I’ve been holding off on getting a new gaming PC as not only is it a nightmare to track down an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, but many of the best PC games are also available on the Xbox Series X, which I’m fortunate enough to have.
But developer Crytek has just announced a new Crysis game currently in development and that has me looking dejectedly at my ageing gaming desktop. That’s because, for the uninitiated, Crysis games have long been incredible demanding on the PC hardware of the time, prompting first person shooter fans to ponder GPU upgrades and PC gamers to pose the immortal question: "But can it run Crysis?"
While the original Crysis was a PC game, its successors have come to consoles, with an enhanced version of the original game now available on Xbox and PlayStation; heck there’s even a Nintendo Switch version of Crysis.
But given how demanding the first game was and all the graphical option it threw at my eyeballs back in 2007, it’s always felt like PC-first game. And while Crysis 4 is officially in the early stages of development, Crytek makes very pretty and powerful game engines and I’d be very surprised if Crysis 4 doesn't end up pushing the current, and indeed future, gaming tech very hard.
I’d expect there to be high-end ray tracing, advanced texture rendering and filtering techniques, and options for super high and widescreen resolutions. Be prepared for “can my PC run Crysis 4?” to pop up in PC gaming forums in the near-future.
Beyond the tease of PC-slaying graphics, Crysis 4 is also exciting to me as I loved the original game.
In it, you played the role of a special force soldier code named Nomad. But rather than have an arsenal of guns and gear at your disposal, you had the Nanosuit. This futuristic wetsuit-meets-body-armor had four modes: one boosted armor, one that gave super strength, another super speed and the last allowed for a limited invisibility cloak.
Combined with a tropical setting and expansive missions that took Nomad from white sandy beaches to sweltering jungles, Crysis was almost a pseudo-Predator game. Being able to sneak up on enemies while cloaked, grab them and hurl them into their comrades using super strength, then sprinting away at superhuman speeds was a lot of fun.
There were some great set pieces and evolving missions where stealthy infiltration of a base turns into a huge firefight, with support from the U.S. Navy. And Crysis did all this while looking stunning; it arguably still looks very nice today, especially at high resolutions.
Crysis 2 and Crysis 3 lost a little of this free-form fun, though the games looked amazing. I’m hoping Crytek draws inspiration for the first three-quarters of the first game (spoiler warning) rather than the more alien-centric last quarter and sequel games.
With precious little else in the way of information, I can only hope we hear more about Crysis 4 as the year draws on. But for the time being, it’s good news that Crysis could make a comeback, even if it might punish all but the best gaming PCs.