Crysis will always remain an iconic game that led to the creation of the “Can It Run Crysis” meme on PC. Of course, it was an innovative and unique open-ended shooter as well, with a level of visual fidelity and destruction that was never seen in another game. It has been brought to the consoles again with Crysis Remastered, which is another attempt by Crytek to sell the game with improved visuals that closely resemble its original release on PC and not the compromised version that was available on PS3 and Xbox 360.
This is obviously not the first time the game has made its way to consoles. Crytek has attempted this in the past with the Crysis port to PS3 and Xbox 360 but that required some sacrifices to run, and basically made the game lose its special appeal in the process. The new remaster attempts to bring back the vanilla PC version and also improves visuals on top of it. Since the original version of Crysis on PC was notorious for its CPU-intensive requirements as it locked them to single-core and the only way to brute force was to through more GPU and CPU raw power on it, there was a much-needed rewrite of the code to make it run better on the modern platforms.
Crysis takes inspiration from action movies of the 80s. It shows with the dated dialogue, poor story structure, and a focus on gameplay more than the narrative. The main character wears an advanced robotic suit which is called a “nanosuit”. It gives powers to the user with various abilities ranging from armored mode to full invisibility. These powers help with the dynamic approach to mission design, leaving it up to the player to decide how they want to complete their objectives.
The open-ended approach of Crysis still feels unique to this day, despite the focus on linearity that occurred in its sequels. It works because of the nanosuit abilities and the open-world design of the game. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a traditional open-world game, but there are opportunities offered in every mission that let you tackle various objectives based on your combat preference. While the story is bad and there are hardly any memorable characters in the game, the mission design leads to many dramatic moments. The mix of stealth and action abilities with a lot of gunplay means you are never forced to follow a set of action for every mission.
Despite the promise of visual upgrades, the game is now starting to look extremely dated. It doesn’t help that the technical performance hasn’t been solid at all. Despite the improved lighting and textures, there are places where it is apparent that this is an older game that is just being sold with a fresh coat of paint. The core gameplay loop and design are kept intact for the most part but on a base PS4, the performance is rather unstable which is another major issue considering the promise of a smoother and improved experience by the developers.
The lackluster upgrade feels bad if you consider how long it has been since the game was released, and the re-release that it received on the PS3 which felt like it had more to offer than the current remaster. To top it, the developers haven’t touched on the enemy AI which is piss poor compared to the current-generation standards. All of this might have passed in 2007 when the game was originally released, but it doesn’t work anymore and the flaws are clearly visible with a replay.
Crysis Remastered also suffers from some major bugs and glitches on the PS4. The lighting can often lead to visual glitches and the levels sometimes fail to load. The AI can also glitch out occasionally during a mission forcing a restart of the game. While the developers have released a couple of patches to address these issues, it doesn’t help make the case for a better game. This is an old remaster that shouldn’t have these issues in the first place, and even despite the delay, it wasn’t working perfectly from day one. The lack of content including from the Warzone expansion and the removal of the Ascension mission is also disappointing, to say the least.