If you were to take a gander at the games released since 2015, you might notice that a large amount of them are titles that have previously launched during the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 era. From remasters to remakes all the way to reimaginings, now’s the time for older games to get a quick spit-shine and be tossed back up on the shelf for another full-priced go around and the only question is: will rubbing the dirt out of our eyes to replay classic titles in a upgraded format ever lose its steam and if so what comes next for the industry?
Most commonly gamers get a straight-up remaster, which is really just a glossier 1.5 version of the original game. All that’s really changed in these versions are upped resolutions and frame rates and most if not all of them include a photo mode where you can capture screenshots mid-game. The only game that was re-released in the past year that nailed giving players a reason to re-visit a previous played game was Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin. Even though Dark Souls II wasn’t as well received as the first game in the series, mostly because series creator Hidetaka Miyazaki was absent from Dark Souls II’s development, the game’s re-release made up for its original games shortcomings.
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is not only a graphically enhanced re-release of the original Dark Souls II game, but the game also sports a wide-variety of reworked content. The overall difficulty is bumped up, something many fans of the series were more than upset about during its original release, new NPCs were added, an expanded storyline, an increase in online players, new enemies and new item descriptions. Now that’s a lot of work put into a single re-release; more work than just buffing out the dirty grime that is last generation graphical filth that we were forced to suffer through if we ever wanted to replay some of our older titles that don’t have fancy re-releases. Oh and I almost forgot all three previously released DLC packs are also tacked on to truly enhance your second playthrough of a now unrecognizable game from its original version.
From Software gives players a reason to double dip with their game as if you were to play the original version and then check-out the re-release you would feel how much you were missing out on while if you were to pick-up say, The Last of Us: Remastered, there would be no difference between the PS3 version of the game and the PS4 version besides buffing out the visuals.
HD re-releases are like trading-out dates to the prom based on the fact that The Last of Us: Remastered wore a prettier dresses than the PS3 version of the same game you decided to show up with. The fact that the remastered version also showed up with its cousin, Left Behind, is something to gawk-on about, but unless you’ve never played the DLC or the game in general, are you really missing out on that much besides showing off that it can take pictures now? Whoop-de-do your game decided to take a second major in photography, it doesn’t mean that its going to be the next Mario Testino. Not to say that some re-releases or game collections don’t get me excited to replay through, these type of releases are good for gamers who either no longer have access to these games on the console they debuted on or just plain didn’t get around to playing through, but there is a fine line between fan service and polluting the market to make more money on a game that’s barely even a few years old.
Which leads me to my question, what happens once we have fatigued every last game worth re-releasing from the last generation? It’s not like we can move on to re-releasing PS2 games or Xbox games, as those game are not as easy to port over to the current generation systems without putting a lot of time, money and effort into it and at that point you might as well be working on a I don’t know…new game? Are we all doomed to be stuck in the everlasting loop of having previously released games outnumber and become the vast majority of our game catalogue on current generations of consoles, or will game developers actually create new games for us all to enjoy?