Since its release, Crytek has been criticised for omitting several features in Crysis Remastered that made the original game so exciting to play. The nanosuit wheel doesn't offer the same options, moving weapon customization elsewhere; grenade quick throws have been entirely disabled; and I can't even lean anymore. The list goes on, but all of these exclusions—alongside the removal of the Ascension mission—coincide with many of the compromises that made the original Crysis console port possible.
While it feels limiting to hop into what was previously a very flexible sandbox stripped of all these mechanics, I think there's a more burning omission that compromises the original Crysis flavour in this remaster... Where are quick saves?
Crysis encouraged players to fully explore its levels and experiment with their nanosuit's powers. Having the option to quick save and restart at any moment fostered player creativity. I could tear through every enemy on the level, meticulously orchestrating each scenario to play out perfectly. After a few attempts, a purposeful rhythm would emerge as I switched between my nanosuit abilities. Perfecting a sequence offered a sense of satisfaction that feels similar to executing a flawless Hitman run. Getting rumbled by an enemy I hadn't noticed lurking in some foliage was a lesson learned, and there was no punishment for messing up.
Playing Crysis Remastered without manual saves has certainly dampened the experience for me. Rather than test the limits of my abilities versus the AI in my own time, it feels as though the checkpoint system that has replaced quick saving is constantly nudging me forward. Exploring Crysis' sandbox levels, and repeating fights that were the most exciting felt like a rewarding way to spend my time, even when I spent hours in one area.
The checkpoint system isn't necessarily the worst replacement, as the autosaves are frequent. However, this does make the overall experience feel far less fluid as it separates scuffles into defined zones—crossing an invisible line means there's no turning back. I'd be slightly happier if there was an option to load a previous checkpoint, as most of these trigger just before a fight. Unfortunately, there's currently no way to revisit previous areas without restarting the entire mission.
While quick saving felt like a key feature in the original Crysis, it's also a staple of PC gaming in general. Taking on a Deathclaw when you're painfully underpowered in Fallout: New Vegas, or hitting F5 just before killing an important character in any RPG just to see what happens is natural for us. I'm used to having the freedom to explore these curiosities without ruining my entire playthrough, and it feels like a gaping hole in this remaster.
There's no denying that Crysis Remastered is an impressive achievement thirteen years on, and for all my complaining there's a lot that the game improves upon. Graphically it's as good as ever, and there are even small additions like RGB support for suit-swapping to give it a modern flare. I really hope that quick saves are reintroduced in an update, though. While it sounds like a small omission, it's definitely played a factor in me bouncing away from the game for now.