Free Remaster Craze

Lately I have been getting free remastered games on Steam. Now trust me, I think that this is a slick marketing ploy for verified owners of an original game to garner a sort of loyalty towards a particular publisher or developer. However the results are of a mixed bag. A few years ago Metro 2033 by 4A Games came out with a Redux version of the base game and expansion pack, however it was not for free (this is not the way to do it). As a result I took a pass on the blatant cash grab as the original game looks very good on my now run of the mill gaming rig.

Fast forward to current day and the fun starts off with Titan Quest and its expansion pack. This was a decent cooperative hack and slash that was released back in 2007 by Iron Lore Entertainment, and an enhanced Anniversary Edition was released last month for $19.99. Steam owners of the original game (like me) received it as a free download in our library. So I installed it and quite frankly was aghast at how terrible the game is now. Perhaps my gaming tastes have changed over the years, but I don’t remember that game being so…ugly.

Today I notice I have two new free games in my library: Bioshock, and Bioshock 2. The original Bioshock game is not Windows 7 or 10 friendly, and no amount of fiddling with the Windows Compatibility Wizard would work. I could only play that game on my Windows XP machine, and never did finish it. Bioshock 2 did play OK on W7, and although I have not tried it on W10 I am surprised there is a remastered release (Bioshock Infinite is a modern release that works well on W7&10). While tempted to install the two freebies, I am startled to see the horrific reviews that both remastered games are receiving on Steam.

It seems as if some developers are going redux for a cash grab: Perhaps it does not cost that much money to HD some texture packs (if they were dumbed down to begin with) and alter some code to make an application executable run in a modern OS. Perhaps I do not know what the hell I am talking about and these developers have actually expended some capital to make these things happen. Either way some of these titles are marquee names in gaming, and to see them resurrect as a zombie instead of a phoenix is quite alarming.

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