Crysis Remastered Trilogy PS4 review. Obviously hamstrung by the creaky PS3 hardware that all three Crysis games originally released on, it makes perfect sense for Crytek to go back to the well so to speak and re-release the Crysis Trilogy and more powerful hardware that can properly do justice to these technically ambitious genre offerings.
With each successive title in the trilogy marking something of a design trajectory from the freewheeling, open-world shooter beats of the first game all the way through to the much more linear, scripted spectacle of the third game, the Crysis Remastered Trilogy doesn’t just represent a trio of highly enjoyable genre offerings, but also provides something of a bittersweet reminder of just how deeply the FPS genre has lost its taste for innovation. Regardless, Crysis Remastered Trilogy is essential for shooter fans everywhere and a no-brainer buy for anyone that wanted to experience these three games in their most polished form to date.
In This Crysis Remastered Trilogy PS4 Review:
Crysis Remastered PS4 Review (Tested On PS5)
The Best Way To Experience The Game That Started It All On Console
Even though Crysis Remastered was released separately last year, it’s certainly fair to say that it didn’t launch quite as well as it should have. Plagued by all manner of bugs, glitches and boasting a distinctly less than stellar visual presentation on PS5, Crysis Remastered fell somewhat short of convincing current PlayStation gamers what all the fuss was about. Certainly, we weren’t terribly impressed with what we saw in our original review.
Now over a year later however, porting outfit Saber Interactive has been diligently patching Crysis Remastered during that time, not only eradicating many of the bugs and glitches, but also shoring up the presentation on current-gen consoles in a way that makes Crysis Remastered extremely palatable and as such, we thought it only fair to give Crysis Remastered another bite at the apple as it were.
At long last then, this is the version of Crysis Remastered we should have seen originally (though a native version of Crysis Remastered that fully taps into the substantial horsepower of Sony’s current-gen console would have been something quite special indeed). With many of the bugs gone and the 60 FPS, higher resolution cap restored to the game when run via backwards compatibility on PS5, we finally get a clearer look at Crysis Remastered which confirms what I suspected all along – Crysis has indeed aged like a fine wine.
With the advent of free to play battle royale shooters and more linear focused offerings that are driven by scripted spectacle, it’s certainly fair to say that the particular brand of open-world, do-it-yourself style agency that Crysis Remastered prescribes is something of rarefied air. Equipped with a super-powerful Nanosuit and dropped onto the North Korean peninsula on a covert mission, Crysis has you tearing through the island however you see fit – via by stealth, all-out confrontation or by hijacking the numerous vehicles around the island to get from point A to point B.
And this is the thing – Crysis invites players to approach its myriad of situations in whichever manner they see fit, permitting the embrace of a singular method or intertwining of many different avenues of approach. In a sense, Crysis feels like the open-world Predator FPS that we never got – thanks in no small part to how you can become invisible, murder at enemies at range or just punt them through the nearest corrugated iron wall.
Rather than allowing players carte blanche to use these abilities endlessly, Crytek has implemented a finite use cap on each ability that Nanosuit provides before a cooldown style recharge is needed. This means that when invisibility, super sprint or armor is engaged your suit power will gradually drain the longer those abilities are in use and as such Crysis soon impresses upon you the need to use these abilities both tactically and sparingly.
In addition to the wealth of much needed fixes and visual improvements that the veritable raft of patches that Crysis Remastered has enjoyed over the past year, so too has additional content also been provided free of charge as well. The Ascension level – an airborne combat level that was previously removed from the PS3 version of Crysis owing to technical limitations, has now been restored in all its glory on PS4 and PS5 consoles, a fact that once again underscores the incredible work that has been put into fixing and correcting Crysis Remastered since its release over a year ago.
Crysis Remastered is more than just an open-world FPS with eye-popping visuals and a neat, swiss-knife style combat suit – it serves as a poignant reminder of the state of shooters in those halcyon days prior to the linear spectacle and free to play battle royale shooters that now dominate the market. A powerful demonstration of how traditional shooter mechanics can be successfully married up to an open world template that feels at once massively freeing and also completely natural, it truly is a boon to be able to play Crysis at something approximating its finest form. Want to play Crysis and see what all the fuss is about? This is where you start.
