Oh, it’s so good donning the Nanosuit again in 2021. I have fond memories of playing through the Crysis games on my 360 and later on the PS3 and it’s so great that both old, but especially new players, get to experience these excellent games.
When it was released, the first Crysis game melted PC as it was the most demanding game ever released up to that point. Before meme culture was even a thing, people used Crysis as a metric to value PCs at the time with the infamous line “Cool, but can it run Crysis?”. I remember my brother trying to run Crysis on his, at that time, top-of-the-line Sony Vaio laptop and getting like 10 fps. It was a technical showpiece with outrageously gorgeous graphics that, to this day, looks absolutely stunning.
This remaster answers that question once and for all since the geniuses over at Crytek and the other supporting studios have made Crysis run on practically every platform out there, Switch included. Of course, it’s not the same game as the original as I believe they reworked the entire game to run on the “new” CryEngine 3 game engine, instead of the original CryEngine 2.
Long story short, pretty much everyone can enjoy and experience the first Crysis single-player and the two excellent sequels on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Switch consoles.
Reviewing a collection of games, especially remasters, can be quite hard and require a lot of writing, that’s why I will try to keep things short and concise touching only upon the most important parts. But if you want to skip all of the stuff I’m about to talk about, you can do that and just get the Crysis Trilogy Remastered cause it includes three fantastic games, each subsequent game building more upon the previous one in terms of gameplay, world-building and story. This remastered trilogy only includes the single-player content, no multiplayer. Cool? Now let’s dive deep into each game.
In Crysis, you play as Nomad, part of Delta Force’s Raptor team which halo jumps on Lingshan Islands investigating a hostile takeover by North Korean forces. Each one of the members of the Raptor’s team is equipped with a state-of-the-art technologically advanced “Nanosuit” which helps protect them from gunfire and explosions, as well as giving them superhuman strength and abilities. There’s more than meets the eye with these Nanosuits, however, and you will learn more as you progress through this game and the sequels.
While at first things look like it’s just a hostile takeover, you quickly learn that the North Koreans are after some hidden ancient alien tech that resides in the island. To no surprise to anyone, these long-dormant aliens wake up and all hell breaks loose. Apart from fighting off human forces you also have to deal with an alien invasion and I will leave it at that.
The first Crysis game came out in 2007 months before the original Modern Warfare reinvented the shooter genre as we know it today. What I am trying to say is that Crysis, even though it looks good, it feels old by today’s standards in both story and gameplay.
Playing it back then and also this new remaster, you quickly understand that it is more of a tech demo packaged together and presented as a game than a game built from the ground up. I say that cause the story, characters and world-building kinda lack and serve only as a way to justify you shooting people and aliens. There’s no hook, there are no memorable characters and there are no set-pieces that will stay with you long after you played through the game.
That, however, doesn’t mean that the gameplay is bad. In contrary, the gameplay is strong as you can tackle each level however you want. You want engage the Cloak making you completely invisible going stealth, infiltrating enemy compounds, quietly taking out enemies with silenced weapons, you can do that. Or you can go full guns blazing engaging the Armor mode, which increases your durability, you can also do that. The levels are big and allow for experimentation, but in the end, there’s no rewards for going quiet or loud. AI, most of the time, is pretty good as they will investigate any commotion you might cause in stealth mode or converge, flank and lob grenades at you if you go the loud route. One annoying thing, that is also present in all of the Crysis games, is that once one enemy spots you, everyone knows where you are and start shooting at you as they are somehow all telepathically linked.
Normal movement is quite slow which feels weird in 2021, but once you start running, the suit will kick in and you will run as fast as a car (maybe, don’t quote me on that) and you will need this ability to move from cover to cover in higher difficulty modes as things can get quite challenging. There are also a variety of guns ranging from pistols, shotguns, assault, and sniper rifles which you can also customize on the fly, changing different attachments adapting to what the situation requires. You also have grenades, a rocket launcher, and C4 you can use to light up the place. Gunplay is good, but nothing to write home about, it just gets the job done. Additionally there. are some turret sequence and you’ll be driving around some armored vehicles, a tank, and pilot a V-TOL.
The fighting usually takes place inside enemy compounds, around some small villages which include fully destructible shacks, and in the lush jungles spread out all throughout the island. Later in the game, you will also find yourself inside a massive alien ship where you will fight against tentacly aliens in zero-G.
