Can it run Crysis? That’s a question that’s been asked since the original game’s release. Its graphical reckoning forced PC gamers to upgrade just to be able to run the game at all. I know when I first got ahold of Crysis back on its release, my computer was unworthy—and I remember the first scene of the game running like a PowerPoint slideshow. It took me a year or more before I could even run Crysis at an acceptable framerate. I was certainly impressed with its graphics, but what ended up impressing me just as much was the gameplay. Crysis was actually fun, too. When I got the chance to play Crysis Remastered I was excited to revisit a game I enjoyed so much. Well, you can’t really go home again, it seems.
Can my computer run Crysis Remastered? Short answer is yes. The long answer is: ehhhhhhh. Even the latest and greatest hardware can’t run Remastered at its full graphical fidelity—though I can’t speak for Nvidia’s 3090 yet, but I’m sure someone will test it soon. But surely with all of this graphical oomph (including RTX!) that was shoved into Crysis Remastered it must be a spectacle and a new bar for graphical fidelity. It’s not. Sure, it looks good, but it still has that feeling that some remasters have—that of a fresh coat of paint over rusting metal. It ends up looking pretty good, but the core structure is unchanged. And the juxtaposition between the modern visuals and the gameplay actually make the whole experience suffer a bit. Even with the impressive terrain, the graphics don’t always hold up to muster, either. Character models look questionable, with the Nanosuits looking weirdly bony. And I have to ask: what is wrong with everyone’s face? The faces all look wrong, with eyes that are too close, and expressions that make everyone look like they just sucked on a lemon. Despite that, Crytek really pumped up the graphical fidelity for the remaster. The question is now: can your computer run Crysis Remastered? But there’s a bigger question: should it?
Having such fond memories of my original time with Crysis and not revisiting it in the intervening years may be making me overcritical: I had heavy nostalgia coming into Crysis Remastered. I really enjoyed the first game the most out of the series—more modern warfare with cool super suits, and less alien invasion stuff, which the series later leaned on heavily. Unfortunately, Crysis did not age as well as I would have hoped, and there is little that Crytek did to modernize the gameplay. But what they did change messed up a few things, especially how suit abilities are activated.
Part of my initial problem with Crysis Remastered comes from the control scheme. By default, Crytek decided to change the way the suit abilities were activated—to bring them more in line with the later games in the series. Crysis Remastered doesn’t really work that well this way. Every ability to have in Crysis is tied into your suit power, so even sprinting in this control scheme would eat power. It did allow you to activate fast sprint and high jumping while cloaked or armored, but at the cost of having fine control of those abilities. Maybe I don’t want to super-fast sprint OR high jump in that moment. Switching it back to the classic control scheme fixed most of the control issues. But even with the ability to sprint without suit power, Crysis Remastered feels so damn sluggish.
I don’t think I considered it at the time, but Crysis feels and looks like a mash-up between Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and the Halo franchise. I would think some of the sluggishness comes from the attempt at emulating Modern Warfare’s slower, deliberately gunplay. I guess it does a good job of making you feel like a normal person wearing a nanosuit, only powerful when the suit’s powerful abilities are activated. But it took me a while to get past the stuck-in-molasses feeling. Once I got used to it, however, I feel like Crysis is a game with gunplay that holds up decently, but still had some glaring issues.
Crysis Remastered suffers from a lack of powerful feeling, fun weapons. Every weapon sounds and feels weak. There are some pretty powerful weapons—like the minigun, the gauss rifle and the molecular accelerator. None of these really make you feel like you’re laying waste to your foes, despite being some of the most powerful weapons in the game. I think this could have been solved with an overhaul of the original’s sound. Even when artillery is striking near your character, the visual chaos is not complemented with a sufficiently powerful boom. This is a case where I wish they didn’t stay true to the original, and really upped the oomph.
If you were a fan of Crysis, there is some benefit to returning. But I was surprised on how short Crysis Remsastered is. Howlongtobeat.com says the average play time is around ten hours without extras, though my playtime ended up being right around eight hours. The Epic Game Store page touts its sandbox world, but that’s a stretch. You can go off road, but most of the sandbox is empty—Crysis Remastered is not an open world game.
I think Crytek really missed an opportunity with this remaster. This remaster did little to upgrade the game for me, and instead made me realize how old it has gotten—and how much shooters have improved in the last thirteen or so years. If you want to pick it up to see what all the fuss was about, you may not be impressed with the graphics, and you might find the gameplay lacking. Nostalgia might be able to get you through a playthrough, but for newcomers to the series, you might wonder what the fuss is all about.
Crysis Remastered is available now on Epic Game Store, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
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