The Phantom Dust re-release has been shrouded in mystery for some time now. Quite a few different stories and rumors have surrounded the project in the past few months. Aside from some brief statements and a screenshot shared by Phil Spencer, there wasn’t much to go on.
However, quite a bit of that has been cleared up thanks to Polygon’s new gameplay breakdown. They’ve also provided some details about the game in an interview with Adam Isgreen, Creative Director for Microsoft Studios.
Here’s gameplay and interview:
Clearly, the team wasn’t sure what would actually be possible in tackling this re-release. As Adam said, “The biggest challenge that we faced in bringing Phantom Dust back was when we recovered the archives from Japan for the original project, there was no final source code.” He goes on to say that “So everything that we’ve been able to do in this version of Phantom Dust has been through reverse-engineering the binaries, and actually hacking and cracking the code back open again in order to make the improvements and changes that we have.”
As far as the visuals are concerned, this isn’t a true remaster however there will be definite improvement. Adam explains that “The biggest thing is moving [Phantom Dust] to 16:9 and moving to native resolution. So what that basically means is that if you’re playing on Xbox One, you’re running at 1080p so the game is going to render at 1080p; if you’re on a PC and you’re playing at 4K resolution, the game will render its assets at 4K.” He also states that “So basically, if you put it in a window, the resolution will be the window size. So we’ve been able to actually take full advantage of whatever you’re playing on and render Phantom Dust correctly at that resolution.”
While I admit I’ve never played the original Phantom Dust, I’m glad to see it being preserved. Hopefully we’ll get some pricing and release date details fairly soon.