Crysis Remastered looks good and most importantly runs great on the new consoles. As it is usual nowadays, it offers up a couple of graphical modes like Quality emphasizing on 4K and Performance emphasizing on a stable 60 fps mode. It also has a Ray Tracing mode, which uses Crytek’s own version of ray tracing and it looks good. No matter which mode I was playing, I was getting a stable 60fps frame rate on the PS5 with no noticeable frame drops. On the old gen, the game and the other two are limited to just 30fps which kinda makes sense. For a full graphical breakdown, make sure to watch the eventual Digital Foundry video, those guys know what they are talking about. Overall the first game is good, but nothing compared to the two following installments.
Oh yes, the original Crysis 2 and Crysis 3 games looked spectacular not only on PCs but also on the 360/PS3 consoles. Now, of course, they run like hot caca with frame rates constantly dipping below 30fps most of the time, but god, they looked spectacular. Well, these remastered versions run at a smooth 60fps with tons of graphical improvements like fantastic improved lighting, increased level and character geometry, beautiful new textures, etc. Crytek knows how to push the graphical fidelity and make some beautiful ass games and it shows.
Crysis 2 picks up a couple of years after the events of the first game and takes place in the concrete jungle that is New York. Prophet, the leader of the Raptor’s team from the first game, after his suit was affected by getting in contact with the dormant aliens, sacrifices himself and “gifts” his Nanosuit to a soldier named Alcatraz. He and his team are attacked by the aliens and he is basically left for dead. Prophet picks him up and gives him the suit, but there’s something going on with the suit this time around. You see, the suit has begun integrating with the alien tech. As the game progresses, you learn that the suit is indeed something more than just a suit. It’s alive and it forms a symbiosis link with the wearer, think like Venom, and once again it’s up to you, the new Prophet, to save the world from the alien invasion.
As soon as you start playing Crysis 2, you quickly understand and see the jump in quality in all of the areas. Goes without saying, but yeah, all of the shooters got somewhat Modern Warfare-ified (that’s not a word, but let’s go with it) after MW was released in 2007. The story and premise are more coherent, the characters are better developed, the world-building is way way better and it results in a far better experience than the first game ever was.
The alien invasion is full-on and the Ceph, as they are known in the game, are not joking this time around. They are not just some flying Tentacool looking ass aliens. They have a ground army with different types of alien units ranging from melee and ranged units to big chunky heavies and massive three-legged mechanical that will try to blow you sky-high. There are also human enemy soldiers from the Cell Corporation, but more about them later.
The Nanosuit has also received some updates, not only gameplay-wise but also visually. In the first game, the suits looked somewhat skinny, lanky even. But in Crysis 2, the suit has been redesigned to be well, bulkier, some would even say thiccc and it’s all for the better. It truly helps with the whole power fantasy thing that Crysis 2 has going on making you feel like you are a fucking tank on two legs running, jumping, and crushing enemies left and right.
I went loud while playing Crysis 2, like a shotgun-toting grenade throwing god and I absolutely enjoyed every second of it. The game feels so much better than the first one. The movement as in running, jumping and the addition of sliding and mantling feels so so good when compared to before. While Crysis 1 had expansive levels on a horizontal plane, Crysis 2 opens up the vertical plane for more opportunities.
Before each encounter the suit will shout “Tactical options available” and if you use the visor you can see all of the possible ways you can tackle the encounter. Sure, it detracts from just experimenting and seeing what works, but it’s completely optional. For example, while scanning you might see a hidden turret that helps you obliterate the enemies or a munitions box for that sweet C4 or a grate leading to an underground sewer for a flanking maneuver. It’s up to you to tackle the encounters however you want and each way is extremely satisfying. The new suit upgrades which you can unlock as you kill more Ceph improve your capabilities by buffing your armor or cloak abilities, see enemy paths so you can set ambushes, etc. If you know an enemy patrolling path you can place a red barrel in the way and once he’s close, you can blow him sky-high. Each encounter is a sandbox where you set the rules and it’s so fun to just see what happens.
But since the world is ending, in my head, there’s no time to sneak around and silently take down enemies. I had to move fast and that I did. Armor engaged and I blasted pretty much everyone and everything in my way. The gunplay is dramatically improved from the first game where each weapon looks bulkier, sounds amazing, and is devastating for the enemy. It’s so satisfying sliding towards an enemy, blasting him with the shotgun, and seeing him fly away as a beautiful ragdoll. Like in the first game, there are driving sections and turret sections, of course, it’s an FPS game duh, but this time around they also tell a story. You need to man that cannon to drop that massive Ceph thing or you need to drive that tank to clean up a path for the troops.
The story is great too as it expands the whole Crysis universe. You will understand the meaning behind the suit, why it was created, what are the humans and aliens' true motivations. Your character doesn’t speak in the story, which is explained in the story, but the supporting cast will do the talking and exposition for you. You have one job, stop the alien invasion to save New York.
