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First Person Shooters (Games) Games

Review: Crysis Warhead 154

Posted by Soulskill
from the bringing-home-the-bacon dept.
When Crysis was released last year, it immediately became known for two things; excellent gameplay and ridiculously high hardware requirements. With the recent release of Crysis Warhead, a standalone expansion to the original game, Crytek's plans were to maintain or improve the quality of gameplay while simultaneously streamlining it so a broader audience would have a chance to enjoy it. As it happens, they succeeded. Fans of the original game will feel right at home in Warhead, and it provides a good chance for new players who were curious but wary of Crysis's graphical requirements to give it a shot. Read on for my thoughts.
  • Title: Crysis Warhead
  • Developer: Crytek Budapest
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • System: Windows
  • Reviewer: Soulskill
  • Score: 4/5

In the original Crysis, a team of American soldiers was dropped into combat on an island controlled by the North Korean Army. The game followed one of the soldiers, call sign "Nomad," as he made his way across the island to complete his objectives. In Warhead you control another member of the team, Michael "Psycho" Sykes, as he attempts to retrieve some cargo thought to be a nuclear warhead. While Psycho assisted Nomad throughout the first game, there is very little interaction with Nomad in this offering.

What differentiates Warhead from typical first-person shooters is the "Nano Muscle Suit," which provides limited protection and a number of enhanced abilities. You can only use one at a time, and you toggle the suit between the various enhancements through a very simple interface. It's similar to the interface used in Crysis, but slightly improved. The suit has an energy tank which runs dry quickly, but regenerates quickly as well. As a result, it's not feasible to just turn on all the goodies and annihilate everything in your path; each mode has an energy budget, which forces you to be creative, picking the right tool for the job. Armor mode will allow you to take extra hits, the damage coming out of your energy bar rather than your health bar. It drains quickly, though. It'll give you extra seconds to get to cover, but it won't let you take on a dozen guys. Strength mode will let you jump really high, throw things extra far, and land punches that would drop a buffalo. Speed mode makes you run a bit faster and gives you the ability to sprint incredibly fast for very short periods of time. Between Speed and Strength modes, you can get to a lot of interesting places. Dash up behind a building, jump to the roof, and smash your way through the ceiling to surprise the enemies inside. You also get Stealth mode, which is reminiscent of the Predator. You're camouflaged well, but not perfectly, so enemies who get close enough will still see you. Don't get caught running out of energy in the middle of sneaking through a battlefield. Through the same interface, you can add attachments to your weapon, such as a flashlight, a silencer, or different sights.

The different suit modes add a great deal of replayability to Warhead. If you want, you can literally sneak through the majority of the game, dropping out only to recharge your energy and fire your weapon. You can also just blitz your way though on Speed mode, dodging enemies and beelining from one obstacle to another for cover. Sometimes you do have to stop and shoot the roses, though. The modes combine in interesting ways. You can stealth from vantage point to vantage point, then use your Strength mode to steady your aim for sniping. You can dash past a group of enemy soldiers and get them to follow you to a group of aliens, then disappear. The two forces will lose you, see each other, and start shooting.

The AI in Warhead is definitely a step up. When you're spotted, enemy soldiers will converge on your position, calling over their friends to help. They'll flank you and use cover quite well to avoid your fire. They'll even duck behind a corner to reload. You can use stealth mode to get out of a lot of sticky situations, but even then, they'll continue to shoot at and around where you were last seen, knowing that if you're low on energy, you can't move very far without being revealed. I felt that the overall difficulty of the game was often hit-or-miss. Warhead was done in the (fairly common) style that strives for realistic aiming. In other words, holding down the trigger increases the spray radius, and headshots do more damage than shots to the center mass. It leads to fairly inconsistent encounters; sometimes you'll drop a group of three or four enemies without getting hit, and sometimes they'll absolutely demolish you. You'll also run into vehicles carrying more powerful guns that can pick you off from far away after a couple of lucky hits, and you may not have any recourse. It doesn't happen often enough that it's a major problem, but you'll almost certainly die a few frustrating deaths where you just didn't have time to cloak yourself or dive for cover. Occasionally, you'll run into opponents wearing their own version of your suit, and it can be annoying to (seemingly) pump 20 rounds into somebody and have them still kill you.

