The Last of Us Remastered
This review can be summed up in one question: Have you played The Last of Us on the PS3?
No? Then you should probably play The Last of Us Remastered on the PS4.
Yes? Then you probably shouldn’t play The Last of Us Remastered, unless you really, really want to.
Ok, maybe that’s a bit lazy. Why should you play The Last of Us Remastered on the PS4? The Last of Us is an R18 Naughty Dog game released mid 2013 that got pretty stellar reviews, and won a bunch of awards, ‘over 200’ according to the Remastered box. It is generally a pretty good game, with an interesting story, believable characters that use harsh language a lot, and some terrifyingly brutal and visceral combat. The game is a post apocalyptic one, and involves a couple of main characters travelling across an America left to rot for 20 years after a terrible plague. It’s clearly inspired by a variety of cinematic and literary works but at the same time has a reasonably original story and a nice spin on ‘the infected’ to keep you going. You probably already know all that though, if you’ve read a Last of Us review or watched any game footage in the last year.
The original Last of Us was apparently pretty graphically top notch for the PS3, and things have only been improved for the gruntier PS4. The game looks even more lovely, it’s full HD, runs at 60 FPS and the characters are now rendered in-game with what used to be their ‘cut-scene’ models on the PS3. The world is lush and rich, with fantastic lighting and detailing. This really is the best looking version of The Last of Us available, which is why people who have played it on the PS3 might be tempted to pick it up for the PS4, only a year later.
Last of Us Remastered also tosses all the DLC from Last of Us, giving you some additional content for free for the single player campaign, and a bunch more maps for multiplayer as well. So that’s another tempter for people that have already played it on the PS3. The PS4 version also includes an additional ‘photo mode’ much like Infamous: Second Son’s that lets you take some great screen-shots of the game world, as well as more closely investigate some of the visual jokes in the game. It also has some mildly amusing additions in the form of PS4 controller integration and occasionally uses the PS4 controller speaker to good effect.
Unfortunately while Last of Us Remastered has improved in a bunch of ways, it has also kept a bunch of warts from its original release as well as added a few extra quirks. The focus is on graphical improvement as the story and gameplay are identical to the PS3 version. The enemy and ally AI hasn’t been updated and still exhibits some problems where your allies will do stupid things in combat, particularly while fighting larger groups of enemies. The graphics look lovely but there are definitely noticeable issues with pop in and texture oddities which Naughty Dog developers have publicly acknowledged. Generally you don’t notice these issues while playing, but when they do happen, they are very visually jarring. You’d sort of expect ‘remastering’ to improve the product without adding any new extra issues as well.
However even with the same flaws as the PS3 version, and a few new issues, The Last of Us Remastered is still a diamond of a game, and even slightly discounted in price compared to other AAA PS4 titles – which is a nice touch from Naughty Dog. It is definitely worth your time and money if you’re playing it for the first time on the PS4, and the improved graphics and inclusion of all the DLC might even tempt you if you’re already finished it on the PS3 (just don’t expect any surprises with the story).
Reviewed on: PS4
Rating: R18 Contains violence and horror.
Reviewed by: Stu