New York is a wonderful playground as fighting will take you from the ground streets to the insides of skyscrapers to the rooftops. You will clear Time Square and fight in and outside the Grand Station protecting it not only from the human enemies but from the unending alien forces. It is a fantastic ride that once starts it keeps on going until the very end with tons of bombastic blockbuster set-pieces that look absolutely stunning and are satisfying to play through. Man, the campaign of Crysis 2 is just fantastic!
Finally, Crysis 3. Yeah, this campaign, although slightly different, is also as fantastic to play through. After the events of the second game, Prophet is captured and put on ice for a couple of years by the Cell Corporation. The game starts when Psycho, the other member of Raptor’s team who’s still alive, rescues you. While you were asleep, the world changed. Cell Corp closed off what remained of New York from the outside world with a massive dome and you know, are doing evil corporation world-domination things with the alien tech.
A number of US troops and other survivors still inside the dome created a sort of a Resistance against the Cell and Psycho is a part of them. With Prophet on their side, they can see a glimmer of hope. But, of course, the aliens come back stronger than ever and now it’s not just New York, but the entire world that needs saving.
Even though the story is even grander with stakes even higher, this time the story feels more personal. It’s really cool to see Prophet talk, even though you are not sure what he is anymore. Is he human, machine, alien, or something in between? The story plays around with this concept of what it means to be human and being forced to lose or sacrifice your humanity for something else. I loved Prophet’s interaction with the rest of the characters, especially Psycho who’s now suit-less. Fantastic facial animations and excellent voice acting help a lot during some of the most intense scenes between Psycho and Prophet. It goes to some interesting previously unexplored places which make you think and I absolutely love it.
New York this time around is even more decrepit now as the city streets and high rising skyscrapers have been swallowed by massive earth crevasses caused by the alien machinery and everything is being reclaimed by nature. It’s a damn concrete jungle all right.
The levels in Crysis 3 are bigger horizontally and vertically so you can approach each encounter however you want. They also removed the “tactical options” learning wheels thing you got with the visor. It’s a true sandbox and it’s so fun to experiment using all of the tools at your disposal.
Bigger levels mean a bigger spread on the enemy placements and, as I found out the hard way, stealth is more advisable this time around. I played Crysis 2 like a tank, I played Crysis 3 like the damn Predator. The addition of the compound bow makes a big big difference. It is so damn fun to just engage cloak and go on a silent rampage skewering, piercing, and nailing all of the humans and aliens that you come across. You don’t lose the cloak when you shoot the bow in Crysis 3, so you can just go in the middle of the enemies and start picking them off one by one. It’s so satisfying to see them get scared and scurry to find cover, but there’s no hiding, there’s no getting to the chopper, there’s only an arrow with their name waiting for them.
Returning from Crysis 2 is the upgrade perks system, which is expanded with more buffs and the ability to create “loadouts” of perks you can quickly switch on the fly to adapt to any situation you might be in. While going guns blazing, especially using some of the new aliens' weapons, is still a lot of fun, stealth is even more fun. The AI still has that annoying one sees you, everyone sees you telepathic bullshit behavior, which I guess for the aliens makes sense since they are a hive mind, but I digress. It’s annoying, but cloaking allows you to quickly hide so you can start hunting again.
Driving sequences return as many levels are very open and wide with multiple main and side objectives at any given time that you can tackle however you want. Side objectives might lead to a powerful weapon or to some allies that can rain fiery death upon the enemies you mark. Hacking is also a new addition in this game, which is a cool simple mini-game, and it can prove really useful in battle. You can hack mines, turrets, and even the big three-legged Ceph robots and use them against the enemies. It’s cool to sit atop a building and see the enemies getting destroyed by their own stuff. Bombastic set-pieces are also present along with some cool boss encounters. It is so damn fun saving the world!
I am so glad Crytek decided to remaster these games. While the first one it’s good, the second and third are absolutely excellent, start to finish. They don’t just look exceptional like 2021 games, apart from the pre-rendered CG cutscenes in 2&3 which are still 720p, but most importantly feel and play like a 2021 game. It goes to show that great game design and gunplay are timeless. This is a remastered trilogy you should not sleep on. It’s perfect for old fans and new soon-to-be fans of the Crysis games. Crytek, please give me a new Crysis now. Thanks for reading!
The remastered trilogy was reviewed on a PS5 (via BC) using a PS4 review code provided by the developers. Crysis Trilogy Remastered is out now for PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch.