Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Yes it can run Crysis

How does 2007's infamous system crusher fare on modern hardware?

Crysis's system requirements were so demanding when it was released that the question "Can it run Crysis?" became a meme that was humourously asked of the most inappropriate hardware such as toasters and ancient computers. 

How does Crysis run on a modern Windows 10 64 bit system with a GTX 970? The answer I am delighted to report is as smooth as butter with all settings maxed out. I did have a couple of crashes to desktop during my play through but these were so rare that they weren't a nuisance.

I was actually surprised the game ran at all because it has been mentioned as one of the games affected by Microsoft ending support for Securom/Safedisk.  When I installed from my old disk I immediately patched up to the latest version and it ran without problems. Both 64bit and 32 bit versions are installed. It defaults to 64 bit but the 32bit version can be run manually. I didn't benchmark but my eye couldn't detect any performance difference between the two versions.

Even maxed out Crysis cannot compete with the best 2015 games for graphical prettiness but it still is far from shabby. The game play stands up extremely well with a good selection of weapons, abilities, and challenging enemies to use them against. The story on the other hand is rather haphazard. The game feels like a collection of fairly random missions with a story tacked on afterwards in an attempt to string them together. Regardless there is the inevitable progression toward an end goal encounter with a final boss so all is good.

Released the same year as Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare,  CoD 4 redefined  first person shooters and Modern Warfare went on to become a multi billion dollar franchise. Crysis on the other hand is probably the last great old school shooter. It allows quick save.  It doesn't have levelling up. It has (almost) no quick time events. It doesn't have achievements. There is a long single player campaign with focus on interesting mechanics and emergent gameplay rather than Hollywood cinematics and scripting. Nevertheless Crysis had plenty of innovation. The multi purpose nano suit could be used in a variety of ways and huge open maps always allowed many paths to achieve an objective. 

One thing did surprise me: The game, even on a harder difficulty feels easier than I remember. I am pretty sure my reflexes haven't improved with age. Improved response times due to better hardware are probably helping a bit. I also suspect that my play style is a factor. First run through a new game I tend to be very cautious using stealth a lot and conserving ammunition. Replaying an older title I am far more gung ho, running in guns blazing. Despite frequent deaths this tends to get through content more quickly.

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