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Are map remakes a good idea?
The upcoming Halo 2: Anniversary comes with a number of visually upgraded maps, but you can bet on it that Halo 5: Guardians will have some blasts from the pasts, as Halo 4 did. But is this a good idea to do? I don’t think so.
Recently, 343i announced they will include a visually upgraded version of Zanzibar. This made me think of all the maps from the past that were given a visual update, I am not such a fan of these. In Halo 4, Ragnarok was an upgraded version of Valhalla which was shipped on the disk, I liked the map, but not more than the original one. While Valhalla was based on another map, Blood Gulch/Coagulation, it is no real upgraded version of it. Even though the map looks distinctly different, it still has a connection to the 'original' by using the same style.
But I am talking about real visual upgrades, so Valhalla into Ragnarok, Zanzibar into Last Resort and so forth. They do these remakes to make a strong connection with a previous instalment, without going through the work of designing an entire new map, they don’t remake the failed maps. I think it is better for a game to have as little remaked maps as possible, or releasing these maps as separate (free) DLC (like Cold Storage). And why you may ask? Because holding on to blasts from the pasts may hold the designers back in creating new, fresh map ideas. One of the few really good new maps I’ve seen in a long time is Exile, a good driving portion on the outside with a close quarters portion in the middle, while keeping players spread out over the map. Many people have made beautiful, unique, creations using the Forge from Halo 3 on, why not turn some of these marbles into proper maps? Sure, they put them in multiplayer as their Forge creation, but what about a proper make-over with the right (unique) textures so it looks like a real UNSC base or whatever. This would save the people at 343i the same amount of time as if they would start from a ‘blast from the past’, but would be a much better end-result.
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What is your opinion on visual upgrades from 'blast of the past'?