Crytek was always at the top of impressive graphics gaming, so the DRM-free release of Crysis and Crysis: Warhead should be proof that after all these years their games are still a joy to behold and finally playable on current machines without any concessions.
PC gamers know how it feels to be one step behind technology some developers use for high-fidelity graphics and therefore force them to upgrade their system. I can still remember how the first Crysis made my PC break down in the final alien onslaught level, because it just couldn’t handle all the effects. After all kinds of forum searches I found some tweaks to finally complete the game with more than just a few frames per second, but it again showed that PC gamers know what suffering means.
Of course, behind all the great graphics, there’s also a good game. While the story and characters aren’t anything special, with the typical aliens-invading-earth-and-super-soldiers-fighting-back and Koreans-are-the-bad-guys template being part of the cliché package, the use of nano suits to overcome obstacles and battle aliens is a great way for customized play, as one can enhance speed, strength, armor and cloaking abilities on the fly. This turns it into an almost RPG-like FPS with the additional freedom to traverse the open island world with vehicles and on foot, therefore tackling each objective in more creative ways by use of environmental interaction.
Crysis: Warhead is an add-on that doesn’t do a lot differently, simply giving Sergeant “Psycho” Sykes, a minor character in the the first game, more room to explore the North Korean island with his team and confronting the same alien force. However, that’s no bad thing, because the action is just as relentless, the nano suit abilities are just as customizable, the graphics just as great as in the original. There are more alien fights involved, but because their art design is still remarkably great, one shouldn’t miss this awesome shooter, even if story and character development isn’t very memorable.
The games are now available DRM-free on GOG, with Crysis: Warhead including Crysis Wars which offers an expanded multiplayer online mode.
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