With each passing year, the trend of remaking old video games is becoming more and more popular. As time goes on, older games keep popping up with a “Definitive Edition” or “Remastered” tag slapped under the title. Is this because it's easier to create updated versions of older games? Or are developers simply out of new ideas?
Games like the BioShock: The Collection and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered are two examples of this trend happening this year alone. While the concept of a remake is fitting for many best-selling video games, it does not always seem justified, and therefore seems like there is a lack of creativity or inspiration from the developers to create new projects.
My Position On Remakes
To be perfectly clear, I am not against the release of remakes or remasters. I feel the second release is an opportunity for the developers to present the game at its maximum potential. Over the past few years, I began to notice that these games were coming out on a regular basis. I also noticed they were being treated like brand-new games, even though they retained the exact same content (except for the few games that included all the DLC).
For players who have not experienced these specific remakes, now that you have an opportunity to play them with the new enhancements you should do so, because this is a fresh experience to look forward to. Players who have already experienced the original games have less to be excited about, simply because they know what to expect.
BioShock: The Collection is an example of a phenomenal video game series that truly deserved a remake. The original BioShock has won plenty of awards for its graphical prowess, fantastic voice acting and marvelous story. Seeing an enhanced collection bundle for all three games in the series is an absolute joy. The trio are all award winners, and this collection allows players to enjoy each game to their maximum potential. The release of this collection feels justified as the originals were praised by many for being artistically unique, and literally defining what gaming can be as an art form.
Another example of a deserved remake is Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered. In my opinion, this remastered version should have been made years ago. It is known by many COD fans to be one of the best in the series. However, what I feel could be the game killer here, is repetition. In my previous post, I briefly mentioned the idea of Modern Warfare Remastered possibly being repetitive for players who spent time with the original.
While I feel that remastered classic games like this are awesome and fun to revisit, I predict they will feel stale sooner then we think, because we have already played through them. It will remain interesting until the realization sets in that the game has only been altered aesthetically. This isn't to say the game won't be good, or not worth playing, rather, it will be fun because of its upgrades, but it can become dull due to the core experience remaining the same.
Lack Of New Stories
At this time, there seems to be a lack of truly great storytelling in video games. There is this sort of rushed mentality to continuously provide less story-driven action games for fans. I'm not disagreeing with the release of more action games, I just think they are all starting blur together and feel the same.
It seems all these mainstream FPS games are being rushed out back to back, which would be great, if not for the fact that all the content is so similar. As a hardcore FPS gamer, I feel like I have no time to enjoy one great game for a while, without having a new one to play almost immediately. It's lile a missile barrage of high-quality games being released one after another in the next few months.
Again, it feels like there are no new ideas because many new releases are remakes, and a lot of the new content feels similar. Additionally, I feel like the industry is focusing a lot more on the financial aspect of gaming, and personally this hurts me. I have always felt connected to games because of how cool they are, the amazing experiences they take us through, and the simple feelings of fun and excitement while playing. Seeing the industry become super saturated in repetitive content, just to make a quick buck, makes me think we are losing perspective on what gaming is all about.
So Where Does That Leave Us?
Ultimately, we are seeing a cycle of content being reused to fill in the gap between new game releases, and while this may not be bad for everyone, it just feels like our developers are running out of new ideas. This may not be the actual case, but this is my impression from a gamer's standpoint. I will say that I am truly excited to play both BioShock: The Collection and COD: Modern Warfare Remastered, and their enhanced versions are greatly appreciated.
The truth is, I would like to see more risks taken by developers to bring to life new and interesting characters, instead of remaking the same old games. Realistically, I know this may not always be possible, especially since there are many factors that need to be considered before beginning a new video game series. After seeing what games are being released in the near future, I am excited for what's coming, but a lot of it seems recycled, and this has me worried. Hopefully, its just me being skeptical, and our developers truly have not run out of fresh ideas for new projects.
How do you feel about remastered video games?