The case for next-gen remasters [OPINION]

Tomb Raider Definitive Edition Bloody Lara

This generation has been filled with remastered titles from the past generation. Games that just came out a few months ago are finding a second wind on the PS4 and Xbox One. Just this week alone we received an announcement for the Resident Evil HD Remaster and an unofficial announcement for Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition. Naturally, there has been a lot of backlash against these remasters with gamers expressing their opinions about the state of the new generation. Today, I’m going to address some of these concerns.

Use those resources to further development of an already existing project, or begin a new one!

Yes, most of these remakes are coming from games you played on last-generation consoles from developers you know and maybe love, but not all of them are retreading the same waters by going back and remastering their games.

Let’s take Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for example. The original Tomb Raider, which was released for PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2013, was developed by Crystal Dynamics. While that may be the case for some of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition elements, we learned that the majority of the work was handed off to United Front Games, the Sleeping Dogs developer, and Nixxes Software. As we reported last December, Nixxes was the developer who worked on the PS4 version while United Front Games was hard at work on the Xbox One version.

Although that may not be true for all the next-gen remasters. The Last of Us: Remastered is a case where this isn’t true and the original team did in fact work on both iterations. However what needs to be remembered is that some of these studios have more than one team and are rarely working on just one game. Like we found out in November of last year, one of the teams at Naughty Dog was developing Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End while the other team was prepping The Last of Us: Remastered. Naughty Dog developer Neil Druckmann even addressed fans who were concerned that this would take away from other projects:

We have multiple projects going. We never were able to fully staff two completely independent teams. At this point, I don’t think we’ll probably get there. We’ve got the Uncharted project, which we’ve talked about, we’ve got DLC for The Last of Us, and we’ve got the remastered version [of The Last of Us]. We’ve got other projects in the works that are in the very early stages. We have at least four different pretty significant things going on right now.

We’re getting old games instead of new games!

This is actually a pretty valid argument. It’s true that this year has seen a lot of last-to-current generation remasters and even remakes, although that isn’t stopping the development of sequels to your favorite games. In fact, it’s probably helping them. Developers who may be working on remasters for the new set of consoles are getting experience with these devices that they might not have gotten before. With these remasters, they’re able to test out new effects and tinker with the systems so that when they go back to developing a new IP or sequel to a well-received game, they have an idea of what makes these consoles tick and what can or can’t be done on them.

Think of it like this: Would you prefer Naughty Dog jumped straight to a new PS4 game or work on The Last of Us: Remastered to get some experience with the console so their new games could be as good as possible?

Another thing that should be said is the games that have been delayed thus far — The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Evolve, The Order: 1886, Dying Light, Battlefield: Hardline, and Driveclub — probably could have been rushed to meet their original release dates. However, how many of gamers would want to play a product that didn’t receive the proper TLC it deserved just so it could make a deadline? Battlefield 4 set an example for developers: Nobody wants a product that is buggy at launch and even a few months after launch. Thankfully EA learned their lesson and decided to delay Battlefield Hardline so they could work on it some more.

I’m not going to buy it!

That decision is entirely up to you. If you’ve already purchased these games on your last-generation console or PC then this probably isn’t for you. Having said that, it would be rude to criticize those who are interested in Sleeping Dogs, Tomb Raider, or any future remaster. These remasters are mainly meant to introduce a new audience of gamers, ones who might have skipped the games last gen to avoid this same scenario, to some of the titles that defined the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation.

Furthermore, game developers and publishers could use these remasters as a way to get more people interested in potential sequels. Of the remasters we have so far — Tomb Raider, Last of Us, Sleeping Dogs, and GTA V — Tomb Raider and Sleeping Dogs both have sequels coming out while Naughty Dog is developing Uncharted 4 and two other unannounced projects. It’s safe to say that the people who purchase and enjoy The Last of Us: Remastered will be those same people buying The Last of Us 2, Uncharted 4, or whatever Naughty Dog has cooking behind the scenes.

What are your opinions on next-gen remasters? Let us know in the comments below.


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  • The Real Rick Grimes

    I have no issue with a remastered version if said game is an absolute blockbuster reaching legend status.. The Last of Us, is easily that. I’ve played it 7 times on PS3 and my first playthrough of remastered version makes it 8. While I loved Tomb Raider it just didn’t need to be a remastered game in my opinion and I actually passed on it. When the price drops at gamestop I’ll pick it up for dirt cheap to play on PS4. So, to sum it up.. No issue with a remastered version if the game itself deserves to be remastered to it’s awe inspiring epicness.

    • D.M.T

      Why play the same game 8 times? Are you addicted to The Last Of Us? I’ve heard good things about the game but i dont think it deserves to be “remastered”, at least not so soon. it’s just an excuse to sell more copies of the game.

  • HDucot

    Gamefly is a perfect tool to rent the remastered version of games you already play thru. I did this with TLOU remastered. I will only rebuy GTA V since it’s pretty much a game that never ends.

