Looking for a comprehensive The Last Of Us Part 1 Review? We’ve got you covered! Now an iconic game, The Last Of Us has seen a remaster and a remake of its original PS3 title. Here is our The Last Of Us Part 1 Review.
Delve into the critically acclaimed Naughty Dog title from 2013, The Last Of Us.
Developed by Naughty Dog, the original developer of the PS3 release and of the Remaster on PS4, this release brings the game up to the more modernized standards that gaming has entered into in recent years.
Because of the age of the game and the number of returns this game has seen, we are pretty sure that everyone knows the story of the last of us so we will be avoiding this subject as much as we can in this section of the review.
The premise of the game revolves around the player character, Joel, transporting and taking care of a 14-year-old girl named Ellie as they travel across the United States of America which has been ravaged by the Cordyceps fungal virus. In this unforgiving and barren landscape reclaimed by nature, the threats are many and few places lie outside of the corruption of either the virus or mankind’s greed. Against all odds and in the face of Luck running out the duo’s quest leads them from the safety of the quarantine zone in Boston to Salt Lake City, around a total distance of 2500 Miles. Making detours to the States of:
To try to put that in perspective there is an image to illustrate the distance using Google Maps.
If this was travelled IRL you would be able to use a vehicle and utilise major routes and even stop at a nice Hotel, however for Joel and Ellie they need to walk a good portion of the distance and fight off most of the horrors of the landscape. Under normal situations, this would be a nearly impossible task considering the situations the heroes are dropped into, especially Joel, who sustains a serious injury which could potentially kill him in Jackson, Wyoming.
In addition to this, there is also the DLC, Left Behind, which is built into the game. This is a nice little adventure, which highlights the story of how Ellie was infected and the fate of her best friend. In the base game, we only had hints and the reveal at the end of the campaign before the credits rolled, however playing through the story that technically started the journey for Joel and Ellie is interesting, even if you have played it before.
Gameplay, Mechanic-Based, and Graphic Changes:
As you might guess the game has had a complete overhaul in graphics capabilities, meaning higher density meshes, larger Texture resolutions and more complicated environmental effects. Some of these are easy to see whereas others are more subtle and still others are so well hidden it is hard to see. On the other side of this is how the game plays mechanically, and how the remake handles some of the sequences which were seen to be a little nasty in the original release of the game, an example being the Winter Sawmill sequence with Ellie.
Throughout the lifespan of The Last Of Us, since its first outing in 2013, it has had a few makeovers however this is the best at least graphically. There are some aspects of this that I was very disappointed in however these were more of a personal “Vision” of the aspects of the game.
Characters in the game look more realistic and more “Human” than ever before, and the animations of each of the characters are very fluid and continuous throughout the game. This was important as the PS5 has the SSD and an increase in technology which helps the flow of the game and how it plays. The only downside to this is that the characters look slightly different to how they looked in the original and remastered versions, this was to be expected as the limitation of Geometry and textures have been increased but the fact that the slight alteration to the character’s appearance it was a little strange.
That all being said some things really show off the power of the PS5 to its best. Some of the best are more passive than those out there in your view all the time. The first is the Water.
Water in The Last Of Us was always a big part and something that looked visually pleasing however with the addition of Ray Tracing this part of the game has had a drastic overhaul and looks more like what you would expect IRL.
On the other side of this is the Lighting which plays an incredibly important role in the events of the game and how the world, Mood, and Atmosphere works. If this was a horror game it would be dark, dingy and creepy, making the player think about what might jump out at them. The Last of Us has all that, however it is limited and there are way more complicated aspects in play here. For instance, the game opens up years later when Joel is in the quarantine zone, this is in a more lively area which is lit by sunlight and distinctive atmospheric dust is present.
The image is a little cheat but it shows off that the game is not always just dark, there are beautiful sections of the game that are taken at a far different pace and designed to either unease or give the player a sense of the old world not being completely gone, before dropping some intense situation on them.
Although it is not very clear on the image there is something worth noting in the PS5 version of the game, which is the glass in the game. On building exteriors it’s mucky like in the lighting example seen above, however on glass that is on the inside of buildings we get a different effect which is rather interesting.
As highlighted above the glass distorts the world when looked through, warping and there are even little deformations on the surface. The same is for Refractions and Reflections in puddles of water, which is illustrated below.
The added benefit of the water is the Wetmaps. These are pretty much what you think, however, to drift off topic for a second, Naughty Dog has always had this done well, from the first time that I can recall seeing it in a game, which was Uncharted Drakes Fortune. Within the game, when Drake went into a water source, he visually got wet by the water. In the real world, we take it for granted that simple actions result in complicated results such as this water effect.
