A new coat of paint – video game remakes and remasters we badly need

FeatureMay 11, 2017 at 7:20a PSTby Czarny Wilk

A new coat of paint – video game remakes and remasters we badly need

We may all despise them, but everyone has a list of things they’d like to see done – remakes and remasters have become an obligatory part of the gaming landscape. Our editorial staff has chosen several games they’d like to see upgraded.

Releasing revamped or totally redone versions of classic hits is a long-established tradition in the video game industry; just look at franchises such as Pac-Man or Pong. This trend, however, has somewhat intensified in the recent years, since the publishers and devs noticed that some dime can be made on the side. After its release, PlayStation 3 was flooded with HD collections of games from the previous generation of Sony’s console; this scenario is again recreated after the release of PlayStation 4.

Things are quite similar on rival platforms – you don’t have to keep track of every release for Nintendo or Microsoft systems to have noticed at least a couple of remasters of some old hits emerging in the past decade. Even the PC, where games are more time-proof by definition, has had its own share of revamped games – let’s just mention Bulletstorm.

Truth be told, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition isn’t winning a spot in the hall of fame – the classics deserve much more than this. - 2017-05-11
Truth be told, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition isn’t winning a spot in the hall of fame – the classics deserve much more than this.

The players, however, often disapprove of this trend, especially if a simple upgrade of the graphics is everything that changes, but it’s more than certain that everyone could name at least one game which they played a couple of years ago, and which in their opinion deserves a new edition. The following list is precisely this: a collection of games that we’d love to play again in a modernized version.

Remaster, remake or reboot

People often confuse the members of the R team. All these terms sound kind of similar, but are actually very different from each other; hence much fuss can arise from common misunderstandings. A remaster is a slightly tuned up version of a game, and it most often features higher resolution and introduces achievements. Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition and The Last of Us: Remastered are examples of remasters.

A remake is an older game completely rewritten with the use of newer technology. Remakes will usually follow the same plot as the original game and recreate the original mechanics which may be slightly updated and readjusted to contemporary standards. Examples include Tomb Raider: Anniversary, Counter-Strike: Source or Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy.

Last but not least – reboots. A reboot is also created from scratch, but here, the departure from the original is much more significant – most of the time, the entire story is changed. 2013’s Tomb Raider and Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst are reboots.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

13 years ago, GTA: SA was a torture test for PlayStation 2. Today, you can run it on a smartphone. - 2017-05-11
13 years ago, GTA: SA was a torture test for PlayStation 2. Today, you can run it on a smartphone.
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 2004
  2. Developer: Rockstar North
  3. Chances for reedition: slim

“Which GTA was the best” is the sort of argument that can cost you some friends in certain areas of the world. GTA III is a whisker behind the newer entries, but it was the one that marked the advent of Grand Theft Auto’s golden age. Vice City had a fantastic atmosphere, and by many is considered the best of the series. However, GTA: San Andreas’ scope and content are impressive even today.

Inspired by California and Nevada, the fictional state of San Andreas comprised three big cities and a dozen of smaller places as well as uninhabited middles-of-nowhere and a top-secret military base that held many secrets the uncovering of which was as nerve-racking as it was satisfying. Apart from that, the devs from Rockstar North seriously improved on their own idea of the sandbox formula – most notably by introducing protagonist customization, rudimental character development, and the famous gang wars.

Grand Theft Auto V made a comeback to the state, but the landscape was altered in too many ways for the game to feel like a genuine return to GTA: SA. And then there’s the story – not that there’s anything wrong with the adventures of Franklin, Michael and Trevor; it’s just not the same without “All we had to do was to follow the damn Train, CJ!”. It’s very unlikely that Rockstar should commit to producing anything more than a remaster – they’ve got plenty on their plate with the continuous development of GTA Online and the works on Red Dead Redemption 2. Nothing wrong about pipe dreaming, though.

