I was excited going into playing Crysis Remastered having never played the original on PC, or the console ports. Of course, I was familiar with the “but can it run Crysis” meme. If nothing else, it made me all the more aware of those visuals when playing.
It seems like just yesterday that Crytek originally released Crysis. However, that was 2007. A time when I was younger, happier, and younger. Crytek was flexing its technical muscles with CryEngine 2, and pushing PCs to the limit – much to the orgasmic delight of the “PC Master Race”.
Clicking into the campaign, I was met by one of the most unique difficulty screens of my gaming life. Above the hard difficulty, there is “Delta”. The most wonderful – and one of the most in-depth – things about Delta is that the enemies now speak Korean. As someone who can barely speak their own native language properly, I felt happy to steer clear and press on through at normal difficulty.
With the question hanging in my mind, “how much Korean would I have to learn to play on Delta?”
Shut Up Psycho, I’m Checking Out The Graphics!
You start off in a plane with your squad, Raptor Team. They had to have a cool name, didn’t they? Meeting the team, you see Prophet – the Lawrence Fishburne type leader: Jester, Aztec, and Psycho [who has a terrible, stereotypical English accent]. I did grow to like him, a little, but not his dialogue. I’m not sure if I can forgive the person who wrote his lines.
As soon as I gained control of the protagonist, Nomad, I was falling from the sky thanks to a parachute jump going awry. I instantly started looking around to check out the graphics whilst plummeting, seemingly, to my death.
Having turned on ray-tracing in the menu before starting, I do admit I was expecting a lot. I was playing on Xbox Series X, so was hopeful of a beautiful gaming experience.
Enjoying the sights before I start another massacre.
And I wasn’t particularly let down or blown away, to be honest. Crysis Remastered looks good. Having released in 2007, it certainly looks more last-gen. However, it still looks better than the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 port that struggled to be played to the max on consoles.
Now This Is A Story All About How Lingshan Got Flipped Turned Upside Down
The story is pretty straight-forward, and is actually set just last year in the games sci-fi timeline;
“The game begins in 2020 when North Korean forces led by General Kyong take control of the Lingshan Islands.Crysis Wiki
A team of American civilian archaeologists, led by Dr David Rosenthal, send out a distress call indicating that they discovered something that could change the world.
Thus Raptor Team was dispatched to the islands, with the core mission of evacuating them out and securing any valuable information that they have”.
I found the story pretty intriguing, though I’m not exactly a fan of playing a bland American soldier. Not like there are that many of those in gaming.
But the story will grip you, mission-to-mission, just for the pay off of seeing where you go. Especially true when latter game elements are introduced.
The missions will take you to enemy camps you need to infiltrate, mines you need to infiltrate and a harbour that, you guessed it, requires infiltration. Along the way, you’ll get to pilot a tank through a battle against enemy tanks, helicopters, and missile launcher-wielding ground forces. This is as well as some boat-combat when escaping and attacking gun placements.
Journeying to the heart of the mountain is a particular highlight that changes the gameplay up somewhat. I won’t spoil it, as it’s something you’ll want to experience yourself.
Probably the perviest use of the cloaked ability, in-game…
Sorry, Señor Turtle
Nomad is equipped with a Nanosuit capable of granting extra abilities in combat. The usual upgrades, like invisibility, max armour, and enhanced running speed all feature, among others.
Hitting the ground, I started testing out the controls to see what I could interact with. I shamefully killed a chill-looking turtle. Sorry, buddy. And next, when prompted to pick up a crab I’d followed, I did accidentally hurl him 15 years into the future. Seriously, he went so far.
Again, sorry buddy!
But, it does show the fun a masochist could have in-game. The environments are (fairly) destructible, giving you different ways to approach enemy encounters.
The physics can be impressive and hilarious in equal measure. On one hand, buildings fall apart chaotically. Meanwhile, chairs you’ve barely touched will be having an epileptic fit across the room.
