Remastered versions of games have been a fairly recent trend, having become so common this generation. They've offered the opportunity to enjoy games of the past on modern hardware along with refined visuals and general quality of life improvements, but are sometimes viewed as "cash-ins" on beloved games. Things gets a bit more dicey when it comes to PC games. There's likely to be conflicts between new operating systems and old games; there might be a workaround to get games running, so there's something nice about having classics seamlessly working on a modern setup. However, that's less likely to be necessary in the 3D era of PC games, especially with graphics options readily available in most situations. So, on this episode of Steam Punks, Jess and Ed explore the question: do remasters make sense on PC?
Sid Meier's Pirates, originally on the Commodore 64 in 1987, received two updated versions in its time: a 1993 release with a visual upgrade and a full remake in 2004. Both versions retained the core elements that made it great. Classic point-and-click adventure games like Grim Fandango and Full Throttle benefited from remasters since they were able to run easily modern systems and obtained legally. In the 3D era however, games that were previously console exclusives have a natural avenue to come to PC by way of a remaster. For example, games like Shenmue, Devil May Cry, Yakuza 0, Valkyria Chronicles are now available to an audience that may not have the original platforms that had those game. These are some cases in which PC remasters have shined.
On the flip side, a PC remaster could end up going slightly wrong, like in the cases of Age of Empires: Definitive Edition and Heroes of Might and Magic III HD Edition. Mod communities have been instrumental in preserving and updating older games as well. Speaking of mods, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Special Edition may not have been entirely necessary on PC given that the highly active mod community that has contributed a slew of visual upgrade packages and extra content.
There are also aspects to consider such as game preservation or gauging interest in particular franchise to see if people want new entry. What are your thoughts on remasters? Which remastered games have you been excited about? And what would you like to see remastered today?
- Sid Meier's Pirates
- Grim Fandango Remastered
- Full Throttle Remastered
- Shenmue I & II
- Devil May Cry
- Yakuza 0
- Age of Empires: Definitive Edition
- Heroes of Might and Magic III HD Edition
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Special Edition