It’s not officially confirmed, but it’s pretty much as good as: Guerrilla, one of Sony’s flagship first-party developers, is remastering its 2017 open world RPG Horizon Zero Dawn for the PS5. It’s important to underline one thing here: we don’t know the full details. While recent releases like Naughty Dog’s $70 remake of The Last of Us will have fans anticipating the worst, this could still be a free upgrade – or, at the very least, a budget priced release. That’s the problem with leaks, ultimately – you only get a portion of the story.
Nevertheless, this rumour has clearly come with some concern from PlayStation fans: just what is the company playing at? You’ve got to understand the context to appreciate where enthusiasts are coming from: Sony has been tight-lipped all year, refusing to reveal much about any of its upcoming first-party projects, and then weeks after releasing a divisive remake, rumours emerge of a remaster for a game that’s half as old. It paints the picture of an increasingly creatively bankrupt publisher, whether that’s true or not.
The remaster, according to reports, will bring Aloy’s original outing in line with sequel Horizon Forbidden West, incorporating accessibility options, improved lighting, animations, and much more. But while all of these enhancements sound agreeable, it should be noted that Horizon Zero Dawn still holds up well – especially on the PS5, where it was recently updated to run at 60 frames-per-second. In fact, we’d argue there’s not a humongous difference between the first game and its sequel, as they both share many of the same gameplay systems and features.
It should be stressed that this will not be occupying all of the Dutch developer’s resources: it’s also collaborating with Firesprite on PSVR2 exclusive Horizon Call of the Mountain, and the rumour adds that it has a multiplayer spin-off in production as well. There’s also a television show coming to Netflix, which perhaps helps demonstrate just how important the series is to Sony right now. Overall, we’d be surprised if this remaster was consuming a lot of the company’s resources.
But the reality is that it will be taking up some resources, and that’s where the frustration sets in. Fans want new and exciting projects from PlayStation Studios, and with the manufacturer being so secretive, it feels like there’s very little of that on the horizon. Ultimately, this all comes back to the company’s communication failings: with so much of its lineup underwraps, it can feel like all Sony has left for us this generation is remakes and remasters of its best games from the past decade.
This moment will pass, and we’re willing to give Guerrilla and the platform holder the benefit of the doubt until it’s able to properly communicate its plans for the unannounced Horizon Zero Dawn remaster. But we understand where the irritation from fans is coming from: Nintendo is notorious for its re-releases, but even the prospect of a remastered version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – a game which notoriously launched about one week later than Horizon Zero Dawn – seems utterly absurd.
Let’s hope Sony is able to get out in front of this rumour and communicate exactly what it’s got planned sooner rather than later.
What are your thoughts on the strong rumours regarding the Horizon Zero Dawn remaster? Is this something you’re interested in, or a total waste of resources? Sound off in the comments section below.