Back in 2013, The Last of Us graced PlayStation 3 consoles worldwide. Step into 2014, and one of gaming’s most talked about titles has made its way to the PlayStation 4. However, is The Last of Us Remastered just a feeble attempt to port this wondrous title to the PlayStation 4? Or has Naughty Dog simply polished it to perfection? Well, it’s time to find out.
Back in 2013, I was not entirely convinced that Naughty Dog’s vision of a pandemic-ridden United States was one I would enjoy; however, after spending 18 hours in it, I absolutely fell in love with it. The story of The Last of Us follows Joel, a survivor with a violent and tragic past. Joel takes on various jobs in order to survive in a world where society has collapsed and members of the human race are either turned into “The Infected”, or are violently trying to survive in a world that has partially given up on itself. Amongst the odd jobs, Joel finds himself being hired to smuggle a 14 year-old girl, Ellie, out of an unjust military quarantine zone; however, what starts as a simple job soon turns into a vicious journey that will not only test their strengths and weaknesses, but also their will to survive against all odds.
When it comes to storyline, the Last of Us Remastered essentially features the same storyline as the original game on the PlayStation 3. No major changes have been added to the plot, and the game still features one of the best musical scores we have heard in gaming to date. Additionally, the game feature an absolutely outstanding voice cast who should be applauded for the roles that they played within the game.
While the plot remains the same, those who are looking to pick up The Last of Us Remastered will be pleased to know that it comes packaged with the Left Behind single-player downloadable story chapter. Left Behind sheds light on Ellie’s past relationship with Riley, her best friend and sometime-mentor from a military boarding school they grew up in together. After disappearing for weeks, Riley returns with a surprising revelation on her whereabouts. Ellie and Riley sneak out of school for the last time, leading to a series of events that will forever change both of their lives. The Last of Us: Left Behind is a welcomed addition to the storyline of the original game. And for those still sitting on the fence regarding it, it is well worth checking out. Additionally the game also includes Eight new multiplayer maps in the Abandoned and Reclaimed Territories packs.
One of the biggest changes when it comes to The Last of Us Remastered is essentially the graphics of the game. While the original title was one of the best looking games on the PlayStation 3, the Remastered edition is essentially now one of the best looking games on the PlayStation 4. Not only does the game run at full 1080p, but the characters, shadows, lighting and textures have been improved upon.
Furthermore, the game runs at 60 frames per second (FPS), which makes it feel a lot smoother than its 30 frames per second counter-part. To showcase the difference, the team at Naughty have allowed players to switch between 30 and 60 FPS. Running the game at 60 FPS not only gives the game an aesthetic boost, but it also enhances gameplay too. Overall, At 60 FPS gameplay is more fluid, accurate and responsive.
Another note worthy change is the fact that Naughty Dog have remapped the controller to accommodate the PlayStation 4. Players can now use the DualShock 4’s centre button in order to access Joel or Ellie’s backpack. This essentially makes crafting a whole lot easier to access. Furthermore, audio logs, as well as the sound of Joel or Ellie turning their flashlight on and off, are now played through the DualShock 4’s built-in speaker. This makes the game even more immersive than before.
Whether you play the original game on the PlayStation 3, or the Remastered edition on the PlayStation 4, you are going to experience one of the finest achievements in gaming. Naughty Dog has done a phenomenal job with this title and nothing out there, at the moment, can be compared to it. The Last of Us Remastered is a masterpiece that not only portrays its setting and world so well, but captivates the player with a magnificent story that will be remembered for many years to come.