Darksiders will be returning once more but instead of Death in the starring role, THQ Nordic will be going back to where it all began. That means War from Darksiders will be returning and the overall package is now called Darksiders: Warmastered Edition. Along with the usual bug fixes, Nordic will also be looking to improve the overall visual quality. What will be the key differences between this and the original version?
GamingBolt spoke to Reinhard Pollice, business and product development director at THQ Nordic, about what we can expect from Darksiders: Warmastered Edition when it releases this October.
"We have done a lot of reworks to the shadow quality by increasing the resolution by 4 times and using different methods to make it look better."
To begin with, who comes up with these over the top names for your remasters? First “DeathinitiveEdition” and now “Warmastered Edition”?
I have to confess, that’s me. Actually at first I was just messing around for fun, but then some folks really liked it and in the end I think it’s nicer than something like a standard “Definitive” etc. edition name tag. I know it’s a bit cheesy, but it’s also unique and adds a little individual touch.
Why remaster such a old title? Do you think there is enough demand for it compared to say, the Darksiders 2 remaster?
We always wanted to remaster Darksiders, but Darksiders 2 was more straightforward to do and had more potential for wide ranges of fixes and improvements including gameplay reworks, so we did it first.. We firmly believe that great games like Darksiders will always have an audience and therefore we want to make it available to as many people as possible which means the more platforms the game is on the more people it can reach.
What kind of updates have you done to the game’s engine? What kind of improvements can we expect in terms of image and shadow quality?
So actually the whole backend renderer was replaced. We have done a lot of reworks to the shadow quality by increasing the resolution by 4 times and using different methods to make it look better. We have also added some nice post processing effects like chromatic aberration, sharpen and FXAA but we know that they are a matter of taste so users can switch them off – even on the console versions. Overall we increased all texture resolutions by 4 or at least 2 times.
"We are including the Harvester (which was a GameStop pre-order exclusive scythe) and fixing bugs we encounter but other than that we aren’t modifying things."
Is the game going to run at 1080p and 60fps on both the PS4 and Xbox One?
That’s our goal. We are still working hard to optimize it to the max.
How different is the PC version going to be compared to PS4 and Xbox One? Are you adding more graphical settings to the PC version?
It will have some more options but pretty basic stuff – other than that it’s the same.
Are you fixing any bugs or modifying things in the remaster?
We are including the Harvester (which was a GameStop pre-order exclusive scythe) and fixing bugs we encounter but other than that we aren’t modifying things.
I am sure you must have heard about the new upgradeable consoles, As developers, do you prefer the more conservative approach for an upgrade that Sony have targeted with the Neo, or do you think Microsoft’s more radical jump ahead with the Scorpio is more promising?
This is a pretty new situation for all developers so I think we all have to wait for the consumer’s feedback first. We are okay with both approaches as long as there aren’t any rules or artificial barriers that block real steps forward when creating games.
"I think Sony and Microsoft will need to ensure that they won’t have completely new SKUs but rather subsets where a few variables are different."
It’s exciting times ahead- with the launch of three new VR platforms, the Neo, the Scorpio, and the NX in the future, is this effectively, at least from a development pipeline perspective, a new generation?
VR platforms are definitely a new generation but right now they aren’t replacing anything just broadening it and bringing some exciting new possibilities. Neo, Scorpio or the NX seem to be more traditional gaming consoles with a lot of power which is great as working on consoles always meant strict limitations.
As developers, what are your thoughts on being given two more SKUs to develop for, suddenly? Especially given that the promise of development on a console is a standard spec to always target through a generation?
You mean for Scorpio and Neo? I think Sony and Microsoft will need to ensure that they won’t have completely new SKUs but rather subsets where a few variables are different. Until they announce exact details I can’t really say much about this.
What is happening with Darksiders 3? You do realize that there is a lot of demand for it, right?
It’s awesome to have such an amazing franchise that so many people(including myself) are looking forward to. We really appreciate our fans’ enthusiasm about this IP, but at the moment there is nothing to talk about here.