Crysis RemasteredSeptember 18th, 2020
PlatformPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC (EGS)
Nearly thirteen years ago, Crytek released a first-person shooter that forever changed the potential for gaming performance. Whether or not your machine could run Crysis made it the de facto standard for GPU and PC stress testing, something that has fallen out of vogue as people switch to Time Spy and Cinebench. As we’ve learned many times this console generation, what’s old is new once more as companies like Saber Interactive dive into the back catalogs of popular titles from the last couple of console generations. Their latest entry takes aim at Crysis with a Remastered release that doesn’t quite hit the mark on PlayStation 4.
The date is August 14th, 2020. As Nomad, you’re part of an elite group of Nanosuit-wearing special forces tasked with infiltrating an island in the Philippines that’s been overtaken by North Korean forces and extract out a couple of key operatives. Despite the superior technology, players quickly learn that the North Koreans have acquired a similar bit of tech and there’s something about the island that leads them to believe that humans might not be the only thing attacking them.
The summer-soaked island makes up the setting for nearly all of Crysis Remastered and it looks better than I remember it, but only on the surface level. Even with the PlayStation 4 version’s ray tracing enabled, Crysis Remastered never truly shines the way I would expect such a graphical powerhouse to look in 2020. Rays of God and shadows don’t illuminate the world as they did in my vague memories of playing the original game and what’s there feels only half baked. Character models look especially bad with the lighting not being too kind to facial animations, making them look uneven and awkward. Even the opening mission to Crysis Remastered, First Light, has been changed from a pre-dawn raid that’s meant to showcases the global illumination of CryEngine has instead been changed to an unremarkable middle of the day assault.
Despite the graphical shortcomings, Crysis Remastered’s performance on consoles doesn’t make up for this deficit. On PlayStation 4, you’re looking at 30 FPS for both the quality and ray tracing modes at around 1440P-1800P. With ray tracing enabled, that drops down to roughly 1080P30 and lastly there’s a performance mode that locks in at 1080P with an unlimited frame rate that can go up to 60 FPS.
Relatively speaking, the frame rates that Saber Interactive and Crytek promise for Crysis Remastered are pretty close to what’s advertised, at least on PlayStation 4 Pro. There aren’t major drops in performance during extended firefights or when shooting down helicopters with handheld missiles. However, the game has an annoying tendency to hitch drastically any time that the auto save is triggered. Usually this won’t happen during moments of action but it happens so frequently that it’s a common annoyance. On the bright side, reloading a checkpoint if you die is nearly instantaneous on consoles, so I suppose that’s a silver lining to the saving issue.
Crysis Remastered offers your standard lineup of first-person shooter weapons: a surprisingly effect pistol that can be dual-wielded, shotgun, two flavors of assault rifle, precision (sniper) rifle, submachine gun, and the usual assortment of grenades and explosive devices. Towards the second half of the campaign, you’ll also come across a Gauss Rifle that largely offers the same functionality as the precision rifle, minigun, and a special weapon exclusively in the final chapter. The player can carry two primary weapons in addition to their pistol and gadgets that can be upgraded with attachments on the fly. By holding down the touchpad button, the players can bring up their currently equipped weapon and swap attachments around once acquired, so if you’re keen on using a reflex sight on every weapon in your arsenal, you can do so once you acquire it for the first time. Midway through the campaign, you’ll lose your load out for story reasons and have to recollect those attachments once again. Also, be on the lookout for explosive and incendiary ammunition for FY71 as there’s a trophy just for equipping five different attachments on this weapon and the special ammo is the hardest piece to come across.
If you want to play through Crysis Remastered stealthfully, you’ll only be able to use about half of the weapons you can acquire as not every weapon can utilize a silenced suppressor. Sadly, this means that using the typical sniper rifle isn't a stealthy option and you're often better off using the silenced pistol for those fifty-yard headshots instead. Other weapons, like the Gauss Rifle, have a strange feel to them that both sound and feel like they’re lacking real impact to the shots.
Enemy AI in Crysis Remastered is nothing short of brain dead in most encounters. They’ll predictably step out of cover and fire at the player, only to lazily walk from side to side to try and lose the player’s bead on them. Even on Delta difficulty, the enemies don’t have much sense of tactics and just come at the player head-on with the seeming ability to see the player through walls and obstacles. Playing with the stealth option on your Nanosuit is often the best option to get around these enemies and you can simply sneak your way through nine out of ten encounters in Crysis Remastered without firing a single bullet if you don’t want to.
Perhaps my memories of the original Crysis were more rose-tinted than I recall from my machine that certainly couldn’t come close to running the game any higher than the recommended medium settings. For a game that I’ve been waiting over a decade to play at its absolute best, the console releases of Crysis Remastered leave much to be desired. So yes, the PlayStation 4 Pro can run Crysis Remastered but part of me is left wondering if I really want it to.
Reviewed on PlayStation 4 Pro (code provided by the publisher).
Long heralded as the pinnacle of graphical performance, the Remastering of Crysis leaves much to be desired with a style of combat and fidelity that can’t quite match its contemporaries on PlayStation and Xbox
- Achieved with CryEngine 5
- Nanosuit abilities are a natural extension for the player
- Small open-world playgrounds to each mission
- Not feeling up to a firefight? Stealth through the mission
- Attachment system lets you customize your weapons on the fly
- No Warhead or multiplayer content
- Lighting changes ruin the ambience of the original Crysis
- Physics don’t feel right
- Stuttering during auto saves ruins the momentum
- Little reward for exploration
- Enemy AI isn’t much of a challenge