Review: Crysis Remastered – Raytracing on Playstation 4
Crysis is back and this time on multiple devices. The game recently appeared on PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. For this review, we look at the game on Playstation 4 Pro. Is this the new benchmark?
It is important to keep the following in mind while reading this review. Crysis Remastered differs greatly in performance and image quality, depending on the platform you play on and your chosen play mode. On Playstation 4 Pro (and Xbox One X), players can choose from three different modes:
- Ray Tracing
In Quality Mode, the game prioritizes resolution. The target is 4K, but on Playstation 4 Pro this is just not achieved because the console does not support Native 4K. In this mode you mainly watch a resolution of 1800P with some dips in stressful areas. You play with 30 FPS.
In Performance Mode, the frames are uncapped and you play at a resolution of up to 1080P.
Raytracing is a bit more interesting because we haven't seen this on the current generation of consoles until now. Does the Playstation 4 Pro actually manage to apply ray tracing? Yes and no. The resolution is again a maximum of 1080P, but regularly sees dips up to 900P. Let's dig a little deeper into this rather noteworthy Raytracing implementation.
Crysis was revolutionary in 2007. The game was used to make the toughest machines sweat. If your PC could handle Crysis at the time, then you were done. Crytek and Saber Interactive are trying to maintain this status somewhat in the game's remaster. In order to achieve the same wow factor of the time, they have succeeded in making Raytracing function on the current generation of consoles. Although you do need the more powerful version for that. A Playstation 4 Pro, or Xbox One X.
The Raytracing method implemented in Crysis Remastered is quite subtle. You can see it, but it has been applied selectively. Not every object reflects light realistically and the Raytracing comes into its own especially with shiny objects and translucent lights near trees. So it's quite impressive that the developer has managed to apply this next-gen technique to these outdated machines, but this is not the mode in which you want to play the game. Raytracing costs quite a bit and brings more harm than good to the game.
The performance in particular has a hard time in this fashion. Constant dips in the frames and no stable FPS make sure that the game doesn't play pleasantly at all in this mode. You can also not switch between the different modes whenever you want. Want to switch back to Quality or Performance mode? Then you have to restart the level. As a result, you will probably hardly use the Raytracing function.
In addition, the Raytracing mode raises strange visual bugs with red flickering boxes taunting random areas of the game, usually in the background. This didn't bother me in other play modes, although on the other hand these present other problems.
High resolution or more frames?
So there are two choices left. Want the game to look its best, the way Crysis is meant to be? Or do you go for the smoothest experience in Performance mode?
My heart went out to the Quality Mode and this is a big improvement over the Raytracing mode. It looks much sharper and the exposure is not bad in fashion. Again the performance is not optimal, but the game dips less quickly than in Raytracing mode. It still doesn't feel quite right and visual bugs persist, but in a different form. For example, certain textures had trouble loading completely. I was more often next to an object that consisted entirely of gigantic pixels, while the rest of the environment is well loaded.
Would you like to try performance mode? In this you have by far the smoothest experience in terms of gameplay, but I soon lost my courage. This is not the Crysis you want to play. This is not what Crysis are known for. Also in this mode everything works as you would expect. Objects and buildings that you can completely blow up and objects that are riddled by bullets are broken down quite realistically, but it's not quite it. The game is limited in a certain way in every game mode, so you can never get everything out of it.
There's too much wrong
Crysis Remastered recently came out after being delayed once and frankly, just had it delayed one more time. We're so close to the next generation that the game certainly could have benefited from this. The game just isn't good enough at the moment. In terms of gameplay, you don't notice much difference compared to the original game. The AI is still stupid and several times I was right next to an enemy after which he only started firing at me after a few seconds. This while at other times I'm spotted from miles away with the enemy literally standing with his back to me.
I had to disable HDR in-game because the lighting in buildings created virtual burn-in of the interior layout. In some buildings my screen even went completely white. So far I've been able to successfully play other HDR games, so there's nothing wrong with my TV settings.
I cannot recommend Crysis Remastered. At least not on a Playstation 4 Pro. In no mode does the game excel and in every mode you deliver something significant. The performance of the game is simply not optimized in all modes and it plays very wooden. The game hangs for a second at every checkpoint and you are constantly taken out of the flow by the many small mistakes that you see and feel.
It's very impressive to see that Raytracing works in some form on the Playstation 4 Pro, but here too it just doesn't do it well enough.
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