What is the difference between a game remaster, remake and reboot?

The difference between a game remaster, remake, and reboot is mostly about the experience. So nowadays, many people still have doubts when a game comes out with some of these definitions.

To end these doubts, in this article we will explain the difference between remaster, remake and reboot.

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Using nostalgia for new experiences

Many industries today have learned that playing on audience nostalgia is often a great idea. Two good examples of this are movies and games. While many old movies get new elements and improvements, others get new versions, more modern and with new characters.

The same goes for games. Therefore, it is increasingly common to hear about the release of remastered (or remastered), remake or rebooted games. Aside from the sentimental appeal of nostalgia, it’s also a safe bet because doing a remaster or even a remake saves time and money because they already have something practically ready.

And for this very reason, it’s also common for the public to get a little confused by all this nomenclature.

Today we are going to differentiate these types of games so you know what each means.

What is a remaster?

Remastering or Remastering is undoubtedly the most popular option these days. A remastered game is a game that has been improved from an aesthetic point of view, mostly. That is, companies take an old game and tweak the overall look and sound to make it feel like a newer game.

The remastered game is an improved game in terms of graphics, mostly. It better adapts to the most modern components, such as processors, screens and audio players. In most cases, one of the most noticeable changes is the appearance of the characters, which become more realistic and quality.

But they do everything from the original game without changing the gameplay or story of the game. It’s the same game, the only thing that changes is the appearance and sound. In some cases there are content changes, but these are very basic and simpler things, such as fixing a bug or technical error, an error in elements such as translation or even when the studio removes some content that is inappropriate.

When a game undergoes changes in narrative aspects, it’s called a rewrite, where they adapt the story but don’t change it, meaning the game stays the same. Often the enhancements are just a scene or something that improves the understanding of the story, or even when they add some feature like translation for some dialogue that was previously secondary.


The last example of remastering was the Spider-Man game, and from the pictures you can see how some things have changed, especially the appearance of the hero, Peter Parker.

What is a remake?

While a remaster only changes the overall look of a game, a remake means remaking the game from scratch. In this case, they take an already-made game and remake it from the ground up, but keep the inspiration, such as parts of the story, characters, setting, and names.


However, for those who played the original, playing the remake is practically a new experience because they change a lot. It’s as if the studio recreated this game, only as if it were made today, with the most modern elements. A remake can bring new views of the game, the story, as well as new content such as stages and challenges.

They often even add new lines that enhance the original story (or detract from it, depending on the player’s point of view). In addition to remaking the game, they obviously include support for the latest technologies, such as new control schemes, improved visuals, all thinking about the most modern devices, such as next-generation consoles.

An example in this case is Final Fantasy VII Remake, which is considered one of the best remakes in the gaming world today. Square Enix managed to greatly expand the story, breaking it up into episodes for next-gen consoles and introducing more story and more events.

What is overload?


A reboot game is a new game, that is, it is not based on an already created game, but it brings the previous story of the game, which is already blessed. Usually a franchise. It’s like rebooting the franchise, while keeping its core features, but a completely new story, with no sequels.

It’s a way to refresh a franchise that has finally become lukewarm and bring something new to the community. A very recent example of a reboot is Saints Row. It comes after Saints Row IV, but takes place before the events of the other games in the franchise, with completely new characters, although the gameplay remains the same.

Sometimes a game doesn’t need to have the exact same name as a franchise, just use its most important elements. This is for example the case of DmC, released in 2013, which arrived as a completely new game, and Devil May Cry, a reboot of the franchise, but with new aspects.

Other terms that may also be used

There are still other terms you’ll probably hear in the gaming industry. One of them is Demake, which is the reverse of Remake. While Remake reimagines the game for more powerful devices and technology, Demake does the opposite. It takes current and modern games and re-imagines them as they were released in the past with older platforms. These are usually experimental projects.

Some also use the term “soft reboot” when a reboot is done while retaining a small part of the original franchise’s origins, i.e. it is not a completely new game and still uses some aspects of the old franchise, e.g. Continuation of the plot, but with new clothes.

A term that has come up today is the term rebuilt, which ends up in the middle ground between remaster and remake. In fact, remasters focus on improving the game, but they eventually go beyond just the visual and sound part and can add game improvements. In general, it offers more serious graphic improvements, can even change character models and even restore the entire scenario, adding new information. There are still very few gameplay changes, so this would be a stronger remaster.


Summary: The difference between a remaster, a remake, and a reboot

So, in short, we have the following:

one Remastered game It has practically the same gameplay as the original game, so it undergoes graphical improvements, the appearance of scenarios and characters, sounds, compatibility with more modern devices, but there are no changes in terms of story, plot and plot. missions.

one Remake game It has been completely overhauled, taking only the idea of ​​the original game and changing practically everything, from the graphics and visuals to even the game’s story and stages and missions. It can also change the viewpoint, especially for older games.

Already one Restart the game It is also a completely new game, but uses the brand and characters of the already famous franchise. Most of the time it brings a game that takes place before the events of the original franchise, or tells a parallel story. In many cases, studios use this to renew and reboot franchises.

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