News Crysis remaster is most certainly happening

Aelphaeis Mangarae

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IMO, the nanosuits are too reflective outdoors. But the lighting is great. Some people will complain that it's "too dark", but this is the kind of lighting you find in the forests in Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Very rich and saturated and moody. It'll probably look even better with ray tracing,
 
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Aelphaeis Mangarae

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it gets worse:


(original)


(remaster)
They've ditched OG Crysis's muted aesthetic in favor of something more in line with the original Far Cry.

The original Crysis was an extremely flat game. One of the biggest improvements the 360/PS3 version made was the overhauled lighting model with GI and better shadowing. But it came at the cost of a strong blue filter over most of the game.

So the remaster has steered away from the blue filter in favor of a very vibrant image kinda like Far Cry 1's "Paradise" mode.

Why do the suits look blue
My guess is that it's related to ray tracing. By making their metallic parts more overtly reflective (using cubemaps in the trailer by the look of it) they can swap in ray traced reflections later on. The muscle fibres shouldn't be that shiny, though.

Similarly, screens like this are a straight up visual upgrade. The water actually reflects vegetation now, and the sand is white like the 360/PS3 version, instead of being that weird colour that the PC original has. When you shine direct sunlight on grains of sand, they shine. They glisten. The PS3/360 version had a shader that made the grains glisten as the camera moved. Unclear if it's present here, but many VFX are taken from the 2011 version so I wouldn't be surprised.


They've also fixed the problem of forests in Crysis being a noisy grey mess. The new lighting model creates contrast between foreground and background.

 
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inky

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I don't understand this new De-master trend, but I guess there's really no way to improve Crysis on PC.

I mean, to this day my computer still can't run Crysis. Thanks EA Securom.
 
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ISee

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The lighting looks awesome.
What I don't like is the soft, buttery look compared to the original, combined with the saturated colours the game looks more comic like than before.
 

Aelphaeis Mangarae

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The lighting looks awesome.
What I don't like is the soft, buttery look compared to the original, combined with the saturated colours the game looks more comic like than before.
This is where I wish Crytek had kept rendering modes like they had in the original Far Cry. They had Default, Improved, Cold, Paradise, and Cartoon, IIRC. Crysis 1's look is kinda like FC's Cold. Wheras the remaster is kinda like Paradise. If I had some screenshots I'd post them. Some people prefer the "cold" look and that amounts to desaturating a bit and dialing back things like bloom. Because Crysis 1 is so visually different to a lot of other Crytek games you can't please everyone, but this is exactly where offering options would be a good idea.

Remasters as a general rule are well served by being transparent and taking fan feedback onboard. I feel like the secretive approach Crytek/Saber are taking with Crysis Remastered is doing them a disservice because fans have expectations and fans have varying tastes. Crysis is not a one size fits all IP, and something as fundamental as Nanosuit voice: Male/Female/Off is a demonstration of that. Old school Crytek loved options. They also embraced modding, and I'm wary about how they're gonna handle modding for this remaster. (The existence of a Crysis modding channel on the official discord is kinda encouraging, mind.)

Another point is the nanosuit controls. Are they the same as 2011? Do we have options?

All this teasing and dripfeeding is resulting in Crytek trying to control the narrative around the game but paradoxically losing control at every turn because stuff keeps leaking. And it keeps leaking in extremely wonky quality. The bit crush on that leaked trailer is insane. You can barely see what you're looking at when the camera is moving.

Something does stand out to me, though. Notice the rows of vegetation running between the banana palms? (The water tower in the background is a frame of reference for position.) Those don't seem to be present in the original version running at max settings. You've just got individual bushes with grass textures. (And no anisotropic filtering because Crysis 1 doesn't support AF out of the box due to an incompatiblity with Parallax Occlusion Mapping.)

But beside the changes to level design, the game has a starkly different look to both 2007 and 2011 Crysis. But I do think it's kinda cohesive. Updating the visual style of Crysis was always going to be fraught with issues, and until we see some really high quality footage and high quality screens as well as knowing what options we'll be getting, it's hard to judge. There are some clear niggles like the nanosuits being too bright when outdoors. But on the flipside, the scenes in direct sunlight look really, really nice.

The biggest problem with Crysis graphics mods has always been that they look selectively good. They look good in some scenes, absolutely hideous in others. Clashing art styles, mismatched textures, pasty lighting. I've always hated how so many Crysis mods turn everything so garish and ghastly. No warmth. No sense of mood.

