After reading about this game for a while now I figured it was finally time to go pick it up and see if it lived up to all the hype I had been hearing about it. For those that don’t know this version of Crysis was built to run on the lower end PC’s. As some of you may know the first Crysis game that came out a while ago now was notorious for bringing high end gaming machines to their knees. It was due to these performance problems with the game that I never went out and bought it since I knew it would have performed like crap on my system here which is not a high end gaming computer. So the question now is does this new game perform well on lower end systems and that’s what I’m about to answer.
Before I get into the review I want to talk about a couple of things that annoyed me with this game and the first thing was during the install there were a couple of error messages showed up that I clicked ok on and the game continued installing like there was no problem. The other problems were that when I installed the game and rebooted the machine I noticed the game installer had put the EA downloader in my system trey and also made sure the EA downloader started each time the computer was booted up. The other problem with the install is that this game uses Secure Rom copy protection and from what I have read they have it setup so you can install the game on 5 different computers and that’s it. You can install the game as many times as you want on any of the 5 machines but you are stuck with only them 5 machines.
The Secure Rom copy protection is not popular with a lot of people do to how restrictive it is. The other big problem with Secure Rom is it installs itself deep down in the system so that trying to get rid of it can be a real pain in the ass. I have seen numerous problems where people have tried to install Secure Rom titles before and something goes wrong with the install and the user has to format his machine and start over. Having said this I have played a few games that used Secure Rom and have so far never had any issues with it. The other issue I had with the game is when it installs it doesn’t even bother to install the Multiplayer part of the game that’s on a second DVD. If you want to play the multiplayer part of Crysis Warhead you have install that separately and I thought that was a bit odd.
So now that we have all that stuff out of the way I can get into how the game was when I played it. First I want to cover the good things about the game and then I will talk about the bad things and then finally the multiplayer.
The first good thing about the game has to be the graphics. No other game I have ever played can touch Farcry, Crysis, and Crysis Warhead in terms of how well they do the jungle type of environments. You really do get sucked in when you see how well done these environments are. All the weapon models and sounds of the weapons are all done nicely as well. The in game vehicles were also done nicely however there really aren’t a lot of different vehicles to mess around with in this game. The other great point to this game is the price tag and that you can purchase the game for about $30.00 U.S.
Now onto the bad points and there are many.
First and foremost I didn’t find the story all that interesting, maybe it’s because I didn’t play Crysis or something. The other HUGE problem I had with the game is the fact it didn’t run well at all on this machine. This machine as you will see at the end of this review is above the requirements needed to play the game. I was really disappointed with how the game responded when playing and it didn’t even really matter what graphics setting I used the game was still dog slow.
Parts of the game really did blow my mind do to how slow the game would start to perform at strange times. One example was there is a base with the sub that you have to get into and before I got to the sub I killed every single guy I could find yet despite the fact there was no enemy around every time I would zoom into the sniper scope view that would take like 2 seconds before I could see the zoomed in view. How unresponsive the game was at times was quite shocking to me do to the fact the whole idea behind this game was to give gamers with lower end PC’s a game that would play nice.
In terms of graphic settings I was one setting above the lowest setting in the game and I was playing the game at 1024 by 768 and so I really couldn’t go any lower than that. When I bumped the resolution up to 1280 by 1024, the default resolution for this LCD the game really started to have performance issues and so I left the resolution at 1024 by 768 to test the game. Where the performance really started to drop was on the levels that had the frozen look to them. In the frozen levels I watched my frame rate drop to below 15 frames a second and seen it do that on a regular basis.
The other major problem I had with the game was the check point type of save system they were using in game to save your progress. This system was another annoying part to the game because it would often save my spot right when I was being shot up by the enemy in the game. I had this happen to me numerous times while playing the game and it baffled me why the checkpoints weren’t moved back so that you could at least load in and not be under attack as soon as you were loaded into the game.
One of the other bad game designs was there is an APC like vehicle in the game and it had a nice powerful minigun as its main weapon. The problem was when you switched to the weapon you had to watch this HUD info being displayed before it would finally clear and put a crosshair on the screen so you could aim the gun. There were a few times I would get into a fire fight and make my way into an APC to almost die due to this Lack of a crosshair.
The AI in the game also didn’t seem that great. There were quite a few times I seen the AI shooting in areas over and over again despite the fact I wasn’t even near them. The AI just didn’t seem all that smart and I was hoping they would have refined that quite a bit by now.
The other big downside to this game is you can complete the entire single player campaign in about 6 hours. It’s funny how a lot of the new games just keep getting shorter and shorter in terms of hours spent to complete them. This game only cost $30.00 so maybe you can excuse the short single player campaign. Only other problem I seen with the game was the load times on this machine seemed to be almost a minute per level and that’s something that can start to get on your nerves. The only thing that saves the game with the load times is how big the levels are, you’re not constantly loading one map after the next.
Last but not least is the multiplayer and I was hoping this might save the game but I was wrong there as well. For me the multiplayer suffers from the same performance issues as the single player does. In the multiplayer I had to turn the graphics down as low as they would go to get the game to be somewhat smooth. The problem with turning the graphics down that low is some of the stuff in game looks like crap.
There were some good points to the multiplayer some of the map designs were fairly well done. Even the nuclear blasts you see on some of the maps looked cool but again do to the performance issues the multiplayer didn’t keep my attention for very long at all.
Below are the computer specs I run Crysis Warhead on.
AMD 64 X2 4800
ASUS A8N-SLI DELUXE
GEFORCE 7950 GT/OC VIDEO CARD 512 MEG OF RAM
2 GIGS OF PC3200 RAM
2 MAXTOR 120 GIG 7200 RPM 8 MEG CACHE EIDE ATA 133 DRIVES
SOUND BLASTER AUDIGY SOUND CARD
WINDOWS XP SP3
In conclusion if the goal of this game was to be able to be played on lower end systems I think Crysis Warhead failed and did so in a big way. While reviewing this game I went looking for cheats so I could speed up the process of getting through the game and get this over with. I never use cheats at all in games but this game and its performance problems were making what should have been a fun game turn into a very annoying game and that’s not good. Anyone with a machine that has specs similar to mine or lower than mine should avoid this game unless you like wasting money. At the time of this review you could buy Crysis Warhead for about $30.00 US.
If you would like more information on Crysis Warhead you can go to their web site here.
Below are a few more extra screen shots of the game in action..