Gaming 2

We’re in the Remake Era of Gaming – Here Are Other Remakes We Need

From all the Resident Evil remakes to Final Fantasy VII, Black Mesa, Shadow Warrior, Serious Sam: Fusion 2017, and upcoming announced remakes such as System Shock, Myst, Riven, XIII, Gothic, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2, Mafia, and more, it cannot be denied that we’re in an era of remakes and remasters. I’ve personally been requesting this for years; modern gaming is typically so unoriginal, dumbed down, poorly written, and poorly designed, that it’d be better if they just remade classics using modern technology. Not to mention many of the classics are so extraordinary that they deserve to be remade and kept up to date.

But more games need to be remade, more classics or forgotten gems that are problematic to run on modern systems or are just otherwise outdated. Here are our picks for remakes that need to happen soon, preferably on next year’s Unreal Engine 5 or another modern engine with similarly excellent features. We will sort this list by publisher, since to our knowledge each publisher below does have the legal right to make these remakes.

Bethesda Softworks

Bethesda has a lot of intellectual properties under their banner, and a lot of remakes that they should make. For starters, Prey should be remade. Prey was originally a 2006 FPS which we wrote about here. Not only was it revolutionary, but if the game wasn’t made until now, it’d be revolutionary if it released today. Other reasons to remake it should be obvious for both Bethesda and gamers: in addition to it being a one of a kind awesome shooter with top notch unique gameplay, a proper remake from Bethesda should be an industry leading technological showcase on id Tech engine, which ironically Prey was in 2006 (only id Tech 4 instead of id Tech 7).

Furthermore, Prey cannot even be purchased (new) anywhere, so a remake would also simply get the game into peoples’ hands. Prey has mostly aged very well, and is a joy to play today, but it has one severe technological issue which is animations and movement speed being tied to frame rate. It is not meant to go above 60 FPS, although I did play it at 100 FPS with only cutscenes being broken.

Bethesda should also revisit the classic Fallout games. I propose a remake of both Fallout (1997) and Fallout 2 (1998), once they either fix Creation engine or move onto something acceptable. Hell, they can even be remade into one game with two campaigns, since they use many of the same locations. These games can do with a remake as their engines did not age as gracefully as Infinity Engine. They can be an eye sore if looked at for an extended period of time, and combat… needs a rework. But the quests, writing, and role-playing remain superior to almost everything gaming has released since.

There is a lot of room to innovate with remakes of these games too: remember how Fallout and Fallout 2 are comprised of many locations separated by loading screens, since you go across several state borders? Remember how Fallout now uses a seamless open world design? Well, with a well optimized engine, it would be possible to do a seamless open world remake of Fallout and Fallout 2 in an RPG-FPS format like the modern Fallout games, with the areas “in between” the original levels being procedurally generated. Almost a throwback to the old Elder Scrolls games which used a similar design in the 1990s, but procedural generation has come a long way.

Another area to innovate with Fallout remakes (or just their inevitable sequel) is in gameplay mechanics; rather than having it so that putting points into Guns, Big Guns, Energy Weapons, Melee, Unarmed merely improves the stats of those weapons (an unrealistic representation of the player character getting better at using those skills), they can instead make it so that putting points into all the firearm related skills makes you reload much faster with a new animation, aim down the sights more quickly, control recoil better, holster and draw weapons more quickly, jerk the trigger less, basically applying Kingdom Come’s realistic take on role-playing to a different game. And they should do the same with melee/unarmed too, making stats not just arbitrary, but truly change gameplay which is really what an RPG is all about.

It’d be great if, after achieving the technological improvements they need, they also remake Fallout: New Vegas, but sadly none of these will happen. Honestly, Bethesda Game Studios would be afraid of raising the bar too high with remakes of Fallout 1 and 2; their role-playing quality, world-building and writing quality in every department is just many leagues above what Bethesda Game Studios is capable of.

