Crysis: Warhead tells the same story Crysis did, but from a different point of view. Crysis was about a squad of Nanosuit-equipped special forces operators, Raptor Team, sent in to Lingshen Island, to rescue a team of American archaeologists who were captured by North Korean soldiers. Raptor Team was successful in making contact with the archaeologists, only to discover that during their excavation, they had uncovered an alien starship, dormant for thousands of years while buried in the earth. Uncovering it activated a chain reaction that reawakened the aliens, who quickly spread out from the ship and began a hostile invasion of the planet Earth.
Warhead's storyline begins shortly before the protagonist from the original game, Nomad, discovers the alien threat. While Nomad was closing in on the digsite, his squadmate Psycho had been on a secret mission of his own on the opposite side of the island. In Warhead, players take control of Psycho and experience this mission: Psycho has been ordered to steal a cargo container, believed to contain a nuclear warhead, from the North Koreans.
Warhead uses a more optimized version of CryEngine2 - the same engine that powered Crysis. CryTek's primary aim was make the game more accessible to the general audience, while slightly improving the visual fidelity. Warhead's load times are also slightly shorter than the original. Following Warhead, a CryEngine2 SDK was released in 2009.
The game also comes with Crysis Wars, a stand alone multiplayer component featuring new modes.
Several gameplay changes were made for Warhead:
- Linear Level Design - The large sandbox approach from the original was dropped for a more linear but tightly paced campaign. Players encounter enemies more often now.
- New weaponry - Fully automatic pistols, grenade launchers & Plasma Accumulator Cannon (PAX) were added, while a few weapons from the original were removed. The customization options largely remain the same.
- Ammo auto-pickup - Works on all except the highest "Delta" difficulty setting.
- Weapon Re-balancing - All weapon damage has been rebalanced. The most significant change was made to the Gauss rifle, which does less damage against the aliens now but it reloads faster to compensate for the change.
- Enemy AI - The enemy AI reacts better to player actions now. Several glitches from the original were removed. Korean soldiers do less damage but are able to zero-in on player position much faster than the original. They also pursue players for much longer, if they try to cloak or sprint out of a situation.
- Cutscene changes - In the original, the camera never broke Nomad's first person perspective. But here, the camera frequently shows Pscyho from a third person perspective, including several flashback cutscenes.
Improvements to CryEngine 2
Crysis has specifically stated that the core CryEngine 2 is undergoing many changes most of which will enable Crysis Warhead to perform better on all systems and to have lower minimum system requirements as well as being optimized to all PC hardware. One of the notable changes is that Warhead will have more number of enemies on screen for a lesser frame-rate hit than the original. It has been pointed out that this may simply be a smokescreen for the fact that while the gear required to play Crysis was considered bleeding-edge at the time of its release, the same technology was fairly mainstream by the time Crysis: Warhead came out.
The developers have also added three predetermined graphics levels -- Mainstream, Gamer, and Enthusiast -- which will help gamers to run the game on a variety of systems right off the bat without optimizing or changing specific settings. Though the developers have also specifically stated that Enthusiast may not provide the highest level of visual detail possible in the game.
Enemy AI has also been greatly improved to suit the playing style of Psycho as well as to provide a better experience overall in general. The developers have stated in many interviews that, whereas in Crysis sometimes enemies might pause for a moment once the player appears in view, the AI in Warhead will be more tighter with enemies flanking and taking out the player quickly and effectively.
- Submachine Gun
- Precision Rifle
- Gauss Rifle
- Missile Launcher
- Fragmentation Grenades
- Smoke Grenades
- Flashbang Grenades
- EMP Grenades
- Plasma Accumulator Cannon
Note: for more info on these weapons, refer to the Crysis wiki page.
Crysis Wars (Multiplayer)
Crysis: Warhead ships on two discs. The first one being Crysis: Warhead, and the second disc being Crysis Wars. Crysis Wars, a standalone multiplayer mode, still has the two multiplayer modes from the original Crysis, Instant Action and Power Struggle, but also introduces a new mode called Team Instant Action. Team Instant Action is essentially the same thing as Instant Action, but played with teams. Crytek has also rebalanced the nanosuit, so players can still rely on the suit in the unlikely event that they are out of ammo. The game ships with 21 multiplayer maps and supports up to 32 players online.
- CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz (3.2 GHz for Vista), Intel Core 2.0 GHz (2.2 GHz for Vista), AMD Athlon 2800 (3200 for Vista) or better
- RAM: 1GB (1.5GB on Windows Vista)
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, ATI Radeon 9800 Pro (Radeon X800 Pro for Vista) or better
- VRAM: 256MB of Graphics Memory
- Storage: 15GB
- Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c Compatible
- ODD: DVD-ROM
- OS: Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or Microsoft Vista
- DirectX: DX9.0c or DX10
Electronic Arts has announced plans to market PCs branded with the Crysis name, in order to coincide with the release of Crysis: Warhead. The purpose of the PCs will be to get people who don't usually use their PCs to game to buy the PCs simply so they can run the game. The PCs will be priced between $600-$800, depending on how well you want the game to run. UltraPC are the company that manufacture the Crysis PC.
The Specs of the PC are as follows:
- Ultra X-Blaster ATX Mid-Tower Case Black
- NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT 512MB PCIe Video Card
- G31 mATX Motherboard
- Inter Core 2 Duo E7300 2.66GHz 3M Processor
- 2GB DDR2 800Mhz PC6400 Memory (1GB x 2)
- 250GB 7200RPM 3G SATA II Hard Drive
- 500 Watt Power Supply
- 16X DVD-ROM Drive
- Integrated 10/100/1000 Network Adapter
- Integrated Realtek High-Def Audio
- Keyboard & Mouse Included
- 1 Year Parts & Labor Warranty