Now more beautifully depressing

The Last of Us may become the new Resident Evil 4. Sony has set a precedent that we should see a remaster of this game every generation going forward. The game originally launched on the PS3 then got a remaster on PS4 and now a full on remake on PS5. That has to be unprecedented. The only game I can think of that has been ported more in that short of time is likely Doom or the aforementioned RE4. Still the original Last of Us is one of Naughty Dog’s best games, yes even better than the second game to me, but to be revisited three times in three generations seems a touch obsessive.

Say what you want about the original game, but it changed narrative-driven titles and expanded upon the foundation the developers started with Uncharted. The game conveyed more emotion than anything else before it. The opening cut scene is still one of the most powerful things I have ever witnessed. Even though I have seen it multiple times, it still gets me to this day. With the power of the PS5 it is even more gut-wrenching now. New facial animations showcase the characters feelings and now match the outstanding voice acting even more. It might not look all that different in internet videos, but blaring on my OLED TV at 60fps this game is a visual masterpiece.

MSRP: $69.99
Platforms: PlayStation 5
Price I’d Pay: $49.99

Visuals are definitely the biggest change. I cannot stress enough that the videos online simply don’t do it justice. The lighting has been increased ten-fold. The foliage and destructible objects really immersed me into this world, even more so than it originally did on the PS3. The game truly looks stunning. There are also plenty of options as far as resolution and frame rate. I opted for 60fps because games just feel better. Thankfully the hit was not as major as it might have been on previous consoles. The amount of detail and visual fidelity was still so high. This is truly a game that makes my OLED scream. This game is simply stunning, there is no better word for it.

Visual fidelity is not the only change though. The game play has been refined to feel even more akin to Last of Us 2. While still not the best as far as shooting goes, the game feels light years better than the original. So much more control over my shots and movement feels better. Naughty Dog games have never felt as fluid as I would like. This remake continues to trend upward with more finite handling of everything. I get that some things need to feel realistic to immerse players, but at the same time I want to feel like I am playing a game, not wrestling with controls. This is the best feeling Naughty Dog game to date and the changes are truly welcomed in this remake.

Naughty Dog continues to be the king of accessibility. Last of Us Part 1 is simply overflowing with options. I felt like I needed a tutorial on all the available switches. This game has difficulty sliders for everything. It has visual and hearing aids that simply make the game more accessible to just about anyone. One of the coolest features of this is a new Dual Sense feature that uses nuanced motion to convey the emotion of the person speaking. It is simply incredible. Even though I didn’t require it, I left it on for much of the game as it added so much to the experience. This is truly next-gen as far as features go.

Everything else will make the game truly accessible to anyone. Players can customize to their heart’s content at any point in the game. Naughty Dog is truly head and shoulders above anyone else in this department that it almost feels unfair. Every game should strive to be half as good at accessibility as this team has become.

The game does boast a couple new modes for players who want the real challenge though. The new permadeath mode is exactly what it says and makes the intensity ramp up to a thousand. Knowing that one wrong move will result in starting the entire game over will test even the most trialed gamer. There is also a speedrun mode that tracks progress and allows players to work towards the best time. Not a ton of new pieces to the puzzle, but all are welcomed.

Let’s discuss the elephant in the room though. This game is $70 for a title that has been remastered already. PS5 players likely have played this, not to mention this version strips out the multiplayer making it a lesser package. That is not to say the upgrades are not worth the money. This game has truly been rebuilt, this is not a quick port. The work was done and this could easily be considered a full-price game. It is just a full-priced game most PlayStation owners have played before. At least once if not more. This makes it a hard pill to swallow with the price increase of PlayStation games this generation. If you love this series and don’t mind the entry fee, I won’t tell you it isn’t worth it, but it is still something to consider. There is no extra content here, just the core game without the online and a truckload of updated features and quality of life improvements.

The Last of Us Part 1 is a hard game to review. On one hand it is still an amazing achievement all these years later. The story is fantastic, and the characters are some of the best. I love the original game and this remake doesn’t change that. Still for $70 it is a lot to ask for a game that hasn’t exactly been out of the conversation since it released. The removal of multiplayer is also questionable, but I guess it makes sense as players could still play that in the PS4 remaster. There is a lot to appreciate here, and truly this is one of the best-looking games ever created.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Simply jaw-dropping visually
  • A myriad of accessibility options
  • New permadeath and speedrun modes
  • That price tag is still hard to swallow
  • Removal of online mode
Written by
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.