Discussion The Patient Gamer: Crysis Warhead - Short n' Sweet


Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
I recently completed Crysis Warhead to get my fill of run and gun shooter, and had a good time.

Warhead is basically a pint sized Crysis game, clocking in at about 5 or 6 hours, it essentially takes the Crysis formula and compresses it down to an intense little experience.

For those that actually played through the original Crysis, the game was a sort of spiritual successor to the Farcry series and dropped the player into large environments with an objective to complete and a non-linear path to completing it. Warhead scales back the open environments significantly and really plays out more like a corridor shooter (sometimes the corridors are quite large, however) that is constantly funneling you in a forward direction. Some levels are extremely restrictive, while others have a bit more of the openness of the original, but nothing in the game ever gets to the same scale and scope as the original game. Hell, one of the levels was literally on rails.

Level design is sort of funny, as Warhead clearly does not use any new assets, so many of the levels feel like slightly different versions of the same missions you played in Crysis: Sandy Beach, Lush Forest, Frozen Tundra, Aircraft Carrier, Dock Yard, Rail Hub, Abandoned Mining Station etc that all sort of feel like rearranged knock-offs of the originals. That being said, the level design is tight, pushing you into more head on fights with much less sneaking around or wandering through the brush wondering where you're going. There is some variety with a driving level as well as a very entertaining "gun-train" mission, that has you juggling between different fixed weapons on a train to fight off enemy vehicles.

The weak points of the original Crysis are still the weak points in this game: enemy AI can see your toe sticking out from a bush from across the map and telepathically communicate your position to everyone else, and enemy solders feel a bit too tanky while the player feels a bit too squishy which sort of forces "sneak shooter" gameplay. Nothing too bad to detract from the overall experience, and its very easy to adapt to how the game wants you to play.

The story is... sort of there. Its definitely a little weird because it feels like the game expects you to know who a certain primary side character is and why you should care, but at the end of the day it really just exists as a reason to keep pushing forward. Not sure anyone is playing the Crysis games for some sort of deep lore...

Graphics are still great but definitely show their age in weird places, like relatively low poly model geometry and some lower texture resolution. Game ran fine @1440p Ultra settings on my signature rig, 60+ FPS.

All in all I'd say Crysis Warhead is to Crysis the same way Wolfenstein The Old Blood was to The New Order: fundamentally the same game with all the story and fluff distilled down to a concentrate. I really appreciated the short stay as I'd say Crysis was definitely on the lengthier side of things given the core gameplay, while Warhead keeps ratcheting up the tension and never overstayed its welcome.

If you have this one sitting in your library untouched, I'd recommend giving it a shot.