Are We Overdoing it with Horror Game Remakes?

Ella Anderson

2023 will see a lot of remakes of some of the most popular horror games such as Dead Space, Resident Evil 4, and Silent Hill 2. But are these “polished-up” games really worth getting excited over anymore?

Horror is a genre of video games with a lot of potential. Done badly, it can come across as cheap and awkward, yet done well, can provide a truly terrifying and immersive experience, that not even horror films can parallel. Game franchises, such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill, have been wildly successful and have produced some of the genre’s best games.

But recently, gaming fans have been voicing frustrations about the recent increase in remakes. Many complain that new games from large “Triple A” titles have been few and far between in recent times.

There are many reasons why games are given remakes. Often technology and graphics have advanced since the original release. The game, especially horror games, can often be improved greatly if remade to fit modern standards. But remakes are also seen as a cheap and safe way to make money as they take far fewer resources to produce and also guarantee sales to some degree.

An example of a horror remake that lives up to this negative reputation is the Silent Hill HD collection. The remake is well known for its terrible quality. The game was virtually unplayable from its inconsistent graphics and passionless voice acting, to its choice of a “light mist” over the game’s signature thick fog. It was blatantly clear that there was little consideration from Konami for the original game and the remakes were produced as an easy way to squeeze more money out of the Silent Hill franchise.

On the other hand, remakes, if done well, are an excellent way to retell a horror story for a modern audience. An example of such is the Resident Evil 2 remake. The remake changed the fixed camera angle to a third-person shooter style. But perhaps the best thing about it- was that the game was unafraid to rework many of the original’s most iconic moments. The remake maintained its terrifying story but still provided a nostalgic experience for older players. Sean Lynch, a fan of the Resident Evil franchise, says he’d like to see more of these remakes that are “remade so much it is a new game.”

Remakes are still becoming more and more frequent in the gaming industry. Yet the dominant opinion among fans is that they’d prefer new and fresh content. Many of the remade games did not require a remake and likely would’ve been better off if it was just ported to run on newer consoles. If a remake is called for, then fans would prefer more creative changes to provide a new experience of the game.

Luckily, the Dead Space remake was released in January with mostly good reviews, and looking at Resident Evil’s reputation, most believe their remake will be successful. However, fans remain cautious about the Silent Hill 2 remake.

Ella Anderson