Gears of War and the Remaster Generation


Recently, leaked video game footage of what appears to be a remastered edition of Gears of War has appeared on several websites, according to GameSpot. The Gears of War series is, of course, one of the best-known amongst gamers, and the original game (which hit the shelves back in 2006) is one of the most fondly remembered Xbox 360 titles. It was a third-person action game in which humanity had to fight the alien Locust Horde, and featured one of the greatest video game protagonists in gaming, macho soldier Marcus Fenix.

And while Microsoft has not made any sort of formal announcement yet, the leaked images and videos suggest gamers, for good or ill, will be getting a remastered Gears of War. And such a remaster would join the long list of remastered editions of video games we have seen so far this generation, such as Grand Theft Auto V, Tomb Raider, Halo: Master Chief Edition and others. Even Sony has announced that their classic God of War III game will be remastered for PS4.

But do even classic games like Gears of War deserve a remastered edition? After all, most video game remasters just feature prettier graphics that take advantage of the capabilities of the new generation of consoles and PCs, and gamers might also get all of the game’s previously released DLC, in order to call it the “definitive edition” of the game, or something along those lines… And from a financial point of view, video game publishers like Microsoft must be thinking that remasters are good business. After all, it only takes minimal work to release a new edition of an existing video game for new consoles, and Halo: Master Chief Edition, despite its issues, has sold pretty well so far.

And maybe video game companies are not churning out so many remasters as an easy way to improve their bottom line by taking advantage of gamer nostalgia, but because there is a lack of original ideas in the video game industry, and the fact that this generation of consoles has seen so many remasters is a symptom of decadence…


The first-person mode in GTA V made Rockstar’s game even more immersive…


This is similar to remakes of Hollywood movies that take advantage of movie viewers’ nostalgia. A movie like 2010’s Clash of the Titans was a remake of the 80’s film of the same name, with an almost identical plot and no original ideas of its own. It was obviously dismissed by the critics, but its retelling of the charming, simple story of the original movie and flashy special effects were enough to make Clash of the Titans a hit at the box office.

And in the video game world, sometimes remastered editions offer more than updated visuals. For instance, the remastered edition of GTA V offered a new, first-person perspective mode that made the game worth replaying, and the PC edition even included a new radio station and video editor. Other remasters such as Quantic Dream’s Indigo Prophecy (known as Fahrenheit in the UK) included certain sexual scenes that were removed from the 2005 original game due to censorship…

In the end though, if remasters such as Microsoft rumoured Gears of War allow gamers who missed the game the first time around to enjoy it with updated graphics, then this is definitely a good thing. But it would be great if game creators focused more on original ideas and less on releasing updating versions of their past games, no matter what fond memories gamers have of classic games like Gears of War, before this generation becomes known as “the remaster generation”.