Some people will always complain that official remasters don't jack all the textures up to 8K and stuff like that, but the goal should be cohesion. While Crysis 1 was a bit uneven visually, it had a cohesive (very underrated) art direction and lighting direction. Fan mods generally do not. And this is where the remaster will either pull through or completely fall apart, Assasin's Creed 3: Remastered-style. The faces in CR look mostly good, which is encouraging. But I do have some quibbles about how Prophet looks when outdoors. And I wanna see a good 10 minutes of uncut high bitrate footage. No editing to hide issues. I wanna see how hut interiors look, how the time of day transitions look. I wanna see how the AI behaves. Potential AI improvements as a result of the engine upgrade are something I'm definitely curious about.
 
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ISee

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Remasters as a general rule are well served by being transparent and taking fan feedback onboard.
True, and CnC proofed how it needs to be done.
Though I somehow feel CnC Remastered had a good budget and was meant to start the healing process with the community and to revive the franchise. It could be an investment into the future.
Crysis Remastered... Not sure what the motivation and state of mind is behind this project.

Notice the rows of vegetation running between the banana palms? (The water tower in the background is a frame of reference for position.) Those don't seem to be present in the original version running at max settings
I'm okay with that. I do not think a Remaster has to replicate every single, small detail of a level perfectly. I'm fine with them adding more or slightly different foliage to the scene.
Of course, I must see the whole project before I can really say anything. There are lines that should not be crossed, and DeS Remastered could be too much for my taste (for example).

Old school Crytek loved options.
I agree, more Options is always more better.

And I wanna see a good 10 minutes of uncut high bitrate footage.
Again, yes me too.
I also want to see specs and performance.

But I wouldn't count on AI improvements. The best thing we can hope for is an option to have a better control scheme for the nano suite.
 
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Aelphaeis Mangarae

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I thought this was interesting. A 2007 video talking about Modern Warfare and Crysis, both released in 2007, and how the two games differed. It's surprising how basically nothing has changed in the 13 years since this video came out.

He talks about the artificiality of the Modern Warfare experience. The game looks enticing. You see the farmhouse. You wanna cut across the field. But you can't. Because there's a waist high fence in the way. Can you jump over fences? No, except when the game decides that you can. Can you open doors? No, because you have to wait for the AI to open them for you.

Crysis is a very important game for 2007, and perhaps still today. It is freedom with structure. You stand on a hill, and you survey the landscape. Crysis has level design. Games like Far Cry 2 onwards have world design. It's very different. Things like outposts in a modern Far Cry game feel like they were placed by an algorithm. They are a formula. Repeated across the game. I feel like FPS game design split off into two branches. Linear and restrictive, open world and correspondingly shallow. Some games try to toe the line. UC4 and TLL and The Last of Us 2 are actually heavily inspired by Crysis. One of the senior level designers worked on the PS3/360 port. But it's not the same. You don't have that freedom to drive a car up a hill, survey the valley, figure out how you're gonna approach. I don't think any game since Crysis has nailed that feeling of structured tactical freedom of missions like Assault.
 
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Aelphaeis Mangarae

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It looks like each version gets its own trailer. This is the Switch trailer. (It's rather curious how the leaked trailer from yesterday was the PC trailer on the Xbox site. Maybe it was an old trailer or something?)

Assuming performance is stable, this could be the most impressive port since The Witcher 3. It looks really, really good outside one brief shot in the trailer where the grassy field looks weird.
 
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ISee

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The sad part is. The video would be an accurate description of CoD 2020 and Crysis'07 as well.


Crysis on a handheld is surreal.

edit: sorry for editing again: But the game has been already delayed. On the day, the official Trailer was supposed to get released. ¯\(ツ)

 
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Aelphaeis Mangarae

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Kudos to them for delaying it. Way too many remasters get pushed out the door despite indications they're not ready.

Elements of the leaked trailer looked unfinished. The minimap was glitching. The way Prophet's nanosuit looked in the jungle scenes kinda looked like they were midway through implementing new materials for it, and hadn't finished the cubemaps. Not to mention that Crytek's agnostic ray tracing solution was a pretty heavily promoted feature of this remaster, and it wasn't present in the leaked trailer.

The Switch trailer looks pretty good, but there's still room for improvement. If they could get it to a locked 30fps instead of 30fps with frame drops, for instance. Or if they could ensure the grass looks consistently good on Switch.

Because this is only a remaster and not a remake, some people are always going to be disappointed. But this delay will hopefully result in the rough edges being buffed out, bugs fixed, etc.

