The Last of Us Remastered Review
It’s hard to write a review for a game like The Last of Us, which has been out since last year. The Last of Us Remastered is especially difficult because the original game has already won so many awards. The real question isn’t “should I play The Last of Us?” — yes, you should if you haven’t already — but “should I choose the Last of Us Remastered on the PS4?” Yes, you should.
To begin with, The Last of Us is a masterful effort at video game storytelling. It has a great storyline, interesting characters, and superb artistry in the way it is rendered, voiced, and scored. Like the Walking Dead, it understands that the true story of a post-apocalyptic world isn’t the apocalypse, but the people who survived it. In terms of gameplay, The Last of Us is straight-up survival horror. You’ve got a lot of enemies, very little ammo, and a pressing need to hide whenever you can. It’s also challenging! There were times when I was playing The Last of Us that I thought the game was asking the impossible of me, and I *know* there were times when I wasted ammo I could have better preserved by being smarter with my moves. But in those moments I really enjoyed the game the most; the frustration just made me want to play the game again to see if I could be a better Joel the second time through. The real question, though, is how “remastered” is the Last of Us Remastered? In terms of story and game content, the answer is really not at all. The Last of Us was a highly praised game and so changing it for PS4 would have been a mistake. I’m a bit disappointed that they didn’t include something new, like a new side adventure to go with Left Behind (which is included on the disc). But that doesn’t make what’s here any lesser for it. Instead of content, The Last of Us Remastered is all about the presentation. Like classic albums when they moved from cassette to CD or movies from DVD to Blu-Ray, the game has been, as the title suggests, remastered to a phenomenal fidelity. They’re boasting frame rates of 60fps, and it shows in the final product. I have a 50″ plasma screen and I could detect nary a flaw in what I was seeing most of the time. Even in the game’s muddier moments, like when you’re creeping through a dark tunnel full of spores, there’s still a clarity to the picture which meant that, at night when I could turn out all the lights, I could navigate Joel without a flashlight. And do you want a demonstration of the game’s graphical detail? Just turn on the new Photo Mode and zoom in close.
Go ahead. You’ll be impressed. I am the kind of person who loves to re-watch favorite movies (don’t ask me how many times I’ve watched The Avengers) and so I have no trouble recommending The Last of Us Remastered unequivocally to both those who are new to the game as well as those who played it on PS3. It’s a showcase of the technical power of the PS4 and a testament to the real power of a good story.
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