Horizon Zero Dawn could be Sony’s latest unnecessary remake

horizon zero dawn
(Image credit: Sony)

Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the most popular PlayStation games of the last decade. And if a recent rumor has any validity, Sony really, really does not want gamers to forget that.

According to a report from a reputable gaming news site, Sony is either remaking or remastering Horizon Zero Dawn for the PS5. If the game is a full remake, like The Last of Us Part I, then players could expect to pay $70 for a game that Sony once gave away for free.

Information comes from MP1st, which cited “a source close to the situation who wishes not to be named.” While that’s not much to go on, the site itself is a pretty sober source for gaming news and reviews, particularly regarding multiplayer titles.

The source told MP1st that Sony is either remaking or remastering Horizon Zero Dawn for the PS5, with a particular focus on improving the game’s lighting, textures, animations and character models. In theory, this remake/remaster could make Horizon Zero Dawn look more like its sequel, Horizon Forbidden West, which took better advantage of the PS5’s graphical processing power. (There was also a PS4 version, to be fair.)

MP1st also suggested that the PS5 version of the game would have better accessibility options and more graphical modes, including one to take advantage of the PS5’s recent variable refresh rate feature. The source did not believe that Sony would modify the existing gameplay much, which would be in line with how the company handled The Last of Us Part I.

What remains unclear is whether Sony would remake Horizon Zero Dawn from scratch, as it did with The Last of Us, or simply remaster the existing assets for the PS5, as it did with the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection. As such, the game’s price could vary considerably, too. A full-on, ground-up remake could cost $70, as did The Last of Us; a remaster upgrade could cost $10, at least for players who already own the game.

Players have argued extensively over whether The Last of Us Part I was a necessary remake, and it stands to reason that Horizon Zero Dawn could spark the debate again. Whereas The Last of Us was initially a PS3 game from 2013, Horizon Zero Dawn was a PS4 game from 2017. A PS5 remaster might go over well. A complete remake, at full price, might seem even more extravagant than it was for The Last of Us.

It's also worth noting that Horizon Zero Dawn already has a PS5 patch, which improves the game’s performance for PS5 players — and the patch is completely free.

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.