The Switch is a pretty impressive little machine, isn’t it? I don’t want to sound like too much of a fan, but I’m pretty fond of the ability to take my games with me on the go and – unlike the Wii and Wii U – the Switch has done a surprisingly admirable job of maintaining parity with other consoles. You probably wouldn’t choose Switch versions of multiplatform games over beefier, prettier versions (see The Witcher 3) but you’re also not going to get horrible, unplayable experiences either (see DOOM or Streets of Rage 4).
That’s certainly the case with Crysis Remastered, a surprisingly good adaptation of Crytek’s classic system-melting FPS from 2007. It also puts an end to one of the oldest memes since the console was released back in 2017: can the Switch play Crysis? It turns out, yes, it can. For the most part.
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 accomplish this mission, 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.
What’s really interesting here is how well Crysis controls and plays on the Switch. Activating and using the Nanosuit’s capabilities is simple and intuitive, requiring just a couple button-presses, so you won’t really miss the speedy functionality of the PC’s keyboard and mouse setup. Likewise, customizing your weapons with silencers, scopes and so on is fast and straightforward once you’ve gotten the hang of it. Gunplay, as usual, can’t really compare on a controller (especially with the stock Joy-Cons, opt for a Pro Controller if you can), but there’s a bit of gyroscope assistance available in the Switch version that can help with fine-tuning your aim.
Likewise, Crysis’ performance is pretty impressive on a console that’s by no means a powerhouse. The joke used to be “can it run Crysis?” and the Switch sure can. It’s not perfect by any means: the visuals look a bit fuzzy, the framerate is iffy, there’s loads of pop-in and it’s pretty clear this Crysis is running on the lowest possible settings. I’m not sure I could call this a true “remaster” without feeling like I need a shower, though I expect we’ll see the real updates on more powerful hardware soon. On the other hand, it’s head and shoulders above the previous console attempts and offers an entirely playable version of Crysis you can play on the go. That’s quite the feat.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d never suggest someone choose this version of Crysis if they’re looking for the definitive version of the game that once defined the impossible, especially with the true “remasters” coming soon. However, Crysis Remastered on Switch is an entirely workable take on the game and serves as a great reminder of why the game was such a phenomenon back in the day. Even after all these years it remains an exciting FPS that would help define the genre even to this day. So while you’re waiting for Far Cry 6 or the next open-world sensation, why not take a look back to where it all started?