The Thing Video Game Is Getting The Most Deserved Remaster Ever

2002's The Thing video game is finally getting the remaster it has always deserved.

The Thing video game
Photo: Nightdive Studios

Following a series of not-so-cryptic teases, GOG has confirmed that Nightdive Studios is publishing and developing a remaster of 2002’s The Thing video game. While that project’s release date hasn’t been confirmed at this time, we do know that this will be a remaster of the game rather than a remake. That means it will largely stick to the original game’s structure, premise, and, perhaps most notably, its story that effectively functioned as a sequel to the 1982 movie of the same name.

Even if this is a remaster rather than a remake, Nightdive still has their work cut out for them. While we’ve often sung the praises of 2002’s The Thing on this site, it’s a flawed game in many ways. Its companion system (which required you to monitor your squad to look for signs of infection or simple mistrust) was a thematically brilliant concept that was often hindered by half-baked mechanics and the limitations of early 2000s NPC AI. Generally, the game was a bit of a technical mess that was conceptually brilliant but undeniably rough.

So far as that goes, Nightdive has already confirmed their remaster will feature several notable improvements. Not only will the remaster boast 4K 120FPS visuals on next-gen consoles and PC, but the game’s Steam page already promises “quality of life gameplay enhancements” and an “advanced trust/fear interface.” We’re waiting on additional details about the specifics of those improvements, but if you know anything about Nightdive, you know they never settle for less when it comes to their revivals and remasters.

Those improvements are as necessary as they are welcome, but if I’m being entirely honest, I’d settle for a simple re-release of the original game on modern platforms and summon a smile when I thought about it with relative ease. That’s because few games deserve a remaster or re-release more than The Thing.

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2002’s The Thing game was a modest critical and commercial success in its day, but it’s honestly a miracle it made it into development or out of the door in the first place. After all, 1982’s The Thing wasn’t exactly held in as high of regard in 2002 as it is in 2024. The movie always had its fans (a legion that grew throughout the ’80s and ’90s), but the now fairly popular argument that The Thing is one of the best sci-fi films ever and one of the best horror movies ever wouldn’t take cultural root for quite some time.

Instead, The Thing was made because Universal, Konami, and developer Computer Artworks looked at the movie and thought “Wow, that sounds like a fantastic premise for a video game.” They were right. They weren’t exactly able to deliver the best version of that vision (and The Thing movie hadn’t quite reached the widespread levels of popularity needed to push the project over the top), but they were right. They saw a license that was worthy of an adaptation for reasons other than mainstream name value, and they went out and made it happen.

Now, nearly 22 years later, those who recognize The Thing as a movie masterpiece but may have never known there was a video game based on that movie will hopefully get to experience the best version of a game that still feels like a fever dream.

More importantly, at a time when Triple-A revivals are typically reserved for already popular games, it’s also fantastic to see a fascinating, ahead-of-its-time, yet admittedly flawed game get a second chance to live up to its infinite potential. It’s a nearly perfect example of a game that actually deserves such a remaster yet rarely gets one. I can’t wait to play it and I can’t help but hope that it will soon get the much-deserved love that also once eluded its source material.