The Last of Us Part 1 Remake set to be released on PlayStation 5 on 2nd September is a complete remake of the first The Last of Us game but now a bunch of improvements and quality changes, here are our review on the remake. Check out our interview with Matthew Gallant and Shaun Escayg here!
About The Last of Us
For those who are unfamiliar with the game, The Last of Us is a Third Person Perspective, action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog where the story of the game takes place in a dying world after the outbreak of the mutant Cordyceps fungus that slowly takes over what’s left of the United States. You play as Joel, a lone survivor from the first outbreak that was tasked to bring a girl named Ellie to a faraway medical facility center as she holds a key in developing a cure for the virus outbreak.
Improvements of The Last of Us Part 1 Remake
The PlayStation 5 Rebuilt of The Last of Us Part 1 is a faithful remake that offers an abundance of improvements down to the smallest part. With the technical restrictions out of the way, the remake manages to create a much better game which feels closer to developer’s visions. One of the most notably and biggest change that is present in the remake would be the full-on graphical overhaul with brand new assets.
From the environments to the character models, everything looks crisp and high quality and just viewing the trailers isn’t enough to appreciate the quality of the graphics and visuals because there’s a very big difference when it comes down to you actually playing the game. Especially since I had recently finish playing through the original game, it’s really easy for me to spot the differences like how they added in the workbench as well as changing the UI elements which streamlines it to be closer to Part 2 of The Last of Us.
The environments in the remake are a lot more lush and immersive, every time I set foot in a new area, it almost feels like I’m exploring an entirely different game. And as for the character models, everyone looks just about different except for Joel and Ellie who are basically the same as in the flashback scenes from what we saw in Part 2.
While I do like the new models in the remake, I still find it weird how they change Tess to look a lot more older that what she looked like in the original game but this might just be because Naughty Dog wanted to offer more realistic facial expressions, which I had noticed right away when going through the in game cutscenes which almost feel like I’m watching through a real-life movie with just how realistic it looks.
Another improvement that was definitely welcomed was how they modernised the gameplay mechanics in the remake. It’s not to say that the mechanics of the original game was bad per say, but after playing through Part 2, it’s just really hard to go back to it. The controls and gunplay in the remake just feel so satisfying to feel as it packs in a lot more weight to it, which in my opinion makes the combat a lot more intense and plays a big role into the game’s immersion.
The controls and gunplay weren’t the only thing that the remake had improved on, the AI was also worked on but it’s not exactly perfect as how they can only detect the playable character and ignores your companion who are pretty much moving in front of them. But still, the game still feels extremely good to play and I still can’t believe that even revisiting the original story of the game for the fourth time could still retain its excitement.
PlayStation 5 Features
Aside from the main features which I had previously mentioned before, another highlight for the remake of The Last of Us Part 1 is definitely all of the brand new features which are designed to enhance the gameplay experience playing on the PlayStation 5. Starting with the performance, I played through the game on a 4K TV and I was genuinely surprised with the performances of the game on the different rendering modes. There’s a Fidelity mode where it favours the best visual quality at 4K 30Hz with 30 FPS as well as a Performance mode where you can a much smoother gameplay experience at 60 FPS with a balanced resolution
Compared with other PlayStation exclusives, I find it difficult to have it set on Fidelity mode as I personally feel it’s a bit slow and with how the performance would just wreck the visuals with how blurry it is, but in my opinion I think that the remake for The Last of Us Part 1 did a pretty good job with both of the modes. The Fidelity mode makes it feel comfortable for me to play through and the performance is always consistent no matter the situation.
While in Performance mode it does make the game look blurrier, it’s not to the point that’s too drastic and the graphic quality still looks really good, especially when the cutscenes play. You can even get a better experience if you play the game on a 120 Hz monitor since the game offers a different variation for the Fidelity and Performance modes with smoother framerates.
On the topic of performances, the loading times are pretty much near instant so you don’t have to wait long to jump back into the fray when retrying a checkpoint. I also noticed how there’s no loading since every cutscnene is now seamlessly connected with the gameplay, although it’s not the most smooth transitions, you don’t have to worry about loading times anymore.
Additionally, the game also makes use of the DualSense features such as the Haptic Feedback as well as the Adaptive Triggers. This is optimised significantly for gunplay, but there are also some instances where you are able to feel a slight vibration which adds into the immersion when exploring the world.
Another exciting addition are the expanded accessibility features which offer more than 60 options to tweak around where each of them basically removes a barrier to make the game accessible for players that have special needs. They also even further expands the accessibility by adding in audio descriptions mode for blind players to truly immerse themselves into the game better. A feature which hopefully we’ll be able to see a lot more in future modern game titles.
The Photo Mode was also improved where you’re given a lot more options to make the best screenshots. With how beautiful the game looks, it’s only a natural fact for them to expand the photo features for players to make use of it, especially for those who want to make side by side comparisons of the remake to the original game.
There’s also some additional features that the remake offers, such as the new Permadeath and Speedrun mode for those who seek for some extra challenges. They also provide additional options to tweak the new modes even further like how you’re able to set Permadeath for each specific chapters or just the whole game. You’re also able to access through all the difficulties straight off the bat, so fans who already completed the original game can just jump right into the Grounded mode which offers the most realistic and brutal experience.
As you progress through the game, you’ll get special points (P), which can be exchanged for some stuff from the Extras menu. Some of the stuff that can be unlocked are Concept Art, 3D Model Viewer, and even behind the scenes video with the official podcast. Although, there are some of the extra stuff which only can be accessed once you beat the game such as skins, filter gallery, gameplay modifiers as well as a speedrun recap which adds to the replayability of the game.
While it can be a bit overselling with how it hasn’t been a decade since the release of the original game and we already got a full-on remake on top of a remaster. But I can’t deny that The Last of Us Part 1 is every bit as perfect as you can get from a faithful remake. Even for someone who has already beaten the original game multiple times, it’s still a thrilling experience to go through the remake and it’s even more fun with all the improvements which makes the game better.
The selling point of the remake just isn’t all about the visuals, it’s also because they touched up the game in so many areas like modernising the gameplay as well as adding in so many accessibility features that are even better than most games that are currently in the market.
Although, I still think that the $70 price tag is such a steep entry point, especially with no multiplayer features and given how you’re able to play the remastered version for free through PlayStation Plus. But for newcomers who haven’t played through the series before, it’s something that’s worth picking up.
|Gorgeous visual and character models that almost on par with Part II quality||AI quality still could use some work|
|Modernized gameplay that feels good to play||Still a bit pricy unless for hardcore fans or newcomers|
|Stable performance with better optimized Fidelity & Performance mode|
|Deep accessibility features with audio description|