In the early hours of Monday morning, a leak surfaced on the internet that had many a PlayStation fan up in arms. The report, which was quickly backed up by other reliable sources, said that Sony has a remake or remaster of Horizon Zero Dawn in the works. Obviously remakes and remasters are nothing new at this point (far from it!), but much of the outrage stemmed from the fact that Zero Dawn is only five years old.
It originally released for the PS4 in 2017, and much more recently, it was updated to run at a silky 60 frames-per-second on PS5. The open world title still looks great. Not as good as its cross-gen sequel, Horizon Forbidden West, but still pretty darn good. It's certainly not a game that you'd look at and suggest that it needs a remaster.
But with The Last of Us: Part I already stirring the controversy pot — a PS5 remake of a game that had already received a remaster on PS4 — this Horizon thing has become a hot topic in the world of PlayStation. The insinuation, for many fans, is that Sony is wasting resources on re-releasing games that are already just fine.
To get a better idea of the general perspective on the situation, we attached a poll to our We Need to Discuss This Horizon Zero Dawn PS5 Remaster talking point feature — and the results weren't especially positive. The question: Are you interested in a Horizon Zero Dawn remaster? Over 1900 votes were cast, and the vast majority (76 per cent of users) went with 'No, this is a waste of resources'.
Perhaps even more worrying, only 6 per cent of users said they were interested. The remaining 18 per cent went down the middle, saying they'd need to know more before deciding.
And look, we do need to know more. If this supposed remaster ends up being a free upgrade, then would the reaction be anywhere near as negative? But then based on Sony's approach to remasters over the last couple of years, we can't blame people for being cynical. The Last of Us: Part I, after all, sells at full retail price, with no upgrade path whatsoever. Players also had to pay an upgrade fee for the PS5 versions of Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut, and Death Stranding: Director's Cut.
In contrast, other publishers are offering free upgrades to PS5 versions of PS4 games all the time. Upcoming examples include The Witcher 3 and Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot — both of which will feature enhanced visuals. Both games can also be picked up for pennies on PS4, while Sony's exclusive titles tend to stay close to full price for as long as possible these days (while also costing $70 at launch).
So yeah, we totally understand the backlash. It'll be very, very interesting to see what the reaction is like if and when Sony makes an official announcement.