No matter how you feel about remakes and remasters, video games are now long enough in the tooth for the approach to become more and more common. Just like television and film, fans are eager to experience their favorite gems again, especially if they are brought up to date with modern graphics, controls, and quality of life adjustments.
2024 will be no different. There’s a slate of remakes and remasters on the horizon. Here are five that we are looking forward to most!
1. Alone in the Dark (Remake)
The Original: Alone in the Dark holds a significant place in video game history as one of the pioneers of the survival horror genre. Developed by Infogrames and released in 1992, it marked a departure from traditional adventure games by introducing a horror-themed narrative.
Set in the haunted Derceto mansion, players took on the role of either Edward Carnby or Emily Hartwood, investigating the mysterious death of Jeremy Hartwood. What made it groundbreaking was its use of 3D polygonal graphics, a novel concept at the time, and its fixed camera angles, creating an immersive and eerie atmosphere.
With a focus on exploration, puzzle-solving, and encounters with supernatural entities, Alone in the Dark laid the foundation for future survival horror games, influencing iconic series like Resident Evil and Silent Hill. Despite its crude graphics by contemporary standards, its innovative gameplay and horror elements make it a seminal title that left an indelible mark on the evolution of video games.
The Remake: Roughly 32 years after the original, a remake of Alone in the Dark has been announced and is anticipated for release in 2024. The remake will have the same name and is expected to be released for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S.
“Return to Derceto Manor in this reimagination of Alone in the Dark, a love letter to the ’90s cult classic horror game,” begins the official pitch of the remake.
The remake will be set in the 1920s South. Emily Hartwood’s uncle has gone missing, and she’ll join private investigator Edward Carnby as they search Derceto Manor to find him and uncover its secrets. As before, the adventure is filled with strange residents, nightmarish realms, dangerous monsters, and a plot of rising evil.
2. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
The Original: Final Fantasy VII was one of Square’s biggest hits for the original PlayStation console. Similar to Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64, FFVII marked a huge leap for the series as it transitioned to a more 3D experience. The game featured cinematic full-motion video cutscenes that were hefty enough to force the game to be spread out across three CD-ROMs.
In the game, you play as Cloud Strife, a former mercenary and soldier who teams up with an eco-terrorist group in the bustling city of Midgard to take down reactors that are draining life from the planet. Ultimately, Cloud and his team end up pursuing a super soldier named Sephiroth, leaving Midgard and adventuring around the world. There is action, drama, romance, and more as the Final Fantasy series continued to mature and appeal to the audience that grew up with it.
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The Rebirth: Slated for release on February 29, 2024, the PS5-exclusive Final Fantasy VII Rebirth continues the story where Final Fantasy VII Remake left off. However, they say that it is a standalone game and does not require playing the previous game to enjoy. The entire FFVII remake project is planned to span three games.
Compared to Remake, Rebirth should have a more open-world approach since it takes place after the events in the city of Midgard. Game director Naoki Hamaguchi claims that there will be much more freedom in Rebirth compared to the mostly linear storytelling in Remake.
We’re also keeping our eyes on Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion, which is a remake of the PSP era game which acts as a prequel to the main trilogy. Square plans to create some parity between these projects by using the same voice actors and drastically upgrading the visuals.
3. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (Remake)
The Original: Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door was developed by Intelligent Systems and released by Nintendo for the GameCube in 2004. It stands as a hallmark in the RPG genre. Building on the success of the original Paper Mario, this installment introduced a unique blend of engaging turn-based combat, platforming elements, and a charming paper-crafted visual style. The game follows Mario’s quest to rescue Princess Peach and unravel the mysteries behind a magical map.
With its innovative use of a paper-themed world, clever puzzles, and a compelling narrative filled with humor and heart, The Thousand-Year Door gained widespread acclaim for its creativity and originality. It solidified Paper Mario as a distinct and beloved subseries within the larger Mario franchise, influencing subsequent RPGs and demonstrating Nintendo’s commitment to reinventing familiar characters and genres in novel and entertaining ways.
The Remake: The remake of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the revered RPG that first came out for the GameCube, is coming in 2024 to Nintendo Switch! While the original game’s paper and cardboard art design has held up remarkably well, new graphical enhancements have made the game look even better. It’s as if the cardboard cutouts have come to life, thanks to Nintendo’s Switch hardware. Best of all, as the official trailer shows, the remake has been astoundingly faithful to the narrative. Iconic moments from the original game have been preserved.
4. Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster
The Original: Star Wars: Dark Forces was developed by LucasArts and released in 1995. It holds a pivotal place in the history of Star Wars gaming. Breaking away from the traditional space combat games, Dark Forces presented a first-person shooter experience set in the Star Wars universe.
Players assumed the role of Kyle Katarn, a mercenary working for the Rebel Alliance, tasked with stealing the Death Star plans. This innovative departure from the typical Star Wars game formula earned Dark Forces acclaim for its atmospheric-level design, compelling narrative, and engaging blaster battles. It introduced memorable weapons, including the iconic Bryar Pistol, and played a crucial role in shaping the future of Star Wars gaming, laying the groundwork for subsequent first-person shooter titles in the franchise, such as the beloved Jedi Knight series.
Dark Forces showcased the potential of Star Wars storytelling within the immersive medium of video games, expanding the galaxy far, far away for a new generation of interactive experiences.
The Remaster: One of the most hotly anticipated games of 2024 for fans of classic ’90s shooters is Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster. We hope the remaster will worth the wait, as the new version will feature up to 4K resolution and 120 frames per second (except on the Switch version, of course).
The developers say the remaster brings “upgraded gameplay,” enhanced lighting and rendering, high-resolution textures, and support for console gamepads, each with platform-specific features. There is now an official release date of February 28, 2024. Versions will be released for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, and Nintendo Switch.
5. Silent Hill 2 Remake
The Original: Silent Hill 2 was developed by Konami and released in 2001. It stands as a pinnacle in the survival horror genre, renowned for its psychological depth and atmospheric terror. Directed by the legendary Hideo Kojima, the game followed James Sunderland as he ventured into the eerie town of Silent Hill after receiving a letter from his deceased wife.
What set Silent Hill 2 apart was its mature and intricate narrative, delving into themes of guilt, grief, and existential horror. The fog-covered, nightmarish town became a character in itself, its disturbing manifestations reflecting the emotional turmoil of the protagonist. The haunting soundtrack by Akira Yamaoka and the iconic Pyramid Head antagonist added to the game’s psychological horror.
Silent Hill 2 remains a landmark title, influencing the horror genre and storytelling in video games, with its emphasis on psychological horror and its emotional narrative resonating with players long after they put down the controller.
The Remake: The producer of the remake of Silent Hill 2 wants fans to know that the reboot is more than a rumor. The news of the remake was announced at the end of 2022 and fans are still waiting. Producer Hajime Okamoto is asking fans to “wait a little longer” for info on the Silent Hill 2 Remake.
Okamoto dropped hints that fans will get an update in 2024. There have also not yet been any specific release dates given for any of the other Silent Hill games currently in development. But many expect there will be a release of something in the series in 2024.