Crysis Remastered: we visit Crytek HQ and go hands-on with Xbox One

Technology

It’s no secret that Digital Foundry has a perhaps unhealthy degree of love for Crysis, maybe even bordering on obsession. Crytek’s masterpiece was a massively important game on its release in 2007 and a title that still holds up beautifully today in many ways – and it’s a reminder of the days when PC exclusives pushed technology so hard, we upgraded just to play them and actually did so willingly. Its status as a game that melts any and all PC hardware remains in place to this very day, though perhaps for the wrong reasons. All that’s set to change with the release of Crysis Remastered, which revamps and optimises the original for modern systems, while still pushing the boundaries of today’s technology. We’ve played it on Switch and loved it and we think you’re going to enjoy it on PC, Xbox One and PS4 too. We know this because Crytek invited us to its Frankfurt HQ to sample the game on all systems, but going hands-on… well, that’s just the beginning of the story.

You see, for Digital Foundry’s Alex Battaglia, Crysis isn’t just a game – it’s no understatement to say that it is his favourite game ever, bar none. We all have our go-to titles that always get installed on our PCs first. For Alex, that’s Crysis. It’s the game that fuelled his passion for video games and technology to the point where after years and years of Crysis gaming, it may well be integrated into his very DNA. Therefore, the opportunity to visit Crytek isn’t just a routine PR opportunity as such: it’s the realisation of an ambition held for many, many years. We like to poke fun at the Crysis shrine in his Berlin apartment but his love and passion for the game, the engine and the developer are real. With that in mind, this wasn’t so much a press visit, it was more like a pilgrimage! But would he encounter the enigmatic Yerli brothers? Would the trip culminate in a face-to-face meeting with Cevat Yerli himself?

All of this is the experience we wanted to capture in this video. John Linneman joined Alex for the trip to the studio, wearing a GoPro camera so he could capture his colleague’s reactions and excitement, but also to take you inside Crytek HQ as well. And therein, beyond the office environments, the full-size nanosuit (!) and the many Crytek artefacts, you’ll get your first look at Crysis Remastered running on Xbox One X, with the odd glimpse at the PC version too.

We’ll be sharing more about the console versions of the game in the coming days, but the DF team has spent some time with all versions on site and the reaction is positive, with Crytek happy to take onboard some of our suggestions as they polish up the game for its final release. We’ll be sharing a lot more about the console release very soon, with big plans in place for the very promising-looking PC version. But in the here and now, we can reveal some interesting facts about Crysis Remastered. First of all, on Xbox One X at least, the game ships with three display modes. The default is a dynamic 4K presentation with enhanced settings at 30fps (yes, with properly implemented frame-pacing) but there’s also a 1080p performance mode which essentially drops settings to the base console equivalents and unlocks the frame-rate, running at up to 60fps.

But there’s more. Crytek has announced that its software-based ray tracing solution is coming to the enhanced consoles – PS4 Pro and Xbox One X – and while we’ve been sceptical about its chances based on the performance of the same tech in the firm’s Neon Noir demo, we’ve seen it and it does work to often spectacular effect in the new Crysis game. Not only that, the performance is good. We’ll have more to share on that very soon, but the big takeaway from our visit is that Crysis Remastered is shaping up to be something that’s well worth the wait. The game’s abrupt delay and the last minute pull of its reveal trailer left us with concerns, but the final product is shaping up very nicely and we’re really looking forward to going deeper with launch code on all systems.