San Andreas with GTA V’s graphics doesn’t seem probable, but there are thousands of gamers dreaming about this. - 2017-05-11
San Andreas with GTA V’s graphics doesn’t seem probable, but there are thousands of gamers dreaming about this.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series

The Zone may not look as impressive today, but it’s not horrible either. In terms of graphics, that is. - 2017-05-11
The Zone may not look as impressive today, but it’s not horrible either. In terms of graphics, that is.
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 2007, 2008, 2009
  2. Developer: GSC Game World
  3. Chances for reedition: slim

The hypothetical remake of The Shadow of Chernobyl could offer a whole lot of interesting features. The original was only a couple of unfulfilled promises shy of being the No Man’s Sky of its generation. Contrary to Sean Murray’s game, however, the Ukrainian production ultimately had legs to withstand the pressure, actually reaped quite positive reviews and gathered a dedicated fanbase. Both sequels – Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat – only reinforced the reputation of the franchise.

These original first-person shooters used some ideas from other games, most notably numerous mechanics characteristic for narrative-driven games. But arguably the most outstanding element of the franchise was the sheer atmosphere of the radioactive Zone – with the menacing nuclear plant and the derelict city of Pripyat.

Unfortunately, despite a couple of years of development, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 never came to existence. Some of the ideas from this game were used in Survarium, a game that has been in Early Access for a couple of years and received rather mixed opinions. There’s a huge demand for a return to the Zone, though, which is best asserted by the controversial Areal, which attempted to ride on the references to the series created by GSC Game World.

Deus Ex

There was a time when these graphics were considered flawless. Just imagine. - 2017-05-11
There was a time when these graphics were considered flawless. Just imagine.
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 2000
  2. Developer: Ion Storm
  3. Chances for reedition: slim

Warren Spector’s opus magnum impresses us with the freedom of choice and approach even today – in 2000, it was a true milestone for the whole industry. On top of that, it also offered a staggeringly mature and memorable story. Even though the series returned into the limelight with Human Revolution, most players still consider the original Deus Ex the best game in the series, and hold JC Denton much dearer than Adam Jensen.

Sadly, the talk of the town maintains that due to Mankind Divided’s disappointing sales figures, there won’t be a new installment anytime soon – all plans concerning the expansion of either Jensen’s story or the series itself came to a halt, which means that even if Square Enix was thinking about a remake, thinking about it is all they’ll do. Well, maybe we’ll find some consolation in Cyberpunk 2077… when it finally comes out, that is.

If Mankind Divided wasn’t such a flop, it could have helped a lot with bringing the original Deus Ex back to life. - 2017-05-11
If Mankind Divided wasn’t such a flop, it could have helped a lot with bringing the original Deus Ex back to life.

Gothic

The graphics I can live with. The wooden mechanics – not really. - 2017-05-11
The graphics I can live with. The wooden mechanics – not really.
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 2001
  2. Developer: Piranha Bytes
  3. Chances for reedition: slim

While the journey of the nameless hero in the Valley of Mines is mostly remembered as a decent albeit not tremendous game, there are some players that simply worship the series – particularly the original title. The crude controls and a very steep learning curve didn’t deter crowds of players who embarked on the adventure in the penal colony inside the barrier. Their patience and enthusiasm was rewarded with the unparalleled atmosphere of the locations, iconic characters, great nonlinearity and engaging plot.

It goes without saying, however, that time was not gentle with Gothic. Compared to contemporary solutions, the controls of the game seem grotesque. The graphics are visibly outdated, and many mechanics could be considered archaic. At the same time, the greatest advantages of this game are still there, so a remake that would meet today’s standards would have all the makings of a successful reedition. For now, Piranha Bytes are entirely focused on Elex, and according to the studio itself, no remake is planned.

NieR

NieR‘s graphics were outdated even before the game was released… - 2017-05-11
NieR‘s graphics were outdated even before the game was released…
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 2010
  2. Developer: Cavia
  3. Chances for reedition: good

NieR was released to a very lukewarm reception, only to achieve a cult-classic status after the years. The less-than-impressive graphics and mechanical issues were reflected by the scores received by the game – despite a great setting and compelling storyline, most reviewers awarded anything between 60-70%. The sales were equally mediocre, which didn’t actually urge Square Enix to supply a whole lot of NieRs to retailers.

