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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Maximum Review! Crysis and Crysis: Warhead

Crysis the system killer, the game that's suppose to bring a PC to it's knees. Even today four years after the game was released people still want a PC that can run Crysis at max settings. Recently I played through Crysis for the second time and I played Warhead for the first time yesterday.

Crysis is the story of Raptor team. They're sent to this island to investigate the Koreans who have some bad stuff going on. They've uncovered a relic and they're completely unaware of what they have in their possession. You play as part of Raptor team either Nomad (Crysis) or Psycho (Warhead) and you experience the same story from both of their perspectives. I really liked the way this was handled. There is a certain part in Crysis where Nomad and Psycho split up and this is where Warhead picks up. Both games reference each other with Warhead really bringing the Crysis references as you play through it. As far as the story goes though it's not something we haven't seen before. The military is sent to fight another military and then crap goes south when all of a sudden aliens!

Crysis is a FPS game, you run and gun your way through the jungle fighting your way to the end. This is where Crysis is probably at it's weakest as it's a basic FPS game, it doesn't really bring anything new to the table as far as gameplay. If you've played a PC FPS you've probably played a game like Crysis. The gimmick in Crysis is the Nanosuit which allows you to do some really cool things. You have the basic armor upgrade which is just like armor in any other game. You also get access to super speed which lets you run fast. You can cloak like the Predator which does add something to the gameplay. Cloaking and hiding from the enemy only to sneak up on them for a surprise attack is really cool. Lastly we have the super strength which is interesting. Not only does this give you the power to jump really high it also helps with your aiming. Putting on super strength helps with the weapon sway and reduces the recoil from your guns. I really like the way the strength was implemented in this and for anyone who likes to snipe it's extremely useful.

I don't want anyone to take me saying Crysis is just another FPS to take that to mean it's a bad game because it's far from that. Crysis is at it's core a really fun game, an extremely fun game. The thing I love about the whole thing is the feel of it. The way your character moves and handles his gun is just really nice. The weapon sway as you aim and shoot the little details like your iron sites becoming misaligned as you strafe is a great affect. Crysis unlike many FPS games models the whole character so you can look down and see your feet and legs, it just adds to the immersion.

You can't mention Crysis or Warhead without mentioning the graphics. Both games look amazing. They are both to me still the best looking games out right now. The jungles look amazing but the real star of this show are the snow levels. As I was playing Crysis I was in awe of the snow levels, especially the first one you're in it just looks so good. You do still need a decent machine to play these games at the max settings. While that doesn't mean what it use to meaning you can have a pretty hefty machine at a good price, you still need a good PC. One thing I heard about Warhead when it came out was how it ran better then Crysis but for this this wasn't the case. I had Warhead set up the same way as Crysis and for me it ran worse, with a lot of stuttering and hitching up. Your mileage may vary with this.

The differences between Crysis and Warhead aren't that varied. You get more weapons in Warhead but most of them weren't that useful to me. You have access to mines and claymores but I didn't use either of them my whole time through Warhead. One thing about both games I couldn't stand was how the default weapon was handled. You're given a version of the Scar and it's actually a good gun but the ammo is extremely limited, especially in Crysis. Once you run out of Scar ammo in Crysis you are forced to switch to the KPA assault weapon and I only remember one time where you get access to another Scar but by then you have so much KPA rifle ammo you won't want to swtich. Warhead gives you more Scar ammo to find but it's still to far and between to make much of a difference. It's like all those WW2 games where you're forced to use the German guns. To me it's not as much fun to use the same guns the enemies use all the time but it doesn't really break the game or anything.

Back to the story for a moment Warhead tries to be different than Crysis. While Crysis is a pretty straight forward war story with aliens Warhead also does this but they try to get inside the character of Psycho. We're given some back story and some characters from his past to bring us deeper into his world. None of this was hinted at in the first game so now all of a sudden Crytek is expanding on a secondary character from the first game. It didn't make a lot of sense to me. They try to portray Psycho as a emotionally damaged soldier but it just doesn't work. I don't know how I would of handled it but the way it's presented is just weak. I can sum Psycho up in three words, he is British.

Crysis is awesome. It looks great has great combat and some really cool set pieces. Warhead is good but what Crytek tried to do with it for me hurt the game. trying to flesh out a character in an expansion when the first game didn't have anything like that just feels out of place. Maybe if the first game had gone into the past of Nomad or something, I don't know. You should play Crysis and if you love it then check out Warhead to get more of the story. If you play Crysis and you only liked it or are indifferent then pass Warhead by.

Crysis - 9 out of 10

Crysis: Warhead 6 out of 10

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