Louise Chase, Alice Fortt, Callum Nelmes, Morgan McMillan and Sam Pegg
We all have that game or series which is near and dear to our hearts, but just isn’t the best that it could be. Perhaps an underloved gem like Kingdoms of Amaleur once was, or the first instalment in a franchise that had yet to find its feet. Five writers take a look at beloved titles and why they deserve that remaster, sooner rather than later.
Dragon Age: Origins
The first thing that springs to mind when I think of a dream remaster is for sure Bioware’s Dragon Age: Origins. Long regarded as the blueprint for what makes a good RPG, it is just begging for a remaster at this point.
The game is over 10 years old at this point, and I’m not going to lie, you can definitely tell. The graphics are… clunky, at best, and the gameplay stiff; most players, like myself, heavily mod the game to make it a more enjoyable experience, more closely modelled to the gameplay of its sequels, Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age Inquisition. Not to mention, I can only dream of the magnificence of Origins on a next-gen system… it would just be way smoother and easier to play, without having to mod the heck out of it first.
The thing that makes Origins deserve a remaster, over all other aspects, is the story. A tale of a battle of the Grey Wardens, an order sworn to protect the world of Thedads, against the darkspawn, evil, sick creatures that are out to destroy it; it’s a narrative of epic proportions, with some fantastic characters. Not to mention, the game runs on a butterfly-effect system, with every decision determining which ending you’ll get, who lives, who dies, and who wins. Origins should have been re-mastered years ago!
- Alice Fortt
Assassin’s Creed (2007)
Sometimes the call for a remake garners more attention than the game itself. With the original Assassin’s Creed title, released in 2007, fans have been calling for a remake or remaster for years. Previous titles in the franchise have already seen a remaster, including less popular titles Rogue and III with the latter even included as part of Odyssey‘s season pass.
Too many “stuck” camera angles which just make difficult jumps almost impossible! Think of all the retroactive additions to lore and character details that could be added in, pieces about Desmond and Lucy and Altair we never learned before. Also not desynchronising due to terrible fixed camera angles would also be great…
Whether a remaster or a complete remake, AC 1 definitely deserves that treatment. It would allow players to fall in love with a game that is criminally underloved in the franchise, and what exactly made it one of Ubisoft’s biggest titles. (We might even get to see a photomode too!)
- Louise Chase
Metal Arms: Glitch in the System (2003)
What do you get when you combine the industrialised retro-junk aesthetic and rip-roaring gameplay of the original Ratchet and Clank trilogy; the dark, foul-mouthed humour of Conker’s Bad Fur Day; and the bombastic sci-fi war thrust of Halo? A destructive, kick-ass third-person action shooter known as Metal Arms: Glitch in the System!
Released in 2003 and developed by Swingin’ Ape Studios, while Metal Arms was critically praised and has since garnered a dedicated fanbase, it was not especially successful in part due to its weak marketing. A promising sequel was planned, but the game’s low sales resulted in its cancellation, with the studio eventually bought out by Blizzard Entertainment.
Despite being difficult to gauge how differently it would be created within the modern gaming landscape, the prospect of a high-definition remaster to improve upon its performance issues as well as expand its mechanics – both limited by the technology of its time – is an exciting and meriting one. In the process, this would go with the hope that Metal Arms would finally receive its much-deserved attention, having for so long sat in obscurity along the upper echelon of other early 2000s gaming classics.
- Callum Nelmes
L.A. Noire is an excellent detective thriller depicting 1950s Hollywood! The main character in the game is Cole Phelps, a former military man and upcoming detective in Hollywood. The game is amazing and has already featured a remastering in 2017. The remastering featured a change in the interrogation functions from ‘Truth’, ‘Lie’ and ‘Doubt’ to ‘Good Cop’, ‘Bad Cop’ and ‘Accuse’. The introduction of these new features makes the game much easier to play and is now much easier to distinguish the difference between the different functions.
However, the game could still improve drastically in a number of ways. Firstly, the female characters in the game all look the same facially with their only variation being their hair colours. This is a small scale of the lack of diversity in the game. There are also a very small number of people of colour in the game which is not representative of the world of California in the 1950s or the world today. Though, 1950s Hollywood was a completely different world full of inequality, the game doesn’t have to represent this in its characters. Instead, it would be fantastic for people to be able to approach instances of sexual and racial inequality in the game while playing the characters that represent those individuals. For example, in one scene which sees the exploitation of young girls, it would be good in the game to show this from a female perspective. Which can change the game not just from a fun detective game but an educational tool for those who play.
- Morgan McMillan
The Simpsons: Hit and Run
For someone who was never a fan of The Simpsons, that doesn’t mean the series didn’t lead to multiple great games released over the years. Arguably the best of those games is The Simpsons: Hit and Run which released way back in 2003. Taking the driving mechanics of The Simpsons: Road Rage and adding elements of free-roaming, collectable collecting, bot-smashing mayhem; The Simpsons: Hit and Run feels like the pitch of a Simpsons inspired Grand Theft Auto that aimed to be somewhat child friendly (or as child friendly as giving players the freedom to crash into NPCs is).
Simply put, The Simpsons: Hit and Run is a nostalgic driven ride that players have been hampering to have remastered for years now because of how fondly everyone remembers it. Accessible to all ages and very easily being relevant enough to capture a whole new generation of gamers; a boost in graphics, a few mechanical changes, and a fresh coat of paint would drive the game to new heights and allow gamers to relive iconic moments from their past. Truth be told, the game is still practically faultless to this day, only needing the remaster treatment rather than its costlier counterpart of the remake. A developer wouldn’t have to refilm Homer’s iconic one-liners or Bart’s smart quips, locations wouldn’t need redesigning or modernising, and even the controls are intuitive enough to stay practically the same. All we want is The Simpsons: Hit and Run in a nice blue/green box and a lot of gamers will be happy!
- Sam Pegg