Crysis preview: the console experience

Crytek said that Crysis was too “advanced” to run on consoles when it came out in 2007. Now, four short years later, the state of the industry has changed, and getting Crysis to run on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is more important than it was when the PC exclusive FPS launched to rave reviews. Even after EA and Crytek made the announcement we were still skeptical as to how it would work, but after getting hands-on with the game we’re happy with the result, even if some hefty concessions had to be made.

Once we got used to the idea that we were playing Crysis on a console there was very little learning curve involved thanks to the controls, which were ripped straight from the console version of Crysis 2. Nanosuit functions are mapped to the shoulder buttons, making it easy to throw on extra armor or hide with stealth. But the button layout wasn’t the only thing Crytek took from Crysis 2 – they also brought in the weapon customization, which let us modify our guns on the fly with ease.

Despite being taken from another game, these mechanics work as well in the original Crysis as they did in Crysis 2, if not better. Actually, we felt like it should have been there all along. Besides the painfully beautiful graphics, Crysis’s biggest success was allowing us to use the Nanosuit options and the large, open environments to tackle situations in different ways. Access to the weapon customization wheel improves this dramatically, and being able to throw a silencer, scope, or flashlight onto a weapon on the fly adds even more options, giving us more control of how we initiated a battle.

But we knew that Crysis would feel good – there was no reason to think that it wouldn’t. The real question is how does it look, and the answer is good. Not great, not fantastic. Good. Particle effects are strong, and the environments are just as stunning as they were on the PC, but downloading Crysis on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 and expecting it took look as it did on the highest settings is going to lead to disappointment. With the graphics pumped up all the way the original Crysis is still one of the best looking games around, and some things had to be scaled back to make it work without the power of a gaming rig behind it.

Textures suffer the most from the downgrade, followed closely by shadows, which fail to achieve the fidelity that Crysis (or Crysis 2) delivered. Then again, we're not sure that we'd have noticed any of these differences if we didn't play the PC version first. Without a basis of comparison everything looked great, and the large, open environments were just as awe-inspiring as they were before. It wasn't until we got up close and remembered how strong the presentation was in the PC version that we started to realize that Crytek’s claims that the current generation of consoles couldn’t handle Crysis weren’t entirely unfounded.

Thankfully, it’s sort of a non-issue. Just because Crysis doesn’t look as good as it does on the PC doesn’t mean that it’s still not a blast to play, and we’ll gladly trade graphics for the functionality of the weapon customization wheel any day of the week. Hopefully this feeling persists throughout the entire game, because we’d love to have an excuse to play through Crysis again when it releases on October 4.

Sep 23, 2011


console port


  • therawski - September 23, 2011 3:49 p.m.

    I'd do PC gaming more but I run Linux because Microsoft sells the same broken crap to you every year for several hundreds of dollars. Some stuff runs very well in Wine, but I'd rather spend my money on games instead of hardware, plus I like being able to switch from my game and pc without both crashing, and I like multiple handhelds because dedicating one battery to everything will die much sooner. I'm glad that the original Crysis is coming to console, but if you haven't noticed it's about playing a game, not watching graphics.
  • milsvaard - September 23, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    Just to clear things up, this does not look better than the PC. However, for people that never played the original because their PC couldn't run it, it's a great deal. I will download a PS3 copy, hopefully it won't look worse than the 360.
  • sft10 - September 23, 2011 1:40 p.m.

    ofcourse the PC version is better, it has better graphics, mouse and keyboard and mods. The console is probably cryteks way of making a quick buck, while crysis 3 is in the works
  • Plan10FromOuterSpace - September 23, 2011 1:38 p.m.

    someone with a gaming rig who's actually played this game, just answer me the simple question, four years later and without the amazing graphics, should I care about this game alongside all the other great stuff coming out this year? honest question :)
  • GR HollanderCooper - September 23, 2011 2:59 p.m.

    Well, if the only thing that's weaker than the PC version is the graphics, then yes. Crysis was fun as hell, and I still go back and play it from time to time. If you want you can just ignore the cutscenes and pretend it's a Predator game - half of the time you're given a group of worried soldiers standing in the middle of a jungle to kill. Stealth around, surround them with mines, then run, full speed, into them - then run away. They freak out and scramble, tripping mines and blowing up.
  • The_Tingler - September 24, 2011 5:22 a.m.

