Now that Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition is confirmed, if you listen closely, you’ll be able to hear a collective sigh from frustrated next-gen console owners. Nine months into this newest generation of gaming hardware and yet another remaster of a game that the majority of us have yet to have a chance to forget is on its way. Another remaster in place of something brand new and shiny to pop into, or download onto our shiny new systems. But, is it really all that bad?
You see, these are still relatively new consoles. Games take a long time to develop, and depending on when studios received their development kits, we may have a long wait ahead for these these new bites of gaming awesomeness. Creating a new version of an old game that has had critical success helps to ease the pain of a gaming drought. It gives you something to play, and developers enough time to make something new. Seems fair enough, right? Unfortunately there is one problem with this strategy: They’re remaking games that aren’t even very old to begin with.
The Last of Us, while a great game, was just little over a year old when it received its remastered edition. Not to say that the remaster was bad, in fact it was far from it. But was it necessary? Perhaps one could argue that it’s an effective way to show off the PlayStation 4’s horsepower, or that it gives gamers who converted from another platform a chance to play a great game they might have missed out on. There are some people though that believe remakes or remastered editions are just cash grabs. What about Tomb Raider? It was a mere 10 months old when it received its “Definitive Edition”. An edition that gave it a sharper image, a steadier framerate, and the best hair physics ever seen in a game that comes to recent memory. Again, a great game, but it’s a strategy that not everyone is sold on.
If you can remember back to a time not too long ago, remakes/remasters were reserved for titles that were already considered classics, and had been made quite some time ago. The Devil May Cry HD Collection, and Sly Cooper Collection are remasters done right. Both were series that were prime for being reintroduced to new gamers, and had not been in the spotlight for some time. To see games such as The Last Of Us get the “remaster” treatment so quickly, leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many, even if they love the game that is getting re-released. Fortunately enough, in this sea of remasters, remakes, and ports, there are two upcoming collections that will prove that it can be done right.
Metro Redux and the Halo: Master Chief Collection will show that remastered games don’t exist solely to fill in gaps in a slow year for new hardware, but also to show off what these games truly should have been. The Metro games, which didn’t always look or run to great on consoles, are getting a much needed upgrade at a decent price. The Halo: Master Chief Collection demonstrates a supreme class of fan service with all four numbered Halo games, all multiplayer maps and modes, and the anniversary treatment for Halo 2. Throw in beta access for Halo 5 and it is more than enough to whet the appetite of even the most hardcore of Halo fans.
Remasters aren’t always easy to justify, but are a good thing when done properly. Given the proper timing and the right IP, they’re something worth creating for previous fans and especially newcomers. It may be simple to write them off, especially if we already own it or don’t think it deserves it, but they are always worthwhile exceptions.