With the “next-generation” of consoles slowly approaching their one year anniversaries, we’ve seen a lot of publishers/developers go on to release Remastered or Definitive versions of games from the last generation on the new consoles. I wonder, how far is this trend going to go?
With the recent announcement that Square Enix is releasing a Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition, it got me wondering how far these re-releases are going to go on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. I absolutely loved Sleeping Dogs, but I never really gave a “Definitive Edition” package for it much thought. Sleeping Dogs looked phenomenal, especially on PC, so my guess would be that this version is basically just for all the DLC that was released for it. Regardless, it’s an excellent game that I hope many more people play.
I’ve found many remakes for the “next-gen” systems kind of head scratching as well. Last January, the Definitive Edition of Tomb Raider released less than a year after the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC did in March 2013. Granted, I’m thrilled when games can reach new audiences, but I guess I just found it unnecessary at the time. The DLC wasn’t substantial for the base game anyway, so realistically it was about the visuals.
Part of me feels the same about The Last of Us Remastered as well, which released almost a year after the PS3 version. The game already looked gorgeous on PlayStation 3 and while I do know Naughty Dog was able to further enhance that, I’m not sure anyone was really clamoring for a PS4 version. These games were great when they first released, but in my mind they’re still so fresh and new that a “Remastered Version” seems kind of like a cash grab. Maybe on some level it is, to capitalize not only on the new customers with new hardware, but also taking advantage of the slow game releases in the first half of the next gen launch cycle. From a business standpoint, it makes sense.
Part of why The Last of Us got updated for the PS4 is due to Sony’s recent stance on working to bring more PlayStation 3 games back to PS4 for Wii owners who may have missed them during that console generation. With this philosophy in place, I would expect to see a number of their hits get new life breathed into them on the PlayStation 4 such as God of War, Uncharted, and perhaps even Beyond Two Souls.
Maybe I’m looking at it wrong. Perhaps these releases are more for the new folk, like Metro Redux. Based on what I’ve heard, 2033 was a game that was an overlooked gem and while Last Light fared a bit better after it launched, I don’t think any of us saw a remake coming so soon. I enjoyed my time with Last Light, but ultimately, I don’t feel compelled to purchase this version again. I will acknowledge that 4A and Deep Silver are putting a ton of work in the Redux edition though, not simply just enhanced visuals or added content but redesigning and tweaking things that didn’t work so well.
On the other hand, there are some cases where I’d like to see us revisit the past. Take for example, Capcom announcing that it’s working on a remake of the very first Resident Evil game for current consoles adding a number of enchancements like 1080p support. Resident Evil originally released back in 1996 and even got a remake on the GameCube back in 2002. As you can see, it’s been quite a while since we’ve seen this title and an even longer time since most of us have probably thought about it. That’s why I think it’s just really cool to be bring these games back. Sure, it’s nice to see good games get the re-release treatment, but why not go further back and revitalize some of our favorites from generations past? I believe there’s a ton of opportunity there and hopefully Capcom leads a charge in this regard.
After seeing a trend developing in just the first year of the “next-gen” console cycle, I would imagine that we should be expecting many more Remastered or Definitive Editions coming down the road. So I ask you this, dear reader: How much of this can you take? Would you rather see really old games being brought back to life on consoles instead of games that are just barely a year old? Where do you draw the line, if at all?