original game, which has the same requirements. Indeed, some reviewers did not see any significant performance improvement with Warhead compared with Crysis, stating that only high-end GPUs could handle the game comfortably at decent frame rates.
Crysis Warhead was featured among Electronic Arts's line-up at E3 2008, where it gained two "Best of E3" awards: one for "Best First Person Shooter" and another for "Best Graphics Technology".
In GameSpot's "Best of 2008", the game was nominated in some categories ("Best Graphic, Technical", "Best Shooter" and "Best PC game") but it did not win any of these awards.
|Crysis • Crysis Warhead (Crysis Wars) • Crysis 2 • Crysis (comic) • Crysis 3|
|Nomad • Psycho • Alcatraz • Prophet • Jacob Hargreave • Nathan Gould • Tara Strickland • Helena Rosenthal • Sean O'Neill|
|Ji-Sung Lee • Dominic Lockhart • Sherman Barclay • Chino • Ri-Shan Kyong • Strickland • Richard Morrison • Emerson • Dr. Rosenthal • Karl Rasch • Jester • Aztec|
|Locations and factions|
|Locations: Island • Alien ship • Ice sphere • USS Constitution • New York City|
Factions: United States • North Korea • Ceph (Trooper • Scout • Hunter • Warship • Soldier • Devastator • Pinger) • Crynet Systems
|Timeline • Nanosuit • Weapons • Attachments • Vehicles • Power Struggle • Instant Action|
|Crytek • Electronic Arts • Removed features • CryEngine 2 • CryEngine 3|