But can it run Crysis?
The Crysis series has reached legendary status over the last decade-plus, with its high-end graphics and fast-paced, first-person shooting. Following suit with the series of remasters and last-gen port jobs to the Nintendo Switch, Crysis Remastered has arrived. Titling itself as a remaster may seem odd based on the clear downgrades that make this port possible, but the performance is smooth throughout and still looks pretty impressive when compared to other FPS titles on the platform. Add in the fact this is an open-world title and the lowered resolution can easily be pushed to the back of your mind. Still holding up to this day, Crysis Remastered offers intense and exciting gameplay while allowing you to choose how to tackle each stronghold, even if the age can be felt from time to time.
After dropping into enemy territory to rescue a group of captives, the team of Nanosuit-wielding super soldiers come into contact with dug-in North Korean forces, as well as some more interstellar foes that have awoken after a long slumber, à la War of the Worlds. Moving about this chain of islands, it is up to you to reconnect with your squad, try to gain a communications foothold in the area, and fight through roadblock after roadblock on your way to discovering the secrets this misty island has to offer. The story is definitely secondary to the top-notch gameplay but offers an interesting take in comparison with most first-person shooters, even if a majority of the themes and ideas could be found in other media.
Getting around a sandbox of this magnitude can be a daunting task, but Crysis does traversal right. Between the vehicles and boats that can be commandeered, and the Nanosuit’s speedy sprint option, you can make your way around like it’s no difficult task at all. Pair that with a burst jump that sends you through the air fairly high and you can maneuver your way around most obstacles. The only negative I found to your Nanosuit’s core abilities came in the use of your chameleon-like stealth ability, which I found to rarely actually hide you from enemies, even from long distances.
With that being said, this AI is tough to beat, even in easier gameplay modes. They are quite intelligent, recognizing movement and sound to a degree you don’t find in rival shooters. This means you will have to actually take the time to plan out step-by-step how to tackle encounters varying from patrols to full-on complexes. This variety to combat means that every engagement feels fresh and thrilling. Ammunition can sometimes be tough to come across for your cooler, default weaponry, so you will regularly have to settle for whatever your downed enemies were using, which is a bummer until you get later in the game. Regardless, getting to the next fight was more fun than anything else I encountered in Crysis Remastered—it’s a masterfully-done gameplay loop.
The actual quests given are bland, “go here, now go here”-style objectives where you’re basically just given an excuse to run face-first into more baddies. Fighting it out with those baddies is a positive interaction, so no ill-will there, but I came away regularly wishing there was a bit more substance behind what was happening, whereas most of your time with the world is spent simply clicking on a radio or piece of equipment followed by doing the same thing at the next location.
Graphically, Crysis Remastered looks worse than its original 2007 release, but hey, you’re doing it on a handheld device with a game once memed to death about its performance standards. It runs smoothly at all times, with very little in terms of any noticeable slowdown, even when dealing with larger groups of enemies. Destructible environments have been salvaged, as you’re still able to break down turret locations with a grenade or chop through brush and trees with your gunfire. Considering the Switch’s limited nature, the fact you can fight a dozen enemies, while running around in circles, with trees and buildings exploding all around you is damn impressive. Kudos to the port house! The only knock on this one outside of the graphical downgrade comes in the setting choice, where jungles have been done to death at this point. But, this is a nice jungle, at least.
Crysis Remastered is an impressive showcase for the Nintendo Switch’s true capabilities when ports are given the love and attention they deserve. Graphical downgrade aside, this title plays, looks, and feels great. Besides some aging mechanics and a so-so story, the gameplay loop of fighting through strategic engagement to engagement is addictive and invigorating, even if that means you’ll have a better time ignoring the objectives to get to the next fight quicker.