We analyze the mythical Crysis in its Remastered version for Nintendo Switch. Does the 2020 guy keep the game that was the technological spearhead of 2007?
“Flight Simulator 2020 is the Crysis of our time.” With some variation, this phrase has been read in many places regarding the brand-new exclusive Microsoft simulator. When you are pulled, a glory from the past, to define the greatness of the present, it is that you left a significant mark on history. It is common to come across something like this in genres. As in literature, Kafkaesque defines lives drowned to the absurd by bureaucracy, or Lynchiano, Buñuelesco and Felliniano collect, reinterpret, expose in the cinema the obsessions of very personal authors under another look, in the video game we find examples from the already classic metroidvania to the more contemporary Soulslike. They are names, concepts, approaches, ways of doing things that have marked so much in their time that they have created lines of subsequent influence. It also occurs in technology, as is the case at hand today. Let us finish this mess of references there with one more.
The Dark Side of the Moon hit the airwaves and hit record stores in 1973. The Pink Floyd album produced by Alan Parson was such a success that when the group released The Wall in 1979, it was still there. in the top 100. The album was very good, but there was something else. Its sonic perfection was such that there were people who bought it to check the quality of its stereo. That sonic excellence earned him a second life with the arrival of the CD (there was a factory in Germany that only made that record) and variations that led him to mixes to take advantage of 5.1 sound equipment (remember that the Floyd’s implemented the quadraphonic sound, soundround effect that later became standardized in the cinema and in the best home equipment). Why are we commenting on this? To this day, it is said that there is no personal computer that runs Flight Simulator 2020 as it should in resolution and fps. It happened with Crysis in 2007. It was a brown beast that many installed to put their newly purchased powerful equipment to the test. Crysis became the yardstick by which to measure the Master Race. And here comes the key question. The Dark Side of the Moon was a technical marvel at the time that endures today for the quality of its content. Can we say the same for Crysis?
The egg, the chicken and the toaster
Crytek, a German company founded at the end of the last century by three Turkish brothers, the Yerli, was highly recognized and respected by the user thanks to its games, but at the industry level it was for its CryEngine engine. In fact, we could say that the games were subject to exercising a technological demonstration, which was the chicken before the egg. In 2000 they dazzled with a demo of the engine that would end up becoming a full playable title in 2004: Far Cry. The second version, CryEngine2, repeated the attractive and versatile environment of the jungle island but with a different plot. It would be Crysis, released three years later. The games provided the best possible publicity for the technology developed by Crytek. This was not limited to showing muscle with technical demos, it did it with total solvency in complete games that everyone could enjoy (with a good PC). From here we will ignore the rest of the history of the company, which has had very big ups and downs but that is not what is involved in this text.
Crysis, the marvelous game that made computers suffer at the time, nevertheless had a typical B-movie script. As if Predator had been pregnant with many more millions of budget in its filming. As in Schwarzenegger’s beloved film, a rescue mission by an elite team in remote jungle territory turns the action upside down with the scifi coming into play with deadly aliens. Which was a crazy and unexpected twist, late in the footage, for the 1987 movie audience, Crysis was spoiled because the bugs were already shown in the first half hour of play. They did not take center stage until the last third, but their punch had been diluted hours ago by the clumsy narrative used. The lines of dialogue were not to fire rockets either (“We have no guarantee that this will work!”, One of the investigators snaps at a high military command who wants to use heavy weapons against the bugs. “If you want a guarantee, buy one toaster ”, the guy responds haughtily), but hey! here we came to freak out with the packaging. And yes, wrapping paper, so advanced in its time, shines even today. It is still impressive to see how physics shines by knocking down palm trees swept by our machine gun (exactly, as in Predator).