    Yes, absolutely. This type of wide-open-area FPS is something that consoles have always been bad at doing, and Crysis is one of the best around. There's been nothing else like it since. Crysis 2 was a massive downgrade.
  • inkyspot - September 23, 2011 12:50 p.m.

    I don't care if the graphics are not good as the pc version (i didn't have a pc that was good enough to run it anyway), so I will get this as soon as it comes out. I can't wait.
  • chrisda - September 23, 2011 12:37 p.m.

    Db1331, you're amazing and half the reason I read the comments, just thought you should know.
  • db1331 - September 23, 2011 12:52 p.m.

    You are the wind beneath my wings.
  • greentumbleweed - September 23, 2011 11:39 a.m.

    So I assume this is only available as a download on XBL? No disc version?
  • db1331 - September 23, 2011 10:59 a.m.

    I'm not saying people can't still go and drop $20 on this on their console and have a fantastic time, but I think you're underselling the differences between the two versions. I think this pic sums them up pretty well: Personally, I'd take the PC version over the stripped down 360 build and its "weapon customization wheel."
  • vekrote - September 23, 2011 11:19 a.m.

    I'm tempted to spite you for the simple fact that you are one of the biggest PC elitists on this site and have just lost your main argument point as to the PC's superiority, but i'm going to be nice and say enjoy the internet :)
  • db1331 - September 23, 2011 11:24 a.m.

    There is no argument about PC superiority. You either recognize that the PC is superior, or you are ignorant/in denial.
  • Channel4 - September 23, 2011 11:36 a.m.

    Apart from the fact that in general console exclusives are often the best games. Nintendo makes amazing games. Sony makes amazing games. Microsoft makes amazing games(though less so than the others imo). PC has good exclusives but they are usually old or updates of old games. A high end PC can play nearly all Wii games on Dolphin though, which is quite funny really. So I suppose PC is at least superior to the Wii for gaming.
  • db1331 - September 23, 2011 11:45 a.m.

    I have my PC, PS3, Wii and DSi. Between those systems, there is not a single game I want to play but can't. I would never buy a game for the consoles that I could get on PC. The PC version always offers more. At the very least, it will look better and cost less.
  • taokaka - September 23, 2011 5:13 p.m.

    I'm the opposite I always buy my games on either my 360 or ps3 instead of my PC just because I prefer it. Also I grew up with consoles so it just feels wrong playing on PC. Plus I actually enjoy a lot more of the console exclusive games than PC exclusives. But I have met people that only care about graphics (hobogonigal) that laugh at my habit of buying the console version but I enjoy the game for the gameplay and story so I don't care about whether it looks minutely better.
  • The_Tingler - September 24, 2011 5:29 a.m.

    Thank you taokaka. The only argument about PC vs Sony vs Microsoft vs Nintendo that matters is YOUR preference. I personally prefer PC, not because the graphics are better or that I prefer mouse & keyboard controls (I regularly play games with an Xbox pad plugged in), it's down to privacy and being social. I have absolutely no privacy playing on console, and I regularly get interrupted by someone wanting to watch TV. PC I have absolute privacy, it's just me and the game, and I can talk to all my friends via Steam while playing. And by talk I mean "type" which I can pause the game to do - you can't really do that on console.
  • Net_Bastard - September 23, 2011 11:40 a.m.

    While I do agree with you, you could have put it a bit nicer. You give non-elitist PC gamers like us a bad name.
  • Dman3981 - September 23, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    I know obviously PC is better for performance but when it comes to socially consoles minus Wii is better. I mean I have more real life friends on my PSN list then I do on my PC and for some reason everyone is a dick to me when I play a PC game. Well at least that's my personal experience. I love Steam sales though, $2 games that I would usually pay full pop for is great.
  • The_Tingler - September 24, 2011 5:33 a.m.

    Yeah, but unless you've got a keyboard how do you talk to your friends? By actual talking? Eurgh. Unless you're in a multiplayer game nothing interrupts a game like someone talking to you while you're playing it. Socially for YOU the PS3 may be better, but taken objectively the PC is much better. And you'll get dicks on every platform.

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