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8 last gen games that would benefit from an HDR upgrade

HDR, along with 4K, has become the latest graphical feature to be targeted by console manufacturers and game developers.

Promising more vivid colours, better contrast between lights and darks and better lights and darks, it looks poised to deliver a solid upgrade for games.

But that got us thinking… What about last-generation games that would benefit from the technology?


Technically speaking, it saw a current-generation release as well, but the last GTA game looks tailor-made for an HDR update.

Between the pastel hues, pseudo-California setting and the great weather effects, it practically screams out for an update, doesn’t it? Oh yeah, and HDR explosions too.

Alan Wake

Who says a game needs bright visuals for HDR to be effective? Certainly not Capcom, having introduced HDR to Resident Evil 7, for one.

Another horror game that would benefit from HDR would be Alan Wake, with its light/dark gameplay mechanic, featuring flares and flashlights. Almost feels like a no-brainer, right?

Bioshock Infinite

Another game that technically got a release on current-gen consoles, Bioshock Infinite is probably the most suitable game in the trilogy for an HDR update.

The title already boasts a richly colourful art style, while the gorgeous lighting still holds up well today. Throw in Columbia, being a city in the clouds, and it almost seems like it could be a tech demo for the standard.

Crysis franchise

Sure, practically any semi-modern PC these days can run one of the Crysis games, but its visuals and lighting effects still make for a welcome tech demonstration today.

The franchise’s environments seem like a great fit for HDR, such as the tropical jungles of the first game and the city blocks reclaimed by jungle in Crysis 3. Either way, an upgrade would make those sunsets and god rays look extra special.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

It finally received a PC release a year or two ago, after launching on consoles in 2010, but action/platformer Enslaved would also benefit from some HDR love.

Featuring a distinctive, lush graphical style that bucked the trend of brown back then, Enslaved also holds up well on the gameplay front.

Spec Ops: The Line

Another last-gen game that made heavy use of bloom and associated lighting effects, the desert setting of Spec Ops seems like another good way to demonstrate the tech.

And the actual game still stands out today, if only for the narrative, its bleak plot drawing comparisons to Heart of Darkness. Otherwise, expect some traditional cover shooter fare here.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

The first Metal Gear Solid game on PS3 still stands tall today, serving as a worthy final chapter in Solid Snake’s story. But who wouldn’t like to see a remastered version, with 4K visuals and HDR?

Hideo Kojima’s title seems like a solid fit for the latter too, thanks to the heat-scorched, dust-caked urban environments that dominate the early going. However, later bits, set at night and in a variety of other environments, would still make for a good fit.

Killzone 3

One of the better first-person shooters on PS3, Killzone 3 managed to walk away from the controversy of Killzone 2 to be a great title in its own right.

From bleak ruins with dust blotting out the sun to snow-swept installations, you only need to look at some of the environments to see why an HDR touch-up would be welcomed.

Author Bio

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings over seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat. More