Vehicle use is a bit better, too. You get a couple new toys to ride around in, and they're easier to handle than in the original game. It's not perfect, but it's awfully entertaining once you have the hang of blazing down a road while taking out everything along the sides. The rides vary in maneuverability and firepower, but they're all useful for something. You can zoom around in an unarmed hovercraft, or putter along in a large truck. As with the normal combat, your durability usually depends on how lucky you are. Sometimes you'll feel invincible running over enemy soldiers while taking potshots at passing helicopters, and other times it seems like you have to find a new ride every hundred yards. There's nothing stopping you from taking out the gunner and driver of another vehicle and stealing it. I was a bit disappointed that you can't drop inside enemy-controlled tanks, though. It was hard enough to get on top of one. Make sure to keep an eye on your vehicle's damage meter; if they explode while you're inside, you die.

The story itself is simultaneously an upside and a downside of the game. Depending on your playstyle, you'll make it through Warhead in 5-7 hours. That said, the game is an expansion, and it's priced as such, so with the replayability and multiplayer options, the length isn't a gripe. Part of the reason the game clocks in where it does is that the pacing is excellent. The missions objectives are thrown at you quickly, and your military contacts are constantly checking in with new problems or to provide motivation. The game is designed to make you want to see what's over the next metaphorical hill, reward you for getting there with a battle or a visual "holy crap" moment, and then pointing you towards the next hill. The music contributes greatly to this with a driving, energetic, and dramatic score. In fact, it's some of the most appropriate music I've ever heard in a game. Another factor that mitigates the game's brevity is the options for replayability mentioned earlier. There's a great driving mission partway through that has you following a comrade through a hostile zone, taking a ton of heat from roadside stations and patrols. You can follow him and shoot your way to the objective on your first time through the game, and then ditch the vehicle and sneak safely through the next time. Or take the time to clear out all the enemy stations on your way. Crytek does a good job of offering you options without requiring that you take them, and pushing you toward your objectives without insisting on particular tactics.

Warhead, much like Crysis, is a very visually impressive game. The artwork is stunning, but not obtrusive; it only served to deepen the immersion for me. I found myself rubbernecking when I made an enemy vehicle crash or knocked an alien out of the sky. When I had spare moments to collect my thoughts, I was torn between watching the scenery and keeping an eye out for the next Big Thing so I wouldn't miss it. Fortunately, Crytek has us covered; they consistently give you some warning or do something to draw your eye to the big, impressive sights. The graphic settings for Warhead are either intuitive or stupid, depending on whom you ask. The minor settings (for textures, shadows, etc.) have four options: Minimum, Mainstream, Gamer, and Enthusiast. The default is Mainstream, and that's what I used my first time through the game. On a middle-of-the-road PC, it was completely smooth. I bumped it up to Gamer and noticed a performance hit, but it was still playable. At Enthusiast, the game got very choppy in graphically intense sequences. It was borderline playable — I wouldn't use it for anything but exploring or showing somebody else the game. Sure looked good, though. TechSpot did a more in-depth analysis on the relation between hardware and framerate.

Warhead's multiplayer system, Crysis Wars, is basically a refined version of what was offered in the original Crysis. There are three different types of games: Instant Action (a basic free-for-all deathmatch), Team Instant Action (team deathmatch), and Power Struggle. The latter divides players between two teams and gives them a variety of buildings to capture and vehicles to unlock on their way to destroying the enemy's headquarters. The use of vehicles adds to the gameplay without dominating it. Given the option, I was happy to hop into a truck, but it was always to get somewhere so I could hop out again. I had trouble finding servers with enough people to make Power Struggle interesting, but if you get a lot of people involved, it could be quite fun. The other, more traditional game types are well-done, but a matter of personal preference. I tend to prefer Quake-style games rather than the ones more dedicated to realism. In Crysis Wars, encounters with enemies players are often over in seconds, with very little ability to break off an encounter that's not going well, or to overcome bad odds. I enjoyed the team version more, because having teammates is synonymous with having some target dummies scouting ahead to draw enemy fire. That said, having access to your suit puts a nice spin on an old concept. Players who make full use of them are incredibly dangerous. If that style of combat is your preference, you'll enjoy it. The maps are well crafted and provide many opportunities for unique interactions, and they make good use of all three dimensions.

