Video Games

Video Game Remakes Should Be More Than Just HD Clones of Old Games

Directors and Hollywood studios have been remaking movies for decades. Many of these remakes are considered among the greatest films of all time. The Thing, Heat, Scarface, A Fistful of Dollars, The Departed and the list goes on. Each of these examples revisits and recontextualizes the original story to create a recognizable, yet all-important final product. , offering a new perspective on the same event. It’s a path that video game developers seem mostly reluctant to follow, and it threatens to send the industry into a creative rut. Nostalgia continues to have a strong influence on pop culture, demanding full payment for games already played.

The least exciting thing about movie remakes is the one that relies too much on the original. Gus Van Sant’s shot-for-shot remake of 1998’s Psycho comes to mind. We’ve taken a similar approach with the Of Us: Part 1 remake. These remakes are undeniably great games, but they fail almost completely not to a new idea, but to a timeless original concept that has been preserved almost completely intact like a priceless museum piece. Based on

Developer Bluepoint Games brings stunningly valuable visual craft to its remakes of multi-generational old games, but its dedication to replicating the original experience perfectly means each one lives up to the constraints of the previous console. I am trapped. The world of Shadow of the Colossus feels barren with restrictions rather than design, but both riding and climbing remain as clumsy as they were back on his PS2. Demon’s Souls’ setting is divided into video game-like zones, and he frustratingly keeps one checkpoint per level design. These are two of the most lovingly crafted remakes ever, but in the end it’s money for new graphics. I can’t help but imagine how interesting these games would be.

But at least Bluepoint had a game that benefited from a major visual upgrade. Naughty Dog’s 2013 survival-horror classic remains very strong in its visual direction (especially in the PS4 remaster), so you know exactly what the creative point of The Last of Us: Part 1 remake is. At least it had a chance to weave the Left Behind DLC into the main game for a seamless story, but even that didn’t happen. Instead, it’s nearly identical to the game many of us have previously purchased and played twice.

I can’t help but imagine how interesting these games could be if new and modern ideas were applied properly to them.


I fear the upcoming Resident Evil 4 will fall into the same trap. We have a good track record. But that over-the-shoulder horror template rule was established in the original Resident Evil 4. The game was designed so perfectly that it not only holds up well today, but also defines the principles that nearly all third-person action games follow today. So what exactly is Resident Evil 4 that needs a remake? Why didn’t Capcom choose Code Veronica or the original Resident Evil? Both are the same ones used in RE2 Would it benefit greatly from a bold reinvention process? I can’t help but wonder if the Resident Evil 4 remake will simply follow Sony’s lead and become a freshly painted clone.

In a similar spot is Dead Space, an EA horror game inspired by Capcom’s classic that even developers call it “Resident Evil 4 in Space.” Like RE4, the original Dead Space still holds up well enough that when I played the upcoming remake of IGN First in December for a few hours, it was often hard to tell the difference, graphics aside. Thankfully, EA Motive has added several things to this visually upgraded version, including Dead Space 2 mechanics, new side quests, redesigned weapons, updated level design, and minor tweaks to the story. Added some new ideas. So while the remake is definitely closer to the experience available on Game Pass out-of-the-box, it feels more like an expansion, and you should find something fresh. I’m hoping there’s more of it in the time I haven’t played it yet, but I can’t help but wonder what Dead Space might look like in a back-to-concept approach. do you care about survival too?

So why are there so many video game remakes, as opposed to the bold remakes of movie remakes? A process like cloning makes sense when you take a closer look at industry trends and challenges. We’re looking for much more luxurious production values, so projects are going to cost a lot more than they used to. Whether it’s a film and television studio or a video game developer, companies are looking for existing worlds and characters that have proven success and bring (almost) guaranteed popularity and high volume sales. Ten years ago, it was a franchise, so there was an explosion of things like the MCU and Call of Duty. Today, studios need even safer bets. So remake.

Video game remakes not only come with an established and enthusiastic fan base, but also come with a package of development perks. A huge amount of foundation work has already been completed. Characters, story, locations, mechanics – the pre-production “creative vision” – are all there. And since remakes are often developed on engines that teams already know well, so are the tools. Remakes aren’t cheap by any means, but they’re much more cost-effective than brand-new games because they don’t require initial pre-production expenses. That money could be invested in much more expensive and ambitious projects.In a world where AAA development costs have skyrocketed, it’s understandable why remakes are so popular.

In a world where AAA development costs have skyrocketed, it’s understandable why remakes are becoming more popular.


But if a developer wants to offer a perfect replica of an old game rather than bringing in new creativity, there are options for that: Remastered. It’s a format with a bad reputation thanks to terrible quality control such as Auto Trilogy and Blade Runner Remaster…of quality. But remasters don’t have to be inferior. Last year’s excellent Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion is a perfect showcase of how old games can be refined without needing a complete remake. Updated textures, character models, lighting, UI, and new voice work are “layered” over the old game for lack of a better phrase. It’s still something fans of 15-year-old PSP games will love, but it looks very close to anything released in the last few years. If you’re talking about giving an old game the update treatment and keeping the exact same experience, I can’t think of a better blueprint.

On the other side of the Crisis Core coin is Final Fantasy 7 Remake. There are developmental safety his nets that older players will miss very much – characters, events, locations, weapons, story his beats – but it’s all reimagined with a distinctly modern approach to gameplay and narrative . The changes might be a little too wild to be the benchmark for all remakes, but he’s one of my favorite games in recent years because of how much it brings a new perspective to the JRPG classic.

So back to Resident Evil 2. In the remake, Capcom kept the core ideas of the original game: playthroughs for both Leon and Claire, the RPD police station and its backtracking formula, the lab hidden beneath it, and the puzzles needed to progress. But rather than nostalgia, it’s been reframed to feel more like a modern survival horror hit. even. It’s all distinctly fresh. We hope it will be the gold standard for remakes and an inspiration for other studios to look forward to in the future.

With that in mind, it’s not hard to take a look at some games and appreciate their tremendous remake potential. It’s great to see War of War’s original PS2 adventure remade using the engines and mechanics of the Norse saga. Third-person brawls against nasty bosses and environments would be great. Also, BioShock’s remake returns to Rapture to beef up combat, offer more character build choices, and make the infamously gruesome finale even more fitting. Perhaps Andrew Ryan is the ultimate expression of BioShock’s theme of player control and can even stop you from swinging that golf club.

With so many remakes on the horizon, it’s exciting to think about what new experiences they’ll offer. What would an open world bring to The Witcher 1? What does it bring to the game? How could Silent Hill 2 catch us off guard? I hope it will be led by an ingenious director.

Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Features Editor.

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