Crysis (Remastered) is one of those touchstone titles that most gamers have heard about, being released on PC back in 2007 to rave reviews. It was the “Ultimate Test” of a PCs graphical prowess. Later in 2011 Crysis (KC review here) landed on Console, which is where I experienced it on the Xbox 360. Even in the paired down console version, I loved it, its was beautiful, unique and I even got 1000/1000 achievement points!
13 years have passed since its initial release. Which is a long time in game design terms. Unfortunately, even though Crysis has had the “Remaster treatment” to make it all pretty, the titles old bones are showing their age. Crysis is an open world, first person shooter built around a sci-fi ‘power suit’ that has various functions. Heavy armour, invisibility, super speed etc… you know the tropes. I won’t deep-dive the story, as it is not the reason to venture into this open world jaunt. Just think – Tropical island, nasty North Korean soldiers and mysterious flying alien squid, all up to no good.
Is it an fps Crysis?
Being a remaster the graphical improvements are really what we need to discuss. Crysis: Remastered on PS4 Pro has had three graphical modes added. “Quality” mode, is a 4K / 30fps setting that has moments of beauty especially when the screen is still. But in the heat of battle, texture flicker becomes very noticeable if not unbearable. The “Ray Tracing” mode does what it says. Sabre Interactive have added some very clever software based ray tracing lighting effects, but again it still limits the game to 30fps. Thankfully there is a “Performance” 60fps mode, but it comes at the price of dropping the resolution to 1080p. This is the mode to play in if I’m frank. As it is more stable graphically and any FPS is better in higher frames. The best run down on the nitty gritty of the various modes is this Digital Foundry Video.
All this said, the overall remastering feels like it lacks some love. Sure the island at times is a tropical paradise, with glistening water and huge explosions, all worthy of a screen shot or two.
Rough with the smooth.
I also experienced regular screen tearing, muddy textures and even blurry lines running through the middle of the screen (Below image). The faces in cut scenes are ‘smudgy’. Facial animations and lip movement don’t match the dialogue. The audio seems like it has been lifted directly from the original with no tangible improvements. In fact the audio of the guns, in particular the AK47 archetype is laughably simple with no depth or punch. Enemy soldier movement is clunky and feels like it is one step away from a “T-pose” at any moment. Crysis has always had a large stealth element to its gameplay, but in 2020 it just shows how poor the enemy AI really was. The main character’s movement is floaty and detached, it felt like I was just sliding around the island.
If we get down to brass tacks, the game overall just feels and plays….well old.
Crysis: Remastered is still a big, fun shooter.
In 2007 it was an absolute revelation to the FPS space. In 2020… it is not. This nip ‘n’ tuck has done the bare minimum to deserve the “Remaster” title. That all said, it has a nice low price point to make it worth a look if you’re curious.
Just don’t expect to have you power-suit-socks blown off.