Crysis: Warhead - PC

All that talk of Crysis literally destroying sub-standard machines trying to run the fantastic shooter proved to be ever-so-slightly over the top. Yes, there still remains to be a base unit built that can run it with all visual options ramped right up to the top settings, but anyone who can live with nudging the options down a level or two can still enjoy one of the most exciting, and visually astounding PC titles currently available.

Crysis: Warhead is the first expansion, though oddly doesn’t require you to own the first title to allow you to get your trigger finger itchy. Strange considering the stories within both titles run concurrently, leaving you a little confused if you didn’t reach the end of the first game.

Playing as a soldier by the nickname of "Psycho" he is your typical over the top, horrifically accented "British" type. Packing the same powerful suit that can heighten various abilities for a short period of time, he’s ready to kick some North Korean (and eventually alien) bottom.

What follows is 6 hours of pure adrenalin. Crysis: Warhead has been billed as a more streamlined, and more focused title when compared to the almost freeform Crysis. Which is quite odd indeed as although the areas are indeed a lot more enclosed, this is certainly a long way from the likes of Doom.

Despite the tighter pathway guiding you through the game’s short-lived single player campaign, you can still push forward in any way you desire. Want to sneak through the undergrowth, using snippets of invincibility to sneak up on your foes and despatch them stealthily? Then get right to it. Or want to simply use your suit to rush from enemy to enemy at triple speed and blow their heads off? Then the choice is yours.

Obviously you can’t use these powers willy-nilly. It’ll only take a few seconds for your selected ability to lose power, and it’ll be another few seconds before its all charged up and ready for another blast, making tactical thinking an absolute must if you don’t wish to be caught in some form of incredibly sticky situation. You don’t want to sneak up cloaked in invisibility, only to be exposed when you have a rifle aimed at a group of enemies feet away, right?

Though this does indeed "feel" like Crysis, Crytek have obviously desired to give us a lot of bang for our buck. It may only last a handful of hours from start to finish, but it’s action packed all the way through. Where Crysis did have moments where you didn’t stumble across an enemy for a good quarter of an hour, here you’ll be continuously faced with enthralling set pieces. There are some cracking examples of level design that’s geared for the highest levels of enjoyment possible. And for that you have to commend the development team.

Even the multiplayer is a total riot. While Crysis’ multiplayer was certainly a Marmite experience, Warhead introduces brand new maps and new game modes that allow you to take part in some old school fragging. And best of all, you’ll now be clad in your nanosuit online too, so you can use all your special powers against your fellow gamers, making for a real fast paced experience that’s packed to the brim with thrills.

Verdict

It might be packing a short single-player campaign, but the supreme intensity and sheer enjoyment of those 6 hours regularly reach the peaks of the equally fantastic Call of Duty 4.

It’s budget priced, looks incredible on a decent PC, and the additional multiplayer upgrades combined with the fantastic single-player option make this one that PC owners should be eager to snap right up.