The Last of Us is one of the best narrative-driven experiences released in gaming. Naughty Dog’s fan-favorite is almost a decade old now, and many will agree its story managed to hit a nerve. Its sequel, The Last of Us Part 2, was exceptional and raised the bar of storytelling in games even higher.
While I wrote an extensive piece on the second game, I never wrote anything about the first. A pity, since the first game is one I cherish a lot. For some reason, its atmosphere and music always managed to console me in darker times. For a game that takes place in the aftermath of a worldwide disaster, that’s something. The game’s incredibly gritty but also very lighthearted.
The Last of Us got released for PlayStation 3 in 2013. A year later, in 2014, the game was remastered for PlayStation 4. It contained improved textures, smoother frame rates, and increased resolution. Fast forward to 2022, the game will release on the PlayStation 5. This time rebuild from the ground up. At least, that’s what the marketing is saying. But is it really? Sony was kind enough to provide early access to the game, and I’ve been playing ever since. Allow me to get straight to the point. The Last of Us on PS5 is shinier and better looking, but the game is exactly what you remember. So what did Naughty Dog improve this time? The character models, facial features, and environments have received a glow-up. The difference is noticeable (for example, Joel now looks more like he did in Part 2, and the levels contain much more detailed props and vegetation) but negligible if you’re not comparing the versions side by side. Also, it might have been a while since you’ve played The Last of Us, making it even harder to spot differences. Don’t get me wrong, the game looks beautiful. It’s just not a night and day difference compared to other remakes. The game also supports DualSense and various other features the PS5 has to offer, but these make little impact on the overall experience.
The Last of Us is also (finally) slated for PC, which is probably one of the best aspects of this release. We don’t have a release date yet, but PC players can rest easy knowing they now also get a chance to experience this incredible videogame.
If you haven’t played The Last of Us before, this is – without a doubt – the definitive version to play. But for both types of audiences (new and returning players), there’s a price to pay. Quite literally actually, as The Last of Us for PS5 is on sale for a premium. I think this is the biggest problem I have with this release. Others might question its existence in the first place, but I see value in the game being released on the PS5. It would’ve made more sense if the game was part of a bundle with its sequel. But right now, the game is just too expensive for what you’re getting. Almost to a point, I’d recommend buying the Remastered version instead. It’s like with the iPhones: you pay a few hundred dollars more to get extra camera features you’ll eventually forget they were even there.
The Last of Us for PS5 is a stellar videogame, but one we’ve seen before. The story of Joel and Ellie remains one of the best narrative experiences out there, even if you know how their adventure is ending. The improvements introduced in this re-release definitely make this the best version yet. However, fans who’ve played the original might not immediately notice. Sure, the character models and levels all look more detailed, but a remake is not the term I’d use to describe this version. Without a doubt, I would have recommended this game if it weren’t for its price. Currently, the game is on sale for 79,99 Euros. And that’s too much. If you’re new to the PlayStation family, or if you’re eager to replay this game, consider downloading the remastered version from your game library for free.