Nine years ago, Naughty Dog surprised the whole world with The Last of Us, a work that moved away from their previous works to take us to a near future in which the Earth had been devastated by a fungus that transforms people into extremely dangerous ” zombies.” With this premise, we embarked on an unforgettable journey where action, stealth and terror were perfectly combined with a script, a narrative and, above all, characters so complex, fascinating and human that they are already living the medium’s history.
A game that exploited the technical capabilities of PlayStation 3 to its ultimate consequences and made us feel like actual survivors in a ruthless and violent universe like itself. It also kept moments of unique beauty etched forever in our retinas. As if all this were not enough, he finished the play with an emotional and evocative soundtrack composed by Gustavo Santaolalla. The latter managed to give the music a very intimate and personal tone.
We are not exaggerating in the least if we say that The Last of Us is one of the best video games ever made and one of the ones that has left the most mark on us, so the idea of reviving it with a remake for PS5 (and soon PC ) that updates its graphics to 2022 standards could not be more attractive to us, despite how current the original is still thanks to its remastering for PS4. And yes, we are already telling you that Part I is, by far, the best way you will find to enjoy this wonder.
A very faithful remake
The first thing we have to make clear is that at the level of content, we are facing the same game that was launched in 2013, something that, in addition, we can extend to its overwhelming expansion, Left Behind, which has also received its corresponding remake as part of this new product (unfortunately, its Multiplayer Mode has been left out this time). Things like the story, the level design and the mechanics have remained practically intact since Naughty Dog’s objective with this version has been to rebuild everything with a completely new graphic section and add some other specific improvements that make them an even more satisfying experience.
In other words, do not expect new content in the form of new types of enemies, playable sections, objects or movements, or anything that could at least alter the original adventure’s impeccable development. With The Last of Us Part II existing, this means that at the controls, it continues to be a more straightforward, limited and less varied game in comparison. However, we understand that introducing all the improvements and novelties that the sequel brought with it would have entailed redesigning many things in depth so that the difficulty would not break. We could take advantage of the environment.
In any case, we assure you that it is something that, in the end, is not missed since we are talking about a game that was already practically perfect on PS3 and for which it is challenging to find any fault. A whole design lesson that ends up translating into a well-rounded title that does not lack or spare a single second that takes full advantage of all its mechanics and whose rhythm is enviable, constantly surprising us with new situations and alternating with great success the moments of tranquillity with the most intense to find a balance to which very few productions can aspire.
Now, this does not mean that the opportunity has not been taken to introduce minor tweaks that make the title more immersive and accessible, something that is very clear in detail, such as the new interface and how the controls are arranged. And shortcuts, all inherited from Part II. In the same way, the gunplay of the sequel has also been adapted to this remake, making the sensation of forcefulness when hitting enemies indescribably satisfactory, even allowing us to develop new strategies such as destroying the legs of the infected to delay them and that they can only chase us by crawling on the ground.
As you can guess, this is greatly helped by DualSense’s haptic feedback and the use of the controller’s adaptive triggers. In the first case, it has given us some shocking sensations with specific effects, such as when going through a snowstorm, shooting with a shotgun or riding a horse, while the second is limited to shooting with the bow. , something that in this game has seemed much better handled than in other titles (special mention when we have the bow drawn and we stop doing it without actually executing the shot).
On the other hand, some adjustments have also been made to the allied AI to prevent Ellie and the other characters that will accompany us from happily walking in front of the enemies as if they had an invisibility cloak. The bad news is that this issue with the original hasn’t been fully resolved. Throughout our journey, we’ve experienced somewhat surreal situations in which our teammates ran like crazy in front of our rivals without them being able to see them. Of course, this now happens with a much lower frequency, so it is a particular error. We have hardly detected changes in the enemies’ behaviours and routines. Hence, they remain very predictable, have fair communication, and do not come as surprising as they did in Part II. At the very least, they seem to interact better with the environment and use cover a little more efficiently.
Continuing with the novelties, it is worth noting the enormous number of accessibility options that have been added, offering us a highly customizable experience so that almost any player can adapt the title to their needs and fully enjoy the work, including things as revolutionary as using the feedback from the DualSense to indicate the intensity of the dialogues and transmit the tone used by the characters when speaking, something that users with hearing problems will appreciate very much for how well it works. What’s more, there are audio descriptions for everything, including cutscenes, which are unheard of on PlayStation.
