Looking backwards is the wrong thing to do. Games are simply better now

Pity the poor engineers at Sony. They’re labouring to make ever-better gaming technology – PS4 Pro, PS VR – and what do the gaming public do? Wet their collective knickers over retro returns of Sonic The Hedgehog and Crash Bandicoot. Haven’t you seen Jurassic Park? No good will come of resurrecting things better left in museums.

Those classic games were great in their day; their title characters are icons for a reason. But as someone who remembers when games were in black-and-white, I reckon looking backwards is the wrong thing to do. We’d still be playing Pong with that attitude. Games are simply better now, and we should revel in what today’s hardware is capable of.

Games are more believable, more immersive, now. Seeing, the old cliché has it, is believing. We’re about to be hit with the most realistic-looking racers ever (you can almost detect that ‘new car smell’ wafting off GT Sport). Last year, Trico reduced hardened gamers to tears with his realistic recalcitrance, plaintive cries, and pleading eyes, he was so lifelike. You couldn’t do that with 64 bits. We can wander round Los Santos, Tamriel, or the whole galaxy with a freedom noughties gamers could only dream of, and we can play with people on the other side of the world.

I’m not saying we should give up on old characters, but let’s give them the games they always deserved, rather than the ones they got. Crystal Dynamics got that right with Rise Of The Tomb Raider, using current technology to allow us to enter Lara Croft’s world in a way we never could before. Croft Manor is a revelation in PS VR.

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus looks like continuing BJ Blazkowicz’s transformation in humorous, action-packed style – after seeing just one trailer, only an idiot would say they’d have preferred Bethesda to simply remaster the ’80s bricky Wolfenstein and leave all that ‘plot’ stuff out. Crash got ‘fur-K’ graphics, but what more could he have had if set completely free from his old games? So let’s stop all this remaster nonsense. Bring on the future.

This article originally appeared in Official PlayStation Magazine. For more great PlayStation coverage, you can subscribe here.