Title: Crysis Remastered
Release Date: July 23, 2020
Reviewed On: Switch
Genre: First Person Shooter
In the mid-2000s, the Crysis series was the biggest name in graphical fidelity. Whenever someone would boast about having a powerful gaming PC, or a new console would be announced, the first thing that would usually be asked is, “but can it run Crysis?”
Though Crysis was fairly popular during the last console generation, it has more or less faded into obscurity. In April, however, Crytek announced out of the blue that they would be remastering the first Crysis for modern systems. Though the PS4 and Xbox One versions got delayed (seemingly to further improve the game’s graphics), the Switch port is here, begging the question: can the Switch really run Crysis? The short answer is, yes. Long answer, not always very well.
Crysis Remastered takes place in the futuristic year of 2020. Through the use of high tech nano suits, the United States has created a team of super-soldiers known as the Raptor Team. When North Korea invades a seemingly insignificant island in the Philippines, the Raptor Team is sent to deal with them. Upon their arrival, however, they are met not only with North Koreans, but also an ancient alien threat that may destroy all of mankind.
Though Crysis is known more for its impressive graphics and technical specs than its story, I still found myself incredibly interested in what would happen next. The game does a great job of drip-feeding players information about the aliens early on, leading to a heightened sense of mystery surrounding them. While I admittedly didn’t love how the plot ended up playing out, I didn’t feel like I had wasted my time paying attention to cutscenes.
Crysis Remastered features open-world gameplay with a mission-based structure. When players begin a new mission, the world around them is completely open for exploration. This leads to the game feeling open-world even though it technically isn’t.
One of the best things about Crysis Remastered is how it lets players take on situations however they want. Players take control of Raptor Team member Nomad, who has several unique abilities thanks to his nano suit: increased speed, strength, and jumping height, along with bullet absorbing armor and a cloak that allows him to turn invisible are at his disposal.
By utilizing these abilities, players can complete objectives in a variety of ways. For instance, if the goal is to take out a large group of enemies, Nomad can run in guns blazing using his armor or can sneak around silently, taking each enemy out while cloaked. No matter how players choose to approach any given situation, the outcome was always a lot of fun.
Crysis Remastered isn’t a new game, however. Fans have enjoyed its story and gameplay for the past 13 years, so the fact that these mechanics hold up doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The biggest question on everyone’s minds is, of course, can this game really run on Switch? As I said earlier, that’s a bit of a complicated question.
One way that Crysis Remastered shows its age is in its graphics. While I could see them looking impressive on 360 or PS3 back in the day, the graphics just don’t hold up that well. Character models especially look dated. They don’t look bad by any means, but they do look like they’re from 2007. Seeing as how this game is simply a remaster and not a remake, however, there was really no way to truly make Crysis Remastered look as good as many modern games, especially not on the Switch.
Crysis Remastered still manages to do what many other games can’t: it has a semi-destructible environment. I’m not going to lie, watching trees and other foliage get completely decimated during firefights in the jungle was awesome and made me wish more games had this feature included.
I can forgive the graphics for looking a bit dated, but I find it hard to look past this remaster’s technical issues. Whenever the action got intense, I noticed a constant frame rate drop. These weren’t game-breaking, but watching the game chug whenever I’d run into more than two enemies became annoyingly frustrating. The game also crashed twice during my playthrough and froze completely once, forcing me to restart entire missions. Most of these technical issues, however, were encountered while playing in handheld mode, and I had fewer problems while playing the game docked.
Crysis Remastered is not the best way to play Crysis, but it isn’t a terrible port. Still, calling the Switch version a “remaster” is a bit of a stretch. You’ll have to look past the dated visuals of the experience and maybe a few technical bugs, but if you’re looking to play Crysis on the go you’re covered. However, if you can wait, it might be better to wait for a more powerful console release (or just play it on PC).
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