Crysis 2 Remastered PS4 Review (Tested On PS5)
An Opulent Remaster Of A Cracking Shooter That Offers Spectacle And Ingenuity In Equal Measure
If you can cast back your mind to when Crysis 2 released back on the crusty PS3 more than ten years ago, the impression that you’ve likely formed in retrospect probably isn’t too kind at all, thanks to a distinctly dated visual presentation that exposed a technically underpowered machine trying to tackle what was then regarded as something of a PC gaming titan.
Thanks to the practised hands over at Saber Interactive, Crysis 2 returns to PS4 in newly remastered form, not only bringing a much needed coat of contemporary paint to Crysis the Second, but also serving to remind us all that underneath all that technical glitz and glamor, Crytek have fashioned an excellent first-person shooter that beautifully balances boisterous, eye-opening spectacle with nuanced player freedom.
For those who have not yet been initiated into the plot of Crysis 2, Crytek’s sequel takes place after the end of the first game (yes, I know – what a revelation, but bear with me), where the alien threat has spread to New York City and so our Nanosuited hero must take the fight to these ferocious enemies and the human faction that appear to be working alongside them.
Sure enough it’s hardly the stuff of science fiction sophisticates, but the setting and characters really aren’t why players gravitate to Crysis 2, or indeed any of the Crysis games, in the first place. Whereas Crysis (you can catch our review of Crysis Remastered right here), was a much more open world style affair that allowed players ample agency to define their approach, Crysis 2 Remastered is a much more linear affair which funnels the player through a smaller, though ultimately more densely packed series of areas than what we saw in the first Crysis game.
In practice, though Crysis 2 Remastered certainly lacks the breathless and wide-ranging geographical freedoms of its predecessor, it hasn’t abandoned that design at all – but merely refocused it in a more linear setting where you still have sufficient freedom to approach any given situation in a number of different ways depending on your playstyle. Bestowed with all manner of abilities both obvious and nuanced, the Nanosuit which powers your violent escapades can provide you with quite the kaleidoscope of tactical possibilities that fit into whichever approach suits you best.
While the variously handy vision spectrums allow you to scout out and identify potential foes and opportunities at range prior to embarking on some kind of action, it’s really the Nanosuit’s in-built abilities such as enhanced armor, invisibility and so on, which provide players with a means to truly facilitate a smashmouth confrontation or stealthy approach accordingly. Or you can always power-kick a car into a bunch of dudes – however you progress is up to you for the most part and in this sense, Crysis 2 still manages to prescribe more freedom than most shooters do these days anyway.
Where Crysis 2 excels however is that this freewheeling approach is actually built upon solid gunplay that not only feels great to engage in, but both feels and looks great to boot. Each firearm you’ll get to grips with in Crysis 2 Remastered has a number of different attachments, such as silencers and so on that can be used to compliment a chosen tactical approach, but really it’s how they feel and sound that really cements how great they are to use. Feeling appropriately thunderous in your hands when unleashed upon unsuspecting foes, every single firearm in Crysis 2 Remastered is quite simply a delight to employ.
Crysis 2 Has Never Looked Better And Really Shines On PS5
Though Crysis 2 makes much of the freedom it allows players to have when it comes to navigating through the game world, it also has more than its fair share of cinematic spectacle too. From high destruction tank missions to massive alien craft crashing through towering skyscrapers, Crysis 2’s penchant for epic Hollywood style theatre remains as compelling and retina-searing now in 2021 as it did back in 2011.
Naturally such spectacle is a natural way to show off the visuals of a game like Crysis 2 and in its remastered incarnation on PlayStation consoles, it has never looked better. Benefitting from an absolute deluge of across the board visual uplifts that not only supercharge the resolution and framerate (on PS5) but also implement an array of new effects, Crysis 2 Remastered looks sufficiently polished enough that it could be mistaken for being natively released this year rather than a decade ago,
Of course, while Crysis 2 Remastered still looks great on PS4 and PS4 Pro, it’s PS5 owners that really make the most of the visual bounty that Saber Interactive has concocted here. Super sharp 4K resolution visuals coupled with a blistering 60 frames per second framerate not only make Crysis 2 Remastered look the best it ever has on PS5, but also play the best it ever has too thanks to the massive increase in responsiveness afforded by that doubled frame rate.
