Game review: The Last of Us Part 1 Remake (PlayStation 5)
The Last of Us originally came out back in 2013 for the PS3 console. Despite being a new IP from Naughty Dog, the game was universally loved thanks to its excellent story and gripping gameplay sequences.
Less than a year later, Naughty Dog released The Last of Us Remastered for the then-new PS4 console. Well, 2022 comes around, and The Last of Us has been re-released again. Now you can play The Last of Us Part 1 remake exclusively for the PlayStation 5 console.
Unlike the aforementioned The Last of Us Remastered, The Last of Us Part 1 is built from the ground up to make full use of the PlayStation 5's awesome power. The game's graphics look far better than what the PS4 and PS3 versions offered nearly a decade ago.
Even though The Last of Us Remastered looked pretty good back in 2014, the one thing that it lacked was expressive facial animations. Ellie's face looked kind of stiff in the original game, but her face now comes alive when you play the remake.
Tess is another character that has had a complete makeover. Some people noticed that Tess looked too young for her age in the original game, but in the remake, she has aged up, and she looks far more realistic.
People will also notice that all of the pre-rendered cutscenes are now using the actual game engine, thanks to the power of the PS5. Everything just looks better if you are able to play the game on a new and decent 4K television.
Speaking of 4K, there are two different graphical modes that you can set. One mode favours visual fidelity, which outputs the game at full 4K running at 30fps. This setting is recommended if you want the game to look as pretty as possible.
The other setting favours in-game performance instead. The game is still output in 4K, but you can play the game at 60fps. This was my preferred playstyle mainly because the gameplay looked and played smoothly at 60fps compared to the slower 30fps output.
In terms of gameplay, Naughty Dog has added a ton of new accessibility options to make the game easier for casual players. One of the most helpful new features is a navigation marker. If you press down on the L3 button, there is a marker that appears on the screen telling you exactly where you need to go. This is really helpful during some segments where the environment is really dark.
If you're too impatient to solve the game's puzzles, you do have the option to skip them entirely. The puzzles were never too hard to solve, but it's a neat feature for those that want to concentrate more on the game's combat.
As for combat, there is a new slow-motion feature that has been added to make aiming at bad guys much easier than before. This feature was really useful for getting headshots of both human and infected enemies in the game. There are a ton of other accessibility options available to players, although I didn't have time to tinker with all of them.
Some of the gameplay features from The Last of Us Part II have not been brought over, however. In the sequel, both adult Ellie and Abbie were able to go prone. Sadly, you cannot go prone in this remake using Joel or Ellie. They can only crouch like they could in the original release.
Joel also does not have an unlimited-use knife that he can use either. In this remake, he still has to rely on crafting shivs. The only annoying part about shivs is that you can only use them once. If you run out of shivs, you cannot unlock some locked door or kill clickers easily.
Content-wise, The Last of Us Part 1 doesn't add any new levels or anything like that. You only pretty much experience the original game plus the Left Behind DLC as well. There are also no references to the sequel if you kill a certain character near the end of the game too…
However, you will get to unlock some cool stuff after you have finished the main campaign once on any difficulty setting. You can unlock special skins for Joel and Ellie that includes clothes and gear that feature other PlayStation game heroes!
There is also artwork and even a cool two-hour behind-the-scenes documentary that you can watch too. I don't remember the other releases of The Last of Us coming with these extras, so this is a nice touch to add.
While The Last of Us Part 1 is an excellent remake, the only thing that might stop people from buying the game is the insane price. If you are living in New Zealand like most of our readers, this remake has an RRP of $139.99. Some retailers could be selling the game for a bit cheaper, but digital PS5 owners will have to bear the full price at launch.
Another thing that might disappoint some people is that the original game's multiplayer mode isn't included in this remake, either. Essentially, you are paying full price for a single-player campaign that over 20 million players worldwide have already played before.
While The Last of Us Part 1 is still a great game, some people might still think this is an overpriced and unnecessary remake. If you have never played the game before and own a PS5, I would say this is a must-buy. If you have played the game multiple times before, it might be best to wait for a sale instead.