- Developer: Naughty Dog
- Publisher: Sony
- Release Date: July 29, 2014
- Available on: PS4
- This Review was on: PS4
There’s no way to start off this review with anything but praise for one of PlayStation’s most special games. Naughty Dog sold us on the over-saturated, post-apocalyptic genre once again with their amazing E3 2012 demo. A year later, once the 10’s started rolling in, it was unanimously named game of the year by many. Testing the waters of the PS4, Naughty Dog has released last generation’s best game on a console that isn’t even a year old, and it’s better than ever.
As soon as I hit the title screen, the difference became as clear as day. It’s pretty insignificant, but for the first time, I was able to notice the pattern on the linen curtains of the abandoned home. Giving me just a tiny taste of what was to come. Since its announcement, the focal point of this “remaster” has been the 1080p, 60 frames per second gameplay which simply was not possible on the PS3. The second you’re given control of Sarah, the difference is evident. Quickly shifting around no longer blurs your surroundings, and objects are far less jagged. If you’re not able to tell the difference between 30 and 60, or are one of those people who think that they are barely different, then prepare to change your whole view on the great frames per second debate. The evil geniuses at Naughty Dog let players choose between locked 30 FPS, or unlocked 60 FPS. It may seem like a nice thing to include, so players can get a more PC-like experience, but I’m convinced that it’s a brilliant move to show you how 30 and 60 are not nearly the same.
I would sometimes leave it on 30, just to figure out how I was able to play the original game like that. And while I could’ve definitely gotten used to it again, there’s no way I would go back to 30, unless, of course, I had to. I will admit that 60 FPS isn’t a need, as it is more of a commodity, but you’ll probably see me choosing 60 over 30 when given the choice from now on. What it mostly helps you with is the combat. It was much more fluid, headshots were easily obtainable, and it’s obvious why this is a standard in the first-person shooter genre. 60 FPS is what set The Last of Us: Remastered apart from its PS3 counter-part, and was my favorite part of the experience.
When it comes to the look of the game itself, the visuals aren’t too much better than the original. To be fair, The Last of Us already looked so damn beautiful on PS3, it’s hard to imagine it being any better. Environments are brighter, characters faces are more fleshed out, the lighting is amazing, but it isn’t anything monumental. You’d have to be looking at the two versions side by side to really tell how Ellie’s freckles on PS4 are slightly more visible.
Following Killzone: Shadow Fall’s lead, Dualshock 4’s speakers are used for your flashlight, and tape recordings found near the end. With the select button good and dead, the touchpad it what you’ll be clicking to craft some more health kits, and nail bomb’s.
Just like the rest of PS4 developers, Naughty Dog mapped aiming down the sights and firing to L2 and R2, Xbox style. Since it couldn’t be done on PS3 due to Dualshock 3’s awful back triggers. Everything seemed a bit more natural this way, except for running, holding down L1 felt quite awkward.
One of my personal favorite inclusions is photo mode. During anytime, not including cutscenes, you can click L3 and it’ll launch you into photo mode, where you can change the opacity, frame, field of view, zoom settings, and even put Instagram-like filters on your capture. If you mess with it long enough, you’ll be able to move that camera almost anywhere for the most engaging shots. Photo mode is so vast in customization features that I would use it to my advantage in sticky situations. If I wanted to know where an enemy behind me was, I’d simply click L3, turn the camera and see exactly what was coming at me. It’s a great tool to use for strategy or fun.
The game looks great, as usual, but this “remaster” couldn’t fix some problems the game originally launched with. Allies can still get in your way, messing up one of your devious stealth operations and sometimes just straight up engage in combat with an enemy. Either leading them toward you, or blowing your cover completely. However, most of the time, they go undetected. Like the PS3 version, it’s hardly an issue.
Those that never got any of the DLC on PS3, should look into trading it in for the PS4 version. All the DLC is there, both single and multiplayer. And if you want to be one of the brave souls to try grounded plus, be my guest. With all of this taken into account, it really is a steal.
The Last of Us, once again, becomes the platform’s best game. It takes the original and mixes it with the insane horsepower of the PS4, turning it into the best version of the game. If you’ve never played it, then you know exactly what to do. And if you have, but aren’t willing to spend the cash for the upgrade, then head over to GameStop, where trading in the PS3 version gets you 50 percent off.