In time, though, an increasing number of players grew to recognize the true values of this game, and a peculiar fame suddenly surrounded NieR, boosted by the fact that the PS3 edition of the game became an extreme rarity coveted by the collectors and quickly gaining value. Because of that, there’s no shortage of people interested in a reedition – it’s not even about upgrading the game as much as just making it more available.

The recent success of NieR Automata, by PlatinumGames, generated even more interest in the iteration developed by Cavia; a better moment for releasing a modern edition will probably never come. The developers themselves don’t rule out such a possibility, so the chances of getting a new version of that game and visiting the world infested with the mysterious Black Scrawl virus without the need to spend $200 appear to be quite reasonable.

…it’s sequel, however, is a different story. If the remake were to look like this, it would absolutely suffice. - 2017-05-11
…it’s sequel, however, is a different story. If the remake were to look like this, it would absolutely suffice.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005)

NFS: MW aged with dignity, and the graphics are still acceptable. - 2017-05-11
NFS: MW aged with dignity, and the graphics are still acceptable.
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 2005
  2. Developer: Electronic Arts Inc.
  3. Chances for reedition: slim

The ninth installment of the legendary Need for Speed series is most often quoted as the apex of the franchise and one of the best car games in history. The game stayed true to the roots of the series and featured breakneck-speed car pursuits, but this time in broad daylight. More aggressive drivers could resort to slow motion in critical moments and the petrolheads were able to reconfigure and customize their rides with dozens upon dozens of parts. A decent plotline completed the picture.

The name Most Wanted was used again seven years later thanks to Criterion. The remake had little in common with the original – it rather resembled the flagship game of that studio – Burnout. It was a good racing game, but it was totally not the game the fans expected. More fidelity to the iterations released at the beginning of the previous decade is arguably what the Need for Speed series needs to reclaim the title of the king of racing games, especially after the last couple of entries which all met with a lukeworm reception.

Jagged Alliance 2

In the strategy genre, graphics are considered to be of secondary importance, but Jagged Alliance 2 has visibly gotten old.
In the strategy genre, graphics are considered to be of secondary importance, but Jagged Alliance 2 has visibly gotten old.
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 1999
  2. Developer: Interplay Entertainment
  3. Chances for reedition: moderate

Jagged Alliance 2 was a very successful turn-based strategy. Liberating Arulco with an army of mercenaries helped by local militia and civilians required many sleepless nights, which may be ascertained by hundreds of players. For a while it seemed that nothing can spoil the future of the franchise, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. JA2 got a reasonably good expansion, but the sequel was never realized and after a series of obstacles, the works came to a permanent halt.

After some years, an attempt was made to reboot the series, but the outcome wasn’t what you’d call impressive. The 2012 remake of Jagged Alliance 2, Back in Action, wasn’t a terrible game, but many people were disappointed with the game abandoning the turn system for the sake of real-time management. When it comes to Flashback, released three years ago, we’re talking about a genuine failure, full of half-though-out and half-baked ideas. This is why I think that the best thing the devs can do right now is easing up on the attempts to revolutionize the franchise, and focusing on reviving the glory of the second installment, without any unnecessary additions – just the old game updated to contemporary standards. And we would all benefit from that.

Flashback had better graphics, better… Nah, I guess this list ends here. - 2017-05-11
Flashback had better graphics, better… Nah, I guess this list ends here.

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

None of the latter installments in the Elder Scroll’s series came close to the atmosphere from Morrowind. - 2017-05-11
None of the latter installments in the Elder Scroll’s series came close to the atmosphere from Morrowind.
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 2002
  2. Producer: Bethesda Softworks
  3. Chances for reedition: moderate

When Morrowind was released, it offered a fresh approach to the RPG genre – the main thread wasn’t the primary concern of the players. Instead, they were given the ability to shape the world and explore it freely. The scope of the world was unparalleled and the graphics dazzling. The success of TES III determined the direction which the further iterations followed – although all of them were equally as popular and successful as Morrowind, none of them really managed to produce something similar to the quaint, eerie mood that defined the island of Vvardenfell.