Happily while I can report that Crysis 2 Remastered has launched in a much better state than last year’s remastered prequel, there are still a small handful of visual bugs and glitches, such as occasionally faulty lighting effects and floating objects, that can tarnish the otherwise stellar and robust visual presentation that Crysis 2 Remastered offers. A bigger issue for some sadly, will be that while Crysis 2 Remastered boasts a range of unlockables and collectibles for folks to hoover up, it’s also missing the multiplayer mode which was later redacted from the PC version of Crysis 2. Sure, this might seem like a churlish criticism, but after recalling how much fun Crysis 2 multiplayer was on PC, its absence from the console versions of the game is still keenly felt nonetheless.
Quite unlike the shaky launch that blighted the release of Crysis Remastered last year, Crysis 2 Remastered is a success. Providing contemporary PlayStation gamers with a beautifully polished lens with which to play one of the most underrated shooters of the last ten years, Crysis 2 Remastered is quite simply a great shooter which balances spectacle with freeform agency that everyone should make time for.
Crysis 3 Remastered PS4 Review (Tested On PS5)
A New Coat Of Polish Adds Layers Of Delectable Current Gen Sheen To A Snappily Entertaining, If Linear Shooter
Much like Crysis 2 Remastered before it, Crysis 3 Remastered eschews the broader scope of the original Crysis for a much more narrowly focused affair that nonetheless manages to blend with a sense of freeform gameplay that essentially results in non-linear design embedded within a linear framework, if you will.
Previously released for the PS3 at the tail end of its tenure, like its immediate predecessor Crysis 3 also finds its way to contemporary consoles where the increased horsepower can be brought to bear in such a way that it not only enhances the original experience for those of us old enough to played the game two PlayStation generations ago, but could also compel new players into its fold.
Once more putting our Nano-suited protagonist in the firing line of the nefarious C.E.L.L. corporation, Crysis 3 Remastered is without a doubt the most linear of all the Crysis games released to date. A far cry (if you’ll excuse the meta-pun) from the first entry in the Crysis trilogy which prided itself on providing players with a sizable open world which in turn facilitated sufficient creative latitude of play, Crysis 3 instead doubles down on the more linear structure of Crysis 2 and follows that design trajectory with rigid determination to an endpoint that won’t be for everyone.
As such, if you’ve not had any previous exposure to Crysis 3 (you can catch our review of the PS3 version here) but enjoyed the first Crysis or indeed any current open world first-person shooter, then the sardines-in-a-tin style approach of Crytek’s threequel, where open world agency has been sacrificed at the alter of prebaked Hollywood spectacle and the frequent manifestation of invisible walls, will likely fail to ensnare your attention sufficiently.
Further Reading – Crysis Remastered PS4 Review
That said, as dramatic as my description has made the fall from freewheeling player agency into linear gunplay seem, Crysis 3 hasn’t given up that particular ghost entirely. In manner more akin to the tightly controlled agency of Crysis 2 rather than the unfettered freedom of the first game, players are still provided a modest amount of scope with which to approach various situations – permitting ample oscillation between all out combat and more considered, stealthy avenues of play depending on your preference.
Naturally being Crysis, each of these approaches is underscored in turn by the functionality provided by the series iconic Nanosuit. From invisibility, to increased armor and super strength that lets you kick boot a multitude of heavy stuff into the faces of your enemies, Crysis 3 certainly provides players with a familiar degree of freedom with which to go about their shooty business – it’s just a shame that relatively speaking, such freedom feels more like a afterthought rather than a meaningful attempt to reembrace the freewheeling essence of Crysis original design bedrock.
