Lately there has been a lot of talk, both good and bad, about this latest trend of next-gen remasters of previous generation games, or even games that are two generations old. I’m not here to debate the finer points of whether this is a good or bad practice, whether it’s worth consumer dollars and if it’s really worth it based on who the target markets are. Personally, I don’t really mind the idea of remastered titles at all. It’s really no different than releasing an previously SD DVD as an HD blu-ray. If it’s for a title that I’m not interested in, then no one is forcing me to buy-in or double-dip. However, if it’s a title that I’m into.. well, then I’m all for it!
That brings me to the subject of this very article. Here are my top five reasons that The Elder Scrolls V: SKYRIM deserves a next-gen remaster!
The PC version of SKYRIM on ultra (or even high) settings looked absolutely breathtaking. Lighting effects, high-resolution textures, a super-far draw distance.. and all at a smooth frame rate. I would often switch between my PS3 version and the PC version of Skyrim and be blown away at the differences in visuals each time. With the much more powerful processors running in the PS4 and XB1, as well as the massively increased RAM, Skyrim on next-gen consoles could make great use of these advances in console hardware to present a game world much closer-to-the-PC version.
Oh the dreaded frame rate. I know that this wasn’t as much of an issue on 360, but on PS3 it could get unbearable. Luckily, I hadn’t experienced it to the extent that some gamers had, but I’d seen their woes first hand and it was just awful. Unpredictable slowdown and frame rate lag would often render the game unplayable in certain areas or after a certain amount of time was sunk into a single gameplay session. Obviously the boosted power of the PS4 and XB1 would most likely completely eradicate these issues.
Along with the dreaded frame rate issue was also the dreaded game crash. Either the game would just lag so much that it would stop responding and crash, or sometimes you would just be met with never ending loading or saving processes that forced you to physically power off your console. It was pretty infuriating, and a lot of this had to do with how massive the savefiles for Skyrim would get. I have a savefile on my PS3 version of Skyrim that is about 15mb in size.. Save files on PS4 start at about 11mb by default, even for the most simplest of games. Sure, the console has it’s own issues with errors and random crashes, but I’m of the belief that the inherent problems with Skyrims savefile size and the PS3’s “memory leak” issue would be solved with a next-gen remaster.
Face it – Skyrim is still one of the most popular games on YouTube today. “Skyrim Let’s Play” brings up over 1 million search results. The introduction of social and gameplay recording features on both the PS4 and XB1 would allow a whole other level of user generated media related to this classic game. Quest log videos, roleplaying campaigns and other various user generated media would add to the community surrounding the Elder Scrolls franchise and would ensure it’s ease of accessibility for anyone who was interested.
GAMERS DESERVE A DEFINITIVE CONSOLE EDITION
Let’s be honest. Skyrim broke all kinds of records and made an astronomical amount of money for Bethesda. Even though fans would obviously be paying for a remastered version, I still think that they deserve the chance to do so and that the effort should be made. For a lot of players who had a bad experience with the PS3 version of the game it would be a chance (a chance that they deserve) to enjoy a gameplay experience closer to the PC version of Skyrim. I think this would go a long way to helping gamers let go of some of the resentment that they still hold toward Bethesda got for not releasing a more stable game on the Sony console.
Currently, Bethesda plans to release their Elder Scrolls Online MMO on PS4/XB1 in 2015. The multi-player experience received very little praise when it debuted as a buggy mess on PC earlier in 2014. For many, this is not the next-gen Elder Scrolls experience that fans of the franchise were looking for which is why I think a Skyrim remaster would at least help to compliment the series and add to the library of great games that next-gen console owners have to choose from.