The Last of Us Remastered Review (PS4)
The first time you encounter a Licker in the RCPD station, seeing the scale of the pyramid you just climbed as Lara Croft, Rinoa dragging Squall onto the dance floor at the ball, and finding out the truth about Booker and Comstock. These are examples of epic jaw dropping moments in games. You’ve bought into the characters and game world so much that these moments can emotionally finish you and make the game an experieince you will never forget. You will normally find one of these moments in a game if you are lucky. Naughty Dog must have had a shed load of them lying around that they decided to put into The Last of Us Remastered.
The Last of Us Remastered is the PS4 version of The Last of Us which was released June last year for PS3. We really liked it in our review and even named it CalmDownTom’s game of the year for 2013. This remastered version is probably aimed at PS4 owners who didn’t have a PS3 and missed out, or maybe at players of the multiplayer who wish to tear about killing clickers on next gen. As the name suggests though, the game has been given a wee makeover for this re-release. Running at sixty frames per second and with graphics and in-game videos polished up, The Last of Us is one of the best looking games on PS4. Naughty Dog have also created a photo mode to help show this off; clicking on the left thumbstick during the game will allow you to take and edit screen shots. You will need to activate the mode in the menu first and turn it off again once you are finished playing Peter Parker as you will often find yourself activating photo mode at inopportune moments if you don’t. Another addition to this version of The Last of Us is the inclusion of the Left Behind DLC. Set during the events of the main game, Left Behind fills in some details of how certain characters came to be in the game. It is not a very long piece of DLC but it does add to the world of the Last of Us tying a few lose ends up… and that’s about as much detail I’m prepared to give. No spoilers! I should also mentioned that I have not covered the multiplayer in this review but have it on good authority that it is an innovative and fun experience. The meat of The Last Of US does lie in the single player experience and in truth, it deserves its final score based on the strength of that alone.
So, now that we have covered what The Last of Us remastered is for those who owned the game before, let’s do a round up for newcomers. Put simply, The Last of Us is just one of those games you HAVE to play. It takes the zombie / survival horror type of game and gives it a fresh twist. You may have noticed that I have not given any details about the story so far. This is because I feel that to get the full effect of The Last of Us you should only know the bare minimum which is this: You play as Joel, a survivor of a global epidemic where the majority of humanity has been turned into zombie-like creatures as a result of a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus. After one of the most amazing opening sequences ever made, Joel takes on a job where he is introduced to Ellie and the game begins in earnest. The story and production values of The Last of Us are the closet a videogame has come to a movie yet (and yes, I am including David Cage’s games in that statement). The main characters are expertly voiced and motion captured by Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson while Naughty Dog ensures that the world they inhabit is perfectly post-apocalyptic. At one point in the game you end up in a university. The sheer size and scale of the place is amazing and coupled with the ten years of neglect and lack of humanity adds to the eeriness. It’s a beautiful world you’re traveling through but you just can’t help feeling that danger can pop out from anywhere. And you’d be right…
Not only is The Last of Us technically brilliant, it has little things that just drag you further into the world. They are by no means important to the progression of the story of the game but the make the character seem more human and less one dimensional. Examples of this can be seen with Ellie. The character is built as a bit of a smartass but also still a kid. At one point in the game you are trying to sneak through an area filled with enemies. All of a sudden you hear a very strange noise behind and when you spin around its Ellie trying to teach herself how to whistle. There is also the time where you pass an ice cream truck and you can enter into a conversation with Ellie about what an ice cream truck is. These moments slowly but surely get you so involved with the characters that you will end up two inches from your monitor gritting your teeth screaming “c’mon Joel!” at the really tense parts.
There are other parts of The Last of Us that I could gush about for hours – the intelligent design in the save points, the enemy AI and the clever sound design – but doing so would spoil the experience. The game itself still holds up exceptionally well a year after its original release and remains one of the greatest games you will ever play. For anyone who has not played it yet, The Last of Us Remastered cannot be recommended enough.
5 Clickers out of 5The Last of Us Remastered Review (PS4),