In 2008, if you didn't own a PC capable of powering Crysis' then-cutting-edge visuals, you were out of luck. At the time, modern consoles like Xbox 360 and PS3 were considered not powerful enough to house Crytek's resource-demanding first-person shooter. See also PS4 release date, specs and rumour round-up. UPDATE: Read our Crysis 3 review.
But now, less than a year after Crysis 2 hit Xbox 360 and PS3, Crytek has released the original Crysis as a downloadable game on XBLA and PSN. And despite the fact that it's now three years old, Crysis still holds up remarkably well on platforms originally deemed too feeble to run it.
The new downloadable version of Crysis plays essentially as it did back in 2008, but its developer has given it a bit of a visual scrub, too, with new lighting effects and full stereoscopic 3D support for both systems. They've also optimised the controls a bit to play more smoothly with a standard controller instead of a keyboard and mouse. The enhancements are subtle and mostly cosmetic, but they help keep the experience from feeling dated.
Earlier this year I reviewed Crysis 2, which features some truly astounding visuals. And while Crysis on XBLA/PSN isn't quite the visual feast that game is, it certainly doesn't look its age, either. Even amidst other recently-released blockbuster shooters like Gears of War 3 and Rage, I'm surprised by how well Crysis has held my attention over the last week. It's still a lot of fun rampaging through the game's tropical settings and dealing out death in its technologically-advanced combat exoskeleton, the Nanosuit.
If you've played Crysis on a super high-end gaming PC, however, you may notice that the downloadable version doesn't feature as much detail on textures and environments. There's not much of a noticeable difference between the two versions, and it's really not enough to keep you from enjoying the game.
Crysis is also over 4GB, so you may need to free up room on your hard drive (and go make a sandwich or two) prior to downloading this beefy game.
If you never got the chance to play the original Crysis -- either because you didn't have a decent enough rig to power it, or you just never got around to it -- it is still a fantastic shooter that's worth downloading. And considering that it's part of a planned trilogy, now's a good time to get caught up on the story and experience the game that started it all.