It’s that time of year again, people, as E3 limbers itself up for a full-on assault on our senses. And with the obligatory hype surrounding the greatest video game show on earth comes the big ol' bunch of rumors that will more than likely give way to truth once the suits 'n' devs saunter on stage in attempt to wow us.
And with these rumors comes a not too unsurprising whisper that The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim will be getting itself dolled up for a night on the PS4 and Xbox One. Yep as reported by Eurogamer, the modder’s paradise that is Skyrim is coming back to consoles, but this time with added console mod support – which is its main selling point obviously – most recently seen on Xbox One’s Fallout 4. All of Skyrim’s DLC will too be making an appearance, just to solidify the fact that we’ll be opening pockets to buy this game again for…what…the 3rd or 4th time in 5 years?
The rumors were first corroborated on NeoGAF by user Shinobi602 who is reported to be a reputable industry insider. Last month on the Super Deformed Gamescast Shinobi602 came out and said that there was a good chance that Bethesda would “revisit an older game of theirs in some shiny new paint maybe”, a point that wasn't made alone.
Another NeoGAF user, who happens to be another reputable industry insider, was referenced as saying the validity of the rumor was true, and even went a way to discuss the changes 2016 Skyrim would see, mentioning its updated graphics, DLC inclusion and, of course, all dem mods.
If I didn’t have an irrational love for Skyrim, I would probably bemoan the current spate of remasters being courted around. Week after week news has broken that another brilliant title from a bygone generation is getting a lick of paint that nobody asked for and readied for another day in the sun.
Titles like Valkyria Chronicles, Dead Island, Deadlight, Resi Evil 5 and (friggin’) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare are but a few remasters heading our way before the year is out. We’ve already seen The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Resident Evil 6 and the straight PC port that is Final Fantasy VII fly back onto the shelves. But why?
You could say that these titles made a shit-ton of money back upon their inaugural releases, or have enough of a cult following to garner more cash flow this time around, so naturally re-releases would become the go to method of filling corporate fat-cats’ pockets, already over-bulging from pre-order bonuses.
But the less cynical of us may look at remastering games as a means of getting to grips with the upgraded architecture of a brand-new console. In an interview with USGamer, The Last of Us: Remastered designer Anthony Newman discussed the intricacies behind making a remaster.
"Developers are still grappling with the difficulties of adapting to the next generation of consoles and some remasters serve as a nice 'bridge': a way to get one's feet wet on the next gen without also dealing with the difficulties of creating an entirely new game.
I think, sometimes, remasters serve well for certain studios, but I can only speak for the game that I worked on. I personally love a well-done remaster; there are so many games from last gen that I think would really sing on the PS4."
It's a veritable tightrope to walk. Are remasters great chances to play great games expanded upon with better graphics and all the DLC included, or are they a case of suits filling their pockets with good, clean and honest nostalgia?