The Subtle Difference between Remakes, Remasters, and Reboots
In recent years, technical terms like reboots, remakes, and remasters have become extremely common in the gaming community. Many games from previous video game consoles have been remade and re-released on the current generation of consoles with gamers often using these three terms interchangeably.
This has done nothing but confuses the general public as most people can't tell a single difference between remasters and remakes. Today, we've decided to debunk all the common myths concerning these technical terms so that people can develop a better understanding of game development.
What is a Remake?
Let's start with the basics; what's a remake? As its name suggests, a remake is a game of yesteryears, remade to be compatible with the current generation of consoles. A perfect example of a video game remade to perfection is the re-release of the cult classic Crash Bandicoot trilogy.
As video gamers all over the world praised Naughty Dog, the developers of the trilogy, for accurately translating the game for newer consoles, very few realized that everything in the game was remade from scratch. This is because the original game was so old that the assets and tools used to create it weren't compatible with current-gen consoles, thus it couldn't be re-mastered.
What is a Remaster?
Speaking of remasters, it's important to understand them before we proceed any further. The aptly named remaster is a game that receives cosmetic alterations to be compatible with current-gen consoles.
A simple way to understand what remasters do is to look at the PS3 classic The Last of Us. Owing to its smooth mechanics and gut-wrenching story, the game was a firm fan favorite as people loved everything about it.
However, as brilliant as The Last of Us was, it was released before the new and improved PS4 hit the shelves which meant people would have to migrate to the next generation of consoles and leave this video gaming masterpiece behind.
As the game was developed recently, its assets and tools could be still repurposed - meaning the developers of The Last of Us didn't have to start from scratch and they could just remaster the game for the PS4.
What is a Reboot?
The last of the bunch includes reboots, which are a rare occurrence, to say the least. Unlike remasters and remakes that tend to happen to particular titles, a reboot tends to happen to an entire franchise.
To understand reboots, think of gaming franchises like the Tomb Raider and the Wolfenstein series. These games were rebooted from scratch which meant game developers wiped the slate clean, cooked up a new story, designed new characters, and essentially gave us an entirely new game.
We hope that this clears up any confusion that you may have had about remakes, remasters, and reboots.