XXL’s Game Corner: The Last Of Us Remastered Review
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Naughty Dog, Inc.
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Naughty Dog’s acclaimed action game, The Last of Us, has finally made its way to the PlayStation 4 as The Last of Us Remastered. Now you’ll get to explore the brutal post-pandemic world fully realized with the power of the PS4.
The biggest change Remastered brings is its framerate. The original version of The Last of Us ran at 30 frames per second at 720p resolution, but the PS4 runs Remastered at 60 frames per second and 1080p resolution. You’ll notice the differences between the two versions almost immediately as The Last of Us on the PS3 almost looks choppy when comparing the two. Optimized for the PS4 the stunningly beautiful gameplay becomes even more realistic with both subtle and noticeable updates to environments and graphics. Remastered doesn’t just boast eye candy updates as there are a few things added that are specific to the PS4. For instance the touch pad on the dual shock controller is used to open and close Joel’s backpack and L2 and R2 triggers for aim and fire (the option to revert to the PS3 control scheme is also available).
As for the backstory it remains unchanged as you are thrust into a world where a fungal plague has devastated the population, turning the majority into mindless, zombie-like creatures. The remaining humans live either in harsh government-controlled cities or attempt to survive on their own either as scavengers or in small close-knit communities. As the game begins you take control of Joel, an amoral smuggler who is convinced to take a 14-year-old girl named Ellie across America to meet with a resistance group called the Fireflies. While the zombie tale has been told ad nauseam one of the reasons The Last of Us stood head and shoulders above other games is how well developed the characters were. Joel’s character was one of a hard bitter man and he isn’t very likeable, but he is at least understandable, in large part because the dialogue in The Last of Us is so human and believable. Then you have the teenager Ellie who is the game’s emotional heart. In contrast to Joel’s cynicism, Ellie is still capable of wide-eyed wonder. While Joel seems like he’s just going through the motions at times, Ellie is very much alive, and over the course of the game, neither Joel, nor you, can avoid growing attached to her. It’s a powerful story of moral grays and unlikely bonds so if you didn’t play it on the PS3, you’re in for a treat if you’re playing The Last of Us for the first time on the PS4. Also included in the Remastered package is the single-player DLC, Left Behind, which fills in a gap in the main story while offering insight into Ellie’s life before meeting Joel.
The XXL Endgame
The Last of Us was superb on the PS3 and the Remastered version for PS4 is still a stunning achievement in both storytelling and third person adventure. If you played 2013’s Game of the Year near release and have been dying to return to the dark tale, then this is a great opportunity.—written by DJRhude (@DJRhude)
XXL Rating XL (Excellent)
The Last of Us Remastered was reviewed on a retail copy provided by Sony