Five video game remakes for fans old and new

Yesterday still a graphic firework, today already snow of yesterday. Hardly anything ages as quickly as the video game. What remains are memories of adventures in the children’s room. Or more? Many a classic console game has already been remade. But can the remakes convince? Five games at a glance:

“Demon’s Souls”: Hellishly difficult demon fun

All beginnings are hard: When the small Japanese development studio From Software released the action role-playing game “Demon’s Souls” exclusively for the PS3 in 2009, no one suspected the impact it would have on the video game industry. It was a hard-hitting, unforgiving spectacle that transported gamers and players into a gritty fantasy middle age, punishing them for even the smallest of mistakes. A new genre was born, which recently reached a temporary peak with “Elden Ring”. Fans crept or ran through a world of a thousand dangers, encountering slimy monsters that could have been penned by H. P. Lovecraft.

Actually, this concept shouldn’t have worked in a video game world, where it was more a matter of just not overwhelming gamers. However, “Demon’s Souls” became the cult hit of an entire console generation. Publisher Sony therefore hired the remake professionals from Bluepoint Games, who had previously brought the PS2 hit “Shadow of the Colossus” to life in an impressive way. Their remake of “Demon’s Souls” appeared just in time for the release of the PS5 and impressively showed what the new console is capable of. Buttery smooth animations, timeless artwork, and an uncompromisingly hard difficulty level make the remake a must-buy for PS5 owners that will make even Elden Ring pros break out in a sweat. Worth playing because: If you can’t get enough of buck-heavy action role-playing games after “Elden Ring,” Demon’s Souls is for you. Bluepoint Software polishes the cult hit to a high gloss.

“Demon’s Souls”, Bluepoint Games, Sony for PS5, USK as of 16

“Mafia: Definitive Edition”: The benchmark for contemporary video game remakes

The action adventure “Mafia” was a gamechanger in 2001. Action games at the time had a reputation for being nothing more than superficial spectacles of violence. But the former Czech development studio Illusion Softworks proved the critics wrong.

Instead of mindless banging, their third-person adventure dealt with themes of guilt and atonement, the seduction of power, and loneliness at the head of a brutal criminal clan. Hero Tommy was a symbol for many of his fellow sufferers, who often strayed from the right path at the beginning of the 20th century between poverty and hope for a better life. The mix of “The Godfather,” wild action and fast-paced car racing in the big city was groundbreaking and stood out from the competition with its staging and multi-layered characters. Tommy works his way up the mafia ladder with simple errands and murder jobs. In the end, he is confronted with his conscience. The individual missions are not original, but they are exciting and especially spectacular in the remake.

The cult hit was remade by the development studio Hangar 13 down to the smallest visual detail and partially re-scored. In 2010, a sequel appeared, set a few years later and telling the story of a war returnee with similar success. In contrast, the unimaginative third part from 2016 got lost in brutal excesses of violence against an atmospheric 60s and 70s backdrop in the seething south of the USA. Worth playing because: Spectacular and profound. “Mafia: Definitive Edition” raises the bar for contemporary video game remakes by quite a bit.

“Mafia: Definitive Edition,” Hangar 13, 2K Games for Windows, PS4, Xbox One, USK 18+.

The cult hit
The cult hit “Mafia” was reworked by the development studio Hangar 13 down to the smallest visual detail and partially re-scored. zVg

“Final Fantasy VII Remake”: most influential classic role-playing game.

Anyone who likes Japanese role-playing games clicks their tongue at the name “Final Fantasy.” No other series is more popular or successful. Since 1987, the quirky mix of fantasy and science fiction has delighted fans. Among the 15 official parts, the seventh takes on a special role. At the end of the 1990s, it was the first part to feature 3D computer animation and elaborate cutscenes to advance the story.

