Crysis Remastered (Switch) Review
While there are all sorts of nifty benchmarking tools out there for PCs, it feels like for years that the common refrain when testing a new PC build was to see how it ran Crysis. It’s a game that, at its best, is one to show off to your friends. With gorgeous landscapes and superhuman abilities for the player, it’s a game that’s supposed to look good. It’s an old game though.
It originally came out the same year as Super Mario Galaxy, Bioshock, and Rock Band. It’s been on the shelf long enough that those who played it at launch might feel some nostalgia in the same way those dipping their toes back into Rapture might. For others, it may have remained in a light rotation, seeing what the latest piece of new hardware could do for its graphics.
The game has been remastered and will once allow gamers to test the limits of their PC builds, but for console players, it’s in more or less of a fixed state. On the Nintendo Switch, certainly using docked mode will produce better visuals, but other than that, we won’t be seeing any graphical changes coming down the line. Currently, the game is only available on the Switch, but it will be coming to other consoles and PCs soon. If you’re playing on the Switch, your focus should be on the gameplay, not the graphics. This isn’t to say the graphics are bad, but the Switch really doesn’t have the horsepower to produce the awe-inspiring visuals that this game is known for. While it wasn’t common, the game also crashed on me several times throughout my play through.
What holds up well is that the game is quite straightforward. Despite things getting increasingly sci-fi as you progress, the core of the game is running around killing bad guys using the different tools at your disposal. The gameplay inherently feels good. Running at super speed or using invisibility to sneak up on an enemy is satisfying. Things like the character models and physics can be clunky, but the AI is surprisingly adept. Enemies will use cover, not lose track of you if you become invisible right in front of them, and generally do their best to be a bit more than cannon fodder with the sole purpose of being mowed down by Nomad, the game’s protagonist.
The abilities you’re imbued with are fun, but aren’t quite as groundbreaking as they may have been in the past. It’s legitimately cool to sneak up on an enemy while invisible, super sprint over to another, and then turn on a shield for a firefight. They really allow you to play the game in a way that matches your style. While certain scenes are always going to be a fight, Crysis gives the player some freedom to mold it to the whims of their playstyle. Areas can be skipped by cleverly sprinting through them or can become stealth sequences where you’re picking off enemies one by one from cover. Other features that were cool at the time, like destructible environments, add to the ways in which you can approach a given situation, but feel a bit haphazard in their execution.
The one really interesting thing that the Switch version of the game does is to incorporate motion controls. While it was a bit frustrating to get used to them at first, laying down in handheld mode, using the gyroscope for precision aiming becomes quite natural as you progress through the game. They’re less important if you’re playing in docked mode with a pro controller, but in a lot of shooters, the Joy Cons don’t offer the precision you need to play a shooter really well. The motion controls allow you to fine tune your aim, tilting your controller slightly to line up a headshot or hit the enemy that’s barely peeking out of cover.
All in all, if you’re looking for a shooter on the Switch, Crysis Remastered isn’t a bad choice. It’s not going to blow you away graphically and some of the gameplay concepts that may have been a bit ahead of their time in 2007 aren’t quite as novel today, but it’s still a competent shooter, and those with nostalgia for it will get some legs out of having a portable version of Crysis.