The Last of Us is already one of the most mythical sagas in the history of video games, and that has not yet turned 10 years old. However, it didn’t take long for Joel and Ellie to become not only icons of the medium but also the eternal example of how video games had matured their character narrative. The complexity of their personalities and their relationship was so exceptional that it was hard to think of even current Hollywood movies that could be compared to them. The Last of Us has not yet made the leap to the cinema as if its first cousin, Uncharted , has , but it will become an HBO series next year 2023. Along with the premiere of The House of the Dragon , in fact, they gave us the first teaser
Despite the fact that The Last or Us 2 arrived in 2020, seven years after the first , it is clear that the series will be based, at least initially, on the first title. That may be one of the reasons for this controversial remake. Controversial because the original game, despite being close to 10 years old, still looks great, especially in its PS4 remaster. Also because its price, €79.99 recommended price, seems too high for a game that many players have already bought at least once. But we, who have already had it during an intense week of testing, already have our opinion, our analysis. That’s right and The Last of Us Part 1 , the remake of a masterpiece.
The Last of Us Part 1: The review for those who have already played it
The first thing that strikes, and that outraged many players, is that at first glance this remake has more than what we usually understand in the industry for remastering, that is, a graphic and visual update. However, if we get technical, what Naughty Dog has done is a full-fledged remake. The game was and is a masterpiece, so the changes in the gameplay, the structure and the story without very minimal. However, all character modeling has been redone, cutscenes are now rendered in real time, and facial expressions have been upgraded to already legendary voice acting. The Last of UsIt doesn’t touch the original game much because, perhaps, it didn’t need to be touched. On the contrary, he decides to improve it as much as he can without risking changing its essence.
Not only the characters have been redone, improving some animations and cinematics that make up the best that the medium has done in this section. The technological update of the environments is outstanding. Here the word remake makes sense again, the generic rooms disappear and many have been filled with personal items. There will be, we venture, dozens of videos on the internet analyzing how the hell Naughty Dog has made the folds of a rug in a random room completely interactive with our footsteps. The environment is more alive than ever, and this can not only be seen in the ray tracing or the more realistic and dark lighting of the scenes, but also in their reactions to our movements and in the weight and destruction of all the objects in the environment. .
The lucky ones who didn’t get carried away by the internet’s silly tantrums and enjoyed suffering through Part 2 will find here that the game is one point more difficult than in its original release due to the greater variety and unpredictability of enemies. In The Last of US Part 1 , as in Part 2 , it’s very hard to see two matches being the same as the enemies move and interact in really varied and realistic ways. Detail in enemy hit areas has also been shot up. The game is more violent in terms of blood and dismemberment, but we must also emphasize the importance of these details in the gameplay. Now, like in Resident Evil, perhaps it is better to shoot first at the legs, leaving the infected crawling, and then aim for the head.
The interface, inherited from Part 2, has also been improved, easier and cleaner to change weapons and for any indication. As for PS5, we again have to surrender to the DualSense, for now the real winner of the new generation. Although Joel still can’t crawl on the ground or dodge melee blows like Ellie did in Part 2, the DualSense and its haptic vibration will make every movement feel more realistic. As for the triggers, shooting with the shotgun and especially with the bow has become quite an experience that shows that Naughty Dog does not, again, do things for no reason. If we also have the Pulse 3D to enjoy surround sound, all the better. Although, we warn you, dreaming of clickers is not pleasant.
The Last of Us Part 1: The review for new players
Despite devoting myself, among other things, to writing about video games, it wasn’t until 2022 that I found time to play the first Red Dead Redemption . It wasn’t until 2020 that I was able to play Final Fantasy 7 , a title from 1997. To say that everyone who has ever wanted to play The Last of Us has already played it is and must be an erroneous statement. Especially when it comes to a title that, until now, was exclusive to PlayStation consoles. The Last of Us Part 1It will also be available, in addition to PS5, on PC, giving a huge new community of players the chance to discover one of the best games in the field, and above all two characters and a story of those that leave their mark. Blessed are those who have managed to make it spoiler-free up to this point. We envy them.