Crytek is a great example of a developer who produced something good and then turned around and produced something better. That's the kind of progression I like to see in a company, but so rarely do. Warhead is an improvement on Crysis in almost every way. Fans of the original will be fans of the expansion, and the price tag is appropriate for the amount of content the game provides (even more so if the multiplayer community takes off). This time around, the hardware situation is much less of an issue. The streamlining of the graphics engine is evident, and technology has had some time to catch up as well. Be aware that Warhead ships with the same DRM as Spore, which we've discussed at length recently, so if that's a deal-breaker for you, give it a pass. The game itself, however, plays quite well, and its flaws are minor. I'm definitely looking forward to the next parts of the proposed Crysis trilogy.

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Review: Crysis Warhead

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  • Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Xelios (822510) on Friday September 26, 2008 @12:11PM (#25168169)
    Crysis was known for excellent gameplay? When did that happen?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      yes, it was [wikipedia.org]
      • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by donscarletti (569232) on Friday September 26, 2008 @08:45PM (#25174013)

        No, it's only known for its gameplay by people who have played it.

        Most people would say it's just a pretty face, because it is more fun to call it "a cookie cutter FPS" or "a mere tech demo" than "oodles of fun" which would have been more accurate.

        I'd mention what makes it fun in detail (huge rich world, endless tactical choice, clever AI, superpowers etc.) but luckily the review has done it for me. Suffice it to say, it would be worth playing even if it had completely mediocre graphics (which is good, because it does have mediocre graphics if you turn them down enough to run on anything less than an nVidia 8800).

    • What? (Score:5, Funny)

      by martinw89 (1229324) on Friday September 26, 2008 @12:15PM (#25168235)

      Crysis was a game? I thought it was a rendering engine.

      • Re:What? (Score:5, Funny)

        by arth1 (260657) on Friday September 26, 2008 @12:31PM (#25168441) Homepage Journal

        I thought it was a slideshow.
        Then again, my graphics card is an antique at more than three years old.

        However, the important snippet for me when reading the 12 k article was this piece:
        "Be aware that Warhead ships with the same DRM as Spore"

        So, why do we give the game free advertising on Slashdot, then?

        • by HungSoLow (809760)
          Perhaps bad publicity? We need to emphasize the DRM.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Cornflake917 (515940)

          Mentioning that the game has Spore-like DRM on Slashdot is really the exact opposite of advertising.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by arth1 (260657)

            Mentioning that the game has Spore-like DRM on Slashdot is really the exact opposite of advertising.

            When you hide it deep inside 12 kilobytes of text, you can be pretty certain that very few will see it. People here can't be arsed to read five lines of text, so several hundred is more than just pushing it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 4D6963 (933028)
      My thoughts exactly. It was very generic and arcadish. But you know what, I played it with a GeForce 6200 at the lowest settings, and I tend to think that the shiny graphics hypnotise people into believing it's a great game, when really it's just a shiny game.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I have shiny graphics, most settings are either highest or seccond highest, I thought they were really disappointing, I wondered what everyone was so in love about.

        A solid art style beats polygons any day of the week.

      • by stg (43177)
        I've recently played Crysis and just started playing Crysis Warhead (they just became available on Steam). I'm playing on Medium (low for Warhead) and I really liked both - obviously not so much for the graphics. I wish they had more physics-based opportunities to kill enemies though... I think even Far Cry had more of those!
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Firehed (942385)

          Collapsing a shack full of enemies with a grenade or a melee attack in strength mode is always satisfying, and I think it qualifies as a physics-based opportunity to kill enemies.

          And while it wasn't unique to Crysis, I found lobbing a grenade under a moving vehicle awesomely satisfying. I must have it it just right, because it went off right as the truck was coming around a bend, prompting said truck to perform about three barrel rolls fifteen feet in the air sending it off the edge of the cliff. You can

      • by hr.wien (986516)

        How about you let people have their opinions without trying to belittle them? Just like you most people have good reasons for liking/disliking something.

        I loved Crysis and I've played it more than any other single player game I can remember in recent history. The multitude of ways you can approach any "mission" can keep me entertained for hours and hours.

