Back in 2007 I was a very jealous man. I owned an Xbox 360 and a PS3 but there were rumors of a game that was truly out of this world, so groundbreaking that it was a bit of a myth; it certainly got my interest piqued. That game was Crysis and sadly it was only limited to the PC world – and a PC was a bit of tech I didn’t have other than an old laptop. You see, the problem was to play Crysis on PC you needed the best of the best, and then some, as it soon became the benchmark to what games could do. Later on, the game eventually made its way to console but only now are we getting the chance to finally play the game as it was intentionally designed, thanks to the launch of Crysis Remastered. Was it worth the wait?
For those who don’t know anything about Crysis, it’s a FPS shooter that mixes good old-fashioned gunplay with huge sci-fi elements; a game that has spawned two sequels and inspired many other copies. The story involves a group of super-soldiers (which you are one of) with state of the art combat nanosuits that can cloak, armor up, and allow the soldier to jump higher and run faster. You parachute onto a fictional island off the coast of the Philippines for some secret mission involving North Korea, but things start to go badly wrong, very fast indeed.
The Crysis experience is very much that of a game of two halves. The first is a generic shooter which we’ve all played before – cocky macho soldiers, a comical sidekick, lots of killing and an absolute shed load of bombs. This, for me, is the least interesting part of the game and for the first hour it is all a bit stale. Honestly, I was a bit bored as I felt I’ve been in this scenario a hundred times before. However, it’s when the aliens appear – yes, there are aliens – when Crysis Remastered starts to become really interesting and the gameplay itself swivels on its head. Playing through the whole game, I’m sat here now feeling that I have just experienced a late 90’s action movie, with all the set pieces, spectacle, and enjoyment that they bring. It has been so much fun that I’ve even considered getting the popcorn out. In a few words, if I had been lucky enough to have played this in 2007, I would have been blown away.
Gameplay-wise and it’s easy to see why Crysis pushed boundaries and caused eyebrows to raise back in the day. Let’s talk about the nanosuit first. Here you have a piece of tech that allows the player to be able to morph their suit into different modes. You can put on the armor ability whereby your suit can absorb damage. You can put on the cloaking device to creep up on your enemies or just stroll through an environment undetected. You can also sprint fast, jump high, and punch your enemies across the room. You are pretty much a super soldier. This has a limited timeframe though as an energy bar will decrease when in use, needing to be charged up again in the downtime.
These suit powers enable you to approach an enemy or enemy camp in a whole host of different ways, with it being super simple to pick up your own preferred playstyle. Whether it would be stealthy, full-on tank mode or even jumping to high ground and picking enemies off one by one – the option is there in Crysis Remastered. There’s a full roster of weaponry on show as well, ranging from the small pistol to a sci-fi infused electrical plasma gun that is simply stunning.
You’ll need the weaponry too as the AI found here can be, at times, brutal; even on the easiest level. They seem to spot you from a mile out and then just don’t let up on their assault, hunting and tracking until they find success. At one point I came across a bunch of enemies with the same nanosuits as me, and I swear I was replaying that specific section for about two hours. But thankfully the checkpoints are plentiful and it’s easy to restart again after dying.
You’ll get to drive vehicles as well, from a jeep with a gun on it, some boats, and a huge tank which feels extremely satisfying. The open-world gameplay and letting you choose how to tackle a mission works brilliantly, as do the more linear levels later on. This remaster can’t help but feel like an old game though, because at times the gameplay feels less fluid than a more modern, built-from-the-ground-up title does. And that’s not helped that the AI can occasionally be strange and a bit glitchy.
Visually and Crysis Remastered isn’t the show-stopper it was 13 years ago, and even with the remaster it doesn’t get near to the heights of more recent titles – for example Call of Duty: Modern Warfare that was released in 2019. The island you traipse around looks pretty though and I have been impressed with the alien world, even though it feels very much like something ripped straight out of Halo in certain moments.
The soundtrack is great too, being all bombastic and epic with its choral riffs and beats; it feels like a perfect score to accompany this blockbuster popcorn film of a game. The effects are great throughout as well, with some good voice-over to be had from the performers. This works well within the macho tone of the game.
If you are feeling all nostalgic then it’s definitely worth a trip back in time with Crysis Remastered on Xbox One. The story and action are both great and after a slow start it managed to keep me entertained right through to the end credits. The visuals haven’t got the same effect they did when the original first arrived on high-end PCs back in 2007 and occasionally can look a bit old gen, and this isn’t helped by some glitches and oddities. It is never enough to annoy or ruin the overall experience though. If you didn’t play it back in the day, and want to know what all the fuss is about, Crysis Remastered may just be worth a shot.