Crytek is a company that has always pushed hardware to the absolute limits. As a result, we can thank them for the massive leaps forward that graphics have taken in the last 20 years.
In 2004 they released the first Far Cry game which was published by Ubisoft who has since turned it into one of the most popular gaming franchises on the planet. The first game was a groundbreaking 1st person shooter that was graphically stunning for the time and led to Electronic Arts commissioning the developer to create the Crytek engine and the series Crysis.
Crysis was and in some ways still is one of the most powerful gaming titles ever made. It led to the series of memes that stated “but can it play Crysis” in reference to even the most powerful gaming PCs having difficulty running the title on the highest settings. It turned the product from simply a game into a mythical unicorn that gamers tried to tame.
Now in 2021, we see the release of a remastered edition of the Crysis trilogy, and the question is asked, does this unicorn still put up a fight, or has today’s technologies tamed the wild beast?
The answer is mixed in both yes and no. It really comes down to what system you are playing it on. The console versions on PS5 and Xbox Series X perform amazingly, the graphics upgrades are stunning and even the slightly outdated gameplay in the first title is surprisingly still a lot of fun. I mean let’s face it, they’ve even made it run relatively well on the Nintendo Switch, albeit not nearly as impressive looking but that’s the equivalent of getting your toaster to play Super Mario.
On PC is where you can adjust the specs of the title to really push the limits of any system still. The idea of playing the game at 60fps is doable, but you might need to make some sacrifices to support that, meaning it retains its status on this platform. A status you’ve got to think that at this stage is more an issue with the game rather than the capabilities of the machine. Either way, it’s nice to still be able to say, “but can it play Crysis?”.
The trilogy gameplay itself is really strong. If you haven’t played it before it’s worth a look at for history’s sake and because at the heart of it these are great stories with interesting choices.
The first game feels like you have just landed in the movie “Predator”. You battle North Korean soldiers before discovering an alien threat that gives you a run for your money even in your super-powered nanosuit of armour.
Crysis 2 is set 3 years after the events of the first game and takes you to city streets during the alien attack. It’s fast-paced and bigger and better in every way. But it’s the third game that really does a number on you.
Crysis 3 takes place in New York once again but is now set in 2047. The mission of revenge against the alien threat is called the Cell. It’s this title that feels the most modern as far as the gameplay and with good reason, it was released in 2013, the same year we saw Bioshock Infinite, Grand Theft Auto 5, The Last of Us, and Metro Last Light. So gaming mechanics and systems had hit a peak that Crysis now needed to keep up with. It’s also got the most powerful story of the three games and is an excellent way to tie the trilogy together.
It’s really great that they decided to bundle all the titles together in one remastered release, although there is the option just to buy the titles you want individually as well. The optimisations for the next generation consoles prove that the game is a powerful tool in the arsenal of first-person shooter history that deserves respect and thanks for driving technology further and faster. Finally being able to play the game the way it was intended feels like an accomplishment, like something you would tick off your 50 things to do before you turn 50 list.
Crysis Remastered is a downright masterpiece, and it’s time you found out what all the hype is about.