There hasn’t been a more controversial remake in recent memory since The Last of Us Part 1. Since its official announcement, Naughty Dog had a near impossible task ahead of them. How do you remake a game that not only many gamers consider perfect, but already has a remaster? To make matters more complicated, this remake is a full priced game (at the time of writing this review) at 70 dollars. Despite its uphill battle, Naughty Dog more than succeeded with this game. It’s not just a new coat of paint, The Last of Us Part 1 shows the power of the PlayStation 5.
The Last of Us Part 1 is available on the PlayStation 5 for $69.99.
Story: Still One of Gaming’s Best
It’s interesting to see the discord around the remake, but no one had anything to say about the story. There’s a simple reason for that: it didn’t need to be changed in the first place. With games from past gaming generations, of course graphics and mechanics will look outdated compared to not only the current state of gaming. But with a story, that has a potential to be timeless and god does The Last of Us have it.
If somehow you didn’t get a chance to play this game and haven’t got spoiled already, you’re in for a treat. It’s a tale that’s a remarkable examination of humanity and survival. With as many horrors you encounter, there’s a good amount of beauty and echoes of hopes that’s sowed into its DNA. Even with playing this game once again, it’ll always leave me emotional and stunned of how good it is. It doesn’t matter how many times this gets remade, the story will always remain the same because it’s that good.
What’s remarkable is the new way to experience this tale that I haven’t seen before. Under the accessibility, there’s an option to help deaf players enjoy the story. Depending on the emotion, the DualSense will vibrate at different levels to convey the character’s feelings. Even for players who aren’t deaf, this needs to be checked out. It makes the story that much more intense. To not only feel the emotions internally, but also physically is on a whole new level. Hopefully, more games adapt this feature in the near future.
Gameplay: Minor Tweaks
Unlike the story , there’s some slight gameplay differences. It’s not big sweeping changes like having the dodge button in The Last of Us Part 2, but still helps overall. In fact, there’s a good mixture of the first and second game that makes for a good balance. There’s a lot of fluidity in combat that feels less constrictive. There’s some problems that other players have encountered, but nothing in my play-through. While people have complained that the NPCs are still a hindrance, I didn’t encounter that problem.
Now while not a difference in game mechanics, the controls add a whole new level of immersion. The DualSense controller completely changes the landscape of how you play. The adaptive triggers while firing a gun are responsive and have different levels to them depending on the gun. Haptic feedback is a little more subtle in combat and traversal. It has more of a bigger impact in the dialogue, but at points you’ll feel it while moving around.
Accessibility: A Game for Every Player
A lot of great things came out of The Last of Us Part 2, but for me, the vast accessibility options is at the top of the list. Having so many choices to help a lot of gamers out and customize their experience is beautiful. Blind, deaf or hard-of-hearing, people who easily get motion sickness, and so many more benefited from this. Naughty Dog brought over the accessibility options to Part 1 to great benefit. It’s unfortunate that players who need this have to buy this particular version. As games like God of War: Raganork come out with vast accessibility features, hopefully it’ll be the norm and not an outlier.
Graphics & Sound: Fully Immersive
Just from the look of it, this isn’t just a simple remastering. It’s redone to match the visual continuity of The Last of Us Part 2. The amount of details present is extraordinary to behold especially with the facial animations. Looking at anyone’s face and in one instant, you can look at the weariness they’ve encountered. That’s the beauty of all this because just glancing at them and the player can sense their struggle. It makes some characters also look completely different like Tess. The grislier and weathered features from Tess are just some of the characteristics from the redesigned graphics.
It’s not just the characters, but the whole environment gets revamped. The game has realistic lighting that has dynamic shadows and shades to it. Makes everything look so realistic that it feels like you’re watching a movie. Then comparing it to the original PlayStation 3 version and it’s crazy to see how much work they put into this.
Also adding to the experience is the use of sound in this version. Playing this game with the PlayStation Pulse 3D Headset made beautiful use of the 3D audio. It makes the sounds beautiful while also very terrifying. You’ll hear the ambient sounds of the forest in one instance, then hearing the clickers trying to hunt. I knew the infected were scary, but hearing them in every direction makes it that much more unnerving.