In the first Uncharted game, Drake’s Fortune, from way back in 2007, we can see that there is a shine on Drake’s shirt. If we skip ahead to the 4th and final addition to the Uncharted series starring Nathan Drake we can see the Wet Maps have come a significant way, highlighting that different surfaces react to the water differently, like the real world. An example is Drake’s shirt to his Leather holster. Bringing this back to The Last Of Us Part 1, the remaster and original game did this very well, however, it was probably something that, at least my brain, overlooked as something that needed to happen. Let’s face it, if you were out in a heavy downpour and walked inside without a drop of water or even damp clothing there was some kinda witchcraft going on.
Another fantastic addition to the game, which is rather liked was the new crafting system. Before it was a little boring how you crafted the upgrades at a bench, now however things have gotten interesting with semi-seeing Joel craft the upgrade. This is only added to by the addition of seeing the tools that will be used to make the alteration.
I find this a nice addition to the game which kinda immerses the player even more in the action which is going on. It is also very interesting to see Joel create and upgrade what he needs to survive rather than just getting it.
Overall the game is a fantastic update on a remarkable game that could have arguably defined a generation. Playing through the game it feels true to the original and the additions that the PS5 adds are probably not necessary, but a welcome game to the PS5 Exclusivity.
Although these all seem to be positive factors there are things that I personally do not like, examples being showing broken things in the world, lack of detail, and a broken HCD (High Contrast Display) Mode. The reason these things were highlighted was that they are the worse parts of the game, and do keep in mind that this is only personal opinion based, however, that’s not to say the game is bad.
Let’s start this breakdown with the broken world. Every game out there suffers from this problem as we all know, big developments and things get overlooked, so why have I singled out this little thing? It irritated me that a game that has this much detail has something obviously wrong staring the player in the face, personally, I like looking for the hard-to-find problems in games, and after a while, you can get used to finding things easy, however when an error is starring at me it kind breaks the immersion.
As highlighted above, there is a mesh alignment errors, which is fine, every game has them and the thick black line could be overlooked to being a gap in the segments that make up the panel like in the real world. However, with it being so thick and a solid line, it’s an error. The other thing is in Bills Town, once you are playing in the school building, you can find the Stairs leading to an upper floor blocked off by rubble, however, get the camera in a certain position as shown in the second image you can trip the streaming of the levels and see through the world. This shouldn’t happen, especially not on a PS5, the SSD should save this problem before it reaches the player, and from a design standpoint there should be an adequate “Buffer” zone to stop the tripping. That all being said, I liked finding these problems, they show 2 things, the first is that nothing is perfect, and the second is that it’s made by humans.
Next up is the Lack of detail, If I wanted to play something that was not highly detailed Id go play something ported from PS1 or 2 eras, but I don’t, I want to play The Last Of Us Part 1 in all its glory on PS5. My question is why am I still getting a lack of detail in certain situations? Right let’s talk about this, no I am not saying that the meshes are low detailed and the like, what I am referring to is the annoying lack of detail in the hands. This might seem pathetically minuscule in the grand scheme of things however there is a problem here when each time you pick up new equipment or tools you see Joel’s hands. Now where they are small parts of Joel overall in these instances they take up a lot of space in some of these sequences, just check it out below.
So they aren’t that bad, but they still look pretty low-quality compared to the rest of the characters. Don’t get me wrong I do like the detail but I think there could have been some more care taken if the player was going to see the character’s hands up close like this. To put it in perspective how would you like to be playing Call Of Duty with someone’s hands that were not as detailed as they are? It would be offputting as you are seeing them almost all the time right? Well, it’s sort of the same here.
Finally, I would like to bring attention to the newly added Accessibility mode HCD. This is pretty much a filter overlay for the game and honestly, is one of the best things in the game, however, it has its problems. The biggest is how it hurts your eyes after changing to the pretty look of the game, I mean, look at it, it’s bright and makes you Overpowered.
The idea is that allies will show in Blue, enemies in Red, and items of interest in Yellow, making the rest of the world this matt Grey with the occasional highlighting in White. This can be altered in the settings of course but the reason this is so OP is what it does. Anyone who has played The Last Of Us will know that there are some pretty dark areas in the game, this mode nullifies them and makes it super easy to find anything. This means that dark areas like the underground or even when you are underwater can be made super easy just by using this mode. Alright, it won’t kill enemies but it will let you see them way easier and help you find resources from a distance rather than having to scavenge around for them.
A final note has to be paid to the referencing within the game, really as a fan of Naughty Dog games this one was touching. In the buildings around you will have the chance to stumble over a Game System, which of course is a PlayStation 3, as well as some plushies of some important characters in the Naughty Dog catalogue.
As you can see in the above image there is Jak and Daxter from the Jak Series, and Nathan Drake from the Uncharted Series. There is even a reference back to the PlayStation series that started the game Series, this was in the original and the Remaster, but to see it two gaming generations later is a nice callback.
To conclude this review the game is good and keeps to the original really close, the addition of a PS5 edition, however, and costing full price is not so relevant. The Remake advertised would have been nice to have incorporated a copy of Part 2 on PS5, which in this author’s opinion would have been worth the £60 price tag, having only a remake of Part 1 after nearly a decade is not worth the funds.
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