We all look back on the games that defined our childhood with rose-tinted glasses, but the truth is most of the games we grew up with aged pretty horribly. I certainly don’t remember GoldenEye looking so blurry when I played it in the 4th grade, or the original Silent Hill sporting some “charmingly retro visuals”.
Sometimes we just want to re-experience the games of our youth the way we remember them, and not the way they actually are. As the recent Resident Evil and Final Fantasy VII remakes have proven, nostalgia sells big.
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Right, so here comes a list of the most anticipated remakes of video game classics you can expect to release in 2021.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
The original Sands of Time was revolutionary for its time, but the 3D platformer hasn’t aged well in the 17-odd years since its release. Its gameplay revolved around a single mechanic: the ability to rewind time. Players could go back several seconds in time, allowing them to correct a mistimed jump or poorly handled fight. By design, the game has a high tolerance for player error, and this gives the developers freedom to create some truly memorable stages with extra tough obstacles, traps, and chasms.
We haven’t heard much from the series since 2018’s forgettable Forgotten Sands, but considering how big the franchise was in its day, we’re happy to see it get some more love and attention. Expect improved visuals with enhanced sounds and animations as well as modernized controls on top of that classic puzzle-solving gameplay we all have come to love.
The original Fable was a solid RPG project helmed by a man with a penchant for overpromising and underdelivering. Over numerous interviews, creator and lead designer Peter Molyneux would describe features like the ability to have children, a multiplayer mode, dog companions, and a persistent, evolving world where a player could plant an acorn and watch it grow into a tree.
We didn’t get any of those. What we did get was a very fun, if simple, medieval fantasy adventure that would help introduce a new generation of gamers to the wide world of action RPGs.
There isn’t much information yet about the latest Fable title, but we do know it’s a full reboot of the series. Hopefully, Microsoft will finally be able to make it into the game that we’ve been waiting for more than 15 years for.
Nier was the action RPG that introduced the world to the eccentric genius, Yoko Taro. This spinoff of the Drakengard series (remember that?) is the prequel to the acclaimed Nier: Automata, making it a must-play for fans of that title.
Most people don’t know that there were actually two versions of this game: Replicant and Gestalt. Replicant was the original and starred a teenage protagonist, while Gestalt was the version released outside of Japan as simply Nier and featured a middle-aged hero. This new release looks like it will be a remake of the Replicant, meaning international audiences will finally get to experience the same version as Japan.
Nier flew under the radar at the time of its release, with most gamers simply unaware of the peculiar RPG. With the success of Automata, it’s no surprise there’s been a renewed interest in the prequel with a whole new generation of gamers curious about the events leading up to Automata.
The Nier remake will be coming to major platforms on April 23, 2021.
System Shock Remake
This modern remake of the classic 1994 shooter has had to deal with a few stumbling blocks in the course of its development. After multiple changes in the overall design and direction of the game – from a faithful recreation to a modern interpretation then circling back to its original vision – we’re finally getting the remake that Night Dive Studios announced way back in 2017.
Even if you’ve never played the original, you should be excited if you’re a fan of System Shock’s spiritual successor Bioshock. System Shock has the same creepy, tense atmosphere and was the first game to popularize the epistolary narrative via notes and diaries scattered throughout the levels.