It’s time. Let’s do this.
Before we go through the entries, a small note of thanks to everyone for their consideration last week. These competitions are always super popular and take some time to work through, and that’s before real life intervenes.
But once that was out of the way, wow were some of the entries excellent. I can’t list the literal hundreds of creative ideas you all put forward. But as is customary, we will go through some of the runners up so you can all appreciate the effort everyone put in — and so you know the benchmark for the next giveaway!
Let’s begin by winding back in time: about four decades, to be precise.
Give Dune the treatment it deserves
Dune. As envisioned by Alejandro Jodorowsky, in consultation with H. R. Geiger (for menu art only), and David Lynch (for credit roll only) with a musical score composed by Giorgio Moroder & Yoko Kanno with the penultimate sound bite so masterfully generated as to perfectly convey the ennui of the protagonist destroying all Spice production on Arrakis in a gritty remake as visually represented by a ball (water) removing tiles (spice) after launching from a paddle (representing a sandworm).
A Breakout clone to surpass all. Will be cross platform to accommodate mobile, desktop, console and tabletop users. – Mark
This is so out of left field I’d actually love to see it happen. The whole Breakout element and the way it’s described got me thinking: what if Tetris Effect, but it was more of a Lynchian acid trip instead of the soothing experience that Tetris provides? Oh boy.
Remaking a true arcade classic: Defender
It’s 1981 (shut up, I’m old), and the best arcade game ever is here: Defender. It’s fast, it’s skill based, it has stupid little aliens that keep abducting my little people, and it’s never really been done properly since the original. But now is the time. The stars are aligned. We finally have the computing power to fulfil the prophecy and do Defender justice.
Fancy new graphics and a modern reinterpretation of the game will make this the latest addictive addition to your game backlog. – Leon
An absolute, bonafide classic. The amount of ways you could reimagine Defender too … that’d make for a great little series, I think.
Let’s bring Syndicate back
A moody synthesizer accompanies a futuristic city as four figures in trenchcoats lumber through its streets and parks. There is no breakneck speed to their actions, consideration and planning are their weapons, along with a small army’s worth of arsenal that each can carry, and a device to persuade civilians to aid them.
This is Syndicate.
An oppressive rhythm marks the tension of approaching enemies, and the player surveys the surroundings from above until there’s an exchange of gunfire. The superior tactical position of the four figures sees them emerge triumphant, wounded but ready for more.
Syndicate is back. – Richard
I’d be surprised if EA hasn’t had a million iterations of this pitch already, to be honest. If you can get it running today, Syndicate still slaps.
Some poetic Mario
My memories of Mario I will always adore,
Playing my Nintendo for hours on the floor!
With such excitement and precision,
On just a small 20 inch television!
Today technology has altered how we game,
But the fun for all ages does still remain!
By updating Mario with new graphics, enemies & lands!
Ensures this game for future generations does withstand! – Kate
Hey, maybe by the time the Switch 3 comes out we will actually get some more Mario remakes. Right?
And speaking of more Mario remakes …
How about some outback Mario?
Super Mario Kart’s so 1992,
Slow old carts just won’t do.
I’d remake it with 4wd’s, racing out bush,
Getting bogged, needing a winch or a push.
The more points you earn you upgrade your wheels,
You can swap, steal or make some deals.
Landcruiser, Patrol or a hummer,
Ending up with a Vitara would be a bummer.
The winner’s not only the fastest at racing,
It’s also who’s better at overcoming obstacles they’re facing!
Named Super Mario Aussie Bush Bashing,
Mario in an Akubra would be quite dashing! – Melanie
It might be, but counterpoint: the desert Mario Kart levels are the absolute worst. Love the rhyme though!
Instead of Skyrim edition #57, how about New Vegas?
Fallout: New Vegas would be an amazing choice to remaster. Firstly, New Vegas is one of the highest acclaimed RPGs of all time, so simply remastering it for access on PlayStation 5 would print money by itself. However, if I were in control I’d remaster New Vegas by improving the graphics, and restoring some of the lost content, like playing after the ending of the game. New Vegas had a multitude of lost content that would be simple to include. Additionally, I’d add console mod support, similar to how it was included in Fallout 4, and Skyrim Special Edition. – Jacob
Hear hear. More New Vegas, please.
Say it again for those in the back: bring back KOTOR
The Knights of the Old Republic had me hooked from the start to the end of the second game. I’d come from playing Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale into this amazing semi-turn based Star Wars game with some of the best writing of any RPG and amazing characters ever written (HK47, I’m looking at you buddy). Doesn’t have to be a remake, just a remaster with prettier graphics and all the dry humour from my favourite assassin droid. – Alexander
I would remake Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic I and II.
Larger worlds (more open worlds; Skyrim-sized worlds, vibrant!); space battles (proper space battles!) and the ability to fly from planet to space and then Hyperspace, and vice versa.
We would delve deeper into the lore and lives of the Jedi and Republic in the first game, and the Sith in the second (seems appropriate).
KotOR I would have the storyline of Revan and Malak BEFORE the Jedi Civil War.
KotOR II would begin in the Mandalorian Wars before edging into the story of the Jedi Exile. – Josh
Bonafide hit, either of those options.
The meta remaster
I actually really enjoyed this one, and very nearly seriously considered it as a winner.