Moving on for Bethesda, we of course have to mention The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002), even though a mod team is remaking it on Skyrim SE’s engine in a mod called Skywind. That’s well and dandy, but Skyrim SE engine still leaves a lot to be desired technologically, such as physics being tied to frame rate making > 75 FPS being unsafe, and no mods can make its combat system good. If Bethesda Game Studios ever gets themselves together technologically (we’d prefer it if Bethesda Softworks made their game development studios switch to id Tech), then we’d love an official remake, with added detail to the game world taken from Morrowind Rebirth and Balmora Underworld mods for example.

Mods improve Morrowind’s visuals tremendously as shown above, but it will always perform horribly on any system. OpenMW is nice, but incomplete, can’t get anywhere near the visual fidelity above, and it’s still dated technology. It’s important for a Morrowind remake to not take away things; the writing has to be utterly unchanged, spellcrafting has to remain as well as all of Morrowind’s default spells, it can’t be dumbed down like the later Elder Scrolls games.

But its atrocious combat system indeed needs to go. Once again, they should take Kingdom Come’s superior approach of increasing weapon skills making your character actually better at fighting in animation and speed and gaining new attacks, instead of just getting better stats and better chance to hit. Applying this along with ultra precise hit boxes of modern games like Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord, Shadow Warrior 2, Dark Souls 3 and similar games, and more influence from Dark Messiah: Of Might and Magic which is basically Oblivion/Skyrim combat done much better, would make for an awesome remake.

We’re not done with Bethesda yet. The last two Wolfenstein games, Youngblood and The New Colossus were not well received (especially the former). What better way to return to form than a Return to Castle Wolfenstein remake on id Tech 7 or even id Tech 8? This 2001 Wolfenstein game is the most revered one in the series, and while RealRTCW 3.0 is a superb mod, it’s still far from what can be achieved with id Tech 7. Such a remake should have all the guns from the original, but can adopt the basic mechanics of the MachineGames titles, making it a much easier project for them. Functional level design should probably be left alone, and the physics better surpass that of Wolfenstein 2009 which still stands above the vast majority of modern day games in that regard sadly.

To make a Return to Castle Wolfenstein remake even more successful, it should include Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, essentially the multiplayer component of it. This was another classic, so remaking both in one game makes the most sense – you’d get the consensus best Wolfenstein single player game and best Wolfenstein multiplayer game in one package.

To summarize, it’d be a good idea for Bethesda to remake these if they can do so without ruining them:

  • Prey (2006)
  • Fallout (1997)
  • Fallout 2 (1998)
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002)
  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein (2001) and Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory (2003) in one game

Electronic Arts

EA has gone from forcing all their games to have multiplayer to reverting back to single player focus, due to numerous failures such as Anthem combined with consumer demand. With this change of focus, some remakes of classics would really be in their benefit.

They have hinted at remakes for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2003) and more recently the Mass Effect trilogy (2007-2012). Those are pretty good ideas even though KOTOR 2 is by far the best of the two, if they can do them without ruining them then yes please. Ideally on Unreal Engine 5. A remade Mass Effect trilogy should use Mass Effect 3’s combat and abilities as a base, since it was just better than its predecessors in every way (and add Mass Effect 3’s unique multiplayer-only biotic abilities too). And after a KOTOR remake, they should finally make KOTOR 3.


Baldur’s Gate: Reloaded, shown above, is the best way to play Baldur’s Gate.

But another great idea would be a Baldur’s Gate II (2000) remake, both the game and its expansion. Beamdog has remastered it and added unnecessary new propaganda material, the mod team being Baldur’s Gate: Reloaded is faithfully remaking it as a mod for Neverwinter Nights 2, but if EA/BioWare can faithfully remake Baldur’s Gate II without dumbing it down and ruining it, then that would be a huge, necessary statement for RPGs.