Therefore, in order not to stop raising them, we will say as little as possible about the history of the game. More than anything because spoiling their first minutes to someone who is going to have the privilege of living them should be punishable by jail. Let’s just say about the story that happens over the course of a year, through two protagonists. The first is a man in his forties named Joel and the second is a 14-year-old girl. Two decades after a pandemic that turns people into aggressive monsters brought down society, Joel, a mercenary with quite a few bad tempers and a very black outlook on life, must escort Ellie, immune and the likely cure for the infection, through from a country where the most dangerous thing is not the monstrous infected but the savage society of survivors.
The Last of Us is a story about the union of these two figures surrounded by a shell created by the continuous disappointments of life. It is a story full of pain and tragedy but, and perhaps this is the only real reason for superiority with its second part, also of hope. Great dialogues in game and in cinematics, facial expressions of the best level ever seen in the medium and masterful music by Gustavo Santaolalla form that narrative that has made millions fall in love. However, a game would not be good if precisely that, the game, was not just as good. The Last of UsMix stealth and action in a gameplay that is as concise as it is diverse. The AI of the enemies, the variety of weapons and the fair and measured precision of the resources and the ammunition mean that your choices on how you approach each situation change your luck and your game. In The Last Of Us , especially the remake, it seems like every playthrough something completely different happens. Arrows, nail bombs, a revolver or a simple brick can completely change your luck and the way you act.
By cons, errors that were already in the original have returned here. Resource farming takes away more from the story than it gives it, forcing the cautious player to walk into the walls and corners of the arenas to collect them, losing the narrative much of its power. Also faltering, as in Part 2 , are the puzzle sections, aimed at coordinating with your teammates to open doors or reach stairs. They are vague, boring and unoriginal. They are small evils that, of course, do not ruin the experience but do stain the notes a bit. Something like the approved low in Ginmasia of the nerd with all outstanding.
Unnecessary remake or improved return of a masterpiece?
The Last Of Us Part 1 will not be a new experience for anyone who has already played the 2013 title one or more times, but it will be the best way to play it from now on. New players will discover a masterpiece at a higher level than they would if they went to the original title. Those who want to revisit it will do it better than ever. Yes, it’s the same game but the realism that seemed, at first, to reduce expressiveness, adds to it. Facial expressions, the look of Joel or Ellie, has never been such a powerful resource. The fight, with a much improved AI of the enemies and companions, gives more variety to the already diverse gameplay (to be a realistic game, of course) and also adds immersion in the story during the in-game.
This remake may not have been “necessary” to enjoy The Last of Usbut this one certainly deserves it. You don’t need it but it’s a gift that only makes a legend better. The fans will decide if this upgrade is worth its full price or not, but for a masterpiece like the one Naughty Dog gave us to improve is always a good gift. If moviegoers celebrate that the Bologna Cinematheque restores Charles Chaplin in 4k, and sells us his blu-ray at full price when the movies are on Youtube, the players shouldn’t be any different. In addition, it will be the perfect occasion for all the millions of PC users who do not play on PlayStation consoles to get closer to what will undoubtedly be one of the most unforgettable gaming experiences of their lives. They will do it as the lucky ones did with a PS3 in 2013, with a title in the highest graphic and technical levels of the moment.
Naughty Dog has preferred to play little or nothing that could distort the original title, and that is that if something went so well, even fixing it can lose much of its magic. Those of us who had already played the title several times may be left wondering what a redesigned gameplay would be like with Joel being able to crawl on the ground or dodge clickers, but we have to assume that this was not the intention. The Last of Us Part 1 is not a new game, it is an almost impeccable remake of a game from which we could remove that “almost”.
We only hope that, after the arrival of that announced multiplayer-focused title that, let’s remember, has disappeared in this remake, they will focus on a Part 3 that, hopefully, partly recovers that little light of hope that Ellie gives in this delivery, now more alive than ever as the darkness in Joel’s eyes.