Nine years ago, on June 14, 2013, Naughty Dog released undoubtedly the greatest masterpiece of the PlayStation 3 with The Last Of Us, their new game, but also the studio’s new license. A year later, after having won almost everything with their game, the Californian studio released a remastered version on PS4.
Building on its success, The Last Of Us license will not stop there. In 2020, The Last Of Us Part II comes to drive the point home with an even more impactful title that will once again make everyone agree by becoming the most awarded video game in history.
As we approach ten years of the series, Naughty Dog invites us to rediscover the first adventures of Joël and Ellie in a remake called The Last Of Us Part I. An ideal comeback to relaunch this journey while waiting for the release. from The Last Of Us on HBO Max in early 2023. But does this remake live up to the original masterpiece? We see that right away.
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The Last Of Us, still as impactful
Let it be said, a masterclass like The Last Of Us remains timeless. So even nine years later, after finishing the title a dozen times on PS3/PS4, the impact is still the same. From the sensational introduction, to the highlights of the adventure, we are still speechless in front of Naughty Dog’s almost faultless performance. During this test, we will not go back over the story of the game. Firstly, so as not to spoil players who have not had the opportunity to discover the story of Joël and Ellie. Those lucky ones who may be doing it for the first time on PS5.
Secondly, because we are going to focus on the “remake” part. Quite simply because the original game was already at the time almost perfect. With a MetaCritic score of 95% (out of a total of 98 tests), the game has absolutely nothing left to prove to anyone.
So, to make it simple on the story part, The Last Of Us will immerse you in a devastated world in 2033. Following a global pandemic, more than half of the population has disappeared. With this title, you will face a danger, the cordyceps. A virus that is transmitted by spores and which transforms humans into infected, then into clickers. It’s about a kind of zombie who loses their minds because of a fungus that grows and develops in their brain.
With The Last Of Us, you will realize that most of the time, the danger is not the threat itself, but humanity. The game immerses you in a strong and intense narrative, with many twists and turns that will clearly play with your emotions. Even nine years later, after having finished the game countless times, it still does not leave you indifferent. Especially with the incredible rendering of this remake.
The Last Of Us more beautiful than ever
Let’s get into the thick of it. No offense to some, The Last Of Us Part I is a real remake and not a port or a remastered. The first trailers made us understand this, but once the controller is in hand, doubt is no longer possible. It’s even impressive to see the graphic gap between The Last Of Us Remastered (in 2014 on PS4, which was already very clean) and this remake on PS5 in 2022.
The entire game has been redone. This time we are not on an HD facelift of the textures for better resolution. We are really talking about a game that has been completely reworked. The buildings, the sets, the 3D model of the characters which is stunningly realistic and even more detailed than The Last Of Us Part II. But also the decorations and the interior of the buildings. We are clearly in a remake that has not been done by halves.
The vegetation, the lighting effects, the effect of the rain, we sometimes have the impression of rediscovering the game. The environments are much prettier, it is full of small details. Certain passages seem to have been redone from start to finish, giving us the impression of rediscovering certain scenes.
But most impressive are the new character models. On The Last Of Us (PS3 and PS4), cutscenes were in CGI. With The Last Of Us Part I on PS5, we find the graphics engine of the game even in the cutscenes. Thus, we gain in realism with characters that are more human than ever. To put it simply, facial expressions and micro-expressions are even better done than in The Last Of Us Part II. You really have to live the adventure to realize how important this detail is and adds intensity to the game. Some scenes that made us neither hot nor cold on PS3/PS4 really made us shiver in this remake. Quite simply because the gaze and the distress of certain protagonists who knew they were doomed were felt much more. It’s stunning and very fun.
Thanks to Naughty Dog’s incredible work on character modeling, The Last Of Us gains in intensity. The game is much more visceral. We feel every emotion, we can read them on the faces of the protagonists. We can assure you that this adds a lot of interest to the title.
The remake is also more violent than the original title. Naughty Dog models its gameplay on The Last Of Us Part II and offers much more blood and dismemberment in the clashes, whether in melee or with firearms.
If on the graphic part, there is nothing to say about The Last Of Us Part I, and it is even more impressive than one could have imagined, there are things to say about the gameplay part . Because yes, there are no major changes compared to the original game. We feel that the gameplay has been slightly streamlined, Joël moves more easily, we can chain certain actions such as throwing objects, then aiming and shooting at an enemy. It’s not the level of The Last Of Us Part II, but there has been an improvement on this point.
