Indie dev using its game engine to faithfuly remaster original PlayStation games in 4K 60 FPS

The Last Night is a gorgeous 2.5D game that blends modern and retro visuals, and now the developer is bringing its tech to original PlayStation games.

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The Last Night, from indie studio Odd Tales, is a visually stunning 2.5D game set in a post-cyberpunk world that blends retro and modern visuals. It's a game we've been waiting to play for years, and even though it's still in development, there's no word on when it might come out. Tim Soret told PCGamer a few years ago that the team was taking its time building the world and tech "brick by brick," but we haven't heard from the team in a while.

Yesterday, we got a new thread by Tim Soret over on X that doesn't so much provide an update on The Last Night as it does showcase how the studio is using its tech stack to remaster original PlayStation games, presenting them in widescreen 4K HDR at 60 FPS. To demonstrate, he presented footage of the original Metal Gear Solid, switching between the original and remastered visuals, and the results were fantastic.

"I'm very unhappy with PSX remasters," Tim Soret writes. "Either lazy (MGS) or disrespectful (Tomb Raider). Changing the art assets is not preservation [and] pure emulation is lazy. PSX aesthetics can look absolutely gorgeous in 4K HDR with special techniques to retain the charm of the era."

He adds that the studio is exploring options to help preserve older titles using its tech, to allow for games to be played as they originally appeared and with new updated 4K visuals that, frankly, look incredible because they don't change the overall feel of playing PlayStation games back in the 1990s.

How it works is fascinating; the engine doesn't "upgrade" the original visuals to make it fit with the engine and tech - the engine is downgraded to recreate the classic "PSX look" that includes texture-warping and dithering effects. And from that, modern features like improved shaders, post-processing, volumetric lighting, and other effects can be easily added. Tim boasts 1:1 color accuracy between the original visuals and the new 4K presentation.

He showcases a demo of adding volumetric wind and fog into Metal Gear Solid that can be enabled or disabled.

"The goal of this tech is to explore the potential of 'Odd Remasters,'" Tim concludes, pointing out that PlayStation games and hardware made games look a certain way. "I feel like nobody [has] figured out how to remaster PS1 games. My vision is to let you tailor your experience exactly like you want, feature by feature, from 100% original to 100% modern."

We'd love to see Sony use this tech for all PS1 games released on PlayStation Plus.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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