Can I run Crysis?”  Even if you’ve never played a Crysis game, the chances are high that you’ve heard the term “Can I run Crysis?”  In 2007, the PC specifications for Crysis were that demanding, that you would need a beast PC on illegal enhancements to run the game at its fullest and many years later, it still remained to be one of the most demanding games of its time.  So with that, many never a got to play Crysis to see what the fuss was all about and I include myself as one of those.  Although in 2011, the PS3 and Xbox 360 got a watered down release of Crysis.  To be fair, it was a decent enough port for the platforms, but of course, it was nowhere near to the standards of the version available to the PC Master Race.

So in 2020, we’re finally getting a taste of what that fuss is about with Crysis: Remastered on PS4 and Xbox One (also available on Nintendo Switch).  Sure, no doubt top-end PC’s will top the visual and performance charts, but at this time on console, this is as good as we’re going to get for this classic title.  Unfortunately, despite being “as good we’re going to get”, this remastered port is nowhere near good enough and despite it lacking mostly in the visual department, after recently playing the initial console release of Crysis on my Xbox One via the backwards compatibility function, right now, I’d rather play the last-gen port over this mess.

Before we go into the more technical aspects of this remaster, let’s quickly gloss over the story.  After receiving reports from a top-secret operation on an island located in North Korea, a discovery was made that could change the way in which we live in our world.  However, something goes horribly wrong, and you (Nomad) and your Delta Force Raptor Team are tasked in responding to a distress signal from the island and as soon as you and your team drop in, it seems that despite all the training that this elite task force team had received, nothing could have prepared them for the supernatural entities that they were to face on the Lingshan Island, something that can only be described as not of this world.

When the game begins and you’re dropped into the island, the game looks good.  Not great, because in fairness this is a remaster and not a new game built from the ground-up, but I was somewhat optimistic about this game none the less.  However, after a good ten minutes or so of playing, not only did I encounter a stuttering framerate more then I should, I also encountered frequent graphical glitches, that would make me think that an enemy A.I has thrown a flash grenade in my direction.  At times, even the backdrop visuals were glitching like a 90’s Acid House rave party!  As this game offers you the choice of prioritizing between visuals, performance and ray-tracing (the latter of which is a first on console), I changed to prioritise performance in the hope that a less focus on visuals might stop the in-game rave party.

Unfortunately in doing that, it caused my game to crash to the dashboard.  So I reloaded the game at the checkpoint, and my game was still raving.  Then I switched to prioritise ray-tracing and the game crashed, again.  I re-loaded, switched back to prioritizing on visuals and yes you’ve guessed it, the game crashed again.  Within the first hour of playing, I had encountered at least four crashes, so at this point, I just left the game as it was, despite feeling like I’m being flash banged every five or ten minutes.  For this game to be a remaster, it’s not really acceptable that I found the bog-standard last-gen release to be in more of an acceptable state, and to its credit and limitations, to this day, I’ve had no technical issues with the port from 2011.

Aside from the buggy technical issues, how does Crysis Remastered play?  Well, it’s ok, nothing spectacular and in terms of being a first-person shooter, movement and guns all feel fine.  However, with this being a game that originated from 2007, it hasn’t evolved much in terms of gameplay either and some of those out-dated issues can feel a little frustrating.  For example, quickly switching through weapons can feel a little clunky, especially when you’re under-pressure from A.I gunfire and something as simple as jumping over objects does not feel all that fluid, and it can take you a few attempts to jump up some minor terrain and if your still under-fire, you’re going to take a pounding from bullets.


Speaking of taking damage from the enemy.  Back when I played the port from 2011, I remember getting frustrated with how much damage you’d take from normal enemies, even with the apparently enhanced Nanosuit that you and your squad are equipped with.  The Nanosuit has two main functions, one that supposed to give your suit a shield, which allows you to absorb more damage and the other cloaks you, perhaps similar to that of the Predator from the Arnie movies.  However, the damage absorption only allows you to take a little more damage than usual, because when not activated, you can die very easily, but when the shield is activated, you just die a little less easily.  Which is fine, I get that its part of the difficulty, but this Nanosuit is supposed to make you feel badass, and it doesn’t.

The cloaking activation works fine, and in the most part, if you move slowly, the enemy will often not notice you, so it does its job in that respect.  However, you have to find a fine balance between using the damage absorption and the cloaking, because your suits energy will be drained.  Your shields and cloaking can only be active for a short duration, and quick movements as well as combat, will quickly deplete that energy, and if you attack an enemy while cloaked, your cloaking will often deactivate due to energy depletion, and if there’s any other enemies nearby, you’ll find yourself in a gunfight, rendering your sneaking skills leading up to that point, practically pointless.

To conserve energy, you’ll often find yourself moving very slowly and that soon becomes a chore.  It perhaps wouldn’t so bad having to conserve energy, if the stealth was at least decent, but it’s not.  Unless you’re a Crysis stealth expert, you’ll be spraying bullets in practically every enemy base and when you can die so easily as a result, this can become quite frustrating.  Oh and playing this remaster, it gave me flashbacks (not flash bang bugs) of the enemy A.I’s super-sight.  Considering you supposed to be the one with the super-suit, the enemy can seemingly spot you from very long distance, before you even know where they are.  Yet despite the enemy super-sight, the A.I is at times incredibly dumb.  If you’re in a building, having a shootout, you can just wait in a room and pick-off the enemy one-by-one, as they run around the corner, lining up to get shot.  This again, is dumb A.I from its time.  I know the gameplay has remained loyal to the original release, for better or worse, but it would have been great to at least modernise the gameplay, as well as the enemy A.I.

To conclude, this in its defence is a remaster and not a remake.  Though a remake from the ground-up would have been great and perhaps would have done this game justice on the modern generation.  But as this is a remaster, for better and worse, this is essentially the same game, but with a few tweaks and visual improvements.  The developers have also tried something ambitious by implanting ray-tracing in the console versions, but in truth, switching between the three available priority options, I found the difference to be quite minimal at best and that’s hoping that the game doesn’t crash when you’re changing priorities.

I hate to be negative towards any game, because even with remasters, I know how much of a task development is and I don’t believe that I had particularly high expectations going into this remaster, but I expected better, I certainly didn’t expect to encounter the kind of bugs and glitches.  I’ve tried to be as fair as I can with this game, to the extent that I’ve held out, hoping that there would be a patch to fix its issues.  Sadly however, at least at the time of writing this review, the PS4 version has not been patched.  At its full RRP, Crysis Remastered has a price of £24.99 on digital platforms, which is most certainly a steep price to ask at this point.  If you knock a tenner off the price, this game might turn a few heads.  So my advice, if you really want this game, wait for the inevitable price drop, at least then it might be patched.  It’s a shame that this is the remaster we go to close out this generation of console, and to answer the question at the start of this review, yes, you can now run Crysis, but you shouldn’t bother running this version at this current state, because Crysis Remastered deserves better than this!