Remaster, remake, rework, re-release, a new coat of paint…….call it however you want but why not roll with it as long as it works? I don’t remember if I played as many remakes or remasters as I did this year. And don’t get me wrong, it is a lucrative business. A safe bet. If a game sold well before, why not release it again with support for higher resolutions, widescreen, polished textures, and call it a day? If anything, there is always a considerate amount of folks that weren’t there for the original, so why not play the improved version now? At least that’s how I imagine the mindset behind any remaster, so with that said let’s see what improvements we get with Crysis Remastered this time.
The original game came out in 2007 and left a long-lasting mark in gaming. For a long time, the game was a benchmark for testing the strongest PC builds, so much that it spawned those “can it run Crysis” memes. It also had a gripping story, a nano suit that added some diversity to the gameplay, and incredible visuals at the time. What begins as a simple rescue mission becomes the battleground of a new war as alien invaders swarm over a Lingshan island chain. Your codename is Nomad and you’re a member of “Raptor Team”, a United States special forces operation that is sent to the island to investigate aggressive behavior by North Korea. A simple search and rescue mission pretty soon goes sideways, as it turns out you’re not just fighting against North Koreans, but extraterrestrial lifeforms as well. Luckily, you’re not alone. Guns are your best friends (like in any FPS game) and a signature of all three Crysis games – a nano suit.
Let’s talk more about the nano suit now. The nano suit is your trusty suit of armor with some bonus perks thrown in for good measure. You can sprint faster with it, turn on cloaking mode (effectively becoming invisible) and have an extra layer of armor during intense shootouts. All of those abilities use the energy of the armor (which recharges itself after a while) so it’s not like you can be invincible or invisible as much as you want. The emphasis is on using those abilities tactically and sparingly. And on top of that, it looks pretty cool. Soon enough you get the hang of its power by throwing around cars and barrels and trees at North Koreans. Or just picking them up and throwing them on one another. You’re also accompanied by a huge arsenal of pistols, automatic rifles, and a rocket launcher as you explore (and murder everything) the Lingshan island. The gunplay is decent although the enemy AI can be pretty dumb at times. I had North Koreans trying to shoot at me through rocks or while they were hidden behind various structures. They also assume that you’re unable to move like them so they will shoot 90% of the time at your last known spot.
If I reviewed the original Crysis when it came out, I could have used everything I wrote so far from this review and I wouldn’t be wrong. But here we are at a breaking point. Usually the reason and main selling point for remasters and remakes. The visuals. While you could say that the original Crysis broke new ground, there is literally nothing that stands out in this remaster. Crysis Remastered adds support for up to 8K resolutions, DLSS, and ray-tracing, along with the ability to swap between classic and modern suit controls. That’s pretty much it. The visuals do seem more ironed out but the color palette is still the same. It still looks like a game that came out more than 10 years ago. What good is the 8K resolution support if I have nothing good to show for it? This edition is basically just a release that’s made to run on modern systems and that’s all it is. No jaw-dropping visuals and the only new stuff I’ve noticed are some bugs when it comes to enemy AI.
Nothing new on this front as well. The gun sounds are decent and the audio atmosphere of a tropical island is spot on. But then again, the same could be said for the original. The game still retains the ability to not have English subtitles on higher difficulties (so you can only guess what North Koreans are talking about) which is a rather unconventional approach when it comes to gameplay immersion. Voice acting is on the level as well, it’s just disappointing that I didn’t notice anything new here so I could say “oh, this wasn’t in the original”.
To call this “remastered” is somewhat misleading in my book. The proper title would be “optimized for new hardware” but that’s not as catchy. If you recently played the original, there is nothing in this release that would justify a purchase. It comes with a hefty price tag with almost none of the visual upgrades. On top of that, this release is without the Crysis: Warhead expansion and without multiplayer. It is a rare and sad example where you get way more content with the original rather than a remaster.
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