Sunday, 29 December 2019

MediEvil ★★★☆☆

MediEvil is the latest Sony PlayStation game to be completely remade for the current generation console. It follows on from the amazing (and pretty hard to beat) remakes of both ‘Spyro’ and ‘Crash Bandicoot’, giving us ‘Spyro Reignited Trilogy’ and ‘Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy’ respectively.
The first thing that you’ll notice is that the graphics have been updated to create a beautiful effect, and they really look incredible when you compare them with the original. The style suits the game perfectly and it runs very well – I had no glitches or problems with framerate throughout my entire playthrough (a rarity nowadays).

During the game you play as Sir Daniel Fortesque who has been brought back to the land of the living to rid Gallowmere from the evil Zarok and his horde of equally evil minions.  The story really isn't anything to shout about but is merely a backdrop for what you will be doing in the game. The actual gameplay involves going through various levels in Gallowmere, selectable from a world map, and within these, you will be using a wide range of close combat and ranged combat weaponry to kill every demon in your way. And if you have no weapons? Well, just use your arm by tearing it off and swinging it around!

The main issue I have with this game, and all remakes of this kind really, is that by trying to replicate the initial game, not much room is left for any new innovations. If you have played the PS1 version, for instance, the camera angles can be awful and this is still very much present in the remake. There is a new option in this one, a “behind the shoulder” angle, but that original frustration over not being able to see what you want to look at is still very much there.

This remake format also leads to a lack of new content, meaning once nostalgia has worn off you’re pretty much left playing a game you’ve already completed (which is fine, but it’s nice to have a few surprises in there as well). A big part of me hopes that one day one of the remakes that we get will have more new levels and content added to make it even more worthwhile of purchase for long term fans.

Maybe the problem isn’t the game or format though – perhaps the real issue is how us, the players, react to such games. I think a lot of us wear rose-tinted glasses when it comes to the games we loved so much from our childhoods and teenage years, meaning that perhaps we are inadvertently setting the bar too high when it comes to remakes. Nostalgia can only fuel a game for so long, and with a game such as ‘MediEvil’ that has quite basic combat and gameplay, it may never feel quite as wonderful as the first time we played it – even with the graphics upgrade.

If you played the initial release decades ago and want to rekindle some of the passion you had for the game then I would certainly recommend playing MediEvil once more. If you do buy the game just don't expect it to be as varied in gameplay and mechanics as a current-generation game, as you’ll only find yourself disappointed.

Hannah Read

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