        The gameplay may not appeal to everyone, but it sure as hell isn't the graphics that has me coming back to it again and again.

        • by 4D6963 (933028)
          How about you let people express their opinions without trying to moralise them?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by arth1 (260657)

          How about you let people have their opinions without trying to belittle them? Just like you most people have good reasons for liking/disliking something.

          From what I can tell, the objection wasn't to people liking the game, but the claim that it was "known for excellent gameplay". If it's known for anything, it's wowing people with graphics. Whether you and others like the game or not is non sequitur.

    • That's what I said. I played the game up until just after that floating around level, and turned it off because the game was just awful.
      • I hated the floating level, as well... but it's not too long, and the game is great afterwards.
        • Yeah.. I went into it not expecting aliens to show up out of nowhere. It'd be like (but nowhere near as awesome) if Darth Vader showed up in the middle of We Were Soldiers. It would just make you go "WTF?"
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Friday September 26, 2008 @01:14PM (#25169057) Homepage

      Whoever modded this insightful needs to go back to 4chan.

      Crysis, for those of us who actually have "Enthusiast" systems, was actually entertaining. The suit-power gimmick works really well to give you diverse playing styles. I remember playing it several different ways, the first time like a normal FPS, shooting and taking cover. The second time I played a stealth game, using strength-boosted jumps to reach high sniping spots. The third time, I just left it on speed mode and dashed past everyone at ludicrous speed.

      Most importantly, it was entertaining every time. Not only did I have to adapt my strategies to each event, but that freedom was available to me, not forced down my throat with fixed paths. Doom, Half-Life, Fear - they all suck at the freedom aspect. They have a detailed storyline that forces you to do follow their exact plan, kill specific bad guys, solve stupid switch puzzles... Crysis has none of that. You're a super-soldier, you do super-soldier missions like recovering intel and disabling enemy forces.

      It had its flaws, but overall, for a game company that's only made two games so far, both have been pretty freakin' awesome. Could they benefit from the genius designers at Valve ? Sure. But then again so could Sierra, and id, and even Bungie.

      • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Pulzar (81031) on Friday September 26, 2008 @01:41PM (#25169533)

        I found it very entertaining until I entered the alien spaceship, and then it turned into Quake -- dark, closed quarters, just shoot at anything that moves, and shoot a lot. There was very little strategy at all in that part of the game, and the way it finished with a "boss" battle where you have to hit certain parts of the ship to destroy it was just totally boring -- that was basically the original Doom with better graphics.

        For me, it was two games in one, with the first one being awesome, and second being totally bad.

      • by Kneo24 (688412)

        I have an enthusiast system and found the gameplay lack-luster. They did a terrific job of stealing ideas from a lot of other games and tossing them into some melting pot where they concocted a mediocre game. There was nothing spectacular or overly enjoying about Crysis. The end.

      • by AbRASiON (589899) *

        This post is absolotuely and utterly correct, the suit completely and utterly makes that game, it takes it from a regular first person shooter in a jungle to all different kind of games.

        In harder difficulties it's substantially more fun too as it becomes a challenge and the suit continues to help.
        I rarely finish games nowadays and I've finished Crysis twice already and just started Warhead - good stuff.

        Sadly the online for Warhead (Crysis Wars) is a bit 'spammy' playing much like regular DM games, you don't

  • So is this like what they did with Half life 2: Episode 1/2?

    Steam is selling Crysis and Crysis Warhead for the same price, so I'm a bit confused.
    • Crysis is an older game, and thus is being priced like a full game that's been out for a year or so. Crysis Warhead is a standalone expansion, and thus is being priced as an expansion. The two just happen to work out to the same value.
  • DRM (Score:1, Interesting)

    by The Moof (859402)
    Actually, the DRM is becoming more of an issue with me.

    My friend lent me his copy of Crysis right after I upgraded my PC, but I never installed it specifically because of the packaged DRM. I'm finding that I research DRM as part of the purchasing decision these days. That and educating others about it (and if they ask, teaching them about torrents).

    Too bad companies don't realize that unreasonable DRM on games actually costs them sales while not really affecting piracy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Aah, yes. The good ol' Slashdot way!

