Played through the first level yesterday. It's entertaining I'll admit that.
I copied the Xconfig autoexe file from crysis into my warhead directory and at 1680X1050 and all graphics options saying CUSTOM, I'm getting a rock solid 30 fps minimum...so with that being said, I'll admit it runs better on my system than crysis does by around 5~9 fps avg depending on what's going on.
The first level felt a bit linear to begin with until it opened up with that hillside facing the sea. The "sandbox" combat pretty much only consisted of choosing a different bush to hide in and begin the explosions...which is something I'm not really fond of already. All the blowing stuff up that from what I've read, Crytek has decided to allow define this game's overall theme. So Psycho like explosions... what If I don't? ....Ok I do but not all the time at least! I want to be sneaky sometimes and airstrikes constantly pummling the area I want to silently inflitrate kinda removes a huge possible way of playing an area. Giving me the option to call in air strikes (like you did in the harbor mission of crysis) would have been a muuuuuch better alternative.
I guess I'm just chapped that the entire first level, I feel like I was led by a leash the entire time and by the time I had gotten to each area where combat occurs, it seemed like the air strikes had already obliterated half the battle zone and I was stuck with cleanup duty.
Top that off with the fact that despite fighter jets dropping bombs on buildings, the KPA still quietly meander around as if nothing is happening.... They just nonchalantly stroll about their quiet patrol routes oblivious to all hell breaking loose around them.
On the flip side, I'll say that it's still quite entertaining and fun but I just don't feel like the combat scenes in the first level unfolded very well at all. And I think that worse still, no matter how many times I play it, the same fight is going to happen every single time. The only thing that will be different is which bush or rock I'll be hiding behind before opening fire.
And I mention this simply becuase there were a lot of combat scenes in crysis that were VERY different depending on how I approached the target/objective... like in the first level, the far side of the big bay that you see during sunrise, there are roughly 3 little battles that happen. 2 village fights and the one up on the edge of the cliff with the KPA data trailer with an objective goal in it. You can skip these ENTIRELY and sneak down the beach, up the cliff and into the trailer without firing a SINGLE SHOT.
And if you wanted, you can approach the fights from the high ground, from the front door of the village guns a blazing or from the beach.
The first level of Warhead has NONE of this. I looked and I didn't see it. Every fight I engaged in this first level, I gave the surroundings a good long look and surveyed various approaches and it seems like I only get one, two at most approaches to a fight that will unfold the same regardless of where or how I initiate it.
Maybe the rest of the game is different, maybe it isn't.
All I know is that I've played a half dozen 3rd party crysis missions that whip this first Warhead mission like a dog and the great majority of the Crysis missions. They don't tie into a central story line but their own plot and story lines are good enough that you're sucked in.
I hate to say it (not really though) but when I play maps like Neodymium, Vulcano, Airfield or Castaway, I can't put the mouse down. They're simply SO much fun and are so open ended they really define what Crysis is supposed to be better than crysis itself manages to do. Seriously.. I get bummed out after finishing these 3rd party levels after they're over becuase I've got nothing but the plain old crytek levels to go back to.
With any luck I can have the game finished by the end of the week to give an updated report on my final thoughts on the game so until then, I'm not passing final judgement. First level though gets a C- grade.