Crysis Remastered Trilogy
The Full Crysis Experience
For most of 2020 into 2021, Crytek has been kept busy with the release of the Crysis Remastered Trilogy. Although the three titles were already made available on each platform listed, a physical copy of the trilogy was released in October. Crytek, best known outside of Crysis as the original developers behind Far Cry, have opted to rest on their laurels and celebrate the series that made them rise to stardom. The Crysis trilogy began as a technical marvel so big it sprouted the infamous "Can It Run Crysis?" meme. With later titles and its optimization towards consoles, the series shifted towards consistency with each title.
Earlier we looked at the Crysis Remastered Switch version, which wasn't included as part of the Trilogy bundle. At the time of this writing, Crysis 2 and 3 are only available digitally. There was a physical limited run of the two games released in November. Because of this, we looked at the physical copy of the Xbox Series X version where we tried out all three games. The goal was to see how they fared on modern consoles, although it's important to note several things.
Crysis 1 Remastered - Deja Vu (We've Been Here Before)
As Crysis 1 Remastered is similar to the Nintendo Switch version we played, it is recommended to read this preview for our thoughts on the game. I won't spend as much time in this section because of that, but I will say how the game manages to look on the Series X. For a game released in 2007, it rivals that of other FPS titles released the same year. I mentioned before how the memes weren't a joke as they looked good on the Switch. On the Series X, it looks fantastic. Reflections of the gun and the beaches are spot on as well as the foliage.
The game looks as dynamic at night as it does in the day. The fps remain consistent even in raytracing mode. It looks like an actual Series X game. The controls are easy to grasp on the Xbox Series X controller compared to the dual joycons as there's a lot more room to access the gun menu. It also felt more confident to aim without feeling like I was tempting the fate of my joycon sticks. If there was a definitive way to play it'd be on anything but the Switch. Even the Switch looked amazing, which serves how well CryEngine holds up to this day.
Crysis 2 Remastered - Why Is It Always New York?
Approaching Crysis 2 Remastered, having now played the original Crysis, is an interesting take as the second game was my first title. Once upon a time when I owned an Xbox 360, Crysis 2 was able to "wow me" despite playing on a tiny "HD" tv. Throughout all three games, the CryEngine improved with quality that wasn't compromised for console optimization. Trading in the lush Philippine jungles to the grimy concrete jungle of New York City, Crysis 2 is an entirely new experience.
The player still feels as much of a super-soldier as they did in the previous game. This time around, the gun sounds are louder and punchy, opposing the soft sounds they produced before. Players could actually stealth kill enemies, which is amusing to see the AI run around in circles dealing with a cloaked Alcatraz. The suit gets another form in "Power," utilizing super strength to take over barricades in the city. The transition from long-range open-world combat to close quarters confined in buildings and subways offers a unique spin of the original.
The environments look just as amazing as the original, if not more. My only major gripe is the subway signs, as the signs clearly don't match their real-life counterparts. Due to the intensity of the gameplay, I'd recommend Crysis 2 as a valid starting point despite a major character from the previous game suffering a dire fate
Crysis 3 Remastered - The Actual Urban Jungle
As players begin the third game, it becomes clear that Crysis 3 is more of a direct sequel to the second game than the second game is to the first. Many of its themes return, including the exploration of a war-torn city, fighting corrupt governments, and aliens. Even the protagonist returns. One of them, anyway. Alcatraz is "no more," as Prophet, who existed in all three games, returns as a playable character. Another returning character from the first game, Psycho, returns as one of the leaders set to free Prophet following Crysis 2's events. The story is simpler than the previous titles. It's Prophet and his right-hand man Psycho against the one organization they worked for.
Eventually, they seek the source of the mastermind behind the alien invasion all the while defeating C.E.L.L. Despite the game playing similar to its predecessor, Crysis 3 expects players to take a more stealth approach. For the first time in the series, players can hack terminals and turrets. The latter can clear out paths while remaining undetected. The bow works the same way, keeping Prophet cloaked as well as retrieving the bows used to kill enemies. This time around, New York City is a literal urban jungle, with forestation and dilapidated buildings. The aftermath of the previous game.
The Crysis Remastered Trilogy Is The FPS For Non-FPS Fans
At the end of playing all three games briefly, this was my thought process. The first game being an outlier aside, all three games allow players to play as a super-soldier. What's impressive is that this is years before the advent of Winter Soldier yet this is the closest players can get to Bucky himself. While the players have no shortage of toys to play with, the guns are not what makes the Crysis series unique.
Impressive graphics aside, the thought of having several abilities at your disposal, regenerating health, and regenerative energy makes the player feel like a superhero. Average humans are no match yet on harder difficulties they can and will kill in a matter of bullets. Despite having a cool suit, you are still human. Regardless, should Crytek continue the series, it will be amazing to play an FPS that feels more like a first-person action game than your average Call of Duty or Battlefield.
Crysis Remastered Trilogy is available on the PS4 and Xbox One.