How would you remake Warcraft?
Remastering or remaking games seems to be a trend lately. Sometimes, as in the case of Diablo 2: Resurrected, the game is kept as intact as possible; the systems, the classes, the quests, the story are all the same — the improvement is mostly graphical. But other remasters, like Final Fantasy VII Remake, don’t try to recreate the original experience — instead, they attempt to retell it, in an evolved form.
The latter type of remake is what I’m talking about here — the one that attempts to re-imagine a franchise, from the ground-up. The same general ideas are kept, but operating from a completely blank slate. Only the most core concepts are “safe;” everything else could change. Perhaps the new version of the game will start out similarly, but eventually branch out in different paths. Those paths could be an opportunity for the authors of that story, or for the designers of that game, to finally be able to create the work that they had always envisioned, but couldn’t make — whether because they didn’t have the technology, or the resources, or a multitude of other things. Whatever the case, that franchise always had the potential to be more than it originally was — so a remake is in order, to finally put that vision to life, to its fullest.
This isn’t even exclusive to video games — the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion originally ran from 1995 to 1996, and was plagued with a lack of resources. By the time the show was ending, the budget was already almost nearly spent, causing the final episodes in the series to greatly deviate from what the author, Hideaki Anno, intended them to be. This was later “corrected” with a movie, The End of Evangelion, which worked in tandem with the original ending from the animated series. But many years later, an entirely new version of the show, called Rebuild of Evangelion, was also created, in four movies. Whilst penning this new version, Anno was a very different man: in many ways, he had come to terms with his own demons, and created a new version of the old story where the same old characters were often faced with the same old situations, but came out with completely different actions, conclusions, and fates.
A remake, or remaster, or rebuild — call it what you will — can definitely improve upon a story because the authors themselves have changed, and because the world has changed. Warcraft itself has been plagued with many story decisions that simply wouldn’t fly these days — some of the things that happened in older games in the series, and even earlier in World of Warcraft, are, to put it mildly, problematic. Not to mention, the scope of the story has increased a lot since those humble beginnings.
Which is where the question is posed: if you could remake Warcraft — the story, the games, the MMO — how would you do it? What would you change? Would you like to see a “modernized” take on the world of Azeroth, and all its characters, that better reflects our current state of affairs? Would the tales of characters like Thrall or Arthas or Jaina have been any different?
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