Discussion Mondays: Rise of the Remastered Editions

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?

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8 Responses to Discussion Mondays: Rise of the Remastered Editions

  1. willgsrr says:

    Personally I’d rather see new games over remastered versions, and that’s purely because I’ve played most of the ‘classics’ already, and don’t really fancy dropping another £50 on them.
    Having said that, I do think there is room for some remastered games. The Last of Us, Halo etc.. they make sense. Halo is Xbox, and deserves to be immortalized in a way, and I’m super hyped for it to come out.
    But I don’t see the need for remastered versions of average or slightly better than average games. Metro, Sleeping dogs etc.. fall in to that category. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed them, I just don’t think they are worthy of a remake.
    Games that got 9/10 or more are the only ones that should be remade really.
    Its obviously a bit of a cash cow for devs and pubs. They can turn it around a lot quicker, and potentially make a lot of money from it.

    • Yeah that was my thought as well. I loved Sleeping Dogs, but I’ve already played through it once and currently own it on Steam. Then again, maybe I’m not the intended target, no idea.

      I can really respect what 4A is doing to Metro Redux. The last trailer alone really spelled out that it’s more than a simple update. Still, I’ve already ran through Last Light, had fun at the time, and don’t really have a desire to go back.

      I’d love to see companies dig deep when reviving games for “next gen” and pull out some classic games like Capcom is doing. I hope that’s the direction this starts to go, personally.

      Definitely agree with you in the fact that pubs/devs view this as an easy and low cost way to gain more money and fans. It’s an easy business decision.

  2. C. T. Murphy says:

    I’d prefer older games to be redone first, but I have no problem with the trend, at least for the larger/more important games. Especially considering how DLC tends to trickle in over a game’s lifetime now, there’s a solid case that a lot of that content goes missed for many who only picked up the game initially and then got rid of it.

    • Agree with the old games aspect and you’re definitely right about DLC. Sleeping Dogs had a ton of DLC from actual story missions to more cosmetic stuff so getting it all in one place with a visual boost is a good thing.

      Granted, I have no problem with all of these Remastered Editions hitting these days because the beautiful thing is that we can vote with our wallet. Plus, some of these games deserve a bigger audience.

      I just found it interesting that there’s such a rising trend to repackage recent(ish) games. I’d love to see a Remastered version of Super Metroid…just sayin’….*cough*Nintendo*cough*

  3. Hatm0nster says:

    I like remakes, but only when they’re offering a familiar experience with a brand new feel, courtesy of modern technology. I’d love to see classics like FFVII, Resident Evil, and Eternal Darkness get full remakes on current systems (OR even classic Spyro! that would be awesome!), but stuff like Sleeping Dogs, The Last of Us, or Tomb Raider? no thanks. Those won’t be ‘new’ but rather a slightly prettier version of the original. Not worth it unless you missed it the first time around.

    Even stuff like Metroid Prime wouldn’t really be worth buying a remake, since it still looks fine and the game will play the same. That said, I’d really like a *new* Metroid Prime, or even a throwback to its sidescrolling glory days! But please, let’s stay away from anything that even hints at Other M…I don’t think I could take that disappointment again. 🙂

    • Haha, yeah Other M had a load of problems. Gameplay wise it wasn’t bad but the story for me just dragged the whole thing down.

      I guess that’s my point here as well. The Remastered stuff that’s coming out is all still so new. Again, I must not be the intended target and it’s great for people who missed it but still you’d have to thing the appeal is on the smaller end after all of the Steam sales and everything else (not the Last of Us obviously, but you see what I’m saying)

      I’d love to see some classic games or games we haven’t seen/thought about in a long time get the remake treatment.

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