REVIEW – The destroyed, post-apocalyptic world that The Last of Us Part I takes us to is shockingly spectacular and heartbreakingly realistic. The Uncharted, the hard-hitting survival horror of the Naughty Dog development team, set in the near future, mixed with action-adventure elements and with a road movie story, is clearly the best PS3 of 2013 had a game of It’s no coincidence that Sony released the PlayStation 4 remake one year after that, with increased textures, 60 fps and all the previous DLCs, including the Left Behind DLC. And now the time has come for the PlayStation 5 generation to bring out the new wrinkle – this time with a new title that refers to the title of the sequel, The Last of Us Part II. But is it worth investing full price in Joel and Ellie’s classic adventure again? Our test is also the “renovation” of the original article of The Last of Us Remastered, which we added with the new generation information.
Just like The Last of Us Remaster for PS4, released in 2015, so The Last of Us Part I, optimized for PlayStation 5 em> is almost entirely identical in content to the PS3 game released in 2013, the barely visible wrinkles of its graphics have been smoothed out, the texture is significantly more detailed, and with additional graphic novelties were also ironed, which we will talk about a little further down. Fortunately, the game’s professional, captivating, cinematic story has been preserved. From this we can also learn (for those who might still have had illusions about this…) how selfish, cruel, bloodthirsty we humans can be and not at all united when the real disaster strikes.
Post-apocalypse here and now!
We visit huge, more or less abandoned, ruined American cities and villages, which nature is gradually destroying, reclaiming for itself what civilization took from it. The population is being decimated by a strange epidemic caused by a fungus that shoots spores into the air, turning people into brainless, bloodthirsty, zombie-like creatures known only as “the infected”.
Like the undead, these creatures want to devour the flesh and blood of the living and thus infect others. One bite is enough, and the terrible transformation is only a matter of hours. The military took up the fight against them so brutally that it does not even spare civilians: the mere suspicion of infection is enough, and the person is immediately shot dead.
Several organizations took up arms against the military dictatorship: for example, the association of the more organized “St. John’s worts” who try to save the rest of humanity in the framework of a resistant military movement, and the various urban and rural guerilla teams and criminal gangs, whose goal is more looting, murder, and survival – some even do not shy away from cannibalism. Wriggling, horribly screeching, moaning, horribly deformed infected people in the ruins attack everyone mindlessly, and if they know how, they tear them to pieces, or at least infect them, but the organizations just mentioned don’t spare each other either. In a word: man is a wolf to man here, be he healthy or infected.
Hit the road, Joel!
In this world, Joel, a burnt-out Marcona mercenary in his fifties, and his equally tough, purposeful, thirty-something female partner, Tess, have to take Ellie, the little girl, to the to the base of fireflies. We won’t reveal why, since many people are encountering the game for the first time, but we can tell you that Joel and Ellie are the most important characters of the game, their relationship and character development are the strongest aces of the often throat-tightening, exciting and twisty story. During their journey, the protagonists meet a lot of other characters who sometimes help them stay alive, while others betray them or unexpectedly take their own lives.
In addition to the professional storytelling, thanks to the amazingly lifelike graphics, the acting of the characters, who were brought to life by real actors with the help of motion capture, is perfectly executed.
Switched to PS5 speed and visuals
The PlayStation 5 graphics with 4K (UHD) resolution, native HDR, suffocatingly reproduces the vision of the future, which could easily happen to us anyway. The skyscrapers of the huge American cities that have been totally destroyed, the ruined slums, unfortunately, do not count as science fiction at all, if one of the recent war conflicts turns serious. The sight of the overgrowing vegetation reclaiming the area stolen from it by civilization is guaranteed to hit everyone’s stomach.
