THE LAST OF US PART 1 REVIEW: DO YOU ACTUALLY NEED IT?
By Alec Samuel (a.k.a “THAT FREAKIN GEEK”)
When they first announced The Last of Us Part 1, a PS5 remake to the classic 2013 PS3 game, my first reaction was the same as many people, I don’t need it. But then I saw the gameplay, and it was amazing, but I was still not convinced that I needed it. Then I started to notice the level of detail in the characters faces, it was outstanding but still I was like “I don’t need it”. Then I saw how they have built it from the ground up, making the environments look even more detailed.
At this stage, I cracked, and I realised….
I NEED IT!!!…. (Insert SpongeBob Meme here)
This remake has completely blown me away, visually this game is a masterpiece but is it worth it for you? Well that’s what my review is going to focus on, and hopefully you can see if you need it as much as I need it…
Naughty Dog’s ability to take a perfect game and somehow make it better is mind-bending to think. I should also stop thinking about it because it is actually hurting my brain, it is challenging my very definition of perfect.
Well what makes it better, lets dive in…
THE STORYTELLING IS SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT!
Arguably the best part of the game is largely unchanged, obviously, but what makes the story come to life even more is the subtle significant changes to the facial animations. The more in-depth details allows for the original actors’ performances to be more accurate than what the tech could do back in 2013.
It’s the same story yes, but seeing the visible frustration on Joel’s face and the pure sadness in Ellie’s eyes make the experience a surreal one.
Some characters do look slightly different, like the infamous Tess model that many say makes her look older, but I would argue that it better represents the trauma she has been through in this post apocalyptic world. Bill, who is my favourite secondary character, in particular looks incredible, allowing his apprehensive and untrusting personality to be more evident making for a far better character
The cutscenes are in game rendered, compared to video clips in the original, meaning that the transitions from cutscenes to gameplay are far more fluid, allowing more immersion into the game.
TALKING ABOUT THE GAMEPLAY, IT’S BETTER THAN YOU REMBER
Just like the story, the gameplay is mostly untouched. Rather perfecting it and making it feel more captivating being the Naughty Dog’s goal here. Its gameplay is intense and at times desperate as you land your shot or that killing blow at the right time, it truly is survival action at its best.
Thanks to animations looking sensational, and while this part of the game might feel like it’s the same as the original, you will be surprised at the quality of life improvements that have happened in gaming over the last 10 years. Playing the original will definitely feel more clunky
Anyone hoping that the gameplay improvements brought in from Part 2 might be present, unfortunately that is not the case. However it wouldn’t make much sense, considering everything improved for Part 2 was reflected in the mission designs. It wouldn’t make much sense in Part One to have Joel crawling through grass because he isn’t Ellie, that was her style of attack. The level designs would have had to be completely changed, which would have changed environments, therefore would make it a completely different game thus ultimately hurting it.
TALKING ABOUT THE LEVEL DESIGNS, OH MY GOSH THE ENVIRONMENTS LOOK EXCELLENT
Doing a side by side comparison will better justify just how good this game now looks. Digital Foundry did a great video that goes into depth on the changes, and I recommend you watch the video if you want to see how vastly improved it looks visually.
The game allows you to either play in 4K/30fps or 1440p in 60fps, it’s your choice to swap resolution for more frames however the details are optimal on both modes.
I was particularly impressed with the lighting, while it is not ray traced, Naughty Dog used their wizardry to make some ultra realistic lighting reactions. Particularly in explosions it’s a feast for the eyes with the way the light bounces off surfaces.
Couple the excellent visuals with sound design from 3D audio headset, and you will find yourself hypnotised into thinking that clicker really is right behind you.
All that combined makes the game world come to life even more than it did all those years ago when it first launched.
SO IN CONCLUSION…
Is this game worth the full price?
Well that is very subjective and dependent on your budget, but ultimately yes I do think so. Especially for those who love this game, being given the opportunity to play this classic with modern tech is a treat for fans, and for new players this is the ultimate way to experience this masterpiece.
If I could give this game an 11, I would, but a 10/10 will do.
I am now looking forward to diving into Part 2 again and looking forward to the HBO series.
Thanks so much for reading, check out my YouTube Channel and Instagram Page “The Freakin Geek” for more opinions about Video Games, Movies and TV Series. I watch and play everything so you don’t have to, giving you more time to just enjoy entertainment’s very best.