With around 10 million copies, “Final Fantasy VII” was the most successful game in the series at the time and ensured the breakthrough of Japanese role-playing games, or “JRPG” for short, in the West. So much success obliges. Publisher Square Enix, who at the time was saved from ruin by the success of the series, and development studio Division 1 have given the original a proper makeover. New graphics, new dialogue and a new battle system with even more action surprised fans and critics. Even the story was changed in some places. This did not cause enthusiasm among loyal fans everywhere. Despite all the technical sophistication and courage to start over, the remake has its weaknesses: “Final Fantasy VII Remake” only contains the first third of the original game. Two more sequels are supposed to finish the story in the next few years.

As consolation for the uncertain waiting period, SquareEnix released the “Remake” to the “Remake” last year: the “Intergrade” version offers new content and also neatly spruces up the game for the PS5 and Windows computers. Worth playing because: Those who don’t mind the release policy will experience one of the most influential role-playing classics in a new, splendid guise.

“Final Fantasy VII Remake,” Division 1, Square Enix for PS4/5, Windows, USK 16+.

With around 10 million copies,
With around 10 million copies, “Final Fantasy VII” was the most successful game of the series at the time and ensured the breakthrough of Japanese role-playing games in the West. Now there is the game in a new look. zVg

“The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening”: Successful balancing act between old-school look and high-gloss adventure

Simply indestructible: For over three decades, the “Zelda” series has been one of the most successful titles from Japanese console manufacturer Nintendo. One of the most popular spin-offs is “The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening”, which first appeared for the Game Boy in 1993.

As always, hero Link must save his world of Hyrule from evil. In the process, he fights exciting battles from the pixelated bird’s-eye view and solves tricky puzzles. The remake by the development studio Grezzo gives the classic game a colorful comic look. Where back then the monochrome game world was built up of single images, the landscape now scrolls with players. The widescreen format provides a better overview and the music has been re-recorded. Hero Link has also become a lot more agile and can now dish it out in any direction. With the much more accessible quick travel function, you can comfortably go from one place to another. In terms of gameplay, however, nothing has changed. Why should it? It’s a lot of fun to explore dark caves and temples with Link and search every bush for valuable gems. If you want, you can now even build your own vaults via editor to let off steam in. All this makes “Link’s Awakening” an all-round package for the whole family.

Worth playing because: Timelessly good. The remake of “Link’s Awakening” manages the balancing act between nostalgic old-school look and cuddly high-gloss adventure.

“The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening”, Grezzo, Nintendo for Nintendo Switch, USK from 6.

“Link’s Awakening” is an all-around care package for the whole family. zVg

“Age of Empires 3: Definitive Edition”: Complexity with a special appeal

In the early noughties, real-time strategy games for the PC were enormously successful. Away from the e-sports hit “Starcraft”, the “Age of Empires” series developed into one of the most successful representatives of a game genre, with almost 30 million copies sold.

“AoE” required a nimble hand and clever planning like hardly any other game. Fans moved their armies across the world map at the click of a mouse and designed strategies in battle in a matter of seconds, while the economy and research had to flourish at home. After the huge success of “Age of Empires 2”, the development studio at the time, Ensemble, had to follow suit. Little changed in the recipe for success. As in the two predecessors, fans embark on a campaign of conquest that lasts for centuries. Instead of Europe and Asia, the plot this time focuses on the colonization of the Americas. From the Aztecs to Indian tribes to enemy troops in the American War of Liberation, players can try out different strategies in the extensive single-player mode or against other human opponents.

As with the new editions of the two predecessors, the development studio Forgotten Empires has given the classics a higher resolution, prettier details and a simplified user interface. In addition, the “Definitive Editions” also offer all expansions. “Age of Empires 3” goes one step further: if the indigenous population was sometimes portrayed with racist clichés as a sadistic gang of murderers, a few content changes now ensure a diverse and cosmopolitan representation of this culture. Exemplary.

Worth playing because: Thanks to higher resolution and contemporary content update, a classic that has lost little of its complexity and appeal today.

“Age of Empires 3”, Forgotten Empires, Xbox Game Studios for Windows, USK from 12.

After the huge success of
After the huge success of “Age of Empires 2”, the then-development studio Ensemble had to step up. Little changed in the recipe for success. zVg


Follow us and check out our social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook & YouTube ►

● on Twitter ►
● Facebook ►
● Youtube ►

Leave a comment