For a couple of years now, the works on a fan mod to Skyrim have been underway, with the goal of recreating the elderly Morrowind on a more modern engine. Even though Skywind looks quite impressive, the progress – as is usually the case with such projects – happens very slowly, and there’s always the risk that it may never actually be finished. That’s why many of us would welcome the news about the developers of the original working on such a modification with a sigh of relief. For now, we’ll have to do with the June expansion to The Elder Scrolls Online, which will let us roam the famous province of Morrowind.

X-Wing series

The force was strong with these games, but perished with time it has.
The force was strong with these games, but perished with time it has.
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 1993–1999
  2. Developer: Lucas Arts
  3. Chances for reedition: slim

The original idea for the X-Wing series was something that could only be realized in the 90s. A serious, intricate simulator of the cult starfighters from Star Wars is not something most companies would now decide to support. Subsequent installments allowed us to play both as the rebels and the imperial pilots. In the hangar, you could find the cult X-wings, TIE Fighters or the Millennium Falcon, as well as the A- and Y-wings. Besides shooting down everything that moves, players also had to keep their ships power efficient, and manually control the de/activation of front and back shields.

Throughout the years, more than once have I stumbled upon some theories about the supposed revival of the series, yet it never came to that. And it doesn’t look like anything should change – the genre of serious sims is a dying breed, the game would need much more than just graphic lifting… refreshing X-Wing would require some serious financial commitment – this is a risk no one is willing to take nowadays. It’s more likely that we’ll get another arcade space shooter in the vein of Rogue Squadron than an actual stellar simulator. It doesn’t change the fact that if anyone with enough money were to decide to bring X-Wing back to life, I’d be the first one to play it.

The VR mission in Battlefront allows you to feel like an X-Wing pilot for a few moments, but it requires a full VR set. It also lacks the complexity characteristic of the simulators. - 2017-05-11
The VR mission in Battlefront allows you to feel like an X-Wing pilot for a few moments, but it requires a full VR set. It also lacks the complexity characteristic of the simulators.

Diablo II

The 2D visuals could sure use some additional details. - 2017-05-11
The 2D visuals could sure use some additional details.
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 2000
  2. Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
  3. Chances for reedition: moderate

While Diablo III was hardly a flop, it certainly wasn’t the success its predecessor was, the latter having become THE best hack’n’slash ever for many gamers. What was Diablo II’s secret? Not much, in fact – don’t fix what ain’t broken, just polish the mechanics until you can see your face in them and make razing hordes of monsters as pleasant as it can get.

Just like with Warcraft III, which I’ll mention later on, the success of the remastered edition of StarCraft may convince the powers that be at Blizzard to keep up the momentum and invest in other refurbished classics. That would make Diablo II the perfect candidate for such a treatment – I mean, kick the resolution up a notch, make it compatible with modern OS and the game’s as good to go as it’ll ever be.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Skyward Sword has done what it could with the Wii console, but some technological limitations were simply too much. - 2017-05-11
Skyward Sword has done what it could with the Wii console, but some technological limitations were simply too much.
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 2011
  2. Developer: Nintendo EAD
  3. Chances for reedition: slim

The gigantic artistic success of Breath of the Wild has brought the Legend of Zelda franchise onto everyone’s lips, and millions of players have bought the latest Nintendo console just to play this single title. For many of them, especially in Eastern Europe, where Nintendo hasn’t established a strong position, it was the first contact with this distinguished franchise.

There’s an appetite to satisfy here, and one of the best options to learn more about Link’s exploits seems to be the direct predecessor of the latest installment – Skyward Sword. Not to mention the obvious fact that the game isn’t that technologically outdated yet, it’s also the first, chronologically speaking, installment in the entire franchise, one in which Zelda is yet to become a princess and Link’s not yet a knight.

The only problem that remains is the availability – we can play it only on Wii or Wii U, which may be an irresolvable issue for many gamers. A reedition dedicated to a new console might just be the thing Nintendo needs – especially as it wouldn’t be the first HD remaster in the history of the franchise.

Just imagine if Nintendo remade all the older installments, making them look just like Breath of the Wild... - 2017-05-11
Just imagine if Nintendo remade all the older installments, making them look just like Breath of the Wild...