The Last of Us Part I naturally looks noticeably better than the PS3 original or even the PS4 remaster. While it doesn’t seem like players should expect major changes when it comes to things like story or level design (or perhaps any changes at all), it’s clear from the looks of it that the remake is a big visual leap from the original. From the lighting to the environments and the details that populate them, to the character and enemy models, The Last of Us Part 1 clearly made some very noticeable improvements. The 4K UHD environmental graphics, enhanced with native HDR, reproduce the artistic visual world of the original game in a breathtakingly beautiful way – this is probably how the creators envisioned the game even before 2013, when it was created for the PlayStation 3, which was equipped with much weaker capabilities.
Of course, the remake has improved facial animations in the scenes, which according to the developers are much closer to the original performances of the actors, including all their facial features. In terms of gameplay, Naughty Dog has also used the same algorithm-based motion matching technology used in The Last of Us Part 2, which results in smoother and more fluid movement.
The Last of Us, unlike its sequel, featured a number of different skins that players could apply to Joel and Ellie during gameplay. For the remake, Naughty Dog is bringing back this feature. Moreover, it will be possible to choose from the set of costumes expanded in The Last of Us Part I, although there is no word yet on exactly how many options will be available. In addition, the remake will also add weapon skins, which will be the first time in the series. Some of the weapons we’ve seen skins for so far are the shotgun, the bow, the 9mm pistol, and Ellie’s pistol. Obviously, this is one of the smaller changes that the remake makes, but it’s definitely an addition worth mentioning.
Similar to the costumes mentioned above, there is also a small accessory and a pleasant bonus. The Last of Us Part 1 has a dedicated model viewer, which – as the name suggests – allows you to easily view all the character and enemy models in the game. You will be able to maneuver them, zoom in and out, and study their smallest details. Even if it is not considered an epoch-making innovation, it is nevertheless a cool little addition.
Of course, in Last of Us, in addition to the story and the visuals, the gameplay is also an important element. Joel can excel with both firearms and handguns: the former are represented by traditional rifles, pistols, automatic and semi-automatic machine guns looted from the opponent, and the latter by various pipes, baseball bats, and wooden planks.
Joel and I will also do a lot of sneaking, and by surprising the enemy from behind, we can decide whether to strangle them, or to cut their throats with a knife taken from a pair of scissors. The constantly running out of ammunition for firearms in this game was measured quite narrowly, which is understandable, since Last of Us is basically a survival horror rather than an action game.
And the handguns are gradually amortized, for example, at first one thrust from our fabricated knife into the neck of our victim is enough, and it has already broken in two. It’s lucky that we can always find ingredients: scissors, handles, bandages, alcohol and many other things, so we constantly get supplies for the weapons, which, by the way, can be constantly improved on the workbenches mentioned among the PS5 novelties with different parameters (magazine size, shot spread, distance, etc.) .) Based on.
Related to the above-brushed visuals and realism is one of the aspects of The Last of Us Part 2, which was an innovation in 2020 compared to the first part and which seems to be carried over to the remake pretty much as it was there: visual display of workbenches. The workbenches in The Last of Us Part 2 were a big step up from the original game, with weapons being extremely detailed and having elaborate animations to go with their customization. This gameplay element has been carried over into the remake, which is nice to see, even if it’s a relatively minor update in the grand scheme of things.
Clickers “click” us…
The fight itself is not only simply brutal and extremely dynamic, but we also have to use all our tactical sense and knowledge of the opponent to win and survive. For example, there are several types of infected: the less advanced ones move extremely fast and immediately attack us in a crazy way when they see us. However, they are less deadly than the “clickers”, who are completely blind and find us based on sound, but a single bite from them is enough to kill our hero. By the way, the clickers in the new version are smarter, they find us more easily, and this makes the game as a whole significantly more difficult on the harder level.
Against “clickers”, it is worth developing an effective defense with a knife, because otherwise we are completely at their mercy from close range. By the way, there is also a type of behemoth for the clickers, who throws clumps of spores taken from his own body at him from a distance, and when he gets close to us, the head of our two-year-old hero, so he can only be dealt with with firearms, explosive bombs, and Molotov cocktails. If there is an opportunity, and they haven’t noticed, don’t even engage in a fight with them, just avoid these forms.