  • TomDobo

    Yeah I don’t mind remastered games personally as long as they are great games. What does get to me is the fact there is too many remasters coming out. We all want new games to experience not games we played years ago.

  • CH3SH

    It’s almost as if developers are saying “right this game is gunna take 5 years to make, let’s get another team to rehash an old classic to keep buisness ticking over”,
    Fair play to them, but it ain’t my cuppa tea…

  • Lance Kim

    Anyone who read this whole article would understand why they’re doing remasters instead of criticizing them for it, just sayin’. I keep seein responses that are answered in this article..

    • Jessey


  • jfelts

    “Think of it like this: Would you prefer Naughty Dog jumped straight to a new PS4 game or work on The Last of Us: Remastered to get some experience with the console so their new games could be as good as possible?”

    Isn’t a remaster just a port with updated textures? I am not sure that qualifies for learning on the next gen system. They could play around with a new game to learn that.

    • demfax

      Why are TLOU Remastered and other PS3 exclusive remakes being made?

      1. financing for next gen projects
      2. experience on next gen hardware to better create next gen projects
      3. at least half of PS4 owners didn’t own a PS3 which is a huge brand new audience
      4. many PS3 exclusive games were critically acclaimed and sold well
      5. there are already plenty of new IPs being created
      6. assets made for late PS3 games are often higher quality than what goes into the PS3 version

      TLOU is practically a new game to at least half (~4.3 million) of PS4 owners that never owned a PS3 and never had a chance to play it. Same with Beyond: Two Souls or any PS3 exclusive game brought to PS4.

      TLOU is one of the most critically acclaimed video games ever and sold 7+ million copies on PS3, it’s coming with DLC and multiplayer, 1080p 60 fps with better textures and visual effects, and releasing at a discount price.

      Millions of gamers will buy and enjoy TLOU Remastered. Sorry if that upsets some fanboys and haters.

      1080p/60 FPS.
      Framerate is 60 fps with almost no drops through the entire game.
      Texture maps are 4x more detailed.
      Shadow maps 2x in 60 fps mode.
      Higher resolution particle effects.
      Occlusion mapping on decals.
      No texture streaming.
      Longer draw distances, better LOD.
      Expanded audio menu options.
      Possibility to lock frame rate at 30 FPS.
      Possibility to swap trigger and thumbsticks controls.
      DualShock 4 touch pad, light bar and speaker supported.
      Cinematics with commentary by Neil Druckmann, Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson.

  • drzfr3shboialex

    I have no problem with remasters. No one is forcing you to buy it. It gives those who haven’t played the game a chance to and those who want to replay it a chance to play the best edition. I for one have Tomb Raider and TLOU for ps4 and absolutely love them. Gives me a reason to ignite the old flames, platinum games I haven’t yet.

  • PS4WiiURocks

    Enough will rehashes ..Time for new ideas

  • The companies that were complaining about the power of last gen’s power are now making remastered games rather than New IPs which means they are fucking hypocrites. Seriously, it’s only going to get worse from here on out and this is why I think the next Video Game Crash will happen because you just get the same shit over and over again.

  • Captain David Nightingale

    Remake final fantasy 7 and 8!!!

  • steview130

    I was really glad for The last of us remastered as I missed it on ps3 and it’s also good for all the people who switched consoles this gen and missed out on these big exclusives on either console, remastering multi plats that everyone played last gen on one console or the other seems a bit of a cash grab though and I do think it’s all a bit overkill at the moment as there seems to be a new remaster announced every week or so, but at end of the day if people are willing to pay then I suppose that’s all that matters.

  • ichuck7

    I agree with all if your points. I sold my ps3, but still would like to play the last of us. Also, I never got a chance to play sleeping dogs but it looks fun.

  • ichuck7

    Also, these reboots bring in a good amount of easy capital for these AAA companies so they can afford to take more risks. It’s a win-win for everyone.

  • Mike

    I’m ok with remasters. My PS3 started acting funny about the time the PS4 was coming out. Knowing that I had a PS4 on preorder, I stopped buying PS3 games because I didn’t want to get halfway through and have my console go belly up. So I’ve never played TLOU, nor have a ton of X360 owners who switched to PS4. However, more and more remasters can’t be a good long-term strategy but it’s not a bad way to offer content early in the consoles life.

  • CamStep

    Great timing considering the announcement of the God of War 3 remaster. While I’m not a fan of these remasters that come maybe one or two years after the original release date, I do support the remaster and rerelease of older, possibly cult games such as Ico and ZoE. The major problem is that they sell these singular remasters for full price. I believe there should be some lowered price due “classic hit” or something along that reasoning. Finally, you have to be careful when you outsource a remaster. Just look at the Silent Hill remaster. That studio botched the atmosphere of the games and made a pretty shoddy port.

  • Fingloi

    They should waste their time in a SHENMUE Remaster.