Warcraft III

The cartoonish visuals have aged rather nicely. - 2017-05-11
The cartoonish visuals have aged rather nicely.
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 2002
  2. Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
  3. Chances for reedition: moderate

15 years after the original release and Warcraft III remains one of the best real-time strategies available on the market. Brilliant story campaigns, great atmosphere, perfectly balanced gameplay that makes elaborate use of RPG elements, and a multiplayer mode that’s alive and kicking up to this very day are what convinces any homegrown strategist that this may the game they’ve bought their PC for.

Unfortunately, the breathtaking success of World of Warcraft seems to have completely discouraged Blizzard from continuing the franchise in any strategic rendition. It would also be rather difficult, as the said MMORPG has introduced some rather drastic developments in the history of Azeroth; so much that ret-conning them all would be the only viable-ish solution to make any sense of it. There are, however, some chances for a remastered version of the game – the success of the recently announced StarCraft: Remastered may still convince Blizzard to pour some funds into similar reeditions of other classic positions in their portfolio – if so, Warcraft III appears to be one of the better candidates for such treatment.

Medal of Honor: Allied Assault

The stage remembered by many. - 2017-05-11
The stage remembered by many.
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 2002
  2. Developer: 2015
  3. Chances for reedition: slim

The third installment of Medal of Honor was also the first one to be released on PC. The franchise was already popular at that point, but it was Allied Assault that elevated it to the top. All thanks to a single level – the D-Day Omaha beach landing, borrowing a lot from Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, offered an unparalleled interactive experience.

The creators flawlessly captured the chaos and randomness of death on a battlefield that overwhelmed the player with its sheer scale, setting the standard for all WWII shooters that followed. And although now we’re pretty much used to this level of “cinematic” game design, many would gladly pay to relive the nightmares of D-Day in HD. Unfortunately, as Electronic Arts isn’t interested in competing with itself and prefers to focus on MoH’s twin franchise, Battlefield, chances for a remake, or even a remaster, are not very good.

The last installment, the 2012 MoH: Warfighter, flopped so bad it buried the entire franchise. - 2017-05-11
The last installment, the 2012 MoH: Warfighter, flopped so bad it buried the entire franchise.

The Witcher

List of things I want to see in a remastered Witcher: 1. Upgraded main character model. - 2017-05-11
List of things I want to see in a remastered Witcher: 1. Upgraded main character model.
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 2007
  2. Developer: CD Projekt RED
  3. Chances for reedition: slim

It’s true that it was the third Witcher that made the charm, making CD Projekt RED one of the brightest stars on the RPG firmament, but its two predecessors weren’t half bad either. Especially the first installment is fondly remembered by some of the players as the most “slavic” in the entire trilogy – the Murky Waters village or Outskirts of Wyzima were among the most atmospheric and memorable RPG locations.

The first Witcher modified and used the same technology that powered Neverwinter Nights. The devs at CDPR squeezed everything they could from it, but there was only that much they could do. In this case a simple remaster wouldn’t be enough, as the game needs some more in-depth modifications. However, if we were to take the latest RED Engine and use it to depict the contents of the first game... Yeah, right. Unfortunately the devs already attempted to remake the first Witcher (the unreleased console version was to feature, e.g. a completely overhauled combat system), and they are more than likely to never try this again.

Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout 3 still doesn’t look so bad... - 2017-05-11
Fallout 3 still doesn’t look so bad...
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release dates: 2008 and 2010, respectively
  2. Developer: Bethesda Softworks and Obsidian Entertainment, respectively
  3. Chances for reedition: slim

Converting a classic franchise, such as Fallout, into 3D without raising controversy and criticism from orthodox gamers was impossible. And promptly some people raged. Most gamers, though, were rather pleased with the new artistic direction and spent dozens, if not hundreds of hours in the capital wasteland. True, there had to be some compromise and the game was not entirely without technical issues, but the 3D wasteland managed to keep its unique atmosphere intact. New Vegas, released 2 years later, managed to one-up its predecessor when it comes to post-apocalyptic vibes, and is generally considered the best 3D Fallout ever created.

