Name one game from this generation that can really be defined as a true next-generation game. That means that it hasn’t seen a release on any of the last generation of consoles and has been developed solely with the PS4 or Xbox One in mind. There aren’t many are there?
As such, regardless of the relatively early going, the current generation of consoles still haven’t had a game that can really stand up as one of its own. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a genre-defining game either, just something that is categorically not possible on the previous generation of consoles. The point is, there seems to be a startling lack of originality in the mainstream gaming scene these days. Ideas have become stagnant and whenever a Triple-A title is released, nine times out of ten it’s going to be a sequel. At the rate we are going we’re going to be playing Call of Duty for all eternity.
As well as the constant sequels, developers have also found another way to not come up with new ideas – the remake. There have been many brilliant remakes in gaming’s past. One need only look at the brilliance of the Resident Evil 1 remake on the Gamecube to see that. However, in recent years there seems to be a tendency to take a game that’s a couple of years old and “remaster” it. Whether that be making the graphics high definition or offering some new features and a bit of spit and polish depends on the game, but the trend seems to be to just make what is old new again, rather than just making something genuinely new.
Of course, remakes aren’t always a bad thing, as we mentioned previously. After all, the furore surrounding the recent announcement that Final Fantasy VII was finally getting a remake has been enormous. Even Capcom have gotten in on the action by announcing that they will be remaking Resident Evil 2 for modern audiences.
On the flipside, Square have also announced that they’ll be bringing Final Fantasy XII out again as well. Therein lies the difference between a good remake and the sort of cash grabs that we could really do without. FFVII and Resi 2 are classics that are adored by gamers of a certain age but may not have been experienced by those who started gaming in the last decade or so. They are prime candidates for the remake treatment and an awful lot will be added to both by virtue of being on a newer console.
Final Fantasy XII, on the other hand, was a decent game that didn’t really set the world alight and is still perfectly playable on the PS2. Not many people are really dying to play it in HD and few would care of the game never saw the light of day.
There’s a fine line between giving fans a reinvented product and giving them a rehash. With such a dearth of quality original games on the current generation consoles, it would be nice if developers only remade games that truly need the treatment and instead focused their efforts on bringing us something new to enjoy.
So the answer is a simple and resounding YES! With any luck, we will finally start seeing something original come onto the current generation of consoles, with a few less remakes and remixes in the bargain.
Lee Price is a freelance writer and general miscreant who enjoys video games, movies and making dreary situations better by adding copious amounts of alcohol. Follow him on Twitter @Mr_Lee2112 to read his random musings.