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The Last of Us Remastered is exactly what you’d think it would be. It is the same masterpiece that Naughty Dog brought to us a year ago with all the extra content put in and a fresh coat of paint. If you haven’t had a chance to play the game on the Playstation 3 then this is far and away the best way to play it. Even if you already took the dark stroll with Ellie and Joel through the apocalyptic waste a year ago there is still a lot to grab onto in this repackaging.
The gameplay remains pretty much untouched from its initial release, combat is just as tense and brutal as it was before, relying more on stealth than grand shootouts. The added bonus of another difficulty is there for seasoned vets of the game as well as some commentary tracks for people who really like to dig deep. The sound design still remains absolutely top notch and adding that together with the refurbished graphical quality really makes the game stand out as much as it did before.
We have seen already quite a few of these “remastered” editions during the early onset of brand new consoles but it is quite apparent how much care was put into this version of The Last of Us. Character models are even more real than before and the amount of detail in the environments truly shine under the 1080p resolution. It all looks so crisp and clean that it bleeds atmosphere, enticing you to traverse every pixel to soak in the ruined world. All of this is complimented by what seems to be redone lighting and shadows which is really the cherry on top of it all.
This all of course looks even better at the mostly stable 60 frames per second the game goes for. There are very few drops below 60 but there is an option the switch it to a completely constant 30 frames per second; which in its own way almost makes the game have a more cinematic feel that some may enjoy. The improved frame rate really shines though in the multiplayer portion of the game. When I originally picked up The Last of Us I saw the hooks for the unique multiplayer but they never really reeled me in.
However, with this iteration I have sunken a ton of hours into it and have had an absolute blast. The multiplayer really takes shape more as a stealth game than a normal third person shooter like Gears of War or Uncharted. Starting a match with merely seven shots instantly sets the stage for how this is meant to be played. Taking your time and working together is vital if you have any chance of winning against your opponent, making victory much sweeter.
The survivors mode particularly compliments these sets of mechanics as you have a single life to spare. Tense and terrifying would be the two words I would use to describe it and completely unexpected from a game that could stand on its single player alone. To sweeten the deal you also gain access to the two map packs that were launched bringing the map count up to 15 and also a new mode that was introduced later in the PS3 version.
That’s not all that’s packed into The Last of Us Remastered though. You also get the Left Behind DLC which tells the cryptic tale of Ellie and Riley and how their relationship transformed Ellie into the girl that Joel must escort across the country. Left Behind is just as powerful emotionally as the main campaign and really fleshes out Ellie as a character and certainly shouldn’t be ignored.
At $50 I can really understand some players hesitation to picking up The Last of Us Remastered. I was in the same boat, but once I booted the game up and started to play I was instantly carried away and couldn’t put the game down. If you haven’t touched any of the extra content one could argue that is enough incentive to try it again but newcomers have no excuse not to pick this up for their new PS4. The Last of Us Remastered is the same brilliant game that came out a year ago, but in the best form it could possibly be in.