To summarize the remakes we’d like to see from EA, if and only if they can do it without ruining them:

  • Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn (2000) and Baldur’s Gate II: Throne of Bhaal (2001)
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2003) and if possible Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II (2004)
  • Mass Effect trilogy (2007-2012)

Epic Games

With all the money they’re making these days, they obviously don’t need any remakes. But before Fortnite took off, they were developing Unreal Tournament 4. We all saw how Unreal Tournament 3 pretty much killed the series because it was such a downgrade. If they ever want to do another Unreal Tournament game, they would probably be better off simply remaking Unreal Tournament 2004, which includes all the maps and game modes from Unreal Tournament (1999), in Unreal Engine 5 with Chaos Destruction. It’d be a supreme showcase of their engine that will be making its debut next year. They can even go on and name it Unreal Tournament 4, that’s a good idea.

Frictional Games

Frictional Games does not need to remake anything yet. After Amnesia: Rebirth later this year, they need to catch up technologically. No More OpenGL… no more OpenGL at all. They need to make a new Vulkan renderer for their engine (or just adopt Unreal Engine 5), add display HDR, add ray tracing, and most of all add VR support. We need to experience these games in VR.

Once they are capable of all of these things, it’d be great if they can remake every game they’ve made thus far, or at least just these two: Penumbra (they can skip the entirely unnecessary Penumbra: Requiem expansion) and SOMA. But considering the massive success that was Amnesia: The Dark Descent, if they’re remaking anything it’d probably be that in the future. But we would prefer Penumbra and SOMA since those are much better games, true masterpieces that would be incredible to experience in VR.

To summarize, we want to eventually see remakes of these games once Frictional meets the technological requirements outlined above:

  • Penumbra: Overture (2007) and Penumbra: Black Plague (2008)
  • SOMA (2015)
  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent (2010) although for us, this one is less critical

InXile

With Wasteland 2 and especially Torment: Tides of Numenera which we reviewed here, inXile has proven that they cannot create greatness. But they should be able to remake greatness. They had the rights to Torment, so if they still do, a remake of Planescape: Torment would be nice if they don’t touch the writing whatsoever and don’t try to fix what isn’t broken. And, if possible, they should do full 3D graphics with the ability to play in third person as well as isometric, like the KOTOR games, Neverwinter Nights games, and Dragon Age: Origins.

It looks like Wasteland 3 is probably going to sell quite well since it has Microsoft behind it, so please use that money for a masterful remake of one of the true all time greats in Planescape: Torment. They’ve already done a substantial remaster for Wasteland.

Konami

Konami is weird. If they ever want to return to mainstream gaming, a good place to start would be to remake the first four Silent Hill games (1999-2004). These revolutionary horror titles still showcase some of the most intelligent storytelling in gaming, but they aren’t sold brand new anywhere (at least not for PC), the PC versions of the second through fourth games were missing things from the console versions, and they’re all a bit rough to play nowadays. Mods do a good job improving things particularly for Silent Hill 2, but they can really use remakes especially since the first game was never released on PC at all.

Most people would assume the cinematic scripted camera positions of Silent Hill would be dumped in favor of over the shoulder third person like in the Resident Evil remakes, but doing exactly this is not a good idea for Silent Hill. Atmosphere, one of the key ingredients to these games, would be lost. Over the shoulder should be an option, and preferably there’d be an option to keep the scripted original camera positions but automatically switch to over the shoulder for raising a weapon. But another option should be first person, which many people would end up preferring.

To summarize the remakes we’d like to see from Konami:

  • Silent Hill (1999)
  • Silent Hill 2 (2001)
  • Silent Hill 3 (2003)
  • Silent Hill 4: The Room (2004)

Nightdive Studios

This studio is all about remasters, and they are making a remake of System Shock on Unreal Engine 4. Its development has been problematic, but if it all works out and if they learn from the development process, then one day we would really like to see an extremely faithful remake of System Shock 2 (1999) on Unreal Engine 5. Remaking the first game is a good place to start for obvious reasons, but also because it’s such a small, relatively simple game. A System Shock 2 remake would be a much more labor intensive endeavor, but they should really just copy the design of the original and also make it moddable.

Thankfully System Shock 2 is still very playable today, especially due to the mods available. Start here and also check out this rebalancing mod as well as this.

