Your favorite game developer is announcing a new project! What could it be?! A whole new world of fun and merriment full of new characters and rich gameplay?? A brand new lore with fantastical storylines even better than those you loved so much in past games??
No. None of that.
The new project is a remastered collection of their past games, with new “HD” graphics and polished mechanics, but in the same world, with the same characters, doing the same things.
This trend is occurring more often. Developers repackage their old games to be played on newer consoles and then highlight the small changes in order to justify the re-release. Their PR teams can claim that it’s “for the fans”, but that doesn’t change the truth.
Remastered games are a cash grab.
The remastered God of War III for PS4 is a prime example of this. Five years after God of War III’s initial release, they sharpen the graphics, add a photo mode, throw a few more swords in, and then shove it back in our faces. Even the game’s webpage on playstation.com has a hard time proving that the term “remastered” means anything significant, highlighting the key features as “Groundbreaking Depth of Scale”, “Stylized Realism”, “Signature Gameplay”, and “Sophisticated Storyline”. They do a great job of stretching out that they upgraded the graphics, and “Signature” and “Sophisticated” are some pretty fancy ways of saying “Same”.
These companies know we see through the money motivated sham, but they are persistent, and they are sneaky. They try to fool us by remastering entire collections, because more is better, right?
Sony is leading the curve on this trend too, with Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection releasing in less than a month. This remastering includes all three previous Uncharted games, with new trophies and a photo mode. Yup. That is all Sony is promising with this remastered release, as they’ve barely touched the graphics. Their big focus in advertising the collection has been that those who buy it will be given access to a multiplayer beta for Uncharted 4. For them, that’s enough to justify a 2015 pricetag for a bundle of old games. Quantity over quality.
It’s no surprise that huge companies are trying to maximize their profits, and gamers can call them out on it until their controllers are blue. But here is the kicker:
I love remastered games.
I can’t help it. I recognize the cash grab and the big companies trying to suck every penny out of their franchises and milk their customers’ wallets, but I still give in.
The reason why is simple.
The opportunity to relive the highlights of my gaming career is too alluring to ignore. Those dirty geniuses over at Playstation released remastered versions of a ton of my favorite childhood PS2 games for the PS3, Jak and Daxter, Sly Cooper, and Ratchet and Clank to name a few, and I ate those up. Now the current gen consoles are getting the same treatment, with huge series getting remastered releases on Xbox One and PS4. These game developers have me in the palm of their hand, and maybe that’s okay. Maybe we don’t always need new. Maybe we just need fun.
The remastering of old games to be resold for newer consoles may be a cash grab, but, if it lets gamers experience their favorite games, characters, and stories all over again in a refreshed way, perhaps they aren’t a waste of time or money. Heck, some sequels may have even been better off as just remasterings of their predecessor. Ultimately, gamers can either grab their pitchforks or their wallets, because this trend of remastering classic franchises isn’t going to slow down any time soon. In the mean time, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for a Remastered Crash Bandicoot Collection.
What do you guys think about remastered games? Pitchforks or wallets out? Let’s start a discussion in the comments!
Author: Alex McNeal
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