Maximum meh.
Crysis Remastered

In 2007 the original Crysis was released for the PC. The big question on everyone's mind at the time, and even through to today, is "can your PC run Crysis?" Usually, the answer was "yes, but…" because even the beefiest of computer hardware had trouble maxing out the graphical options that Crysis brought to the table at the time.

Fast-forward to 2020 and the answer gets a bit more muddled. See, the original Crysis was very dependent on having a single, strong CPU thread. That was the game's major achilleas heel back then and more so now where multi-core CPUs rule the day. While it is possible to run the original at decent framerates, issues still pop up since the game still isn't suited for processors that utilize more than one core. So, when Crysis Remastered was announced, it was expected that this issue would be taken care of once and for all. We would get a more gorgeous looking game that would more readily scale with modern hardware, especially CPUs.

Sadly, Crysis Remastered is still very reliant on a single strong CPU thread. It is not as bad as its predecessor, but it still runs into performance issues that will see one CPU thread taxed heavily while the rest are barely doing any work at all. After 13 years and a lot of waiting, we are sadly stuck with the situation where a remaster of Crysis remains a very CPU limited game. The upside to Crysis Remastered is that thanks to the graphical changes made, a setting of "Medium" across all settings results in a better and cleaner image than the original managed on its highest settings. Crysis Remastered is also very playable on Medium, the setting that the game defaulted me to on a 1080 Ti and 6700K CPU.

I will note that there is a new upper tier of graphical settings introduced with Crysis Remastered. It's called the "Can It Run Crysis?" mode. It pushes all graphical options to their absolute limits and introduces a near infinite draw distance. There are no low-resolution or low-poly models shown at a distance in this mode. If you see a tree miles away, that tree will be rendered at full resolution no matter how far away you are. To say that this is taxing on hardware, especially when still being CPU limited, would be putting it mildly.

Crysis Remastered

If you have a beefy enough CPU that can push out enough performance, you may be happy to hear that several graphical upgrades have been made to the game. I am specifically talking about sparse voxel octree global illumination (SVOGI), software-based ray tracing, higher resolution textures, updated and changed particle effects, and more. All of these are really just fancy words for saying that there is some great looking lighting effects and other graphical eye candy that is now included in the game, most of which are most noticeable inside of buildings. The lighting can now "bounce" off of objects and illuminate the rest of the environment properly. It may make some of the jungle environments appear more "flat" in comparison to the original release, however.

While a lot of the updated texture work does look nice, at least so far as the environment is concerned, a lot of work on faces leaves a lot to be desired. I do not know if it's an issue with textures or the updated lighting, but some faces just lack depth compared to the original. Some faces and skin pigments even look completely ashen in certain lighting situations.

Compared to the original, the jungle lacks a lot of the life it once had. Shrubs, trees, and other foliage barely react to grenades. Some foliage reacts to bullet impacts but only at 30fps. The software-based real-time ray tracing causes random hitches throughout gameplay, though I hear a recent patch was released to address this and several other issues. Another of the issues fixed is the return of lean to the game, a feature that was curiously missing at launch. Oh yes, there is also a delay between when you hit the crouch button and when the character actually crouches. Plus, if you hold the crouch button down, nothing actually happens. You have to tap it to crouch. There is also a delay when jumping, perhaps to take into account the super jump ability if the button is held down. These pauses to the gameplay really break up whatever little flow to the combat the game managed to achieve.

A lot of the issues undoubtedly stem from the fact that Crysis Remastered was built from the old PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 version of Crysis. An entire level remains cut (Ascension) in Crysis Remastered, meaning that the original release is still the only place you can play that one. Destruction is also toned way back. As an example, objects like wooden fences break in more generalized locations instead of closer to the point in which you are shooting them.

Crysis Remastered

Final Say
There just is not very much to praise here. If you enjoyed the colorful sandbox action of the original, you will probably find some enjoyment with Crysis Remastered. If you are like me and thought that the original was lacking, even back in 2007, you will not find any reason to pick this up in the here and now. It is also hard to recommend the game in 2020 when so many other games have come and gone that have better stories, better writing, and better gameplay in every conceivable way. It's a very dated game, but at least the water looks pretty.

TGN 2 out of 5

Additional Information
  • Crysis Remastered
    • Developed by: Crytek and Saber Interactive
    • Published by: Crytek
  • Price: Starting at $29.99 (USD) via Epic Games Store (affiliate link)
  • Platform reviewed on: PC
    • Reviewed on: i7-6700K, 32GB RAM at 2666, GTX 1080 Ti, and installed to a Crucial MX500 1TB SSD
    • Also available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: September 18, 2020
  • ESRB: M for Mature 17+ (Blood, Strong language, Violence)
  • This game was provided to Total Gaming Network for review purposes.