Remasters could focus on polishing the technical aspects of both games (especially New Vegas) and get rid of all the bugs and issues that survived the period of dev support. For now, however, the current IP owner – Bethesda – appears to be completely uninterested with any kind of reedition, making the chances for a refurbished wasteland rather slim.

...until you realize what the modding community has achieved throughout all those years. - 2017-05-11
...until you realize what the modding community has achieved throughout all those years.

Call of Duty 2

Don’t you miss the digital WWII trenches? I know I do. - 2017-05-11
Don’t you miss the digital WWII trenches? I know I do.
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 2005
  2. Developer: Infinity Ward
  3. Chances for reedition: moderate

Long before single-player campaign became mere addition to online experience and the story moved far into the future, Call of Duty was an FPS series that focused on WWII, having both feet, or maybe boots, on the ground. It offered a long, solid story campaign that depicted battlefields from various perspectives – in CoD2 the parties were USA, United Kingdom, and Soviet Russia. And although the “evolution” of the franchise was a commercial bull’s-eye, garnering the series global popularity, a significant number of fans misses the experience offered by the early Call of Duty games.

We know for sure that the franchise plans to revisit the past in the latest installment, but I wouldn’t count on it shifting back to single-player focus, at least when it comes to main installments. That said, the remastered edition of Modern Warfare, which was included in some special editions of Infinite Warfare, turned out to be a big hit and may spawn a new tradition – addition of upgraded releases of classics along with new titles (if not every year then perhaps every two years). Assuming this becomes a thing, the next CoD game we’d like to see remastered would be Call of Duty 2 – one of the best installments of the franchise.

Final Fantasy IX

The cartoonish visuals of FFIX have aged much more gently than the realistic depictions in FFVIII – they could still use a good overhaul though… - 2017-05-11
The cartoonish visuals of FFIX have aged much more gently than the realistic depictions in FFVIII – they could still use a good overhaul though…
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 2000
  2. Developer: Squaresoft
  3. Chances for reedition: good

For a company that is very eager to re-release older Final Fantasy games, and often, Square Enix is also surprisingly unwilling to create remakes of earlier installments of the iconic franchise. It took years of sending petitions and pleas for the company to have them mercifully agree to create a remake of their greatest hit, Final Fantasy VII. We, in turn, hope that it won’t be the last time Square Enix makes such a move, and as the new FFVII will most likely be a stunning success, we’ll be seeing more remade Finals, especially those of the PSX era.

The ninth installment revisited the fairy-tale-like roots of the series, returning to the theme after several games went for a mixture of fantasy and cyperpunk. The colorful, cartoonish character designs were hiding a plot equally complex and intriguing as the ones from FF VII and VIII, and the game mechanics lost nothing of their charm while enriching the old, proven solutions with some new tricks. This is the installment we’d like to see again the most, only this time with visuals comparable to Final Fantasy XV.

Promo materials for Final Fantasy VII Remake look stunning and give us some idea how other refreshed Final Fantasies may look like. - 2017-05-11
Promo materials for Final Fantasy VII Remake look stunning and give us some idea how other refreshed Final Fantasies may look like.

Crysis trilogy

To be honest, even without any upgrades Crysis holds its ground against many modern AAA titles – especially when it comes to depiction of forests. - 2017-05-11
To be honest, even without any upgrades Crysis holds its ground against many modern AAA titles – especially when it comes to depiction of forests.
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 2007, 2011, and 2013, respectively
  2. Developer: Crytek
  3. Chances for reedition: good

The first Crysis was nothing short of a technological revolution. It was a title that set the bar for video game visuals for many years, and I mean it – even the sequels had a hard time in direct visual comparisons with their ancestor. Even today, ten long years after release, the leafy Philippine forests can take your breath away with their spectacular sights, and not many modern games can honestly say that they can do better.

People tend to forget about one thing – the Crysis franchise was more than beautiful graphics. Under that impressive coat lay a solid FPS core, which added some variation by featuring special combat exosuits; the suits offered a varied array of buffs – super strength, speed, invisibility, and armor. The ability to quickly switch between the powers offered by the suit was the essence of efficiency in the game, not to mention vehicles that were scattered across maps for additional fun.