      "I disagree with your business model, but rather than just do without your product and deprive you of a sale, I'd rather stea... err, share your product at no cost to myself and therefore give you more justification to continue using that exact same business model with no incentive to change."

      Slashdot - where if it's digital, it's FREE!

      • by The Moof (859402)
        Hey, Unreal Tournament never had a problem.

        Their DRM used to be 'require the CD' until they felt they had enough returns on the game. Then they release a patch to remove the CD requirement. Not this "You must have one online account per CD we release, and you can only install it 3 times without having to call tech support, where we will relucatantly permit you to install more. I suppose we'll loosen the restrictions in the event thousands of very public complaints are noticed enough for us to be in the
      • by level4 (1002199)

        "I disagree with your business model, but rather than just do without your product and deprive you of a sale, I'd rather stea... err, share your product at no cost to myself"

        Same result. The producer doesn't get the money. If the end user ends up satisfying himself via other means, what does it matter?

        And it's not just a slight disagreement with some abstract business model, it's a matter of principle and practicality.

        I have bought plenty of games, I like few things in life better than shooting up stuff in a good looking game. I took the day off work when half-life 2 was released, for example, in order to spend a wonderful, WONDERFUL long weekend playing it through. That cost m

        • Kudos to you, sir. Well put.

          Steam is the best balance between convenience and protecting the game developers profits IMO. I mean as much as a lot of the Slashdot crowd seem to hate companies that are out to make money, without money, there are no more decent games. I love that I don't have to think "Right, if I uninstall this, I have to make sure I don't lose the disks. And I have to burn these patches to disks as well." I just "remove local content" knowing that if I want it, I can just download it again a

        • Same result.

          BS. Moral considerations aside, because if you're advocating piracy you obviously don't feel there's any moral ground against it, by pirating the game you encourage further repressive copy protection, as the AC said.

          • "BS. Moral considerations aside, because if you're advocating piracy you obviously don't feel there's any moral ground against it, by pirating the game you encourage further repressive copy protection, as the AC said."

            I have never encouraged Piracy before, but I would do so now if someone I know wants an EA game. I would first suggest another game and if I could not dissuade them, I would tell them exactly how to get a clean reliable and free copy, possibly even getting it for them.

            Piracy is nothing but a s

            • I consider your thesis broken about piracy encouraging more DRM because you have it absolutely backwards.

              I absolutely do not. You obviously don't have a clue how these companies behave. DRM -> piracy -> "See? We were right! MORE DRM!!!". I never said it's the way it should be, but it's reality. Deal with it.

              • by guidryp (702488)

                "You obviously don't have a clue how these companies behave. DRM -> piracy -> "See? We were right! MORE DRM!!!". "

                Please explain all the DRM free music now for sale. No piracy on music?? Explain GOG and Stardock touting no DRM as a feature.

                There is a fairly strong movement toward treating the consumer better. We should actively reward companies that treat consumers with respect, and punish those who abuse consumers.

                That is how change happens. The rise in profits of DRM free shops and fall in profits o

              • by level4 (1002199)

                You obviously don't have a clue how these companies behave. DRM -> piracy -> "See? We were right! MORE DRM!!!". I never said it's the way it should be, but it's reality. Deal with it.

                Who cares? They can add as much DRM as they want. They can DRM themselves into fucking orbit for all I care, I ain't buying it.

                I buy games that 1. are good and 2. are not too crazy with the restrictions. I suspect I am very far from alone - in fact from the general tone here I think I'm in the majority. Companies ignore us, then, at their peril.

    • My friend lent me his copy of Crysis right after I upgraded my PC, but I never installed it specifically because of the packaged DRM.

      That sounds like the DRM doing its job to me, so I can't say I'm sympathetic.

      I, on the other hand, have literally just returned ten minutes ago from looking for a new game at my local store, having decided not to buy either this very game, nor another high profile title I'd been considering, after reading the small print. I won't rip them off instead, and I do have a legal copy of the original Crysis, but I have become increasingly irritated by companies treating me like a criminal, and I choose not to supp

      • by The Moof (859402)

        That sounds like the DRM doing its job to me, so I can't say I'm sympathetic.

