Ian Cooper delivers his verdict on The Last Of Us Remastered, an enhanced version of one of 2013’s most acclaimed experiences.
The latest craze of sprucing up games of the past and bringing them to this generation will never get old, as seeing the best of the best fully enhanced and fleshed-out is well worth another playthrough – and the price tag that goes with it.
The latest in the craze is an enhanced version of a game that is arguably the best created on last generation platforms: Naughty Dog’s acclaimed masterpiece The Last Of Us. It lived up to its hype last year and brought phenomenal graphics to the table, as well as one of the best narratives ever seen in a video game. So Naughty Dog and Sony’s idea to bring it to the PlayStation 4, with all of its horsepower, made perfect sense.
You play as Joel, a post-apocalyptic survivor who finds it hard to connect with people ever since an outbreak of a virus which turned most of the population into mindless creatures. He soon meets Ellie, a hard-knock young girl who can certainly hold her own, and together they must find a way to salvation, tackling all kinds of problems which includes more than the mindless creatures that roam.
How the story is told and played out is nothing short of masterful. Second to none acting, beautifully written dialogue, and superb motion capture mixed in with the terrific visuals means that The Last Of Us could easily floor most blockbusters at the cinema. These characteristics mean its easy to connect with Joel from the start, and you really do care whether him and Ellie survive or not. You will experience all kinds of emotions as it explores heartbreak, relief, desperation. Playing The Last Of Us is the most engrossed I’ve ever been in a video game, and the chances are it will be the same for you too.
Not only is the story-telling excellent,but the gameplay is too. It’s essentially a third person adventure which mixes stealth, shooting and exploration to brilliant effect. Environments are open and there is plenty of materials to collect for the game’s simple and effective on-the-fly crafting system. So simple and effective that is, it’s extremely easy to craft up a medi kit in the heat of battle.
The combat is tight and exciting, enemies are smart and will take up any opportunity to flank and ambush you (however, they can be easily tricked to sneak up on them so you can grab them from behind and either choke them out, or stick a homemade shiv in their throats). It’s extremely satisfying and never becomes a chore, even when a second wave enters the fray.
The mindless infected are another kettle of fish altogether. Runners are recently infected people who, when they see you, charge in, leaving little time to think …. and then there’s the Clickers. Clickers are unpredictable and tough, but they have one solitary disadvantage: they can’t see. Using this to your advantage is great fun. Stealth is best for survival as ammo can be scarce, and Joel has a listening ability which enables you to track enemy movements via the sounds they make.
The Last Of Us Remastered ramps up the visual quality to levels beyond that seen in the PlayStation 3 version. Characters are more detailed (and mud, blood and sweat is seen more clearly dripping down), but the biggest improvement is the stunning environments. Shrubbery, the sights of the great outdoors, the cities, and even the dark and dank corridors all look beautiful, with enhanced shadows, better anti aliasing and 60 frames per second frame rate making The Last Of Us Remastered the best looking game on the PS4 to date.
The Remastered version not only boasts better graphics, it also comes complete with the Left Behind single player DLC, which focuses around Ellie as you delve more into her past. It’s a fantastic addition to the main story as you play as Ellie herself. The awesome narrative and amazing visuals even carry over to the DLC too.
The Last Of Us also has solid online multiplayer modes, including traditional death match a brilliant interrogation mode which requires you to interrogate players to learn their lock box location. It’s exciting and very tense. Load outs can be made up and outfit items can be unlocked as well as emblems to boost your level.
The Last Of Us Remastered is a masterpiece. The epic storytelling, brilliant pacing and beautiful enhanced graphics blend brilliantly with the tense high octane action and wide open environments – which beg to be explored. If you didn’t play this game first time around, you owe it to yourself to play through this fantastic tale. A definite must-own.
Story – 5/5
Graphics – 5/5
Gameplay – 5/5
Overall – 5/5
Version reviewed – PlayStation 4