Killing is a human thing
Human opponents already behave much smarter (or at least lifelike…) and here we really experience the The awesomeness of artificial intelligence developed by Naughty Dog. Our enemies are aggressive, but they also take care of themselves, and often get scared and run away when they see our weapons – completely life-like.
The more tactical military opponents will try to surround us, or if they see that they can get behind us, they will try to do so. We ourselves can constantly change our arsenal, depending on how much ammo we have for which weapon, what kind of opponents we are facing, or whether they have noticed us or not. It is often worthwhile to stealthily deal with the enemy one after the other, like a real ninja, but other times there is nothing left but to scatter the bullets. On the other hand, in the more difficult survivor mode, you have to be stealthy for at least 60-70% of the game, otherwise you will crumble sooner or later. Tess and Ellie are always by our side, fighting with us, and even later in the game, Ellie throws ammunition at us, especially in the “survivor” level.
As for the PlayStation 5’s combat gameplay, many were disappointed that some of the biggest improvements from The Last of Us Part 2 – such as the ability to dodge or lie on your stomach – were not implemented in the remake, but in the absence of these, Naughty Dog said rather they focused on the development of AI. In The Last of Us Part 1, post-fight and stealth encounters are much more intense, with enemies trying to scout from the side, communicating with each other during stealth scenes like they did in The Last of Us Part 2, and more.
The creators promised that the artificial intelligence of the companions will also improve, which would have meant that, unlike the original game, in the remake they will actually try to stay out of sight of the enemy when you are sneaking. Unfortunately, I personally experienced that this is not true: Tess or Ellie sometimes hang out near the enemy in the same way as in the two previous generation versions, while they see nothing of them. It is conceivable that this is only the state before the release and that this will also be corrected in the Day One patch.
Unfortunately, the “battle of the survivors” was not here…
Factions, The Last of Us’ multiplayer mode, was a fan favorite back in the day, and The Last of Us Part 2 certainly lacked that. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the multiplayer mode back in the remake either. However, given that Naughty Dog has a separate AAA Factions project, this isn’t really surprising, if a bit disappointing. I definitely miss it, because even though I’m not big on multis, I loved The Last of Us’s multi on PS3.
Is it worth investing in it again at full price (again)?
An interesting question is whether those who have already played through The Last of Us once or more should buy this “thorough remake” (because I wouldn’t call it a “remake” in terms of the game experience, the structure of the levels, or any other aspect Part I) – and again at full price, which Sony has already played once, in 2015, with the PS4 remaster. Well, the gameplay basically hasn’t changed, not even to the extent that I usually found the enemies in the same places as, for example, the 2013 PS3 version, where even then it was a bit annoying that at least the software didn’t put them somewhere else. This is a bit disappointing especially in parts where I died many times and had to replay. The AI has really gotten better, but not to such a level that the stealth game element on the still very linear levels would have suddenly risen to new generation heights. It is true that human enemies and even clickers pay more attention to us, people tell their companions, but the mentioned AI-bug that our companions are never noticed is still in the game (at least in this version) and more always a bit of an illusion destroyer.
On the other hand, what clearly stands out the most in front of the screen is the renovated graphics, with particular attention to the development of the faces and facial animations. The difference is brutal, especially in the walkthroughs that present the story (which is the soul of this game), so whoever really cares about this will not be disappointed in the new twists and turns of Joel and Ellie’s eternal adventure.
+ Very popular, atmospheric story with strong characters
+ On PS5, amazingly detailed, wrinkled graphics, with new facial development, facial expressions
+ Well-developed tactical gameplay with a variety of enemies
– There is no longer any multiplayer here
– The combat moves in Part II are not included here
– The AI has not become as much better than promised, our companions are still sometimes noticed
Style:Survival horror, action-adventure, tactical, tps
Release: September 2, 2022