        I'm have the disc that EA pressed in the packaging that EA printed. Are you saying that even though everything I have here is original packaging and disc, I shouldn't be able to use it since I wasn't the original purchaser?

        What if, instead of a friend giving me the copy, I had bought it used?

        Or is that not allowed with software these days?

        • If your friend had given you his copy, or you had bought it used, that would be fine. But you did use the word "lent", which I took to mean that you were installing from your friend's copy while your friend was still using the software. That is against the law, and has been for a very long time, and the DRM is intended to prevent precisely that behaviour.

  • Could God create a game with such steep requirements that he, himself, could not run it?
    • Yes, but upon trying to run it, He would instantly become capable. Thus the paradox is resolved.
      • by Kagura (843695)
        So before trying to run it, he is incapable of running it? So much for omnipotence. Visit the wikipedia page... the paradox is not resolved. Unless there's no God, then it's resolved. ;)
        • I was actually using a really dumb argument to poke fun at it, not as a serious response. If there is a god, then he's so far out of our league that our logic can't explain or disprove him (or her). Omnipotent can mean they can literally do anything at all, or it could just as easily mean that they can do anything that we can think of.
    • by thermian (1267986)

      Could God create a game with such steep requirements that he, himself, could not run it?

      I have a GTX 280, the Graphics card all modern gods prefer, and I bought Crysis last week.
      It looks fabulous, but plays like crap, Seriously.

      The fact that your health and armour regenerates ruins the game.
      Stealthing with the knowledge that you have such a small amount of health that an unfriendly sneeze would kill you I could accept, but the very fact that all you have to do is back off a bit and wait for you health to reappear with no effort on your part is the single stupidest thing I've seen in an FPS.

      I'v

      • by Kagura (843695)
        I've got your same card, and I just bought a 22" widescreen monitor to accompany it. I'm not impressed with Crysis, but I will eventually get through the game and the sequel as well. It's like eating straight caramel... good at first, but you can only eat so much at once.

        Now I have caramel crysis cravings.
      • by anss123 (985305)

        but the very fact that all you have to do is back off a bit and wait for you health to reappear with no effort on your part is the single stupidest thing I've seen in an FPS

        Hunting for healtpacks is one thing I've never enjoyed, be it hearts in Zelda, meat in Caslevania, Pizza in Turtles, painkillers in Max Payne, or whatever.

        Incidentally I'm enjoying Warhead quite a lot.

      • by steveo777 (183629)

        I take it you haven't played (or didn't enjoy) Gears of War or Call of Duty 4? Games that teach the masses that you can recover from any injury by "sucking it up" and taking a few breaths.

    • The current Universe may be an example of that. Pending proof.
    • Could God create a game with such steep requirements that he, himself, could not run it?

      Yes. In fact I hear he works over at 3D Realms.

    • Right after he ports Crysis to an unmodified Commodore 64, optimized to be played at high resolutions, maximum graphic settings, 60fps.

  • Graphics? Meh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ivan256 (17499) on Friday September 26, 2008 @12:27PM (#25168383)

    Honestly, I don't get what's so impressive about these graphics. Yeah, they're "improved", but they're still rough around the edges. Look at that first screenshot, for example. The spare tire rim on the back of the jeep has 10 sides. 10. You'd think they'd spend some time working on making round things *round*. There's got to be somebody at nVidia or ATI that can figure out how to accelerate more than just triangles... Hell, the math for curves is *easier* in some ways. Everything we see in these screens is still a flat surface with a picture slapped on it to give it "texture"... Sharp intersections, and the approximation of curves....

    The particle effects, etc, are fantastic, but I wouldn't call them "graphical" improvements. And the lighting effects are nice, but every game seems to overuse them.

    We need people to be pushing realistic graphics in the right direction, so I appreciate a game like this, but as things stand now I'd still rather play a game with stylized graphics than be constantly distracted by all the ways they got "realistic" wrong. I prefer PS2 graphics to these screens... I certainly won't be spending hundreds of dollars to get my hardware to run this.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rantingkitten (938138)
      Those screenshots weren't taken at the maximum settings, for one thing -- at least, they don't look like it. Why they would do this, I have no idea, but they look decidedly worse than Crysis does on my machine at the highest settings.

