The original Crysis was less of a game and more of a demented stress test for your computer. If you were able to run it at very high settings, you must have had some futuristic light-speed hive-mind computer from Mars. At the time, people wondered if Crysis could be played on current generation consoles at all, because it seemed they were all far too weak to even run the game on low settings. In fact, there was so much hype over how taxing the game was, few actually paid attention to its gameplay, which is a shame because Crysis was actually pretty fun. As a result, Crysis went silently into the annals of video game history as a cult classic hit. Then, of course, Crysis 2 came out on consoles and did fairly well for itself. So it’s only natural that the first Crysis would see a re-release, though we didn’t expect it to show up on current-gen consoles. Somehow Crytek has managed to squeeze all of the original game onto the Xbox and PS3. Still, the question remains: does Crysis hold up when put on consoles?
First of all, let me say that this is less of a remake and more of a de-make. When we theorized that Crysis was too taxing to run on consoles, we were pretty much right. As a result, the graphics were toned down quite a bit for the console release. Everything is less sharp, with textures blurring together. Character models feel as if they are lower definition. Whereas models were very realistic and detailed looking in the PC version, they suffer from a severe case of flat-face in the console version. Even though this makes them appear almost as artifacts left over from the PS2 era, it actually reduces the uncanny valley effect you get when interacting with characters. There’s no place that the graphical differences are more apparent than in the foliage and the surrounding island. In the PC version of Crysis, you can see the topography of the island for miles off in the distance. In the console version, this is all covered by fog and bloom. The same holds true for every tree you come across. In the PC version you could basically see each individual leaf rendered to perfection. In the console version, most trees just look like stock models, and they are largely silhouetted by the bloom behind them. The whole game feels smaller and more compact. It’s still fun, but it certainly isn’t as impressive as the PC version was.
Now, considering how many concessions Crytek had to make with the graphics, the gameplay is pretty much identical to the PC version. You will go to the same places, talk to the same people, and blow up the same alien ships. There are places where the game slows down, which can be annoying, but once again, unless you had a futuristic space PC, you probably experienced your fair share of slowdown on the PC version as well. The menus are a bit harder to navigate since you have to fat-finger your way through them with a controller, and the dual analog stick controls are less precise than keyboard and mouse controls, but this is pretty much a blanket statement for any FPS. Even the nanosuit operates exactly the same as you remember it, and if you played Crysis before, you will probably use the exact same build you used last time. The only new feature this game supposedly has is “new lighting effects,” but in actuality, I haven’t noticed any. I’ve noticed that the explosions are a bit bigger and more colorful, but considering the rest of the game feels smaller, I figured that was just my brain dealing with the new sense of scope. Now if I haven’t made this blatantly clear by now, Crysis on consoles is really nothing more than the original game with the graphics turned down. There isn’t much reason for PC veterans that have already played the game to get it again. But if you’ve never played the original and you don’t have a PC, this game is a steal at twenty dollars. Sure, it looks worse than the PC version, but you won’t have the PC version to compare it to. The game feels smaller, but it’s still rather big for a console release. There’s a bit of slowdown, but not enough to ruin the gameplay experience. Simply put, if you aren’t comparing it to anything, it feels like a decently competent FPS for the modern day, and it’s certainly one that’s worth the twenty dollars. Just don’t go spoiling it for yourself by looking at HD videos of the original PC version on YouTube.
Graphics are a step down from those of the PC version, but they’re still pretty good.
Dual analog sticks are always inferior to keyboard and mouse, but it works well enough.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting: 7.5
The voices and music weren’t that good in the original, and they aren’t that good now. But they don’t ruin the game or anything.
Play Value: 9.0
20 bucks for an underappreciated classic? Sure!
Final Score: 9.0