Ditto, we find the famous workbenches to improve our weapons as in Part.II of 2020. Naughty Dog has therefore brought some new features in this remake. On the other hand, we would have liked it to go a little further with a more modernized gameplay. On this part, we are still a little unsatisfied.
Remember, however, that it is not possible to have the same gameplay as The Last Of Us Part II since it would have required Naughty Dog to review the entire level design of the game, and that is simply impossible. The Part II levels have been designed and thought for the gameplay of this sequel. This is not the case for the first opus of The Last Of Us. Thus, there would have been no great interest in being able to crawl, if the levels of the first opus were not adapted to this functionality.
The features of the DualSense, a little more appreciable
PlayStation 5 requires, The Last Of Us Part I is fully compatible with the functionality of the console and the DualSense controller. Thus, loading times are considerably reduced, even if we still have a few moments of waiting (a few seconds) between the main parts of the game (changes of seasons).
The 3D audio adds its nice little effect, especially in the areas with the clickers where you can hear their noise in the distance. But the little extra will be with haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.
As soon as you start the adventure and you leave the Boston area, under the storm, you feel the vibration of these in your controller. It’s not yet at the level of Astro Bot and we would have liked the haptic feedback to be even more exploited, but it’s already not bad. At several points in the game, when there are explosions or intense moments, you can feel it all the way to the controller.
The gunfights (shootouts) gain in intensity with the adaptive triggers. The L2 key will more or less harden when aiming with different weapons. The best part is the sensations of the bowstring which will stretch. The feelings are there. Ditto with the R2 key to shoot firearms. We feel the little “clack” when the ball goes. It’s quite pleasant.
The Last Of Us Part I: the angry subject
Now let’s come to the main flaw of The Last Of Us Part I: the price. Offered at € 79.99, The Last Of Us Part I is sold at the base price on PS5. And yes, it’s not the only title to do this. There are also much more outrageous things in the video game industry like the disgraceful remaster of Zelda Skyward Sword on Switch is sold for 60€ for a simple HD facelift or the Mario 3D All Star compilation at the same price for simply having three emulated games. We can also talk about Rockstar Games with GTA V on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.
These examples are games that are remasters only, that haven’t received a tenth of the work done on The Last Of Us Part I, and yet are offered at full price.
Despite this, we cannot accept that Sony opts for this facility. It makes no sense to ask for a $10 or free “upgrade” as the work done on the game is remarkable. On the other hand, it is hardly acceptable to see a remake of a game that is less than ten years old being sold at a high price, knowing that it necessarily requires less investment than a new title. There is no design part, writing, motion capture shooting, etc… It is therefore a shame to see The Last Of Us Part I arrive at 80€ on PS5 while a price of 39.99€ or 49 €.99 would have been much more acceptable.
The Last Of Us Part I the ultimate version that we were all waiting for?
In the end, what can we say about The Last Of Us Part I? Is the remake necessary? Because yes, the original game is almost perfect. Still very pretty today, an incredible scenario, very acceptable gameplay. So, is this remake really essential?
On paper, not really. Joystick in hand, it’s hard not to say to yourself that in the end, it’s extremely pleasant to rediscover the adventures of Joël and Ellie with this quality. If we relaunch the PS4 version of the game, we realize that in the end, the title has aged all the same and that it is no match for this PS5 remake.
The Last Of Us Part I is not beautiful, it is sublime. The story is still as effective, the gameplay still holds up and the small improvements around fluidity are welcome. The title is ideal for all fans who want to relive the adventure. Because yes, thanks to the remarkable work of Naughty Dog on the part of the graphics, but especially on the animations, we have the impression of rediscovering the game. And for that alone, it is a joy.
We only regret not having the right to one or two new sequences to prolong the pleasure and surprise us a little more. The price of the game remains the big flaw of this remake. This spoils the party a bit, because with a reasonable price, this The Last Of Us Part I would once again have allowed the license to flirt with faultlessness.
preorder the last of us part i
The Last Of Us Part I
- 9 years later, the game is still a masterclass
- My god it’s beautiful…
- The face animations are very impressive
- We sometimes have the impression of rediscovering moments of the game
- The music always exceptional
We love less
- The price, far too high for a remake
- Bare minimum for gameplay improvements