Crysis Remastered is being patched with support for the new wave of consoles and Digital Foundry managed to get access to Xbox Series X and Series S builds of the upgrade ahead of launch. Owing to the way 'back-compat plus' titles are distributed, we can't check out the PlayStation 5 build until it launches but thankfully, the wait there shouldn't be too long: we were informed today that the patch is out now – and we'll update this article with PS5 impressions as soon as we are able.
Similar to the recently released 2.1 update for the PC version, there are plenty of additions, tweaks and improvements to the game beyond the support for the new consoles. Taking pride of place in the list of upgrades is the inclusion of the Ascension level, a stage so taxing that it was previously removed entirely from all console versions of the game. Also welcome is the inclusion of Nanosuit mode swapping more in line with the PC original (this may have arrived in a prior update, but certainly wasn't present at launch – regardless, it's a nice feature and works well).
However, there is the sense that we're still missing some features found in the 2007 game, removed for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions and which still haven't been restored for Crysis Remastered. The granularity of destruction found in the original still hasn't been patched, volumetrics still aren't on par with the PC original and this effect is completely missing in the resurrected Ascension stage, even it is present on the PC version of Crysis Remastered. Other OG Crysis features are also pared back or missing: vegetation animation still runs at a lower update speed than the rest of the game, while explosions still don't have any impact on foliage.
Still, the headline feature of the update is the support for the new generation of console hardware with both Series consoles benefiting from some potentially cool upgrades. Performance mode tackles 1080p at a target 60 frames per second on both Xbox machines, while quality mode aims for 2160p at 60fps on Series X and a capped 30fps on Series S. Meanwhile, ray tracing mode runs at best at 1440p60 on Series X with a capped 1080p30 on the junior console. The question is really the extent to which these performance targets are met during play, even with the inclusion of dynamic resolution scaling to smooth over difficult-to-render content.
Let's tackle the quality mode first. When I first played this on Series X, my perception was of a very smooth experience, as I was playing on an LG CX OLED display with VRR enabled. To my mind this delivers the optimal Crysis Remastered experience on Xbox consoles – it's great! However, VRR does seem to be doing a fair amount of heavy lifting here: without the feature active, we're looking at something more in line with a 50-60fps experience. I'd prefer to see the DRS window widened to get us closer to a locked 60fps. Xbox Series S? I feel 2160p is too high a target, even with a capped 30fps – there are too many dips beneath and at this low frame-rate, VRR cannot help the experience.
Performance mode is smoother on Series X, it's a closer lock to 60 frames per second as you would imagine with its much lower target resolution. However, busy areas still see some performance drops – which is surprising, bearing in mind the mammoth level of CPU and GPU power being thrown at the game. Series S? It's a disappointment, running at between 40-50fps. That's generally better than Xbox One X running in the same mode but there was always the sense that we were CPU limited there, a bottleneck that shouldn't apply to Series S. It's a little baffling, to be honest. Ray tracing mode doesn't quite hit the target for Series X owners: it's the least performant mode of the bunch, with the heaviest drops from the target 60 frames per second, to the point where not even a VRR display can smooth over the experience. Interestingly, for Series S with its 1080p30 target, this actually works out fairly well – it's certainly the most consistent Crysis experience on the lower-end Xbox console.
So, ultimately, we can't quite achieve the console 60fps dream on Xbox Series consoles with this new patch – and bearing in mind performance levels achieved on Xbox One X, that is a little disappointing. However, the experience can still impress: quality mode on Series X when paired with a VRR-capable display certainly delivers the goods. As for PlayStation 5 – we're looking at this as soon as the game updates but pre-release, Crytek told us to expect 1080p60 in performance and RT modes and 1800p60 in quality mode – all with dynamic resolution scaling in place, naturally. Those resolution limits tie into PS4 Pro's equivalent outputs, if you're wondering why they're lower than Series X. It seems that this is a limitation of PS5's 'back-compat plus' feature – but we'll double check on this and report back on overall performance as soon as we can.
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