As the effect of aging on those games is almost negligible, a complete remake would be unnecessary – just add some polish here and there and the trilogy is ready for a re-release. Knowing that Crytek was having some serious financial trouble lately, we wouldn’t be very surprised if we were to face crises once more, and soon.

Silent Hill – the first three installments

The second and third installment not so much, but Silent Hill 1 has aged very, very badly… - 2017-05-11
The second and third installment not so much, but Silent Hill 1 has aged very, very badly…
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 1999, 2001, and 2003, respectively
  2. Developer: Konami
  3. Chances for reedition: don’t ask

To the fans, the fate of this iconic horror series is almost as scary as its best installments. After the great first three installments the series experienced a steady decline in quality, with the year 2012 being a quadruple nail to the coffin – Downpour was botched, the creators of Book of Memories for PlayStation Vita obviously had no understanding of what made the series great, the remastered editions of Silent Hill 2, 3, and 4 were lumps of bugs and issues that cried to heaven, and the second movie adaptation... let’s not go there, OK? The only thing that could have been worse would be if somebody were to announce a very promising reboot, and then cancel it because of corporate meddling. Oh, wait... that’s exactly what happened.

The only way we’ll see a new Silent Hill, given Konami’s current state and policy, is on a pachinko machine. Nothing they can do to prevent us from dreaming of a true re-release, though. Of a remaster that, in contrast to the infamous Silent Hill HD Collection, would be playable. Of a new, completely rewritten SH1, which was the scariest of them all in my opinion. A melancholic SH2 with its ground-shattering plot twist, and SH3 that would tie all the loose ends left by the first installment. The last two games would need only some cosmetics. Perhaps someday, when Konami gets new management.

P.T. was exactly how the Silent Hill of our age could have looked like. - 2017-05-11
P.T. was exactly how the Silent Hill of our age could have looked like.

Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven

The visuals have aged significantly, but the atmosphere still goes toe-to-toe with The Godfather. - 2017-05-11
The visuals have aged significantly, but the atmosphere still goes toe-to-toe with The Godfather.
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 2002
  2. Developer: Illusion Softworks (currently 2K Czech)
  3. Chances for reedition: moderate

Mafia III has directed the series on a completely new track. While the plot managed to defend itself, the unpolished mechanics and technical issues were a big disappointment. For many gamers that series has ended and Mafia IV, assuming it will even come to be, will have a lot of work to do to rebuild the players’ trust in the franchise. One way to help it would be to release a reedition of the series’ best installment – Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven.

The story of Tommy Angelo, his path from a simple taxi driver to one of the Don’s most trusted men has certainly stood the test of time and is still considered one of the best gangster tales ever to be told in a video game. Also in terms of gameplay the title easily beats many modern games, including its own sequels – 15 years later and which other game has had a police that reacts to player speeding? The only thing that needs refurbishing are the visuals – the rest of the game is as solid as the day it was released.

Ishar series

Ishar: Legend of the Fortress – second chapter of a four-part cycle.
Ishar: Legend of the Fortress – second chapter of a four-part cycle.
IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Original release date: 1991–1994
  2. Developer: Silmarils
  3. Chances for reedition: slim

This somewhat forgotten RPG series has left its mark in history mostly with the unconventional system of recruiting/discharging party members – before somebody could leave or join the party the decision had to be put to a vote and the outcome depended on the will of all party members. Well, you could always order the assassination of party members who did not agree with your opinion, but many say it is unethical. It could also lead to an outbreak of a civil war in your party.

The game’s other characteristic was its significant difficulty level (and remember, we’re talking of an age when ‘Nintendo hard’ was a common thing), which, along with a solid set of RPG features, caused this four-part saga to deprive numerous gamers of their good night’s sleep. Today, its dated gameplay solutions make it very easy for the players to recoil, and the games would basically have to be rewritten from the ground up to be able to please younger gamers. The party management system, however, remains a unique feature and a modernized version is something we’d very much like to see.

That’s how I image a modern take on Ishar; given current technology it could turn out just like Skyrim. - 2017-05-11
That’s how I image a modern take on Ishar; given current technology it could turn out just like Skyrim.