Few games can claim to possess the legendary status of Crysis – a title so far ahead of its time when it launched in 2007 that enjoying the fully maxed experience on even the most high-end hardware of the period was a pipedream. Built in an era before the many-core CPU paradigm was firmly established, it’s still impossible to play the game through completely at a locked 60fps – even on the fastest PC hardware available today. The franchise has been dormant since 2013’s under-performing Crysis 3, but last week’s reveal of Crysis Remastered has got us genuinely excited. We’ve been hearing the occasional rumour for a while, but now it’s real, it’s actually happening and we can’t wait.
Quite why the series hasn’t been rebooted before now remains something of a mystery. Crysis is synonymous with the technological state of the art but more than that, the original game itself is brilliant. The stealth, power, speed and protective powers of the nanosuit working in combination with the wide open play spaces allow users to take on a range of combat scenarios with what feels like unlimited options. Over 12 years on from release, the wide-open approach to combat feels fresh and original, in contrast to the linear campaigns in today’s first-person shooters.
There was something special in the way Crysis played, and from our perspective, it was only let down by two factors: AI and performance – areas where we hope to see the remaster radically improve on the original. Enemy intelligence in the original game was limited to say the least and somewhat frustrating. The brilliant stealth mechanics were compromised owing to a kind of ‘binary’ AI that saw all enemies gain awareness of your position even if you were spotted by just one opponent. Meanwhile, the AI itself was based on Lua scripts – so not only was behaviour simplistic, it would also hammer the CPU.