Ever since we were introduced to the technical marvel that was the original Crysis back in 2007, it has stood the test of time. To this day it is still the benchmark to which we hold any gaming device be that a new console or PC by always asking “Can it run Crysis?”
Now, while the answer in most cases with modern hardware is a resounding yes, it is still a question worth asking. Not just to test your shiny new graphics card or new console, but because Crysis is still an incredible game that you’d want to have on any device.
For those who have never played Crysis allow me to explain more about the game. It’s a FPS in which you take control of Nomad, a special operative part of what’s called the ‘Raptor Squad’ which is a small group of five soldiers each equipped with Nanosuits. These suits give the wearer super-soldier abilities such as invisibility, super speed, impenetrable armor and super strength. These abilities are fun on their own but all together makes for a great power fantasy.
The game takes place on an island in North Korea where Raptor Squad is investigating the disappearance of a key scientist and his team. The mission changes very quickly, however, from a simple rescue op to something much bigger and by the end you are fighting at ground zero of a full on alien invasion. The story as a whole still very much holds up as a good classic action adventure. Even though I’m already familiar with the Crysis series, I still found myself engrossed in the story. Far too many games today have long and drawn out plots that not only weigh on the time it takes to complete them but have a heavier weight emotionally. This isn’t necessarily bad, but in the case of Crysis it was extremely refreshing to allow myself to just turn my brain off and enjoy and surface level action story with some cool abilities. It brought me right back to 2007, playing games where the story didn’t always have to be this deep and dark tale, but good and interesting enough to keep you intrigued while it let the gameplay handle the rest of your enjoyment.
With the barrage of FPS games that have come out since the original Crysis, I can understand those not familiar with the game or the series not entirely seeing the value. To those people I say that Crysis not only still holds up against some of those modern day shooters but even out performs them in gameplay quality. The island is one giant sandbox for you to play and roam around in. The story is linear and you have specific objectives to go to, but the game never exactly scripts how you have to get there. It never tells you exactly how you need to complete a specific level, whether you need to be a super sleuth or just go in guns blazing. All of that is up for you to decide, and it allows for some of the most fun gameplay to be found in any FPS, even thirteen years after its original release. Hearing the words “Cloak Engaged” and “Maximum Armour” every time you turn on one of these abilities absolutely never gets old. It still feels cool and always sent a chill down my spine. I’ll always praise a game more for it’s ability to allow the player to have as much agency as possible, even if the main events of the plot are still pre-determined. From beginning to end it is pure fun that doesn’t stop.
As a remaster, the game does look fantastic. I’m no tech expert or frame rate chaser so I can’t exactly speak to how well it performs in regards to those aspects, but to the average player it will still look beautiful. The graphical settings on PC offer a good set of options to play with, and the all powerful “Can it Run Crysis” setting is extremely impressive. If you’re like me, however, be prepared for higher settings to turn your game into a slideshow, especially if you don’t have the absolute best hardware on the market. I certainly don’t, though I will say that I’m at least impressed with how well my CPU held up when I did play for a short while with the settings cranked. Most setups will be more than fine with the game running on high or even medium settings. As a personal note for those who maybe are looking for an in-depth technical look at the game, I’d direct you to Digital Foundry who no doubt will cover the matter.
One aspect that is entirely different from the original is the removal of a short level towards the end of the game called Ascension. It’s not really that big of a loss frankly, though I can see why those who were fond of the original in its entirety would take issue with this change.
As a whole, this remaster is an absolute must for any fan of the FPS genre. Even if you’re already familiar with the series, if you haven’t gone back in a while I’d still say it’s worth picking up. Plus, with a new line of graphics cards from both NVIDIA and AMD on the horizon, there is no better benchmark than Crysis. Hopefully we’ll also see this remaster moved over to next generation consoles, because I mean, the PS5 and Xbox Series X look cool and all, but can they run Crysis?
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