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The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Crysis Remastered is a rerelease of the 2007 first-person shooter Crysis, which was once famed for its realistic sci-fi combat. The player's character, a futuristic soldier who fights both aggressive North Korean troops and vicious aliens aiming to invade the planet, wields traditional guns and fantastical weapons. Enemies bleed and scream in pain when shot, and players stumble across several massacres, with torn and bloody bodies littering the environment. Dialogue contains instances of strong language, including "f--k."
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What's it about?
CRYSIS REMASTERED for Switch shines a modern spotlight on a first-person shooter released in 2007 that was once celebrated for its advanced graphics and technology. Set on a remote island controlled by North Korean troops, the game begins with a group of futuristic American soldiers infiltrating the well-guarded location by skydiving in the dead of night. Things go terribly wrong from the start, as the squad is immediately separated, and members are quickly attacked by something other than the Korean army. The player's character -- outfitted in a sci-fi "nanosuit" that bestows special abilities such as invisibility, super speed, and the power to lift large objects -- is forced to begin investigating the island alone. That means taking on both human soldiers and a highly advanced enemy which, it quickly becomes apparent, doesn't hail from our planet. The island is a pseudo-sandbox, with players given some ability to roam its jungles and beaches freely, and much of the environment is destructible, meaning you can do things like shoot trees in their trunks to snap them and make them fall on or block enemies. The remastered Switch edition presents the game more or less as it was when it originally launched, though it does offer support for motion-controlled aiming and makes the game playable on a mobile platform for the first time.
Is it any good?
It's nice that this remaster is being offered at a discounted price, because it really doesn't feel much like a modern game. Crysis Remastered on Switch isn't the prettiest or cleanest edition of Crytek's famed shooter. It's been slightly cleaned up and enhanced compared to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 editions of the game, but it still has some occasional frame rate hitches and smudgy textures. The original PC version -- and, presumably, the forthcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox One remastered editions -- still offers superior graphics and performance (as well as an extra mission cut from the console releases). That said, the Switch edition offers the ability to play on the go and make use of gyroscopic aiming assistance, a pair of advantages that could shuffle it to the top of the pile for certain players.
Regardless of the hardware you choose to play on, you should be aware that Crysis shows its age in terms of structure and mechanics. It desperately wants to provide an open-world feel, and the environment is indeed free to explore up to a point. But don't go in expecting the kind of enormous world and exploration liberty found in modern games like Far Cry 5 and Assassin's Creed: Odyssey. The voice acting and performance capturing holds up fairly well, but the game's story feels somewhat threadbare compared to today's narratively complex games. It's unwilling to dive too deeply into the political conflict that brought the soldiers to the island, flesh out the backgrounds of the main soldiers, or provide much in the way of personality for the main hero. And while the nanosuit abilities seemed super cool when the game was originally released, similar superhero concepts have been done -- and done better -- in many games since. Crysis Remastered is less a must-have revisit of a classic shooter and more a game history curiosity that will likely be best appreciated by players interested in seeing how much shooters have changed over the years.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. What's the impact of the violence in Crysis Remastered, considering the bloody and gory deaths of both human and alien enemies at the hands of the player's character? Did you feel better or worse about the protagonist's actions depending on the group you were fighting?
Do you think aliens do or could exist? If they do exist, how likely do you think it would be that they would come to invade Earth?
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