Remakes have been common practice in the entertainment industry for decades. Be it TV programs, films, and now games; if a popular concept works, sooner or later a modernized version will be released. In the games industry, recent years have given rise to a real remake boom, which relates primarily to HD remasters and reissues for the current console generation. But not all remakes, HD versions or reissues for the current consoles are good or necessary. We take a look at successful remakes and HD reissues such as the Resident Evil remake or the free Black Mesa. We also venture a look at interesting gaming classics that will soon make their way to our consoles and PCs with a new graphical look—the Final Fantasy VII remake or the Skyrim remake, for example.
The Metal Gear Solid Remake: Twin Snakes
Released in 1998, Metal Gear Solid is among the most iconic games to have been created for the first PlayStation, and heavily influenced the stealth action games genre. With MG:S, producer and game designer Hideo Kojima breathed new life into the old Metal Gear series, and six further titles came out in total, the last of which was Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. In 2004, the original game received a facelift as well as various gameplay features from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and was re-released for the Nintendo GameCube as Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. Fans of the series are still very much taken by the updated version of the classic today, and are desperate for a modern re-remake.
Back to the Mansion in the Resident Evil remake
In gaming terms, 1996 is the year that the survival horror genre was born. The first part of the Resident Evil series not only made Zombies cool again, but also shaped the entire horror genre in videogames for decades to come. And the original is still very much in demand as, over the years, the Resident Evil series has increasingly developed into an action title and, bit by bit, the horror has fallen to the wayside. The first Resident Evil remake came out in 2002 for the Nintendo GameCube and, along with better graphics, offered some modified puzzles, new areas, updates to some gameplay mechanics and a side story which was dropped from the 1996 original. At the start of 2015, almost twenty years after the original, another Resident Evil HD Remake was released for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, based on the GameCube version. Fans of the original could explore the mysterious mansion decades later, this time in HD.
The Last of Us and Uncharted: Naughty Dog and the Remakes of Modern Classics
A game doesn’t always have to be all that old in order to warrant a good remake. The best examples are the Uncharted series (1 to 3) and The Last of Us by developer studio Naughty Dog. All three games were released between 2007 and 2013 for PlayStation 3 and were brought out again for PS4. However, The Last of Us remake is not really a remake, but more of a port for the improved hardware of the PS4 – thus it is also known as The Last of Us Remastered. Biggest advantage: in contrast to the PS3 version, the game runs at 60 frames per second, and the Left Behind extension is included from the beginning. It’s a similar story for Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, but in this case (especially in the first part), texture and animation have also been prettied up in some places. The more fluid gameplay – thanks to 60 FPS – alone justifies both remakes, and gamers who never had a PS3 but now have a PS4 to call their own can experience the modern classic in its best possible form.
“How apt, you fight like a cow!” – The Monkey Island remake
Anyone who owned a PC in the early 90s could not have avoided Monkey Island. The Secret of Monkey Island is to the Point and Click Adventures what Nutella is to chocolate sandwich spreads. And the king of the genre received its well-deserved remake in 2009. The original pixel graphics were swapped for hand-drawn full HD graphics and a new control system was developed – otherwise, everything else stayed the same. A special highlight of the Monkey Island remake: at the touch of a button, you can switch back to the classic original version in all its pixelated glory.
Experience Los Santos First-Hand: The GTA 5 Remake
Exactly like Uncharted and The Last of Us, the GTA 5 remake is a good example of the fact that a game by no means needs to be particularly old in order for a good remake. As one of the last big games of the past console generation, GTA 5 came out in September 2013 and still drew bombastic graphics and action from the outdated hardware. On PS4 and PC, however, the game is truly at home and no longer needs to put up with hardware limits. Thus, Los Santos and its environs are even better looking in the GTA 5 Remake. What’s more, you can switch to ego perspective, whereby the gaming world appears even more authentic and almost scarily realistic.
Black Mesa: A Mod Brings Half Life Back to Us
Black Mesa has earned a special mention. The free Half Life 2 modification has brought the first Half Life back to us with relatively modern graphics – or similar at least. The Black Mesa mod is namely not a 1:1 copy of the ego shooter classic, but rather a reinterpretation in the source engine. In contrast to other remakes, remasters and reissues, there is no major publisher behind Black Mesa, but rather a team of modders who worked on the project for many years. In the meantime, fans even doubted that Black Mesa would ever come out – not an entirely implausible thought, given that most projects of this sort are never released. Remakes That We’re Particularly Looking Forward To Remakes, HD releases and re-releases for the new consoles continue to remain a hot topic. Whilst some are rather unspectacular and simply elicit a weary yawn, there are some whose progress we followed with keen interest:
The Final Fantasy VII remake: Never has a game remake been so highly demanded as for the JRPG classic Final Fantasy VII. And Square Enix listened to fans – at E3 2015, the remake of Final Fantasy VII was officially announced with a teaser trailer during the PlayStation press conference. To what extent the developers of the remake use their artistic license is an important point, and we are excited to see what awaits us. Since it became known that, alongside the actual gameplay, other elements such as the storyline may also be changed slightly, fans of the original are already anxious and looking ahead to the Final Fantasy VII remake with mixed feelings.
Bioshock – The Collection: The remake of all Bioshock instalments will already be released in September for PS4 and Xbox One. The gloomy ego shooters in the underwater world Rapture and the cloud city Columbia are among the modern classics that simply have to be played. Story and atmosphere have seldom been so well combined with the shooter genre. Above all, we are excited to see how the remake of the first Bioshock will look in terms of graphics, and we are already looking forward to a reunion with Rapture.
Skyrim Remake for PS4 and Xbox One: The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is now also available for the new consoles. Those who have not yet experienced the unbelievably diverse gaming world of Skyrim, or those who simply can’t get enough of it, will be looking forward to October. Everybody else is also eagerly awaiting the announcement of a new Elder Scrolls instalment. We are excited nonetheless to see how the Skyrim remake will appear graphically on the new consoles, as well as whether modding will also be available for the console version.