On Crysis 2 for the PS3, one of the first trophies you can earn in the game is called Can It Run Crysis, and this is a joke referencing the frustration of many gamers from a few years back when the first Crysis was released. The original PC game had such steep hardware requirements that many new video card upgrades were warranted, but if you had the right stuff then it was arguably one of the best looking first person shooters for the PC. Now, both PS3 and Xbox 360 owners can relive the glories of the original PC game on their console, but how does it compare? I have played both games on PC and PS3, and in this Crysis console review & gameplay overview, comparison to the PC version will be made in regard to graphics and gameplay.
PC vs. Console Graphics
Before we start comparing graphics, it's worth noting that the original Crysis came out in November 2007, whereas the PS3 made its debut a year earlier in November 2006. At the time, the PC game clearly stood above what the console could do with other games, but that almost always tends to happen. It's funny how much console games improve over the first launch titles even though the hardware remains basically the same.
There are some obvious differences in textures and terrain detail, but it's not like one is better than the other. Instead, they are just a little different. On the console, things seem to be a bit brighter at times, and that's due to some lighting updates that were made with the recent release of the game. The brightness also helps to wash things out enough to cover up some details, so it's also a visual trick.
Draw distance is the main deciding factor here when comparing graphics. Because a computer has much more RAM and processing power available, it can handle more data on-screen at a time and that means you can see more detail from farther away. Limited drawing distance does have an effect on the gameplay, which I'll discuss in the next section.
Graphically, both games look excellent. With the right PC hardware, you'll obviously get a better looking game on a PC, but the console version stands quite well on its own. Depending on what kind of computer you have, the console game might even be better. This is going to be the clincher for some people. If you are a hardcore PC gamer with the latest video card and all that, then of course you can run Crysis with the settings maxed out. If are comparing the console Crysis to how well it runs on your $399 laptop, then obviously yeah the console will look better. The console game also supports 3D, but I have no way of testing it.
For an excellent comparison of video performance on PC vs. Xbox 360, check out this YouTube video which shows both.
Because I am using the PS3 Sixaxis controller, I feel like I am getting more out of the controls than when I used the keyboard and mouse on my PC. Crysis is the kind of game where you jump over stuff, drive vehicles, destroy items and more. There is a high level of interactivity and tactical combat required, and that's what sets this game apart from your other basic 'run and gun' shooters. Sure, you can spend the money to get a console-like controller for your PC or even use your PS3 controller on a computer, but I feel like it handles a little better on the console. Maybe it's because I've grown more accustomed to using a controller versus keyboard and mouse.
Since the draw distance is different on the console, this makes the biggest difference in gameplay. In a game which is all about stealth and sniping, the extended viewing distance does make playing Crysis on the console just a bit more difficult, in my opinion. You'll spend as much time killing enemies from afar as you will up close, and there are times when the sights on my gun were bigger than the people I was shooting at because they were so far away. Rest assured they will be firing back at you and have no problem aiming, so this can be a bit frustrating. I also noticed that enemy units like to hide in bushes and jungle brush in a way that you can't see them at all, yet they can see you and will keep firing. You can do the same thing to them, but it's a bit annoying when you can't see the target and they are right in front of you.
Graphical shortcomings aside, this game still plays basically the same as the original. That's a good thing.
The Verdict on Console Crysis
For just $19.99, it's hard not to recommend buying and downloading Crysis for your PS3 or Xbox 360. If you already played the PC game then you won't find much new about it, and the technical differences aren't that big a deal, in my opinion. They are, however, noticeable if you've played the game on a higher end desktop PC. Some gamers may prefer the keyboard/mouse control system on the PC over using a gamepad type controller on the console, but I'm comfortable with both. The only downside to this remake is that it doesn't support multiplayer action, but otherwise it's a great single player FPS that offers quite a bit of content for the money.
- It's only $19.99
- Doesn't require a video card upgrade
- No multiplayer support
- Shorter draw distance makes a difference in gameplay
- Image credits: Crysis console screenshots taken from EA.com online press materials
- Author's personal experience playing Crysis on both PC and PlayStation 3.