The whole “Phantom Dust in 2017” thing has been a wild ride. A studio was hired to remake the game, that studio tragically shut down, and the original game resurfaced in the remake’s wake. This release sits somewhere between a port and a remaster, and its curators are referring to it as a “re-release.” It’s also coming out tomorrow for free.
Phantom Dust is part of the Xbox Games Anywhere program, meaning that not only is it free, but it will also simultaneously be available on Xbox One and Windows 10 platforms. This is less notable due to no upfront cost, but anyone with one version will automatically be entitled to the other.
While Phantom Dust is again being touted as a “re-release” rather than a “remaster,” the game does run at a higher resolution, supports widescreen, and seems to have received some balance tweaks. It’s also notable that Phantom Dust’s original source code was inaccessible, meaning the team responsible for this version essentially had to reverse-engineer the whole game in order to bring it back.
This is super fascinating. Considering there was no word before on how much Phantom Dust would cost and now it’s free, could this be a goodwill measure meant to make the turbulent press less of a problem? Or could this have been the plan all along, with multiplayer having some degree of microtransactions built in? It may be a while, if ever, before we find answers, but for now I’m excited to finally give this game a whirl.