Crysis Remastered: Ahh Crysis! You crippled our PCs back in 2007 and here you are now, 13 years later, to bring modern gaming machines to their knees. History repeating itself, from what I have seen of top end systems and cards.
The ongoing and now newly refreshed “But can it run Crysis?” meme has been doing the rounds for many years now, and lands as frequently as new PC hardware!
So what we have is is a modern refresh on the classic PC game from Crytek. Already there has been fan backlash which put the PC, Xbox One and PS4 versions back while the Nintendo Switch enjoyed an earlier release. This was down to the way the game was looking, etc, so the developers decided to take a bit more time before releasing the game.
As a game, itself, it’s is the same it always has been: A group of Nano Tech suited soldiers land on a North Korean tropical island chain on a rescue mission, but end up involved with an alien invasion.
The gameplay will see you travelling round to different points of the island doing usual military objectives such as enable comms and clear out outposts, whilst taking care of enemy patrols between objectives. You can play the game in a few different ways ,given the suit abilities available from the off. Personally, I like to go in and be as stealthy as possible, making myself invisible and have a silencer on my weapon at all times. When you get spotted – which you inevitably will, you can change up tactics as you go so you can activate stronger armour, as an example to be able to sustain receiving many weapon hits before being killed. You can do all this on the fly from the immediate moment you land on the island. It makes for some interesting and different gameplay styles as you progress through the game as each outpost and challenge presents many tactical options.
Getting around the island, there are plenty jeeps and boats to take a faster route to an objective, or you can take in the ambience and go heading through the jungle so you have more cover and are harder to spot, as well as admire the lush scenery.
Now, here is the thing with this remaster for me: For some reason they have used the 2011 PS3/XBox 360 version instead of the original PC version on which to base this remaster. When that was released, there was less vegetation, worse textures, while the suit itself didn’t quite look as good as the original PC release. Granted, this is to be expected running on console hardware, from all but 2 generations ago at the time of writing.
Another gripe is that the console releases are missing the Ascension mission, but while it only lasts around 10 minutes including cutscenes, it did add to the overall experience. This mission sees you piloting the VTOL – a futuristic looking dropship-type plane which kinda reminds me of the dropship from Aliens, but with proper wings. You had to fly through canyons with this plane and give backup to other planes when attacked, and then get to an extraction point. I do quite enjoy this mission, and it’s a bit strange that it wasn’t included in this new remaster, even though it was missing from the PS3/XB360 versions originally.
Additionally, the editor is missing from this remaster which allowed players to make their own creations, and the multiplayer is completely gone. However, the latter was never really that big, so you won’t miss it to much.
The whole look, in all fairness, has brought Crysis Remastered up to date as boulders now have rounded edges, and don’t look quite so flat. Vegetation/foliage looks great, and if you have the power god rays, then shafts of sunlight pierce upper tree canopy. The suit, itself, is highly detailed, and looking closely at it, you can really see it in all it’s glory (even though I do prefer the way it looks on the original!).
For a truly PC-melting experience, the highest detail setting is called “Can it run Crysis?!” This setting ramps things up to 11, needing the very latest hardware PLUS, to get the best framerate, but it does look truly amazing if your system can run it.
I have been running this at 1440p, with Very High detail on my system, but I turned off the Motion Blur and Raytracing (My system is an older i7 4790k, 12Gb DDR3, RX570 8Gb and a standard SATA mechanical drive). Motion Blur is something I always turn off as it gives me a killer headache, while the Raytracing is what was crippling my PC. The reason for this is that if you don’t have the nVidia hardware on which to run it, then it is done with software which can cripple your system.
The game does look great (personal preferences aside). Yes, it is based on the console build, but they have really put a lot of work into getting this game to look the best they possibly can, and it will set the benchmark for a few years to come, no doubt. Speaking of benchmark, there is one built into Crysis Remastered so you can gauge how things are running on your PC and get it running nicely before starting the game. To access the benchmark, browse the Bin64 folder within the install directory, to find and run it. On average, I get around 45 Frames Per Second on my now-older system and for me, it is running smooth without any hiccups and highly playable.
The thing is, though, I do prefer the way the suit looks on the original PC version and you can mod the original PC version to incorporate all the features you have with this. Yes, it is easier to just buy this new version than tinker setting up numerous mods, but PC Gamers are used to tinkering in most cases in order to get the most from a game or piece of software. Not forgetting the PC original does have the Ascension mission, so is more complete than the remaster.
Crysis Remastered is a great game regardless, and is well worth playing as it has aged well with gameplay and setting. If you haven’t played it previously, you have missed out on a gaming great. For PC players, if you want something that is going to push that new rig, then go for it, but be aware that you can mod the original to look as good as this. Console players definitely pick it up, but bear in mind that you get the lengthy campaign only. Once you have played through it, you won’t have much replayability except for higher difficulty levels, or playing again using a different playstyle.
I am at odds with myself, here, with loving the original so much. I do feel that this classic game deserved more than what we have here in this remaster, which is a bit of a shame as the game itself is so iconic and the gameplay is superb. There is so much to see and do, and there are decent amounts of customisation for every weapon etc. However, I cannot ignore the fact they used a non-PC build of the game as the base of the remaster. Crysis 3 – when it came out – saw awesome improvements to the Cryengine, so why didn’t they pull all the assets into that and then go from there rebuilding the first game?
Crysis Remastered is out now on PC / Epic Games Store, and the respective online stores for PS4 and Xbox One.
- Developer: Crytek/Saber Interactive
- Publisher: Crytek
- Players: Single-player only
Retro at heart and lover of all things ’80s, especially the computers, the music and the awesome movies and TV shows! Crazy huge retro gaming collection spanning the ’80s and ’90s with hundreds of tapes, discs and carts for various machines on top of a 600+ strong Steam library that is ever-growing. No I am not a serial hoarder, just a dedicated retro gamer!