Square Enix

Just seeing this publisher name makes me sigh. The last Deus Ex game, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and their 2014 Thief game did not do so well. The former pretty much killed the franchise, halting their plans to continue it, and the latter I believe resulted in the development team being laid off. That 2014 Thief game truly was abysmal.

It’s a shame since those are two of the best game franchises of all time. If they can remake Deus Ex (2000), Thief: Gold (1999), and Thief II: The Metal Age (2000) without ruining them, then they probably should. But that’s a big if.

It’s not that hard, especially for an AAA studio. Especially for the Thief games where nothing at all in terms of game design needs to be changed… except perhaps improve AI senses a bit, and remove the Broadsword since it’s useless and no thief of Garrett’s caliber would bring one since they’re big and bulky and bang into things, especially since Garrett isn’t skilled in its use (replace it with a dagger). Aside from this, just remake it on a modern engine. They can take a similar approach for Deus Ex but some balance changes and more substantial AI improvements will have to be made. Ideally they’d use the GMDX mod as a base for how to handle that.

Square Enix did, after all, produce a Final Fantasy VII remake, so who knows what the future holds for them. The aforementioned Nightdive Studios is also making a modern day Thief-like game called Gloomwood, but the engine literally looks like Dark Engine which is not inspiring (Dark Engine visuals were out of date by 1999 standards let alone 2020 standards).

To summarize the remakes we’d like to see from Square Enix, if and only if they can do it without ruining it:

  • Thief Gold (1999)
  • Thief II: The Metal Age (2000)
  • Deus Ex (2000)

Ubisoft

Ubisoft probably isn’t aware that there is a market for real tactical shooters today. That market is playing Squad, Post Scriptum, Hell Let Loose, Vanguard: Normandy 1944, Insurgency: Sandstorm, GROUND BRANCH, Tannenberg, Verdun, Rising Storm 2: Vietnam, and most of all Arma 3.

While enjoying the gargantuan financial success that is Rainbow Six: Siege, it might actually be in Ubisoft’s interest to remake the classic Rainbow Six games while the game is still hot, taking the aforementioned tactical shooter market by storm. Realistically, the best approach to this would probably be to do a single remake that consists of Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear (1999), Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield (2003), and all of their expansions, all in one game. Yeah, we’re skipping the first Rainbow Six game from 1998, since realistically nobody is going to make a game with that much content and also the first game’s story is really silly anyway. It can be added on, remade as an expansion later on.

Those games will forever be the ultimate tactical CQB simulator games, so a remake with all the mechanics of Rainbow Six 3 along with the ones the mod community added on (shown in the video above, such as double optics and backup sights) as well as some of the mechanics seen in games like Rising Storm 2, GROUND BRANCH, and Arma 3 like dual render scopes and character/weapon customization from GROUND BRANCH, plus physics and bullet penetration that go beyond that of Siege, along with some of the later Rainbow Six additions like the snake cam (added by mods in Rainbow Six 3), a door wedge item from SWAT 4, and more squad commands taken from the likes of SWAT 4, that is how you’d do a proper remake of these games.

To summarize what we’d like to see from Ubisoft:

  • Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear (1999), Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield (2003), and all of their expansions remade in one game

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Warner Bros can get in on this remake era too. As far as we know, they still have the rights to F.E.A.R. With Unreal Engine 5 being on the horizon, as well as Chaos Destruction which is included in Unreal Engine 4 already, this looks like a prime opportunity to bring back this beloved classic. They can’t leave out its expansions though, especially Extraction Point which is better than the base game.

To remake F.E.A.R. as best as possible, not much needs to be changed, it just needs to be the game we all know and love with even better technology from the 2020s. It’d be in their interest to add iron sights and Crysis like basic weapon customization, since without them those are avenues for criticism, but that’s really all they’d need to change. They just need to make sure the AI functions very similarly.

So that is our list for now. What remakes would you like to see? Let us know in the comments below.


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Snuff_Princess

Considering the ongoing obsession with remakes, I’m bewildered by how rarely I come across demands for Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 2, Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, or Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines remakes, for example. You know, remakes of unfinished or otherwise outdated games that could benefit from modern makeup.

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