All Destruction, No Derby
The destructible environments are fantastic, though knowing what can be destroyed is another question. I drove my tank into a block that wasn’t destructible. But when I reversed, my own soldiers were also indestructible and I was caught between the two. Hilariously, the tank was glitching back and forward. Can it run Crysis, though?
Where the levels are big, there is a chance to be able to make your own fun with which strategy you use. You can employ either stealth or action (and dealing with the poor shooting mechanics) to get between objectives.
After encountering a few enemies, I started getting to grips with the shooting and movement mechanics. I was also able to judge when I needed to use the cloak for camouflage, or max armour ability to bulldoze my way through.
But the more I fought the enemies, the more the controls seemed clunky and slow to me. They felt outdated, and, despite turning the sensitivity to maximum, it still felt sluggish.
The saving grace for the combat was the gun customisation. By simply holding the Xbox’s View button, I was given the option to change the weapons attachments on the fly. Which, as you can guess, was great for the ease of access.
Go Here, Do That – But Why?
The objectives can be somewhat samey; go here, click that button, fight, repeat.
The ecosystem in Crysis is interesting, with (seemingly) a myriad of animals knocking about the island, despite the shit going down all around them. I had a frog jump right up in front of me out of nowhere, so I preceded to follow it, just to see what it was doing. Spoiler alert, it was just frogging about.
“I’ve told you a thousand times, you can’t park there! Not just on the tank, but on the tracks!”
Spotting the enemy in the wooded environments can be difficult; you’ll have to use all the tools at your disposal. I found this out very quickly when trying to escape in cloaked mode only to sit in a bush next to an enemy. I ended up startling myself and them even more.
Yet, due to – I assume – their excellent North Korean woodcraft, I was found anytime I opted not to use cloaked mode almost instantly. This was despite distance or visibility. Or, Hell, even logic!
Despite wearing a high-tech suit with a cloak and armour, I always felt vulnerable due to the aiming being so poor. This is despite the sensitivity being turned up to maximum, coupled with the slowest possible crouching speed. Seriously, we’re talking wading through cold custard slow.
A Couple Of Irritants
The checkpoints may, in fact, be my second biggest bugbear in Crysis after the shooting/movement sluggishness. I had a checkpoint ping me back between two enemies. This required me to take quick action to get away, again and again, when I was killed further up the road.
And the last of my few gripes has to be Admiral Morrison. Morrison is your stereotypical American officer; he’d just as soon Nuke all his problems away. Damn it, Admiral, were you sick the day they taught diplomacy? Maybe listen to Helena, one of the only characters to talk any sense in Crysis. You’re only setting up a problem I’ll have to solve, but I guess that’s the curse of being the protagonist.
This guy has never met a problem he couldn’t nuke.
I had a mixed time with Crysis Remastered. My enjoyment came from the story, and just wanting to get through the next firefight in stealth to see what happens next. Conversely, this was balanced out by being constantly killed by enemies I couldn’t see or shoot. Causing me to feel like I was fighting the controls as much as the enemies. If not more so.
The story kept me going when the checkpoints were driving me more insane than antagonist General Kyong and mad Admiral Morrison combined. The sci-fi aspect fit well with the narrative of being just another American special unit fighting another nation because “‘Merica!”.
By the time the credits rolled, I really didn’t expect it to be over. I felt like I had more to do with these characters. That being said, the last boss I fought did have a grand scale to it, which gave it that final boss feel.
The remaster misses the Ascension mission and multiplayer, making this far from the full Crysis experience.
As many issues as I had whilst playing Crysis Remastered, it did give me the need to play the sequels. I’m now hoping they improve on certain aspects and will really draw me in fully to the Crysis universe.
Crysis Remastered was reviewed playing the Xbox One version on an Xbox Series X with a key generously provided by the developer. The game is available on PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch.
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A decent remaster, that should've been a remake
- Overall - 7/107/10
- Destructible environments are great fun
- The story will keep you playing
- When the abilities work you feel unstoppable
- Impressive set pieces
- Graphically enhanced from the original
- Sluggishness movement and shooting sensitivity
- Feeling vulnerable to regular enemy soldiers
- Admiral Morrison is an arsehole