The Last of Us Remastered Review: Still stunning
Sony's decision to bring The Last of Us to PS4 had to have been a no-brainer. The critically-acclaimed game was a roaring success on PS3, but with no backwards compatibility offered on the PS4 there was no way for new PlayStation owners to experience Naughty Dog's wonderfully crafted story. As you can tell by my intro, I thought quite highly of the game when it first launched on PS3. And now, a year later, it's available on PS4 in glorious 1080p at 60 frames per second.
Just to be clear, this review is solely about the benefits of the Remastered version. So if you're interested in my thoughts on the story or actual mechanics of the game, check out my original review of the PS3 version because not much has changed. It's still a great story with solid cored mechanics that are actually improved upon with the Remastered version.
The biggest thing with The Last of Us: Remastered is, of course, the improved visuals. The original version of The Last of Us literally squeezed every last drop of power out of the PS3, and Naughty Dog pulled of 30 frames per second at 720p resolution. But with the increased power of the PS4, Remastered runs at a solid 60 frames per second and 1080p resolution. The textures are more details, the environment crisper, and motions more fluid.
Now 60 frames per second is usually more appreciated in the first person shooter scene, and even though The Last of Us is meant as more of a stealth game, it definitely makes a difference should you resort to shooting. The free-aim system still takes some getting used to and it's still not perfect, but it's definitely more fluid and responsive. If it turns out 60 frames per second isn't for you, you can always switch to the locked 30 fps option.
For newcomers, all of these changes will seem natural. For those who played the PS3 version, you'll notice the differences. It might seem a little jarring at first, but you'll quickly get used to it. If you're getting The Last of Us: Remastered on PS4 to simply re-experience the story, then go for it. But if you're looking for drastic differences that will completely reshape the game, well, you might be a little let down.
One of the true new features of the PS4 version is the new Photo Mode, which allows you to take control of the camera, alter visual settings and apply filters, and take a memorable screenshot of your experience. The post-apocalyptic world that Naughty Dog is one of the most visually stunning I've seen in a game, and often presents some stunning sights and moments worthy of capture. This is honestly what I find myself playing around with most often. I will say though, that with a game as heavily dependent on story as The Last of Us, stopping to take a photo might ruin some of immersion.
If you weren't able to play The Last of Us on PS3, then definitely check out the Remastered version on PS4. It's honestly a must-play for any PlayStation owner. If you did play it on PS3 already and want to experience it again, well, have at it. The Remastered version only improves upon what you already loved. And adds to it as well with all of the previously released DLC already included on it.