When the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 era started, publishers were quick to bundle older-gen games together, selling off a slightly HD collection of previously played titles that had been given a slap of 16:9 paint. With the new-gen, that’s not going to be a passing fad, although developers and studios are quick to call re-released games “Remastered Editions”.
We’ve seen it with Tomb Raider, and we’ll see it again with The Last Of Us and Metro, as taking the exact same game that has been released and amping up the graphics is a viable business solution. For some, it’s a stupid reason to pay for the same game twice. For others, it’s great way to play catch-up while paying full retail price for something that is already old.
In short, we’re going to see a lot of remastered games on the way. Take this example of cult classic Out of this World for instance. Here’s the original intro to that game:
Would I play that game? Yes, yes I freakin’ would. And I’d play these remastered games as well, if they were made.
Batman: Arkham trilogy
We’ve just scraped the surface of Arkham Knight, and already that game has me sold on the visual side of portraying an orphaned maniac who resolves his issues by punching it into an insane asylum. The game looks good, is what I’m saying.
And honestly, I’d love a return to the nuthouse if Rocksteady bundled all the previous games together under that visual engine. Hell, that even includes Arkham Oranges Origins.
There’s a running joke in PC circles, whenever someone upgrades their gaming rig into something that could double for a Borg Cube. And that’s to ask the person who just spent tens of thousands of bucks on their hardware, if their new PC can run Crysis.
What Crytek created with that franchise, wasn’t just a solid FPS game. It was a test bed for graphics, a game that once the fans had finished dissecting and putting back together, could sport graphics that were on the bleeding edge of what was possible in the industry.
Now imagine replaying the Crysis trilogy, with all those improvements. Just…imagine it.
Mass Effect trilogy
Mass Effect is one of the greatest trilogies of the previous generation, once you get past the reworked ending that is. Love, loss, action and camaraderie, the series had it all. What it didn’t have though, were visuals that aged well.
Seriously, boot up Mass Effect 3 and wonder to yourself why you’re screaming at a TV screen filled with dead-eyed mannequins staring back at you. A little tinkering in the graphics department could fix all that though, especially if Bioware implemented revolutionary new red,green and blue filters into the game.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
If there’s one game that has benefited immensely from having PC gamers rip it apart, it has to be the fifth chapter in the Elder Scrolls saga. We’ve seen it spruced up, tuned and tweaked like a Benoni Golf GTI. We’ve seen new dragons based on 1980s WWE superstars dropped into the game. Hell, folks have made entire movies based on their interactions in Skyrim.
And as much as I’d dig to play a better-looking Skyrim, I’d hope for something even better in a new-gen release. An end to all those damn loading screens. Now that would be a remastered version of the game worth buying.
Gears of War
This is the game that got me into the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 era. Chainsaw rifles. Copious amounts of blood spraying everywhere like a bukkake party gone wrong. Enough muscles to confuse the main characters with a Rob Liefeld drawing.
And now that Microsoft owns the series lock, stock and barrel, you can bet that they’re going to leverage as much Xbox One power as possible for their next title in the franchise.
But imagine going back to the beginning. Imagine one massive campaign that retools Judgement to be playable, before introducing players to Gears face Marcus. Just picture replaying the campaigns that led to the end of the Locust threat, at a blistering frame-rate with visuals so pretty that you’d have to constantly wipe moths off of your monitor as they kamikaze their way onto the new graphics.
Look, I just need an excuse to vent about how Brutal Legend is one of the most underrated games ever made. And really, it needs to be introduced to a new audience, before we’re all drowning in a generation that has been raised on Justin Bieber music instead of proper hard rock.
Better visuals, an expanded soundtrack and it’s rock ‘n roll all night long baby.
Call of Duty: The Complete Collection
Activision’s number one franchise always gets a lot of flak for short single-player experiences, but for the most part, they’re actually damn good storylines. Now imagine a bundled version of Call of Duty, that had every single-player story from Modern Warfare up to Black Ops 2, with Ghosts being left to rot because that was a proper terrible excuse for a COD game.
But hell, I’d gladly play my way through a graphically-amped tale of Soap McTavish and pals, delve into numbers with Mason again and marvel at new-gen moustache physics on Captain Pryce. Bundle that with the latest multiplayer version of the game and the various Zombie modes, and you’d have a winner.
We’ve got a ton of shooters above, but out of all of them, Bioshock was the classiest game around with which you could shove a lead package up the nostrils of a deformed gene-addicted lunatic. Bioshock 2 may not have been developed by Irrational Games, but 2K Marin did a fine job on carrying the torch for the Ken Levine fronted studio until Bioshock Infinite came along.
And really, each game on their own is a great slice of entertainment, but so much more satisfying when experienced as one entire narrative. If the stylish visuals got tuned up, the DLC thrown in and the gameplay tweaked ever so slightly, I’d be happy to go back to Rapture for a full circle game.
Hey, if DICE had to announce Battlefield 4: Remastered It’s Working Properly Now You Guys, I’d actually be quite happy to give it a shot.
The Witcher trilogy
The upcoming Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is one of the prettiest damn games that I’ve ever seen. It genuinely looks like a massive upgrade from the previous entries, which had to make several concessions in order to run decently on console.
But the new-gen versions look like something else. They’re on the verge of breaking past that uncanny valley syndrome that plagues so many high-end games today, while the world around Geralt looks simply breath-taking.
It’s just a shame that this third and final entry in The Witcher series will most likely be the first time that many gamers experience the grand story of Geralt the Witcher. And after all the work that CD Projekt Red has done, that’s a damn shame.
But I’d reverse over Geoff several times for a chance to experience the first two games with the visuals of the third. That would be the remastered trilogy to end all remastered trilogies. And if you’re reading this CDPR, know that I’m in a car right now, ready to make good on my word.
Last Updated: May 28, 2014