The best way to market a remaster like this isn't a flashy trailer with snippets of gameplay. It's a 5-10 minute long trailer with a whole bunch of before and after comparisons, accompanied by the developers talking about changes they've made. If you just show people nice looking Crysis footage, a not insignificant number of people will say, "That looks exactly like it did in 2007." There has always been a disconnect between how (unmodded especially) Crysis looked, and how it looks in people's memories.
 

Aelphaeis Mangarae

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makes me wonder if maybe that leak was intentional ... to see how people would react
Nah, I think it's a combination of the MS store being a sieve that keeps leaking stuff, and Crytek self publishing. They're clearly inexperienced, and things like those really crappy screenshots on the MS Store page are indication of that. A professional publisher would have said, "Those don't sell the game, replace them with nice ones." I'm unconvinced that they delayed solely due to mixed reactions to the leaks. This delay would have to be negotiated with Saber because it means Saber will be working on the project full time for another month, probably, and will have to be paid for that.

Crytek have a history of announcing delays with Hunt Showdown that they HAD to have known were coming days in advance. If I had to take a stab in the dark, Crytek higher-ups probably wanted to release ASAP, and the devs didn't want to. Complaints about aspects of the leaked trailer was enough to persuade the higher-ups that a delay was necessary.

This remaster is kind of important for Crytek. Their reputation as a company, and their relationship with their fanbase, will be severely hurt if the remaster is a buggy, broken, half-baked affair. It doesn't have to be mindblowing. It just has to look good, play good, and hold up favorably in any Old vs New comparisons people care to make. The Switch version is 30USD, which is... an okay, price, but the deal would have been even sweeter if they included Warhead. On that note, they need to talk about Warhead and other potential future plans ASAP.
 
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Swenhir

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Good call to delay but I'm not sure that it can fix subpar assets. However I'm pretty sure they can make a global lighting pass. I'm not sure if it's an eye adaptation problem, a badly dialed-in power for the sun or VXGI screwing up but clearly there's a lack of bounced lighting in the underbrush and shadowed area. It could also be an over-enthusiastic tone mapping LUT.

Either way, my personal opinion is that crushed blacks to such an extent in shadowed areas are a pretty bad call artistically.
 

Aelphaeis Mangarae

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Good call to delay but I'm not sure that it can fix subpar assets. However I'm pretty sure they can make a global lighting pass. I'm not sure if it's an eye adaptation problem, a badly dialed-in power for the sun or VXGI screwing up but clearly there's a lack of bounced lighting in the underbrush and shadowed area. It could also be an over-enthusiastic tone mapping LUT.

Either way, my personal opinion is that crushed blacks to such an extent in shadowed areas are a pretty bad call artistically.
Hard blacks and bright highlights "pop" visually, but they do kill a lot of fine detail. Hopefully it's just bad trailer mastering or something. This is something that would be cleared up by some nice screenshots from the game, and raw, untouched game footage.

On another note, the Switch port is incredibly impressive, and I love how the trailer seems to be deliberately drawing attention to how physics-ey it is. There are clearly dropped frames here and there, but it is simply astonishing how good it looks and runs compared to so many other Switch titles, and it puts the 360/PS3 ports to shame.

I wouldn't be surprised if this shows up in the next Nintendo Direct.
 
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Swenhir

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Hard blacks and bright highlights "pop" visually, but they do kill a lot of fine detail. Hopefully it's just bad trailer mastering or something. This is something that would be cleared up by some nice screenshots from the game, and raw, untouched game footage.
I really hope it's just unintended processing somewhere in the acquisition chain. As you said, raw and untouched footage would be wonderful.

That desire to make the image have "oomph" is one of the things I slowly came to realize was really misguided in photography :p.
 

Aelphaeis Mangarae

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The nanosuits are interesting. They're clearly updated, taking elements from the PC original, the 2011 console version, and then adding new changes. But it's curiously conservative, and I can only assume their goal was to update the assets without making them look out of place.

There's also some oddities with the materials inside the plane. They've removed specular highlights from the back of the plane, and changed the crates to have a frosty appearance. I can only assume that's a materials mix-up, because props tend to have frosted versions for after the Ceph dome freezes everything.

Crytek/Saber should do what the Spongebob developers did an open a line of communication where people can make suggestions and point out oddities they've noticed.

I dunno what they're gonna do about stuff like the Ceph, though. The remaster Ceph look slightly different (out of their suits) because OG Crysis was forward rendered, which was great for translucent materials. Modern Crysis is deferred, and that sucks for translucent materials.
 
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