A game would be remastered or remade through collection of customer reviews of those games and giving free trials to customers so they have an experience of that game. If that game is successful, then that game can be remade based on the reviews then again offered to customers for more improvements. When these games are remastered because the customers loved them, those fans will then notice any changes to the original game which they will embrace as an improvement to the original game. – Casia
It reminds me of that time I used GPT-3 to rewrite Kotaku comments. I really should fire that up again.
Lode Runner Redux
Lode Runner (1983) — one of the first games I have ever played. My dad had this on his Windows 93. I would remake this game in a Metroidvania-esque style (Ori and the Blind Forest/Will of the Wisps, Hollow Knight) with a killer narrative whilst retaining the core gameplay elements of the original game. Imagine a dystopian future where gold (maybe physical bitcoins) was the only source of currency for purchasing items from the black market, and the sole protagonist, is the only remaining human that can save humanity from the Taken (an unknown entity that converts people into a dementor like creature that feeds off normal people). – Karthik
Microsoft Flight Simulator x Battle Royale
I would love to remake an FPS battle royale, something like PUBG but using next gen tech similar to Microsoft Flight Simulator. Imagine playing a BR in a randomly selected (or user voted) area from around the world, using satellite imagery in combination with street view data to generate battle grounds. One game you could be playing in some rural Scandinavian town crossing fjords and climbing mountains – the game after – you’re enjoying a chicken dinner after blasting noobz from the roof of your childhood home and marvelling at your superior map knowledge derived from a life time of wandering those streets IRL. – Sam
I’ve thought about this a lot. Maybe not for a battle royale per se, but something like Squad or ArmA definitely.
This banger absolutely deserves a remake
It would have to be Incubation (Time is Running Out), a fantastic turn based strategy game from the 90s. Improved graphics, better controls in a modern strategy approach and best of all a chance to bring back it’s classic techno style soundtrack.
Immersive, atmospheric humans vs aliens styling, using modern graphics to up the tension. I see it as something like John Wick: Hex. – Chai
Christ yes. Incubation was a fantastic little tactics game; you can actually grab it for $3.79 as part of a Battle Isle bundle on GOG right now.
Ll-l-ll-ook at you … hacker
“And then the taffer gets mauled by the bear!”
“Hoho, tell it again!”
Alcohol, the thief’s friend. Don’t pay your guards well…
*A scene of an urchin being paid by Garrett to leave wine outside the watchtower*
… and they’re not going to take the job seriously. Which is perfect for …
*A stabbing sound. Garrett looks down, a tentacle has pierced his belly, blood spilling*
“Ll-l-ll-ook at you hacker… pathetic.”
*The hacker rips the VR headset from their head, gasping as they fall to the ground. The mutant drags them along the space station floor.*
“Let’s play a real game…” – Craig
Loved Craig’s evocative take on System Shock 2 (or just System Shock) in VR here.
One for Phil Spencer: do something with Viva Pinata, cheers
It has to be the underappreciated Viva Pinata! The franchise’s core gameplay loop shall remain intact, though it’s important the player is no longer just a floating cursor. We need a customisable pinata farmer of our own (for the cosmetic microtransactions, of course). We’ll steal Forza Horizon 4’s seasonal weather system to create an ever-changing Pinata Island, meaning certain pinata will only appear in particular seasons (bringing players back each week). Themed in-game events bringing new pinata from different regions would also be sweet (pun intended). All of this on console, PC and via the cloud? Game of the year! – Shane
That’s actually a super great addition, incorporating modern weather systems from live service games into something like Viva Pinata. I know we already have very fixed seasons in games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Stardew Valley now. But something more dynamic — especially since it’s all Microsoft IP and tech end-to-end anyway — would be outstanding.
And hey, while it’s not Viva Pinata, the Forza team are working on a Fable reboot — this might fit perfectly in that.
But now it’s time for the winner.
The person who has won our LG C1 OLED giveaway.
Take it away, Sarah.
Dear Tim Sweeney: please do this already
Donning my Oculus; the world goes dark.
A HUD fades in; cogs whir and spark.
The fight gates open, Dolby Atmos soars;
My clawed glove raised, the crowd roars.
I clench a fist in anticipation
Of steel on steel; sparks, devastation.
Now One Must Fall; the fight is on
I face my foe, the robot Thorn.
I duck, step back; and extend my palm
And my shadow form inflicts the harm.
Strike for strike, this ultra high-def dance
Until my rival missteps and I seize my chance
To scrap this Thorn, this weaker construction
I duck, dive and punch: “Destruction!” – Sarah
Damn right One Must Fall needs a remake. I wouldn’t have the courage to play it in VR — imagine getting tossed around by Flail, holy shit. But Tim Sweeney has got hundreds of millions to throw at the Epic Games Store, setting aside a few for a OMF 2097 remake would be an absolute triumph.
It’d do damn well on consoles with some updated networking code and rebalancing, too. But what I really loved about this entry most of all: it was super tight but choc-full of references that evoke not just the feeling of playing OMF, but also some of the lore within the game. The inclusions are smart, it’s neatly written, and the Destruction throwback is a perfect touch. Well done, Sarah.
Thank you as always to everyone who entered. To the winner: we’ll be in touch soon over email with the next steps.
Cheers to more remakes! And Tim, mate, really, make something happen.