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Who needs Crysis Warhead? Well, I do. And likely, so do you. As I'm writing this column in the dog days of late August, I have yet to play this "continuation" of the most intense shooter of 2007. But based on the quality of the original game, I have to guess that this is one of those must-play add-ons. I'm just hoping that the Crytek guys ease up a wee bit on the Contra-style boss battles and Matrix-y aliens.
But you can enhance your core Crysis experience without dropping another dime into EA's coffers. Modders have embraced this shooter with all the fervor of a mom welcoming her first-born home from kindergarten, so there are a ton of freebies out there. Not many of them break the bank in terms of crazy new features or added game depth (which isn't surprising, when you consider that the original game is one of the most advanced, complex shooter engines ever made), although they certainly provide more ways to perforate those dastardly North Koreans. Here are a handful of my faves.
Postcard scenery and a couple of white-knuckle chase sequences make this single-player level one of the best non-Crytek Crysis experiences. Both the smart design and added touches like cut-scenes and objectives make it feel almost like a scenario that was cut from the original game. Play this first, then move on to the other guys.
Crashed is one of the best solo maps out there, even if it's somewhat short and sweet. Creator Killuminati91 has put together a solid jungle showdown with nanosuit-wearing North Koreans and sharks.
Crysis Community Map Pack #1: Welcome to the Jungle Various Creators
No shooter mod community would be complete without grab-bag collections of multiplayer maps, and Welcome to the Jungle delivers 10 of the best for Crysis. Topping the charts here are mp_surf, Marc Wenzel's remake of a popular Far Cry map set on tiny desert isles, and SirRob's claustrophobic Old Mine, which takes place in a rundown mining complex.
Natural Mod Pydon
Got a killer computer? Well, do ya, punk? Download the Natural Mod only if you answered that question in the affirmative, as this nifty lighting tweak turns the already gorgeous Crysis landscape photo-realistic.
Nuke Real Physics Rad15, Rad64
Way cool ka-booms are the focus of this mod, which enables nuclear-style explosions just like those shown off in Warhead release videos from Crytek. It adds a lot of oomph to things blowing up real good, thanks to a realistic shockwave that blasts back everything in the area of the blast.
MOD OF THE MONTH
Strider Mountain (Half-Life 2)
Crossing Half-Life 2 with an assault on K2 seems to be the motivation behind Strider Mountain. This single-player total conversion in development sees Gordon Freeman scaling a 30,000-foot summit to demolish a Combine factory cranking out a never-ending stream of Striders. Completion of the mod is a little way off, although the all-new arctic maps and innovative plot should make the final game more than worth the wait.
October 7, 2008