I’ve just pre-ordered Skyrim Remastered on the PS4 (yes I’m immediately aware of the controversy surrounding Sony’s refusal to incorporate mods into their version and I don’t care…..much). It’s been a number of years since I last explored the vaguely racist continent of Skyrim and though I own the PS3 version, I felt like this was an opportune moment to revisit the verdant pastures, snow peaked mountains and subterranean musk of Skyrim. With my knee suitably healed from an arrow wound sustained from a previous adventure and the allure of improved environmental visuals and additional features I missed from its initial release, the compulsion to once again establish myself as an aggressive, woodcutting, book collecting pyromaniac, betrothed to some tavern wench with ample *cough* “dragon tamers” and flays his own adopted children was too much to resist. I am once again relishing the challenge of the adventure. That is until it gets too challenging and I finally decide to reduce the difficulty in tiny increments at regular intervals when the challenge will be easier than surviving a Marvel movie. For me in my twilight years of gaming buying a remastered game with proven credentials is a far safer purchase than new unproven material. The limitations related to my depleted resources belies my eagerness to engage with every and all original content released, but sadly I’m constrained by the bonds of parental responsibility. I have to be certain that what I’m buying is not only good but great. There are no guarantees, no quality control and I cannot afford to squander what little finances I have on an insufficient game. The wounds of games riding high on the crest of expectation yet failing to capitalise on it, conferring only brazen complacency are all too frequent. Rather ironically applying a degree of cynicism is an invaluable asset in the ever damaging fight against consumerism.
The trend of recyclable content, regurgitated for the purpose of expanding and consolidating residuals on an already established product with little effort is something I’ve been eagerly critical of in the past. And Skyrim adheres to that formula. But like I’ve said money is the priority and the certainty of liking a game increases exponentially if you’ve played it before. So it is easy to understand why so many popular titles have been “remastered” and also why they sell so well. Most new games require a great deal of risk. Convincing potential candidates to part with their hard earned money necessitates that the buyer is fully complicit in the generated marketing. Whether a game is good or not is of secondary consideration for the publisher and probably for the developer too. Beyond Good And Evil was a great game, that financially flopped. As was Okami, a game of considerable originality, sadly ignored. So we as consumers have to participate in this theatrical parlance with significant caution, yet a willing desire that the product might actually be good. I’ve made questionable purchases purely on a whim and liberated by uninhibited ambition. But with Skyrim, despite the repetition of playing a game I’ve already completed (not that you can ever really finish a game of this scale) I know it will be as good as I remember. Having said, that opinions expressed here are subject to drastic revision.
Do you think there are too many remastered titles released? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.