Of course the flipside of this argument is that for folks who have found themselves compelled by the much more linear nature of current shooters in recent years, the leveraging of such conservative design principles by Crysis 3 Remastered will hardly seem anywhere near as jarring. And solely on its merits as a linear face-shooting fest that is liberally stuffed with Hollywood style bombast and a snappy duration (you’ll see the credits after 12-15 hours of play), Crysis 3 Remastered nonetheless gives a commendable account of itself as a visually attractive and mostly linear shooter offering that respects your time duly.
Sadly like Crysis Remastered 2 before it, Crysis Remastered 3 also finds itself somewhat struggling to justify investment in itself beyond the trappings of its single-player campaign. Though the usual array of collectible bits and pieces abound for trophy chasing purists to stick their beaks into, the omission of Crysis 3’s highly entertaining multiplayer mode invariably tarnishes its long-term allure and makes the compact, linear levels of the game wear out their welcome a touch faster than they perhaps otherwise would.
With its ‘Remastered’ suffix steadfastly appended to its title, Crysis 3 Remastered represents yet another formidable demonstration of Saber Interactive’s porting prowess. Breathing new life into a game that two PlayStation generations ago appeared sluggish and rife with visual compromises, Crysis 3 Remastered repeats the impressive feat that Crysis 2 Remastered managed before it, fashioning an often jaw-dropping remaster that not only looks excellent on last-gen PlayStation platforms, but also truly shines on PS5 with super vivid 4K resolution visuals that scream along at a liquid smooth 60 frames per second and bolstered by all new lighting, shadow and texture work to boot.
In the same way that Crysis 2 Remastered was the best looking version of Crysis 2 on console, so too is Crysis 3 Remastered the best looking version of Crysis 3 on console, too. It’s just a shame that despite its much improved face-lift, Crysis 3 Remastered just doesn’t quite strike that seemingly elusive balance of freeform approach and linear shooter that Crysis 2 Remastered so commendably manages.
Free of the technical limitations of two generation old PlayStation hardware, Crysis 3 Remastered finally manages to provide PlayStation gamers with an experience approximate to the PC version of Crysis 3 that was so often uttered in reverent tones by furrow-browed, pixel-counting acolytes and cutting edge hardware enthusiasts back in the day.
Though the much welcomed uptick in visual presentation ensures that Crysis 3 holds its own with some of its more contemporary genre stablemates, it also makes Crysis 3’s original, stripped back ambitions seem as cloyingly frustrating now, as they were all the way back in 2013. Crysis 3 Remastered is certainly an attractive, though linear shooter whereupon its somewhat brief playtime acts as a boon in this new, busier world that we live in where time is a premium and such brisker experiences are arguably more valued now than in decades past.
However, the layers of polish and visual opulence that have been generously lathered across the exterior of Crysis 3 Remastered by those practised hands at Saber Interactive also reveal something of a troubling dual truth. Not only is Crysis 3 arguably the weakest entry in the trilogy, but it also represents the nadir of that wonderfully freewheeling ambition which gave the series life in the first place – an ultimately opulent, if depressing monument to how far the series has fallen, now given fresh and dubious majesty to an all new generation of gamers.
The Best Way To Experience One Of Gaming’s Best Shooter Trilogies
Though it’s difficult to not be rankled by the lack of a native PS5 version for any of the games in the Crysis Remastered Trilogy – not least because the full, unbridled power of the PS5 brought to bear on the Crysis games would be something to behold indeed, Crysis Remastered Trilogy nonetheless looks stellar on PS5 – showcasing Crytek’s magnum opus trilogy with the sort of sparkling technical presentation that simply wasn’t possible until now.
Between all three games, the Crysis Remastered Trilogy effectively provides something of a microcosm of how the first person shooter genre has evolved over the years, with the completely freeform open world beats of the first game soon being replaced by the linear opulence of the final game in the trio. That said, if you’re a fan of the genre in general or have been hankering to play Crytek’s impressive trio of shooter offerings for sometime now, there really is no better place to jump in than with the Crysis Remastered Trilogy.
Crysis Remastered Trilogy is out now for PS4
Review code kindly provided by PR.