Remastered games are now a common sight in video-game stores. There was once a time when there was excitement for these blockbuster re-makes, but I now feel that its quickly being taken advantage of. To me, a remake should be completely remade from the ground up using the latest technology to make them look outstandingly beautiful, keeping only the storyline and the core gameplay mechanics intact. I’m fed up with seeing so-called ‘remastered’ games just having a slight facelift, a few more textures added and a shiny new lighting system. It’s just lazy, money-making, fan exploitation. Half of the re-masteries you see now are literally just done on a whim, with small teams working on them. They don’t have to touch the story, they don’t have to add new narratives, they don’t need to alter the base code for the game, they’re just upping the resolution and frame-rate. Awkwardly enough, if you’re on PC most of these graphical enhancements can be obtained simply by installing a mod.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some angry nostalgic that hates all things new. I love the chance to relive my gaming experiences in glorious HD (or even 4K), and i can see why people are so intent on buying these games. Unfortunately, this will only further convince developers to churn out the same regurgitated material. The main issue that will forever make my balls chafe, is the price of these games. We’re not buying new content. We’re effectively buying something that we have already bought. We are buying the opportunity to relive our cherished memories in a modern-day overlay. Of which, with graphics that can only be appreciated by someone who has played on the original release. If I spent £40 ten or fifteen years ago, I can understand the pricing structure of paying £40 again for the remastered version or its reboot; because in essence, a boat-load more work has gone into creating the game. When you’re charging £40-50 for a remastered game that’s original was released less than five years ago, however, you’re just going to grind all of my gears. I don’t have a problem with the games themselves, it makes perfect sense to re-release a game for a newer console, but to charge past players an extortionate amount to start again? That’s just absurd. A great example of this was the re-release of GTA V on next generation consoles. Yes, we got a gimmicky ‘first person’ view, but it’s set us all back another £40 to play something that we were already playing no more than twelve months earlier.
There are a couple of excuses that can justify this as the games are offered in a bundle. These obviously offer you more than one game so there’s usually a fair bit of content to sink your teeth into. For example, the Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection is precisely that; a collection. All of the bundled games are based off everyone’s favourite jumping Italian that isn’t a plumber. It’s due to be released this week, which will tie in nicely with the upcoming film that’s out in December. You’ve also got the likes of Bioshock: The Collection, Batman: Return to Arkham, Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Metro: Redux to name a few. Despite the unoriginal titles, all of these are fantastic, critically acclaimed games that 90% of people will have played. Being able to do it all again might please some people, but for me; I think it’s best to wait until they’re on sale.
Having said all of this… i’ve still bought and re-played most of these re-released titles because who wouldn’t want to relive those experiences? But mainly because i’m weak and struggle to stand up to my own morals…
The question is, are these re-masteries worth getting? If you haven’t played the original, whether that be from twenty years ago, or from two years ago; yes. Go and get the remastered version. If you’re like me and have pumped 200+ hours into a game that’s not even 5 years old, then it’s probably best to hold off until it’s on sale, like i’ve previously mentioned.
*Cough!* Skyrim *Cough!*