'But can it run Crysis?'—10 years of a PC gaming meme – PC Gamer

At a time when few games required throwing out your aging PC and starting anew, Crysis ignored the development plateau introduced by consoles and forced everyone to save up for pricey hardware for the first time in a long time. 2007 also gave us Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, BioShock, Portal, and the original Witcher—all great games, but none were really melting computers at the time. Unreal and Source Engine games ran like butter on most PCs, but only because they hadn’t changed much since the Xbox 360 and PS3 releases around 2005.  

Crysis asked so much of us that over the years it imprinted on the minds of a generation and ascended into a higher form of collective thought. 

‘But can it run Crysis?’

A meme was born, a slimy, bawling thing that dominated message board conversations and comments sections. But does it still live 10 years on? 


The AGP era of graphics cards was giving way to the new PCI Express, and Nvidia’s GeForce 8800 GTX was the reigning King of Graphics, thanks to a staggering 768MB of RAM and 128 stream processors clocked at over 1GHz. A new generation of cards were just a few months away, and when Crysis arrived in November, its graphical potential represented a desire to move on. 

We sure don’t miss the era of GPU decals. 

With the Xbox 360 released in 2005 and PS3 shortly after in 2006, videogame graphics were stuck in the mud while PC hardware kept improving rapidly. Games made exclusively for the PC were a huge risk in a console-focused market, let alone any that required $2000 PCs to play. 

But then Crysis came out looking like it did, and famished as they were, PC players flocked to it like

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