Thank you to Crytek for providing a review copy. (Reviewed on PC)
First off, I want to make it clear that this review will be based on the merits of this title being a remaster, not necessarily the content of the original game itself. This review will also be short in comparison to other titles that have been covered here at TGP, as Crysis Remastered is an abhorrent technical disaster (so much so that it prevented me from completing the game in its entirety). The fantastic core gameplay, level design, and open-ended nature of the title and its mechanics are all still there, but that doesn’t make up for the numerous blaring flaws that are littered throughout. In short, stick to the original Crysis if you’re interested in another playthrough, as this remaster will leave you feeling sheer disappointment.
Narrative, Gameplay, and Graphics
We all know the story of the original Crysis, but I’ll briefly discuss it here regardless. You are part of a United States spec ops team kitted out with futuristic nanosuits, which give you massive advantages over your enemies such as more armor, a cloaking function, a ludicrously fast running speed, and super strength to name the main abilities. You and your team are then dropped into North Korea to rescue a team of archaeologists, who went dark and are presumably being held hostage by NK leadership. However, not all is as it seems on the surface of the island, as something long forgotten buried beneath has awoken. I won’t spoil anything further, but in short the story gets the job done while being nothing to write home about. The gameplay, however, is always where Crysis has shined brightest. It’s incredibly fun, and requires solid strategy and decent marksmanship to survive encounters/ambushes. These combat scenarios are usually unique, forcing the player to adopt new tactics to come out on top. In particular, I recall playing a game of “cat and mouse” with cloaked enemies that had acquired their own nanosuits in a foggy graveyard, and switching from hunter to hunted while awaiting evac was exhilarating. Most combat scenarios, however, much like the level design itself are open ended; so you can attack the majority of objectives in any manner that you choose. Furthermore, checkpoints are limited compared to modern shooters, but that adds additional challenge which I personally welcome with open arms. There are some instances, though, where hit registration can be a bit finicky, and that combined with some enemies being bullet sponges is immensely frustrating (be sure to always aim for the head). When it comes to the topic of visuals, mostly everything has been enhanced but not to an extreme degree. However, the lighting, water reflections, foliage, shadows, and textures have all been noticeably enhanced, but not as much of an improvement compared to other remasters of late (especially when the game in question is thirteen years old with the original still being a viable option for players). Unfortunately, I have no further praises for Crysis Remastered, as the rest of this review will be a well-deserved critique.
Glitches, Glitches, and Glitches
To put in bluntly, this is the most broken remaster I have ever played and should have never been released in this state. I played this on a high-end PC and had a myriad of issues, but apparently the Xbox One X version is completely unplayable to boot (not much word on PS4 performance, but I wouldn’t hold out any hope for a better experience on there). In fact, I suffered through so many blaring glitches that I truly wonder if there was ever any QA Testing done whatsoever. Below are the technical bugs I witnessed in my time with Crysis Remastered:
- Game crashed as soon as I started a new game four times, even after updating drivers and lowering settings
- Forced to play game on medium settings so it wouldn’t crash on startup, even though my rig is absolutely capable of running a game from 2007 (even though remastered) on higher settings
- Instances where random shadows glide across the ground for no reason
- A lot of pop in and pop out
- Flickering textures (especially with trees)
- Egregious audio skipping
- Enemies driving invisible vehicles
- Enemies spot you through walls from yards away
- No subtitles even though I enabled them
- Unnecessarily long loading times
- Instance where game black-screens on loading into mission, requiring restart
Conclusion and Final Score
I can definitively say that Crysis Remastered is not worth the purchase at this current moment in time. Although the core gameplay is still incredibly solid and intuitive with a slightly interesting premise as the backdrop, you can still find and play that in its entirety with the original game (which still looks fantastic, by the way). This remaster has no benefits or advantages over the original release of the title, as you’re essentially paying for a glitch-ridden downgrade. If the issues listed above are patched then the visual enhancements would probably make the game worth the money at a slight sale, but until then I cannot recommend this game in good conscience. This should have spent a few more months in QA, and absolutely should have been delayed and pushed back much further than it initially was. Overall, Crysis Remastered is the most busted remaster I have ever played, and is unbearable alongside being practically downright unplayable.