While definitely upgraded, Crysis Remastered still looks a bit dated.
Although it was originally released on PC in 2007, Crysis was introduced to console gamers in 2011 following the launch of Crysis 2. Now, nearly a decade after that, Crysis Remastered has arrived, promising the usual updates like improved graphics and performance. So does revisiting the Lingshan Islands make for a compelling experience some 13 years later? It’s time to suit up and find out.
It’s pretty straightforward FPS stuff here. Triggers and shoulder buttons handle aiming, firing and engaging your suit’s two primary modes (armour and stealth). Holding down one of the face buttons brings up a menu of your available weapons, which are then easily selected with the left stick or d-pad. Cycling through fire modes and switching out attachments (e.g., silencers, flashlights, etc.) is intuitive and well implemented.
Melee attacks feel absolutely archaic, though. They lack impact and fall well short of the type of killing animations we’ve grown accustomed to. Grabbing enemies is also clunky as you’re forced to wait for an on-screen prompt before being able to snatch them by the throat.
While without a doubt the game looks better than it did when it first launched, Crysis Remastered still very much shows its age. The lush island setting remains inviting, and the non-linear progression allows for some exploration, but by modern standards it feels sparse and repetitive. Watching structures crumble is sloppy and screams last-gen. Character models lag behind the environment, and there are entirely too many glitches and frame-rate issues for a game of this age running on an Xbox One X.
Gun effects and explosions, which were areas of strength in the original’s presentation, are still impactful. Meanwhile, the voice acting is decent, and the soundtrack does a solid job.
Set in 2019, Crysis starts as a standard FPS. You’re part of an elite unit dispatched to an island that has been cordoned off by the North Korean government after a group of American scientists made a game-changing discovery. Information is on a need-to-know basis, however, and your superiors have decided you don’t need to know much.
Of course, the relatively straightforward mission turns out to be anything but, and now it’s up to you (Nomad) to unravel what’s really going on. You’ll have sporadic support from other members of your squad throughout the game, though for the most part you’ll be going solo.
That means how you proceed is largely up to you. Yes, you have mission objectives to carry out along with optional secondary goals. How you accomplish them is less structured. You can make liberal use of your suit’s stealth field and stay off the roads to minimize enemy entanglements. Conversely, you can go in guns blazing and shoot anything that moves.
Unfortunately, the game’s signature elements now feel dated. Activating your suit drains energy incredibly fast, and there’s no option to upgrade anything, making stealth more dull than tense while the armour isn’t effective enough to be used as an alternative for finding cover. Glitches aren’t confined to graphics, either, as we’ve seen things like enemy soldiers rendered invincible by clipping through the environment — and reloading checkpoints wasn’t necessarily a cure-all.
Enemy A.I. is also incredibly uneven. Sometimes foes are almost superhuman in their ability to spot you even when cloaked, particularly from vehicles, while in other instances they’ll mill about at the bottom of a sniper tower while you pick them off with ease. Also, for owning such superior tech you certainly fall victim to a high number of deaths. Adding to the frustration, these deaths are often the work of multiple enemy soldiers that seem to spring to life out of the ether to overrun you.
Even with fairly regular deaths erasing progress it should only take around 10 hours to complete the game on the default difficulty. With no multiplayer to pad that out, the game feels a little overpriced even at half the cost of a triple-A title.
Crysis Remastered is another reminder that some games age better than others. While the graphics are decent enough, the gameplay feels outdated, and the amount of technical hiccups is a bad look for an upgraded version of a 13-year-old game. If you enjoyed the Crysis series and have never played the original, you might enjoy seeing its roots, though we’d recommend waiting for a sale.