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Crysis Remastered Trilogy review - defying time

You can finally play Crysis (all of them) well, which is actually pretty great.

Crysis is 14 years old. That's such a hard fact to get my head around. That's the same year God of War 2 released on the PS2. Even the most recent game in the trilogy included in this package, Crysis 3, arrived eight years ago. Yet, pick any game from this trio, all spruced up for modern consoles, and you don't feel their age. These aren't perfect games by any means, but it's quite an achievement that they all feel at home in 2021.

Let's be clear, no one has the time to play through three remasters for one review (if you do, I'm envious, to be honest). So, I sampled each of the games here, having played and finished them all on their initial releases. I'm also not a pixel counter, graphical effect analyser or frame rate detector. I like games with high resolutions, nice graphical effects, and smooth frame rates, but that's about as far as my knowledge goes. For more of a tech breakdown, check out this deep look at Crysis 2 Remastered from our friends at Digital Foundry.

Crysis Remastered Trilogy looks great. I've written before about how games generally look great these days, so while I'm sure a brand-new developed only for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S entry in the franchise would look a lot better, these games still impress graphically. It's worth noting that only the first game has an option for ray tracing on consoles (I played on Xbox Series X) and that there doesn't seem to be any native support for the new consoles, meaning we're not getting ports made specifically for those systems. A shame, but PC looks to be the way to go for the biggest enhancements.

With that said, you'd be hard pressed to guess Crysis originally released 14 years ago. It was always a game that pushed hardware to its limit, so with some tweaks it holds its own very well. It's also the most Crysis of the three, by which I mean the following games weren't quite so open. They all share the same core DNA (super suit that makes you invisible or strong, options for stealth or pure carnage), but the original game feels the most unique and it's likely to be the one fans are most fond of. It was a big deal back on the day.

Crysis 2 I remember getting a bit of a hard time on its release, largely down to less than ideal performance on consoles, but playing it in 2021 it feels great. It did a bit of a Predator 2 and threw you into the "urban jungle" but you still get to approach combat in a variety of ways thanks to mini open areas rather than straight up corridors. It feels a bit like Halo in that sense. If you only played Crysis 2 on the PS3 or Xbox 360, you may well find your opinion on it changing rather dramatically after giving this remastered version a shot. It's actually a pretty great shooter.

Crysis 3 is more of a fusion of the previous two games, and it's also by far the most visually impressive of the bunch. Having previously only played it on the Xbox 360 (quite how those old consoles managed to run this, I have no idea), it's quite a revelation to see it looking so sharp and running at 60 FPS. Even without the PC bells and whistles, it's still a fine looking game.

This is a great package, one that offers three very good shooters for less than the cost of one new release, but it's a shame this isn't quite the perfect collection. There's no Crysis Warhead, for one thing, which is unfortunate as I enjoyed this expansion to the original game back on its release. And the aforementioned lack of proper next-gen support is disappointing, especially given how superb the games look on high-end PCs.

There are also some visual blemishes, even on Xbox Series X, such as occasions where the level of detail is changed far too close to the player, resulting in moments when posters pop into view as you approach a wall, for example. Again, perhaps a full-on next-gen version would have ironed out these issues.

Even without Warhead, this trio will take a good 25 hours or more to complete, which is a lot of FPS campaign gameplay in an age when most recent Call of Duty campaigns run about five to six hours. And to be frank, the Crysis campaigns are better. There's no multiplayer here at all, which I don't miss, but if you absolutely must have a multiplayer mode in your FPS, this isn't the package for you.

I might be easily pleased these days, but I think Crysis Remastered Trilogy is an easy recommendation for anyone who loves a bit of first-person gunplay. All three campaigns are good to great, visually they look the part, and it can already be bought at a smashing price. Not the definitive package, at least on consoles, but it's very good all the same.

Disclaimer: Tested on Xbox Series X. A copy of the game was provided by the publisher. Also available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, and Nintendo Switch.

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