The tree, the forest and the gameplay
In the dazzling Crysis the tree does reveal the majestic forest behind, the problem is that the forest does not reveal the gameplay. At least at the beginning, when we are freaking out, moving the vegetation along the dense flora. Crysis is annoyed by the very fine, almost incredible eagle-eye view of the enemies, also their aim, a bit like in Far Cry 2, only it was more difficult to hide there than here. The special suit that we wear allows us to shoot for a limited time of invisibility (ahem, like the alien from Chuache’s movie) and shock absorbing shield. It also provides us with speed and forcefulness in our shots. It is possible to see in these add-ons a sophistication of the rules put on the table in Far Cry Instint (franchise that was beginning to fly in other hands). The fact is that the capabilities of the suit save us in many moments from the frustration of a somewhat outdated gunplay. Nanosuit is today a greater ally than in its time, and together with the inclusion of gyroscope pointing, a greater strategic touch is achieved in confrontations. It’s when we get close to our enemies that we realize they’re not that smart, and the AI is hilariously leaking on more than one occasion.
Remastered or not remastered, that is not the question of a broken toy
Let’s be clear: we are confused. Remastered’s label is not clear to us. The game is too similar to its version for consoles of the last generation. We find elements that look somewhat better and others somewhat worse, with which the balance is more or less equal. There is therefore no clear improvement. Keep in mind that the only version currently available is that of Switch. It is possible that, when it comes out on the most powerful consoles, the higher resolution and the inclusion of effects that escape the hybrid can make all the difference. What we have right now is seen in the dock at 900p and 720p on the laptop, and the frame rate runs barely 30 per second. It is at this moment that we enter the dark side of the moon. A very black place that stains the note of the Reviews yellow.
It was a joy to know that the port (we think that term is more accurate) of Crysis would be in charge of Saber Interactive. There seemed to be no better option than the wizards who managed to get The Witcher 3 inside a Switch. Perhaps that is why it is not understood that the game suffers continuous drops in fps and, most unfortunately, that it expels you to the console menu when there is excessive graphic stress. They have not been one or two, in our game the game was broken up to six times. To disbelieve (a phrase that, under the circumstances, could literally be applied beyond its usual meaning). Obviously it is something that we cannot let go of the user. The game should not have come into your hands under these conditions. There is currently no patch that fixes the nonsense, but hopefully Saber is working on it. They achieved wonders with those who came to The Witcher 3, so we trust it to happen here as well. Crysis at the end of the day looks great on Switch and is enjoyed a lot despite its gameplay anchored thirteen years ago. It hurts us that the experience is frustrated by a more than questionable optimization. If a future patch puts things in their place, change without hesitation the yellow of the note for green, the dark hidden face of our star for a smiling and splendid full moon.
The mythical Crysis comes to Switch surrounded by light and shadow. The lights are offered by the radiant sun over the island full of vegetation in the middle of the Pacific, the shadows by a not at all robust frame rate and in-game collapses that expel you to the console menu. It is paradoxical that the same thing that those who dared to install the demanding game on their computers could suffer in 2007, now the players of 2020 suffer in an involuntary and not funny tribute. The choice of Saber Interactive to make the port (because that’s another, we don’t appreciate enough differentiating elements so we call it remastering) seemed perfect to us after their incredible work with The Witcher 3. Given the result, it might have been more effective to pull Panic Button, a study equally experienced in porting mastodons to the hybrid, but with excellent results in first person shooter (Wolfenstein 2, Doom). We hope that the studio is working on a patch that will raise a note that has cost us to put up to remarkable. Crysis and the users are worth it.
- How advanced the game was graphically at the time makes it hold the guy thirteen years later.
- The nano-suit is currently an unexpected ally in a gunplay in which we do notice the passage of time.
- Gyroscope-pointed solvent also helps in tricky situations
- It’s a dream to be able to enjoy Crysis in a portable format
- The frame rate is unstable
- In the absence of a patch, bugs so serious in performance that they can even kick you out of the game
- We are shocked by the term Remastered due to the absence of significant improvements
It is not the latest or the most original, it does not have the best execution either, but it can be fun if you like the genre. Good, but room for improvement.