The Last of Us Part 1 review: An expensive remaster

A premium price tag alongside a dated core.

The last of us is an undeniable masterpiece, a well-crafted title that rightfully made it to a few Stevivor staffers’ (including my own) “Best Games of the Last Ten” list not too long ago. . But therein lies the problem: the original The last of us on PS3 is less than ten years old and has already been followed by a PS4 remaster called, unsurprisingly, The Last of Us Remastered.

With this name already taken, Sony is now releasing The last of us part 1 on PS5, but make no mistake: this is the same PS3 title you’ve played many times before, remastered and with a premium price.

If Sony and Naughty Dog can retread the same content, so can I. In 2013, our own Matt Gosper described the title as “the story of Joel and Ellie, a survivor and a child in a world ravaged by an epidemic that destroyed civilization as we know it. As Joel, you’ll travel across the United States in search of answers and a better life, while doing your best to protect Ellie from an unrelenting world.

Matt went on to say that, “As part of the game, the cordyceps fungus – a parasite that targets and takes over insects to spread its spores – has mutated and adapted to humans, resulting in a variety of horrific mutations that leave the host as nothing more than a mindless killer. It’s an interesting twist on the standard “zombie apocalypse” trope, made all the more terrifying if you’ve ever taken the time to read up on cordyceps such that it behaves in reality.

Playing primarily as Joel, you’ll set yourself up in an over-the-shoulder third-person view in a post-apocalyptic USA, usually with an AI-controlled companion. In some segments, you’ll explore the environment, slowly piecing together (as a player for the most part, though Ellie is a bit sheltered at 14) how this world came to be. You’ll be forced to fight other survivors or, even worse, the zombie-like beings that turned the world upside down. Joel is armed with an arsenal of weapons, from guns to 2x4s or bricks, and can craft items like health packs and shivs, the latter of which are not only useful for stealth killing zombies, but also for accessing locked doors that contain ever-useful supplies. .

Naughty Dog has painstakingly moved to bring The last of us to modern times in terms of visuals. Ellie’s model looks straight out of The last of us part 2 – and it probably is, thanks to flashback footage found in this game – while Part 2Lighting effects from were also used. At face value, The last of us part 1 looks as good, if not better, than any current PS5 title. Cutscenes are where this remaster shines, with extremely realistic models, animations, and facial expressions. The care and attention given to Part 1The facelift is commendable, although unfortunately – and just like a real facelift – is ultimately superficial.

The real problem with this package is that the gameplay hasn’t received the same treatment. Despite promises that the AI ​​behavior has been improved, you’ll immediately notice when your NPC companion comes out in the open right in front of human or zombie enemies…just like in 2013; thankfully, that doesn’t matter for gameplay now, because it didn’t back then either.

I groaned audibly when my flashlight first went out, and an on-screen prompt suggested I wiggle my DualShock — oh, sorry, make it my DualSense — to turn it back on. While standard at the time, unnecessary puzzles or ladder segments where you squeeze through narrow passages – i.e. chunks that hide the PlayStation loading the next area to explore – stand out now that we have ultra-fast SSDs and no need for these artificial barriers.

Let me borrow from myself now, circa 2014: “I know the story of the game. I’m aware of what happens in its tragic prologue, and that continues through its epilogue.

“Just with your favorite movies, they are still amazing and enjoyable, but you can’t find that experience you get when you walk into an unfamiliar property. If you’ve ever played the game, it might not be worth it to come back so soon.

Sony even took to the PlayStation Blog with the photo of the giraffe (above). The giraffe fired! You remember, it was great! It’s definitely not a spoiler anymore, because we all know that.

In 2014, I wasn’t thrilled that Sony repackaged The last of us using a strategy as it is adopted again for 2022. However, with the option to double the framerate than before and gameplay that was only a year old, there was still something to be said for Remastered at this moment. It’s also more palatable given that the PS3 wasn’t as widespread as the PS4 or even the PS5, in terms of user adoption in their respective generations. The problem here is that anyone with a PS4 has – or at the very least should have – played The last of us already. Now on PS5 it’s a much tougher sell: it’s a PS3 game that looks like a PS5 game that’s also been priced up to Sony’s current-gen console title of $125 AUD . This is unacceptable.

If you’re one of the few PlayStation owners who haven’t played The last of us and doesn’t require the fantastic accessibility options found in Part 2 and now Part 1 – or you’re not a hardcore trophy hunter – you don’t need this game. The Last of Us Remastered on PS4 is priced at $25 AUD on the PlayStation Store (and likely cheaper at physical retailers) and will certainly get the job done. That’s AUD $100 less than what this title is offered through the same marketplace, and it really comes down to that. Beauty can only take you so far.

It’s like an old PC game that gets an HD texture pack from a modder, except it’s already happened, officially, from Sony on PS4 and is happening again now. And you pay a premium for it every time.

6.5 out of 10

The last of us part 1 was reviewed using retail disc and current digital patch on PS5 as purchased by Stevivor. Click here to learn more about the Stevivor grading scale and click here to read more about our post-launch Sony reviews.

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