      Also, the screens themselves don't do the game justice, says I. Did you play Crysis? Actually seeing this stuff in motion is pretty amazing, and makes a huge difference to the visual impact, which screenshots just can't convey.

      Even the textures you're deriding were aston
      • "I don't know the technical term for this type of bump-mapping"
        Could be normal mapping, could be parallax mapping.. either of those terms will get you to very cool demos and interesting research when punched into google; more likely to be a variation of the latter than the former.

    • by grumbel (592662)

      The problem is that when you make something round you quickly end up with triangles smaller then a pixel and when you do that you have so many vertexes to move around that your graphics card can no longer handle it, so it just wasn't practical in the past. However things are moving forward and new graphic cards already have support for Geometry shader [wikipedia.org], so you might see round things being round in the next generation of graphic engines. Just as usual, it takes some time from having a feature available in har

  • by Duradin (1261418) on Friday September 26, 2008 @12:28PM (#25168399)
    It's not really crysis unless you can use the mere fact your system can run it at 1+ fps on full "all the way to 11" settings to put down someone else's rig. Wasn't that the point of the game?
  • It doesn't matter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Friday September 26, 2008 @12:41PM (#25168551)

    It doesn't matter how good the game is, with the insultingly restrictive DRM and Securom malware it has, I won't be buying it.

    I hope enough people comment loudly in every forum and vote with their $$$ so much that EA will HAVE to notice how much they are losing in sales because of DRM.

    • by neoform (551705)

      Execs will simply shrug and say "meh, the PC market is clearly dying.. lets make all future games for consoles, we can control the shit out of the games distribution that way."

  • by neostorm (462848) on Friday September 26, 2008 @12:42PM (#25168569)

    I'm sorry, but I cleared this game within 3 hours the first night I turned it on. Length is not my only criticism though.
    Not only was the game shorter over all, but the level design was much poorer than the original; not nearly as much attention to detail. The cutscenes were overly long (one being almost 45 seconds of watching a character half-off camera fiddle with something also off camera, no dialogue, uninteresting shot, completely unnecessary cutscene entirely). The cutscenes in particular screamed the desire to superficially lengthen the game, and in some sequences were so absurd, or took themselves so seriously that they just felt more like dark comedy.
    What hit me the hardest was the complete lack of new content. Same bosses, same enemies, a few new environment models and situations, but overall this game felt like a massive cop-out, or a sub-par addition to an ongoing episodic series, both which make it completely not worth the price of purchase.
    As usual the imagery was beautiful, even at its lowest settings, which ran fluidly on my machine. Very nice that they seem to have streamlined some of the engine, but overall the most disappointing game I've played this year. I felt the first Crysis was "pretty okay", and not once did this sequel match the first in ANY category, with the sole exception of performance.
    It may have had it kept going and introduced new ideas, content and gameplay, but just as the game was wrapping up what I felt was a great ramp up intro-sequence, the credits rolled. Seriously, wtf?

    So yeah, just pass on this very disappointing pseudo-sequel. If Crytek wants to make sales, they need to do better than this, instead of just blaming things on piracy this time around.

    • by illumin8 (148082)

      So yeah, just pass on this very disappointing pseudo-sequel. If Crytek wants to make sales, they need to do better than this, instead of just blaming things on piracy this time around.

      Did anybody else notice that both this review and the recent one of Spore were given 4/5 ratings by the same reviewer, Soulskill? Both games are from EA and have draconian DRM from SecuROM?

      These two game reviews of totally boring, uninspired EA games give me the feeling that any game publisher can buy a 4/5 review on Slashdot

  • Wouldn't that be considered a sequel?

    • The story is parallel to the story of Crysis. There will be an actual Crysis 2 later on that continues the story, hence why Warhead isn't called a sequel. (Depending on your definition of a sequel, of course, even Warhead could be considered one)

  • I personally really enjoyed the first crysis game and felt it had high re-playability, and will definitely be playing this. While the performance requirements were high, they were not insurmountable, a 8000+ nvidia card and 2GB+ ram would do the trick just fine. While this is in the upper end of hardware, especially for its original release date, I was really glad everything looked as good as it did, and the environment was as immersive as it was. I'm sorry you all couldn't play the game at 50FPS, but so

  • by log0n (18224) on Friday September 26, 2008 @12:50PM (#25168673)

    but the activation requirement is a deal breaker for me. DRM doesn't bother me - along the lines of the original Crysis - but having a limited number of activations is just WRONG.

