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A lush jungle from Crysis Remastered Image: Crytek

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Crysis Remastered: Broken on Xbox One X, OK on PC

Is this a benchmarking tool, or a game?

What did you want out of Crysis Remastered? Having an answer to that question is crucial before you decide whether or not to buy. The game looks fine, even as a modern release, but it’s only going to look better as hardware improves, just like the original, and plenty of the gameplay itself feels dated, and out of step with the quality of the visuals.

The updated version of 2007’s Crysis leans into the game’s legacy of being more of a testing tool for high-end systems than a game, although the game is surprisingly fun, even today. Crysis Remastered was already delayed after a leaked trailer made fans grumble about the graphical changes, and the final product doesn’t exactly work on Xbox One X.

But the game itself? That’s still fun. Let’s take a look at how the game stacks up on PC and Xbox One X.

Crysis Remastered on PC

Crytek developed Crysis Remastered on PC to not only test the limits of current graphics cards, but also the graphics cards of the future. We’ve already tested the game with an Nvidia RTX 3080 card. It technically runs with all the settings maxed out, but don’t expect 60 fps at 4K.

That being said, I was able to play at a solid 45 to 60 fps on my own gaming laptop, complete with an RTX 2080 card, with the settings higher than average, which was a humbling experience. The good news is that the game looked solid even with the settings locked into the middle ground, making Crysis Remastered to look like a very attractive modern game with some very dated design decisions and animation. What’s left is a somewhat unsettling experience where everything looks fine, but feels old.

This is a game that was made when basing an opening level on Predator was at least a slightly fresher idea, and our standards for enemy AI and interesting environments were much lower. Being able to explore some of the more open portions of the game is great, but the environments quickly feel bland and repetitive.

It can be hard to tell which parts of the environment can be destroyed and what’s there to stay, and it’s a little too easy to trick enemies into forgetting where you are, or that you’re there at all. There were moments where I felt blissed out enjoying the powers my super-advanced fighting suit gave me, blowing through walls to destroy targets on the other side, only to find myself trudging to the next set-piece, through environments that lacked interesting things to see or do.

There’s also the issue of the game’s 10th level, which was included on the original PC release, but removed from the console versions due to the stress the flying level put on the hardware. Inexplicably, it’s still missing from this release.

So if you wanted a pretty version of Crysis that can also bring your system to its knees, or make bleeding edge hardware sound like it’s revving its engines for takeoff, you’ll get it. And despite the game itself feeling somewhat classical, to put it bluntly, it’s also interesting how much DNA from current open-world games can be found here. Which is saying a lot, because Crysis was never really an open-world game.

From the large environments, giving you multiple ways to attack your targets, to the destructible environments and drivable vehicles, playing Crysis in 2020 feels like an embryonic version of modern Ubisoft first-person shooter releases. The game was always ahead of its time, although Crysis Remastered is now a game that will continue to look better as you upgrade your hardware, but its basic design will always be stuck in 2007.

Final verdict? It looks relatively pretty, even for a modern game, and is a good lesson in the evolution of game design from 2007 to 2020. That’s not a bad deal for $30.

Crysis Remastered on Xbox One X

Crysis Remastered was meant to be a showpiece for ray-tracing on Xbox One X, which would have been really cool if ray-tracing on the Xbox One X worked at all. Unfortunately, the game flips out when you turn the option on, making it unplayable.

Digital Foundry took a look at the ray-tracing mode before launch, if you’re curious about how Crytek was able to pull it off on Xbox One X, and how it should look when it’s functional:

Crytek’s need to stuff Crysis Remastered with bleeding-edge graphical options on existing consoles may have bitten it in the butt, because even when that option is turned off and the game is set to “performance” visual options, I noticed wildly fluctuating frame rates, and visual fidelity that looked half a step behind most modern games in the same genre. It’s not horrible, but it’s impossible to tell how the game could look once the software is actually working the way it should.

Final verdict? I’d stay away from this one until an extensive patch is released.

I haven’t had the chance to try the game on PlayStation 4 Pro, so I can’t comment on how the game runs there, but for now this is a troubled release that can crush any PC you throw at it, while barely working on Xbox One X.

It’s not the worst case scenario for Crysis Remastered, but I expected to be more impressed with how the game looks on high-end PC hardware, and at the very least I expected all the options on the Xbox One X to function.

To put it simply: Proceed with caution, and maybe hold off on a purchase for a bit. At least it runs pretty well on Nintendo Switch!

Crysis Remastered is now available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. The game was played on Xbox One X and PC using download codes provided by Crytek. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. You can find additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.