It feels like we're awash with HD remasters lately, especially with a Devil May Cry 4 remakeDevil May Cry 4 remake on the way so soon after the DmC Definitive Edition. Are we starting to become overrun with them? Here's what we think
"Whats bad about giving new audiences a chance to play the milestone games of yesteryear?"
I know its easy to grumble about HD collections, but we shouldnt begrudge the opportunity for a new generation to discover incredible games from PlayStations gone by. The real issue here is time six years passed between the PS2 and PS3 versions of Shadow Of The Colossus. Such a wait made its return momentous, especially when compared to the rebooted Lara only ten months separated the last and current-gen versions of Tomb Raider. So giving more players access to long-forgotten greats, even via reduxes, is surely a positive.
- Dom Reseigh-Lincoln, Production Editor, OPM
"A few months ago I tossed remakes into room 101. Let them rot there"
Alert! Alert! Approaching hypocrite alert! Everybody point and sneer at the clown who slags off HD remakes but gives Resident Evil and Grim Fandango the Editors Choice Awards. Okay, you caught me. I adore those games and revisiting them has been great. But in both cases theyre PlayStation debuts: thats my handy get-out clause. Total reimaginings Im fine with, and Resi also fits into that category as far as Im concerned. But sharper versions of old games? Thats what Im fed up with. Unless serious new contents added (hey, GTA Vs FPS mode), cant we all agree to move on and have something new instead?
- Matt Pellett, Editor, OPM
"They may be cynical, but remakes help preserve older games appeal."
Digital interactive entertainment products or games to you punk kids often age terribly. Go back and play The Last Of Us on PS3. Go on. Pug Fugly Central, right? As little as a year can erode the visual splendour of even the mightiest titles, with hardware and resolution upgrades making older hits harder to digest for players spoiled by PS4s 1080p delights. This medium isnt like film or music: games are much more vulnerable to the passage of time. With HD reduxes, ageing gems are given another shot; preserving their appeal a little longer in an industry that never stops looking forward.
- Dave Meikleham, News Editor, OPM
"PS3 also-rans dont deserve technological immortality any more than Dave Lee Roth albums."
The precedent that illuminates this recent videogame vogue comes from the music industry. In that parallel dimension listening formats change over time, mastering technology improves, and thus a remastered Led Zeppelin LP gives old fans a new listening experience and a fresh entry point. A remaster of Dave Lee Roths best-of, The Best, however, doesnt. Very little art deserves to have its lifespan expanded by technological gains, because so few examples transcend the context of the time and place theyre made in. Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition? Pass.
- Phil Iwaniuk, Games Editor, OPM
"HD Remakes are good for games... just don't overdo it."
Remakes and remasters are an important component of the modern video game eco-system, and for the most-part they're a great thing. Usually, it's the biggest and best games that get the fancy new-gen treatment - your Tomb Raiders, your Last Of Us, your Dark Souls 2 - and their quality usually means that the gameplay doesn't feel out of place on a more advanced console. Most are inexpensive and quick(ish) to create (you don't need to create all new art assets and gameplay systems etc), and you've already got a fanbase who will play them. That means money in developer publisher pockets, which can then fund more original projects.
However, there's a balance. Too many old games can breed resentment among series fans, and make certain franchises feel stale and money-grabby. As with anything, moderation is the key. Now, Bethesda, we need to talk: where's my PS4 version of Skyrim?
- Andy Hartup, Executive Editor, GamesRadar+
As long as a remake adds value to the original, its fine.
If all youre getting from an HD do-over is a bit of polish and a few DLC packs, whats the point? You might as well just dig out your old copy, or pick one up on the cheap. Im all for revisiting the classics, but developers need to make sure theyre offering something worthwhile for a second investment. The Final Fantasy 10 remake is a great example, it brought together 10, 10-2 and various other spin-offs that didnt make it to the West on PS3 and Vita but the later PS4 version? You barely got a visual upgrade.
Thats fine if youre just picking it up for the first time, but so often these things are targeted at series fans rather than newcomers. The PS4 version comes across as a cashed-in afterthought.
- Daniella Lucas, Content Manager, GamesRadar+
"If it's a series I care about then it's great."
I maintain a furious double standard for these sorts of things. Some crappy old JRPG I didn't care about the first time it came out? Clearly lazy nostalgia-based profiteering. A game that's barely a couple of years old, like DmC or GTA 5? Clearly more profiteering, mixed with the need to raise a quick buck on new platforms without committing to a full development cycle. That said, a game I like? Then it's a glorious thing - a chance to relive something you loved, or can't even play anymore because you don't have the console or a computer that can run Windows 95. If anyone announced a Silent Hill or Soul Reaver remaster then theyd have my money faster than you could say hypocrite.
- Leon Hurley, Executive News Editor, GamesRadar+