The seventh console generation has come to also be known as the generation filled with remasters. Regardless of how you feel about them, they are here and they are here in force. Since the initial remasters like The Last of Us: Remastered and Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition to recently announced ones like The Bioshock Collection, we have lived in a generation where a remaster is always around the corner. It is now more surprising when a game doesn’t get the next-gen treatment.
Now, one can always argue that it is never a bad thing to have more games to play. However, I think that the person who said that phrase first meant that it is never a bad thing to have new games to play. When this current generation of consoles released, gamers were expecting crazy new experiences not possible on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. But what we got instead were a lot of titles we have already experienced. On the bright side, the initial burst of only remasters and no new games is over, so I think it is now a good time to revisit them and see why they can be a good thing for both the developers and their customers.
When done correctly, these next-gen versions of old titles allow us to visit game worlds we might have missed, as well as re-experience the ones we love once again with updated graphics, achievements, and all the extra bells and whistles that come with. It can be a great resurgence for the community, and allow the veterans of a series to share their knowledge once again to eager new prospects looking to learn the ins and outs of the title.
From the developer’s standpoint, they are able to train a B-team by giving them the task of remastering, as well as allowing one of their pieces of work to be appreciated once again by old players as well as for the first time by new players. It can help them fund a new project, as a remaster does not take nearly as much time as a new game does. They can fix some of the bugs and gameplay techniques they may have been unable to do before hand. If a remaster is done well, and for the right reasons, both the developer and the consumer flourish.
On the other side of the spectrum, some people are very against developers remastering their titles, arguing that if a gamer wants to play the game again, to just keep the system it originally developed for. This is a solid point! I just starting playing through the Metal Gear Solid series for the first time and I am playing through the first one on the original Playstation and I am glad for it. There is a sort of novelty to it that is lost when games are ported.
These anti-remaster advocates also have the good intentions of the gaming industry in mind. We are an industry that is based in moving forward and one that is prone to developers and publishers trying to take advantage of us. As these remasters keep coming, it makes sense that more and more gamers are starting to get worried about what they are doing to the industry.
Never before have we lived in a time where an entire library can be made up of remasters, and as wonderful as that may be for some newer gamers, we have to make sure there is a delicate balance between the old and the new.
Let us know your views on the surge of remastered titles below!