By Gerard Campbell @GamejunkieNZ
The video games industry seems to be in love with re-masters of old video games
right now – and I can’t say I like it that much.
A video game re-master is when a game that (generally) appeared in a previous
generation of games machines – for examples, The Last of Us, Halo Master Chief
Collection, State of Decay, Tomb Raider – are re-done and re-released for current
generation consoles like the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.
Love them or loathe them, re-masters aren’t going to go away soon, and last
week, rumors were circulating that there are current-gen re-masters planned for
the Xbox-exclusive Gears of Wars series and the steam-punk Dishonored.
I guess my problem with re-masters is that I don’t want to be playing games that
I played several years ago on my Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, on my shiny, new
PS4 or Xbox One. I have the new consoles because I want to play games that push
the new hardware to its limits and offer me new experiences, not games that I’ve
already played before, no matter how good they might be.
Look, I can see why re-mastered games are a thing. Game publishers know that
they’re not taking a risk with a re-master like an untested IP (intellectual
property), and with the new generation of consoles not being backward
compatible with their older siblings, re-masters mean publishers can play on the
nostalgia that gamers have for their favourite franchises and experience that on
their new hardware.
Personally, I suspect that video game re-masters are a publisher-driven thing
rather than a gamer-driven scenario, where boards of directors see new
hardware as a chance to get a “second bite of the cherry”, so to speak, or “double
dip”, earning more revenue from an ageing franchise for the cost of up-scaled
graphics and some bundled DLC (downloadable content).
I have to admit that some re-masters are done right, especially those that offer a
perspective, like the first-person view of GTAV, but some re-masters just defy
belief and you wonder what a publisher was thinking by green lighting a re-
make. The recently released State of Decay Year One Survival edition on Xbox
One is a case in point: It was a re-make that definitely wasn’t needed and I
actually thought I was playing the Xbox 360 version again: The graphics were
My fear is that the current generation of gaming will start to stagnate if
publishers insist on putting re-masters ahead of new titles. Personally, I’d rather
see sequels to games like Red Dead Redemption (which I’m playing again at the
moment on Xbox 360) for the current generation than tarted up version of
games I’ve already played.
After all, didn’t we buy PlayStation 4s and Xbox Ones for new IP and games that
push that hardware to its limits, not games that we’ve already played before?
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