He didn’t look like that before, did he?
Face models for some characters are often changed when a game is remade or remastered. This could be because of the law, a problem involving the original actor, or a creative choice.
A lot of those face swaps make sense, but it can be strange for people who grew up with the originals. Sometimes it’s not just one figure, but a whole group of them. It’s an interesting change from the original, but people who haven’t heard of the title before won’t even notice the big difference.
Peter Parker: Marvel’s Spider-Man
This first one is the most popular because Spider-Man for the PS4 is not only one of the best Spider-Man games, but also one of the best games for the PS4. It led to a few sequels, but when the updated version came out for PS5, people talked about how Peter’s face had changed.
It looks like Ben Jordan’s face instead of John Bubniak’s. This change makes sense because Peter is getting older. Peter is only 23, but John’s face makes him look like he is in his late 20s or early 30s. This isn’t true. Even though he’s more grown up, he’s not that grown up. Having a younger look just works better here and makes the connection to the next movie, which will also have Ben’s face, easier.
Masayoshi Tanimura: Yakuza 4
Yakuza 4 was the first main game where you could play as someone other than Kiryu. Akiyama and Saejima became regulars in the show, but Tanimura is not one of them. It’s too bad, because he’s a cool character. He’s a Japanese cop, has a unique way of playing, and even gets to fight the final boss. Unfortunately, the original actor was involved in a nasty drug incident, which, if you don’t know, is a much bigger deal in Japan than in other places.
When the remake came out nine years later, Toshiki Masuda took over the role of Tanimura. People who grew up with the original PS3 version will be hurt by this, because the original actress is a great fit for the role. Thanks to a fix for the PC version, people who want to play the game the way they remember it can change the face back.
So Many Characters In Like A Dragon: Ishin!
After being only available in Japan for nine years, Like a Dragon: Ishin! is now available everywhere. This new version is kind of a mix between a redo and a remaster. It was built from scratch using Unreal Engine 4, but it stays very true to the original. There are, however, a number of changes, including the fact that many of the characters have new faces.
Ishin came out in 2014, before Yakuza 0. Because of this, it uses faces from the Yakuza 3–5 games for the PS3. With this new version, the characters’ faces have been changed to look like they do in 0 and 7. It makes sense, since most people know the newer games better. With a nine-year gap, this change works better than if the original faces were kept.
Kyohei Hamura: Judgment
Face swaps don’t always happen when a game is remade or remastered. This one was just fixed. One of the last Yakuza games to come out first in Japan was Judgment, and this is where the change comes in. Kyohei Hamura is one of the main bad guys in the game. He is a great villain.
But just three months after the Japanese version came out, the man who played Hamura was caught with drugs. Hamura was later fixed and put out everywhere else with a new model and a new Japanese voice, played by Miou Tanaka. This is a change that almost no one noticed except Japanese players who joined on day one. Hamura is still a great villain in his current form, but just like in Yakuza 4, you can use a PC mod to switch back to the original character if you want to.
Alan Wake: Alan Wake
Alan Wake, an action-horror game from 2010 by Remedy, was only available on Xbox and PC for a long time. Alan Wake was remastered in 2021, so it could be played on PlayStation and, later, Nintendo Switch. It’s mostly the same, but there are a few small changes. But one of them is a little off-putting for people who know the original.
Alan’s face model is changed here so that it looks more like Ilkka Villi, who played Alan in the real-life parts. On the surface, this may seem like a good change, since his live-action figure is used in many Remedy games and has become a symbol for the character. But the new face doesn’t fit in with the other characters and settings, which still feel like they belong in the early 2010s. It might work fine for beginners, but seasoned players will probably like the original better.
The Entire Cast Of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
Snake’s Revenge for the NES was officially the first Metal Gear sequel, but Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake from 1990 was the real one because Hideo Kojima worked on it. It was basically a 2D version of what became Metal Gear Solid, and the story was pretty big for the time. Like MGS, there are pictures of the characters during scenes where they talk.
In the original Japanese MSX2 version, the characters’ faces were based on those of well-known Hollywood stars at the time. This might make some people look twice, which may be why the character images on later re-releases were drawn in the style of Yoji Shinkawa. Konami did the right thing, and it fits better with the conversation scenes in MGS.
Isaac Clarke: Dead Space
Characters with different faces are almost always used in remakes, but most of them are liked. Isaac Clarke from Dead Space caused some disagreement among its fans. In the original Dead Space series, Isaac’s face stayed mostly the same. He looked like a tough engineer, which fit with the grimy style of movies like Alien that were big influences on Basket Random.
Compared to the look of the original, the face of the copy is too clean and ordinary. It does look more modern, but many people prefer the classic’s old-fashioned sci-fi horror movie vibe. At least the places and enemies that give you nightmares still have that Alien and John Carpenter feel to them.
James Sunderland: Silent Hill 2
Fans love James Sunderland as the main character in the Silent Hill series, mostly because his story is so good in the praised second game. He seems normal most of the time, but there’s something off about him. The face swap in Bloober Team’s version of Silent Hill 2 is done for a good reason.
The people who made the game wanted James to be a little older, so they made him 30 instead of 20. In this story, the new age is much more real and easy to understand. When James is this old, it makes sense that he and his wife will get along better. Fans of Silent Hill are often hard to please, but this is a good move for everyone.