Crysis is set in 2020, when a team of US archaeologists, excavating the mysterious crash site of an ancient asteroid, is taken captive by the North Korean military. By that time, the North Koreans had become quite a power in the world. In an attempt to keep the situation
from escalating, the United States government sends in an off-the-books US Army Delta Force team, supported by the aircraft carrier USS Constitution and its battle group.
After the initial conflict, things take a turn for the worse quickly, as there is still intense rivalry between the two nations. While tempers flare and fighting occurs between the North Koreans and Americans, the asteroid opens up, shaking off the worn rock to reveal a hideous two kilometer tall alien ship. Terrifying alien machines pour from the belly of this beast, soon before the ship engulfs the surrounding area inside a large ice sphere. This snap freezes a large part of the island including anyone who was unfortunate enough to be caught within its radius. The sudden drop in temperature is responsible for the wildly fluctuating and extreme weather patterns.
The player takes the role of Jake Dunn, codename Nomad, an elite Delta Force soldier equipped with a futuristic nanosuit with the ability to enhance his speed, strength, armor and allow him to become almost completely undetectable.
Crysis Warhead is by no means a sequel to the story of the original Crysis. It is the same story from a different point of view. While the main character in the original game experiences his story on one side of the island, Warhead takes place in the different side of the island.
One of the first things that the Crytek team stated about Warhead is the optimization. Crytek stated that the original game was not opened enough for the general PC audience resulting in parts of the audience not playing the game. They have also stated that the graphics have improved slightly, but have not drastically changed. Also they have stated that loading times will be slightly shorter then the ones in the first game.
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.
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.