    In the 'pirating spore' topic I brought up how I bought Spore and also downloaded in order to play it properly. In that post I also stated that in the future, I'm just going to do without the game, and EA can do without my money.

    Install/activation limitations are ultimately going to kill PC gaming. The few PC games that I'm interested in playing - Stalker CS, Crysis redux.. (I'm sure there will be a few others) I just don't trust buying now. From now on, my only real gaming consideration will be for the console.

    Apparently the Steam version also carries the same install activation/limitation, and apparently a lot of recently released Steam games are doing the same thing. I own no less than 5 copies of Half Life 2 (original PC, original Ep1, orange box, original xbox and now 360 orange box - kinda love the game - also the HL1: Source). But I'll be damned if I spend another dime on a boxed PC game or a Steam game. I bought all of those out of 1) my choice, and 2) the upgrades or additional playability provided. I will never buy another game simply because I ran out of installs and need to 'refresh'.

    RANT: Why don't activation schemes use MAC addresses, or CPU serial #s, or any of the completely unique identifiers (a la dongles)? Those I could live with. I've had too many failures/reformats/upgrades over the years, hell - over the months, to risk these crap activations.

    (just a little pissed at the state of things :) )

    • by Zarhan (415465)

      Just get the crack from gamefix or gamecopyworld. If EA wants to shell out cash to Securom, that's their problem. As long as there is crack AVAILABLE I'm ok for buying the game, since it also makes it future-proof (eg. even if activation server vanishes at some point, I can still play).

      Getting crack is standard procedure for me. Heck, with Civilization III getting rid of the CD-check also game me a new feature: Higher resolutions! Without the crack, even though I set 1280x960 in the .ini-file, it didn't wor

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by spire3661 (1038968)
      Answer to rant: They are all spoofable, hence security theater. Second answer: We should not be encouraging tying software to hardware.
  • by Entropius (188861) on Friday September 26, 2008 @01:19PM (#25169137)

    After not having a desktop for a long time, I built one in August. The video card's a Geforce 8800 GS -- $75 USD. ... and yet it runs Crysis fine, at mid-high settings, 1440x900 (down from my panel's native 1680x1050).

  • My Review: (Score:3, Funny)

    by Sinbios (852437) on Friday September 26, 2008 @01:21PM (#25169191) Homepage
    Too damned short. I finish the game in about 7 hours. $30's worth of crack would probably have lasted me longer.
    • by atarione (601740)

      See this is what you get for being "good" at video games

      =p

      I keep getting stuck on various levels and as such, it is taking me forever to finish, so I'm totally getting my $23 (sale @ frys) worth.

  • Warhead has really soured me toward the Crysis franchise.
  • I keep seeing people listing their FPS on what games they play on their respective systems. What exactly are people using to show the FPS on screen while they play games? I cannot find any settings in the games that will show this on screen (or at all).

    • by danzona (779560)
      What exactly are people using to show the FPS on screen while they play games?

      Probably Fraps [fraps.com]. It is what I use.
  • The only way that Crysis ever registered on my gaming radar was that it was a DX10-only game, and therefore required Vista, and therefore I would probably not play it in the foreseeable future.
    • Crysis didn't require Vista, or DX10 for that matter. Wherever you got that info, don't believe what they say in the future.
    • by RogueyWon (735973) *

      Nope, perfectly playable under xp/DX9. You just can't get some of the fancy graphics effects.

      Given the dilemma posed by Vista's epic crappiness and a few shiny water effects, I think I'll stick with xp.

  • I liked Far Cry.
    Great graphics (yes, I have a high-end PC), fun gameplay - until we met the aliens. Then it rapidly turned boring.
    It was exactly the same again in Crysis: great fun, nice graphics, sneaking and shooting and snipering and ramboing - nice. Until we met the aliens. Then it rapidly turned boring, even worse than Far Cry.

    Now there's another game along these lines? No, thanks. Had enough of boring aliens.
    Especially if I see this line in the review: "Be aware that Warhead ships with the same DRM as

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