We’ve been getting a lot of remasters this year… I mean, A LOT of remasters, with even more coming.
So far this year we’ve had Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin, State of Decay: YOSE and that’s just to name a few of the many. Even today for that matter, God of War 3 re-released for the PS4, and Prototype 1 & 2 re-released on current gen consoles, with Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, The Uncharted Collection and Dishonored: Definitive Edition just around the corner.
The problem I have with a lot of these so-called “remasters”, however, is that they aren’t really remastered. Most of these games have had slight little tweaks here and there, upping the framerate and resolution to 60fps and 1080p respectively, maybe changing the look of a few textures here and there and maybe even tweaking the gameplay a little bit. But publishers have made the terms Definitive Edition and Remastered interchangeable, and that’s honestly really annoying.
Let’s take a look shall we? Here’s today’s recently released screenshots for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves on the PS4.
Looks marginally the same right? Not that it’s a bad thing, I’m incredibly excited to jump back into the Uncharted franchise while I wait for A Thief’s End on the PS4. However, via the PlayStation Blog, even their own hands-on preview of the game defines this collection as a remaster – The good news is that Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection brings these three classics to PS4 in remastered form… – which really isn’t the case is it? Most of the games I listed above have also defined themselves as “remasters”.
Let’s take a look at another upcoming remaster. The Gears of War Ultimate Edition comparison screens can be seen just below.
I think it’s fairly clear what is an actual remaster, but to publishers it doesn’t seem to make a difference. If you’re going to call or advertise your game as a remaster, it should be a big upgrade over the original game, not just a bump in resolution and framerate.
Definitive Editions should be the collections that receive a little freshening up for a re-release. Maybe I’m making a fuss over a non-issue, but as a games journalist who has to read all these press releases that tout these big changes, and come release I can hardly notice a thing, it’s annoyingly misleading. And that makes it even worse, for you, the consumer of these products.