Nor can we forget about a complete chapter and encounter selector so that we can replay any specific part of the adventure that we have completed, either for simple fun, to collect collectibles that we have been able to leave or even to achieve a trophy. Speaking of awards, there is a new selection of them that makes the task of obtaining the precious Platinum much more entertaining, fun and easy than in the original and its remaster. Also, comment that many clues have been added to the PS5 activity cards to help us not to leave anything to achieve.
Additionally, we have a gigantic gallery of unlockable extras from which we can access all kinds of materials, such as 3D models, conceptual arts (including both those made for the original PS3 version and the new ones from this remake ), render modes, documentaries, match modifiers, podcasts, cheats and costumes for Joel and Ellie, where we will find many new clothes with which to dress our heroes. There is a lot of unique content to unlock in each category after finishing the game, something that we will do by investing in some points acquired by obtaining trophies and collectibles, as well as by beating chapters on greater difficulties.
New modes have also been added, such as Permanent Death, which we can activate for the entire game, each chapter, or each act. As in the sequel, this option is independent of the chosen difficulty level and does not need to be unlocked. On the other hand, you can also put yourself to the test with the Speed Race Mode, where the objective is to reach the end in the shortest possible time.
In another order of things, you will be happy to know that a new Photo Mode has been included, much superior to the one introduced in the remastering, where you will enjoy many options to unleash your creativity and obtain great snapshots from the application of filters to more concrete and technical things like controlling and placing the light sources. The truth is that it is a game with such an overwhelming visual direction that, with minimal effort, we have managed to obtain some great photos, so if you are lovers of this type of addition, you will have a great time with it.
As you can see, we have talked about minor improvements, tweaks, options, extras and additional modes that, without altering the original experience, make the game more satisfying and enjoyable than ever. But, at the moment of truth, the extraordinary claim of this remake we have in its new audiovisual section is a giant leap compared to what we saw in the PS4 remastering.
Everything has been redone from scratch, which implies new models, scenes, animations, lighting system and facial expressions, thus equating its graphics to those of Part II to achieve a very interesting visual cohesion between both games, something that also ends up having an impact on its art direction, darker, raw and realistic.
The result is simply spectacular, not only because of the quality of all the elements put on the screen but also because of the enormous amount of detail that has been gained, something that can be quickly appreciated in the scenarios, making it much more prosperous and complex. In addition, this also means that the modelling of the characters is always the same both in the video sequences (which have been respected shot by shot) and in the playable sections, so we will always enjoy them at maximum quality, making them something much more homogeneous and cohesive.
It is quite an experience to be able to revive this masterpiece in this way, and today you will find a few titles on the market that look better. Perhaps it has not impacted us as much as Part II at first, whose environments are much broader and more varied, making it easier for them to look more. Still, we would be lying if we told you that we had not spent the entire game completely amazed, recreating our eyes at each step we took. There are two graphics modes: Fidelity (4K and 40fps) and Performance (dynamic resolution and 60fps). Of the two, our favourite option has been Performance, the most balanced and with about 60 fps, which for us is non-negotiable.
Finally, we do not find notable changes in the sound since both the soundtrack and the effects have remained intact since they have not been re-recorded. Now, the opportunity has been taken to take advantage of PS5’s 3D audio technology with sensational results that have fully immersed us in action, especially in the sections where the infected come into play, whose screams and the consequent echo they produce have given us goosebumps and have allowed us to detect their origin without the need for visual contact easily.
We repeat it: The Last of Us Part I is, by far, the best version of this great game and its expansion. An extremely faithful remake that dazzles us with an incredible technical section adds minor improvements here and there to make the control experience even more satisfying, if possible. Of course, by not wanting to touch anything that could alter the base of the original, in the purely playable, it falls short of its sequel since it has much more limited mechanics and less varied enemies, which does not mean that it remains a round work, with a practically perfect development and with a story and characters that leave their mark.
Perhaps it was not the game that needed a remake the most, both because of the time that has passed since its launch and because of how valid the original is still thanks to its remastering, something to which we must add the fact that it is a work Hardly improvable. Still, it is tough to say no to such a careful and spectacular product that updates one of the best adventures we have ever enjoyed in any video game to 2022 standards. Without a doubt, a highly recommended purchase to rediscover or live the unforgettable journey of Joel and Ellie for the first time.
We prepared this review with a digital copy provided by Sony PlayStation.