According to Jason Schreier’s latest article on Bloomberg, Sony and Naughty Dog are remaking The Last of Us for PlayStation 5. This came out of nowhere as few expected that a game released in 2013 and remastered in 2014 would be remade any time soon. The use of the word ‘remake’ has had a lot of people worried. Based on responses online, many people are worried that changes will be made to the narrative and characters of the game.
However, I believe there’s no need to fear for what might be changed. The word ‘remake’ was likely used because it will be an upgrade beyond a simple resolution, framerate and texture quality enhancement. Essentially it will be built from the ground up for the PS5 to take full advantage of the new hardware. So here are my reasons why a remake of The Last of Us is not a cause for concern and could in fact be for the better, even if it isn’t entirely necessary.
For more on The Last of Us, check out what happened with last year’s celebration of the series, The Last of Us Day.
In Naughty Dog We Trust
Schreier explains that the remake was started by a small group of developers who wanted more creative freedom over their own project rather than supporting other studios. While I do think that this group could have made an incredible remake due to their experience working on other Sony titles such as Marvel’s Spider-Man and Uncharted, I feel the game is in safer hands with Naughty Dog remaking The Last of Us.
On a surface level, this at least gives the game a sense of official authorship. Therefore, if any small changes are made (and that’s a big ‘if’), they can be supported by the fact that the original creators believe that they are justifiable for the game world they have created. Obviously, Naughty Dog knows everything there is to know about The Last of Us and its passionate fanbase. They know that any changes will be met with intense scepticism and backlash from audiences.
This also gives me confidence because Naughty Dog has a track record of releasing the best games that the industry has to offer. They take their time to make sure every aspect of their games are as good as it could possibly be. Unfortunately, this has come at the cost of an oppressive crunch culture, as reported also by Jason Schreier last year, but that’s a whole other story that deserves to be addressed fully on its own.
Changes For The Better
In terms of graphics, gameplay and animation, The Last of Us Part II improves on the first game in basically every single way. So a remake of the first game to be on par with the sequel will be absolutely incredible. From a technical standpoint, the remake will have improved texture quality, higher resolutions / framerate, smoother animations and tighter controls. The original doesn’t look outdated or play badly by any stretch but the fluidity of the gameplay interactions could be improved based on how the systems work in Part II.
Last year’s sequel added a lot of innovations with combat and traversal. The new gameplay moves such as dodge, prone and jump added a lot of depth. If these were included in the remake then it would completely change how you play the game. You would now be able to sneak through long grass to get close to enemies, be able to traverse the environment easier and be even more deadly in hand-to-hand combat. Of course, this is another reason why it would be best described as a full remake. Gameplay layouts and the playable spaces will have to be adjusted to take these changes into account. Plus the AI will need to be rewritten so that a good balance is maintained.
The Last of Us Part II was highly praised for its dedication to allowing everyone to play and enjoy the game. The enormous range of accessibility options meant that less able-bodied gamers could complete the game – even if you were blind you could get the platinum trophy. It’s a safe bet to assume that these revolutionary options will be included in the remake.
There were likely people who saw the success of The Last of Us in 2013 but were unable to experience it themselves due to their inability to use conventional controls. With a remake, accessibility features can be integrated comprehensively as these features take years to implement effectively.
We Know Very Little
We must remember that as it stands this is still just a rumour. Although Jason Schreier has a good track record for inside information about the videogame industry, nothing has been confirmed by Sony or anyone at Naughty Dog. Things might have changed between when Schreier talked with developers and now. Plus his article in question focuses on the people and their struggle to get support from Sony. Therefore the games themselves aren’t the focus and thus the details are sparse or unknown at this point.
If indeed a remake of The Last of Us does exist we can expect some sort of official reveal at some point soon, especially now that the news has leaked. They will likely share just how in-depth the remake is and to what extent changes will be made. So if it does end up that alterations will be made to the story, characters etc., then maybe it’s okay to panic, but I find that highly unlikely.
A great game will always be a great game. The word ‘remake’ connotes big changes to most people but in reality, it won’t be. Naughty Dog understands both the game and the fanbase well and they’re not likely to make radical changes, at least in my opinion. The remake will just be more than a simple graphical upgrade, to allow for consistency between Part I and II. Once we get official confirmation it will ease people’s minds or at least clear things up. Rampant speculation leads to fake news and creates a snowball effect of people believing things that have no evidence to support them.
Of course, we don’t absolutely need a remake of The Last of Us considering the game’s only eight years old and we have the PS4 remaster, but there’s no need to worry that the mere existence of one will tarnish the reputation of the original. If you don’t want a remaster, don’t play it, but if you do, the changes will only be for the better.