Yeah, It Can Run Crysis
HIGH It’s Crysis on a handheld!
LOW It’s Crysis on a handheld.
WTF Why would they release the Switch port before the more powerful consoles?
In 2007, Crysis was released and quickly became a lofty technical benchmark to test even the beefiest of PCs. Noteworthy for visuals and required specs, it birthed the popular catchphrase “But can it run Crysis?” signaling to weak rigs that this was not the game for them. Now, over 13 years since its release, Nintendo’s plucky handheld can run this former behemoth.
Crysis is a science-fiction shooter that revolves around an ancient alien structure buried inside a mountain in the fictional Lingshan Islands. Players control Nomad, the callsign for soldier Jake Dunn, and don his high-powered nanosuit while wielding dozens of weapons. There’s not much more to say, as the story and characters are secondary to everything else. I gave Nomad the nickname “Minor Chief”, as he felt like the most generic FPS protagonist ever.
Of course, the real stars of Crysis are the visuals. The environments are full of detail — gorgeous lighting hits the beaches, and faces on characters look fairly great even after all this time. Seeing the way the environment reacts to Nomad’s destruction is still impressive as trees and buildings get mowed down by gunfire. Sure, the destructible environments look a bit rough and take forever to fully dismantle (buildings disappear layer by layer instead of just falling apart) but the visual fidelity is still a sight to behold on my humble Switch Lite, even if the framerate can dip significantly during intense firefights.
While Crysis still looks great, graphics aren’t everything — I was not a big fan of the gameplay.
Taking place in an open-world sandbox, Nomad has the option to approach missions in different ways thanks to his nanosuit. He’s able to cloak himself and take out enemies quietly without being noticed, or he can switch on a stronger shield mode to take less damage from gunfire. In fact, Crytek’s ‘try what you want’ approach to design feels like the blueprint for many recent open-world action-adventure games.
Unfortunately, while the exploration is fine, the gunplay leaves a lot to be desired and part of this lies with the platform. The Switch Lite’s triggers aren’t great for shooters and the sticks are problematic as well. Both movement and aiming feels stiff, even with the sensitivity turned all the way up.
Making this bad situation worse, the enemies in Crysis are bullet sponges on any difficulty level past Easy. Emptying a full clip into a soldier only to watch him keep coming and eventually kill me sucks, and due to the hardiness of the opposition, the combat felt like a slog at points.
This Switch version was my first time playing Crysis. I think as a piece of gaming history, and it’s interesting to see what the standards for visuals and design were back in 2007. That said, it feels dated and the campaign struggled to keep my attention due to the weak storytelling, problematic controls and drawn-out firefights. Still, for those who are interested in visiting (or revisiting) this landmark title, this Switch port might be their best bet.
Disclosures: This game is published by Crytek and developed by Crytek and Saber Interactive. This version is available on Nintendo Switch. This copy was obtained via publisher and was reviewed on Switch. Approximately 10 hours of play were devoted to single-player and was not completed. There is no multiplayer.
Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is M for Blood, Strong Language and Violence. The official description reads as follows: This is a first-person shooter in which players assume the role of a special forces operative (Nomad) attempting a rescue mission on an island. As players traverse jungle environments, they engage in combat missions against military forces and extraterrestrials. Players use machine guns, grenade launchers, and alien weaponry (e.g., freeze rays) to kill enemy forces in frenetic combat. Battles are accompanied by large explosions, gunfire, and screams of pain. Large blood-splatter effects occur when enemies are shot, sometimes staining the environment and screen. The words “f**k” and “sh*t” are heard in the game.
Colorblind Modes: Colorblind modes are not present in the options menu.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Gamers: I played this game on mute in handheld mode and had a few issues occurring during combat. The Switch Lite’s smaller screen made it much harder to make out visual cues, especially on the minimap, and not being able to hear enemies puts players at a severe disadvantage. I would say this game is not fully accessible.
Remappable Controls: No, the controls are not remappable, although the y-axis can be changed.