It’s hard to believe that the original Crysis launched almost 14 years ago. At first it was only available on PC and required a powerful one at that, and it was a fantastic game. Console players had a chance to experience the first title on Xbox 360 but it wasn’t anywhere near the same experience as on PC. Thankfully, 2020 brought us a worthy remaster on the Xbox One consoles. Following the success of this, Crytek has opted to give Crysis 2 and 3 a glorious makeover as well, and bundle all 3 games together. Is it worth your time?
But can it run Crysis?
Crytek has always done an incredible job at pushing incredible graphical fidelity with their releases, as well as maximising the hardware the games run on. Crysis 2 and 3 saw releases on Xbox 360, and were arguably some of the best looking shooters around towards the end of that generation.
After meeting with the Crytek team personally at EGX Eurogamer in London in early October 2021 I managed to discuss in detail the changes they’ve made to this trio of nanotech powered bad-assery. The trilogy has been entirely remastered and fans of the originals can be assured that the same gameplay and systems are present and accounted for, with enhanced visuals that make the experience look and perform better than ever before. And from what I’ve played, they’ve done an incredible job here.
Without a doubt, the recommended place to dive into this collection is on any of the next-generation machines (or a PC of course!). On console, you can expect a smooth 60FPS and “up-to” 4k resolution. Xbox One games, including the One X will alas get 30 instead. There are instantly noticeable differences with improved lighting, improved materials and textures as well as a refreshed look on weapons, characters and vehicles. Shadows and particle effects have also seen notable improvements to my eyes.
Welcome to the Jungle
I wasn’t lucky enough to play the first instalment in this magnificent series of campaigns back in the day, and the original Crysis was very unique in the fact that it did things very differently and leaned on sci-fi elements, with the birth of the Nanosuit being something that would carry the sequels along.
Playing as part of a squad of military protagonists with these technologically advanced suits of armour with cloaking abilities, you face off on the fictional Linghan Islands, based in the Philippines. Here you are sent to investigate suspicious and aggressive behaviour by North Korea. And then, surprise – it’s also aliens! An advanced race known as the Ceph have arrived on planet Earth millions of years ago and have now become active once more.
Being the oldest of the three games, it is also now perhaps the least impressive visusally, with the AI being hilariously stupid at times, but it still holds up overall.
Crysis 2 & 3 Remastered
Crysis 2 was the first game to feature Cryengine 3 and also the first game to utilise this new engine on consoles. In this sequel we swap out jungle warfare for the urban setting of New York City and this really does look as stunning as it did ten years ago. The aliens we witness in the first game have had a radical redesign abandoning the tentacled exosuits and instead appearing as high-tech humanoid war machines. The nanosuit also received an upgrade in the sequel giving players a streamlined feel and enabling the user to assign perks in order to cater for their particular playstyle.
Whilst again I don’t want to jump to much into the story here, you’ll be dealing with the “Manhattan” virus. This is a gruesome disease that has ripped through the city of New York causing cellular breakdown, civil unrest and mass panic. It is up to you to attempt to help bring the city back under control and stop the alien infestation.
Crysis 3 takes us back to New York again, but long after the events of Crysis 2. Although they’re older titles, if you’re thinking of trying out Crysis for the first time with these remasters, I won’t delve too deep into story moments overall.
I’ve had a great time with the trilogy so far, and Crytek have done a great job with breathing new life into the games. The developer did make us aware that there are some very minor bugs that may appear at launch, but I didn’t experience any so far. Regardless, whatever hiccups exist will be fixed in a deployed patch towards the end of the year.
Overall, Crysis Remastered Trilogy is a fantastic effort to bring older games to life, and is superb value for money. Whilst the original doesn’t quite have the same level of polish as the last two, it is simply outstanding in how the games look, perform and plays. Despite their age, the latter 2 games will surprise you in that they feel like you’re playing a next generation title as you blast and stealth your way through these campaigns.
If you have never had the pleasure of playing through Crysis at all, then not only will you be treated to eye candy in abundance, but the stories of all three are surprisingly well told and intriguing. Whilst the online multiplayer is absent from this collection and this made me more than a little disappointed, just being able to replay these games in all their glory once more made this trilogy worth every penny. For newcomers and veterans of Crysis , it is a must buy.
I’ll never get bored of the robotic voice saying “cloak engaged”.
Played on Xbox Series X. Code provided by the Publisher for review.