Some games aren’t necessarily about the game itself. When you bought Zone of the Ends, for instance, chances are you were buying it for the included demo of Metal Gear Solid 2. When you bought Tobal No. 1, you may have wanted to try Final Fantasy VII for the first time. Finally, of course, when you tried Crysis, were you trying it for the gameplay or just to see what your PC could do? We’ve already seen the impossible with an entirely playable, entirely enjoyable version of the game available on Switch, but what about the tech heads craving benchmark-pushing performance?
Well, there’s good news – you can have that experience all over again with Crysis Remastered, which wants to give the most powerful PCs available a run for their money.
When an island chain off the coast of Korea is invaded by the North Korean military, the United States takes an interest in what’s going on. They send their finest Delta Force team, Raptor Squad, to go and deal with the problem…whatever that turns out to be. It takes more than just training and discipline to get this mission done, though. These guys are armed with the best technology America has available: the Nanosuit, a suit of power armor that offers cybernetic strength enhancement, bullet-blocking armor and a Predator-style cloak.
You’ll control Raptor Squad member Nomad as you explore the islands, deal with the North Koreans and learn more about what’s going on. Nomad and his squadmates talk and there’s a plot going on, sure, but (as the following games in the series would show) the real star is the Nanosuit itself. You’re able to become powerful enough to punch enemies through buildings, fast enough to outrun vehicles and, perhaps most crucially, you can use that cloak to take out entire squads of baddies without breaking a sweat. Combined with the freeform nature of Crysis’ missions, there’s a sense of power as you determine for yourself how best to approach each situation.
Crysis is largely about exploration and coming up with your own ways to address scenarios. You can charge in guns blazing, sneak around with the ever-useful cloak function and find your own middle ground between the two. You can also customize your guns to get the most out of your weapons based on the situation. This kind of goes out the window toward the end of the game when you find yourself challenging a decidedly different sort of foe, but for most of Crysis you’re allowed and encouraged to approach things as you please. It’s a pretty pleasant take on the FPS genre and this style of gameplay still holds up today.
With this remaster you’re mostly getting moderately improved visuals in exchange for a significantly increased performance impact. Whether or not that’s a good tradeoff really depends on the player and their hardware. If you’ve got a beefy PC, then, well, it can run Crysis and it can run it at the highest possible settings – dubbed, of course, “Can It Run Crysis?” here, because why wouldn’t it be?
Meanwhile, PCs that crush the original game but aren’t necessarily top of the line today are going to struggle. In return, the graphical improvements aren’t really all that life-changing, so don’t expect a night-and-day scenario as we’ve seen in superlative efforts like the recent remasters of Saints Row The Third and Mafia. It’s better, particularly when it comes to the Nanosuit itself and the game’s greatly increased draw distance, but not enough to merit the polygon-crunching power you’ll need.
Still, Crysis remains an engaging shooter that’s just as fun in 2020 as it was in 2007. It’s worth another playthrough if you’re a long-time fan of the series, especially given how far Crysis 2 and 3 diverged from this style of gameplay, and if you’re new to this game it’s your best chance to check it out. Even if you’ve played the respectable Switch version and still want a true “remaster”, despite not being to max the graphical settings out like you once did, Crysis Remastered still looks and plays great.