We can all agree that 2020 is one strange year. Most of the world is practicing social distancing, refraining from those outdoor and social activities that used to make up our daily lives. In the midst of this, most industries are scrambling to earn revenue. But, there’s one that is doing just fine — the video game industry.
Indeed, video game spending in the USA totaled $1.2 billion in June. So, gamers are spending more than ever before in 2020. And video game companies are sure to capitalize on the increasing popularity of this pastime. This year, there are plenty of big releases coming our way.
However, the interesting thing about this year’s titles is that a huge number are either remakes or remasters. Some of the releases we’ll mention are based on games from years ago. Of course, remakes are nothing new, but the amount of them in 2020 is something we couldn’t simply overlook.
Furthermore, it will be interesting to see how developers are bringing back old classics. This will surely make 2020 a unique year in gaming.
In this article, we’ll see which video game remakes and remasters you can play as you practice social distancing. So, get ready as we’ll broaden your horizons!
Most gamers have heard about certain old popular games and wished to play them. However, they haven’t been able to because those titles don’t work with modern machines. If you’re one of those gamers, 2020 is your year. There are so many remasterings and remakes that you’ll find it difficult to keep up at times.
Indeed, those who have a nostalgic appreciation for past games will find a silver lining in this year. Namely, companies have or are about to release video game remakes and remasters. If you’re a bit confused by these two terms, we’re to explain the difference between them!
The term ‘remaster’ is used across various industries, mostly in connection with music and film. Remastering means enhancing the quality of the original version to take the final product to the next level. So, the fabric of the source is just improved rather than modified.
In the video game industry, remastering usually means the same thing. To put it simply, when companies remaster old games, they want to make them look less like a pixelated mess on your computer screen.
Of course, remasters can vary in quality, depending on how much effort developers put into them. For instance, The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 had a range of “HD Remasters,” but they mainly published ported titles that weren’t previously compatible on the hardware. In this case, the thing that clearly distinguishes them from their original form is an HD resolution.
The term ‘remake’ basically refers to a video game overhaul. In a nutshell, you get a completely new game based on an older game. A significant amount of features and visuals get changed because companies want to create something different from its source material. However, the two games still have enough shared features between them to make it obvious they’re connected.
Resident Evil 2 is one of the best examples of video game remakes. Just one look at it and you see that developers changed it when compared to its original gameplay style.
Now that we know what video remakes and remasters are, let’s dive deeper into what you can expect from 2020!
Nostalgia and emotions have always been a major source of revenue for Hollywood. However, it seems that they are also lucrative for video games. In 2019, the video game industry was worth over $150 billion, proving that fictional characters and worlds are still popular.
In fact, over the years, some memorable games have garnered a strong following. They now enjoy the same status as numerous cult Hollywood movies that are in the spotlight no matter how many years have passed since their release. And like the movie industry loves to remake old movies, so does the video game industry.
Publishers and companies are overhauling and rereleasing games to attract fans of popular franchises, including The Legend of Zelda and World of Warcraft. In all of this, industry experts say that nostalgia is the major driving force for the success of any remake. If a game doesn’t have a nostalgic value, it will likely be unsuccessful.
With or without video game remakes and remasters, the industry is doing more than fine. In fact, statistics are positive about the state of video games in the world:
Based on the above figures, it’s safe to say that video games aren’t going anywhere.
As people are instructed to stay at home, video game usage has increased. People have turned to this pastime to find some comfort and escape from the new normal. It’s convenient, then, that 2020 saw the release of many video game remakes and remasters. Here are the four titles that have got people talking (either positively or negatively):
Release: March, 2020
Developers: Square Enix
Platform: PlayStation 4
Final Fantasy VII Remake isn’t just a mere rehash of the old game. Quite the contrary, it’s more than that. This remake is a loving retelling of a popular video game. It’s undeniable that Final Fantasy VII defined Japanese role-playing games for an entire generation. And the remake doesn’t disappoint. The updated graphics, detailed storyline, and overhauled combat system will dazzle old fans and surely engage a new generation of players.
Release: April, 2020
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Resident Evil 3 is a remake of the original 1999 game. It puts the conflict between protagonist Jill Valentine and Nemesis at the forefront. For this reason, gamers are in for some of the most powerful survival horror moments. The game itself is a remake in the loosest sense. Although the plot and characters are vaguely similar, other aspects are different which can easily make Resident Evil 3 an entirely new game.
Many would agree that this remake has a solid start. However, it falls short of fans’ expectations. Resident Evil 3 loses the very elements that made the original so memorable.
Let’s see which other video remakes and remasters we have in store for you!
Release: June, 2020
Developers: THQ Nordic
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Contrary to popular belief, companies don’t remake only highly rated games. They also dig deep into our childhood memories to find that game we skipped school to play. Children and adults (no judging) who got SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom in 2003 can now purchase a “rehydrated” remake of the game.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated is a loving remake of a cherished game. It adds lovely visuals and has aged better than anyone thought it would. Also, the game offers freedom to players to explore different levels. All of this makes SpongeBob one of the better remakes of this year.
Release: January, 2020
Developers: Blizzard Entertainment
Platform: Microsoft Windows, Classic Mac OS, Macintosh operating systems
Warcraft III: Reforged tells a story of competing factions battling it out over the course of different campaigns. It’s a remaster of the real-time strategy game that stole the gamer’s hearts years ago. The newest addition to the franchise features visual overhaul, then a number of social and matchmaking features, and other elements.
Although critics praise Blizzard Entertainment’s attempt to introduce the game to the modern age, they also feel that the company has done so half-heartedly. For many, this is not the remaster Warcraft III deserves.