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Crysis: Warhead Hands-on Preview

Crysis: Warhead Hands-On Preview

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: PC Exclusive
Release Date: Q4 2008

It’s been almost a year since Crysis hit shelves across the world and still it doesn’t seem like Crytek’s engine has achieved the full impact it should've done.

Months on, it can be a little hard to remember that building excitement we all had for the game and that’s a shame all in itself. Here was the first game that could really start making claims about being photorealistic on a massive scale, using an advanced custom-built physics engine and levels so big that you could complete Fallout in the time it took to run across them.

And yet almost a year later that hasn’t really made such a huge impact after all and most games are still plodding along under the Unreal Engine 3, using Havok physics and linear corridor-based levels. Shouldn’t Crysis have changed all of that by now?

Crysis: Warhead Hands-on Preview

You’d have hoped so, but instead the sales of the game have pushed Crytek to abandon their PC exclusivity and instead become a multiplatform developer. Crytek aren’t the type of developer to go out quietly, so as something of a parting shot comes the new instalment in the Crysis story – Warhead.

The first thing to clear up about Crysis: Warhead though are the technical details of its existence – is Warhead an expansion pack, or a straight up sequel to the original game? Will it require the original or is it standalone?

Well, let’s take it from the top.

EA and Crytek are actually billing Warhead as neither an expansion or a sequel to the original game, responding even to direct questions about the matter with the here-nor-there reply of “This is the latest instalment, not a sequel or an expansion.” In other words, though Crysis was announced as a trilogy, this second game is not the second game in the series.

Crysis: Warhead Hands-on Preview

Even trying to gauge the matter by the length of the game is a slippery business it seems and EA’s executive producer on this title showed himself to be as hard to pin down as a thrashing eel in a tub of jelly. While we know that the game is seven levels long and that those levels are comparable in size to Crysis’ ten, nobody would step up to offer an estimate of how long the game actually is.

One thing that was made clear though – was practically yelled at us as we walked through the door – was that Crysis: Warhead is a standalone title which will not require the original game to run at all. That's going to be super-important for those of you who are new to the series, but want to start the saga from a different point to everyone else. Damn Emo-kid gamers; you'll do anything to be different, won't you?

Nor will it rely on any content from the original game in fact, despite the fact that players will be running through the same story from a different perspective.

What’s that? Oh, yes. Same story. New eyes. Does it require more explanation? Yes, I guess so…