How Classic Video Game Remakes have been
Great for Gamers and the Companies Making Them
Throughout the history of video games, many fans have immersed themselves in very different worlds. From collecting bananas in Donkey Kong, to shooting demons in DOOM. There are tons of games adored by fans. Some of these are what got us into nerd culture in the first place. If not for Spyro, I probably wouldn’t be here writing this article. And through my life of gaming, I’ve seen it grow and change alongside myself. Today, there is a huge difference between the games we played and the games we used to play. That 2D sprite on a TV screen has now evolved into characters that look almost like an actual person standing right in front of you.
Video games today truly have become their own art form. What once was something your parents yelled at you for spending way too much time on, is now its own thing of beauty. That doesn’t mean that those games back then weren’t special. They were some of the best experiences I, and many other people like me, have had. What we see today are people wanting to combine the fun and addicting games of the past, with the surreal beauty of today’s technology. Games like Doom and Halo: The Master Chief Collection have displayed a masterful combination between modern technology, and nostalgic games.
These remakes have been made as early as 2014, with the Xbox One Tomb Raider Definitive Edition. This remake didn’t touch up on gameplay as much as it focused primarily on the graphical side of the game instead. A lot of other game companies have followed suit. Bethesda did this with their revival of the game, DOOM. A classic FPS game that let the player kill hordes of demons without any remorse. What used to be a pixelated game that you couldn’t even aim vertically in, is now a full-fledged HD game with stunning visuals, gameplay innovations, and more of the things that made DOOM the addicting game we know it to be.
Not all of these remakes turn out to be a huge success though. Take the game Thief for example. The original Thief came out in 1998, and revolutionized stealth games. Thief created game mechanics and aesthetics that games like the well-renowned Dishonored would later take inspiration from. Eidos would later work with Square Enix to publish the next game in 2014, attempting to reinvigorate the passion that gamers felt for stealth games back when it was first released. The only problem is, even if you have a game with the same name as its honorable predecessor, you still have to bring something astounding to the table. Thief missed this mark, with a metascore of 70 and a user score of 5.8 (Metacritic), it’s very easy to see that our beloved main protagonist, the thief, Garrett, had been lost in the shadows and couldn’t seem to find his way out.
Critics and users alike agreed that not only did the game not feel like its predecessor, it also lacked intuitive gameplay that is considered standard in the modern gaming culture. The game developers delivered heavily on a stealth based game, but forgot other aspects of the game that are just as important. Things like quality storytelling, and the intense lack of combat mechanics left users and critics both unsatisfied. After just a couple months of the game’s release, the game was already $20 off. Forbes even called it, “a calamitous disaster of epic proportions.” It goes to show that these remakes are high risk, high reward styles of art. Creating a masterpiece from a masterpiece is never easy, but those who accomplish this task gain a tremendous amount of success within the gaming industry.
Companies that hit the mark while remaking these games have truly struck gold. In late 2014, Microsoft-owned game, Halo: The Master Chief Collection gave players Halos 1-4. With the first one already having a re-textured version, and giving Halo 2, a total visual overhaul. The graphics were stunning, while staying to its core gameplay. The Master Chief Collection was a huge success for Microsoft bringing in around $3.36 (VGCharts) million purely with games that had already been made. This goes to show that both video game remakes that improve the gameplay along with the graphics can bring in a lot of money for companies. But even video game remakes that are complete re-skins have huge potential for success as well.
These video game remakes are more than just reused content for free money. These game reinvigorate people’s love for gaming. They remind us as to why we spent our Saturday nights staying up late saying, “Just one more minute,” as we pressed on to the next level. These games bring us fond memories and nostalgia that could bring tears to our eyes – I gladly welcome these video game remakes. With all these amazing games coming out in 2017 like Horizon: Zero Dawn and Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I’ll be the one that’s the most excited for the new Crash Bandicoot remake.