Review: The Last of Us Part I

In 2013, a game was released that brought the now iconic duo of Joel and Ellie. Two desperate people surviving in the time of a global pandemic killing humanity, who have little left for each other. Now the Naughty Dog studio has presented a remake of The Last of Us Part I, which adjusts the graphics, vibrations on the controller and details on the gray walls of demolished houses.

Action adventure game with elements of survival The Last of Us has already received a new coat in the form of a remaster, which is still more or less playable, moreover for a very low price. The remake is therefore clearly intended for those who for some reason missed the title almost ten years ago, or who liked the story of Joel and Ellie so much that they don’t mind paying for it again.

You can tell right from the first shots that the game now looks like new. In the comparison below, you can see a shot from the 2014 remaster and a shot from more or less the same location from the current remake. It shows great progress in displaying light sources and surrounding shadows. Previously, they seemed more “two-dimensional” and the light was as if painted, unnatural. On the other hand, now the lamp evokes an almost cinematic light that spreads across the room and plastically illuminates the crumpled blanket on the bed.

A still from the new remake. | Photo: Sony

A shot of the same situation from the 2014 remaster. | Photo: Sony

Colors are also softer overall and not as vibrant as before. It helps with navigation, the mood of sometimes depressing environments, and the more natural look of natural locations.

In addition, details such as signs with the inscription “café” were added to the walls of the houses, which can be seen again in the comparison below. On the right, there used to be a bare wall without greenery, which was easy to create using technologies on older generation consoles. However, with the arrival of the PlayStation 5, developers can afford more.

A shot from the remake. Note the sign for the cafe.

A shot from the remake. Note the sign for the cafe. | Photo: Sony

Same place, but in the 2014 remastered version.

Same place but in the remastered version from 2014. | Photo: Sony

I personally preferred the version in 60 frames per second with dynamic resolution (the so-called performance mode), but the game also offers a fixed 4K resolution, albeit with a lower number of frames.

The change in graphics can also be seen on the faces of the main or supporting characters. A good example is Tess right at the beginning, a tough woman who deals with the local crooks – and is not afraid of them. Before, she looked “smoothed”, but now she has wrinkles and a kind of experience.

So is Ellie, a fourteen-year-old girl who travels across the United States with the older Joel, while they form an almost parental bond. Sometimes they run away, sometimes they fight either with infected or “just” wild people, who have also often lost that humanity in themselves.

Before, Ellie looked very young, almost childlike. Now she has a slightly older visage, more similar to Ellie from the second part of The Last of Us. A significant difference can throw off some players. The cuteness is just gone.

The Last of Us Part I – Trailer with Czech subtitles

The Last of Us Part I – Trailer with Czech subtitles | Video: PlayStation Czechia

Full use of the controller

But the appearance of the game is not the only one, the menu or perhaps the inventory can also boast of certain modifications. The remake also loads a little faster, even if you open the older version of the title relatively quickly on PlayStation 5. The range of difficulties is now richer by one, and the list of trophies has also expanded.

It is also easier to work with vibrations, which are made possible by the DualSense controller. A passing car, swimming through sewers or running over obstacles try quite successfully to give the impression that the player is actually there. The vibrations can gradually fade in and out and are cleverly focused on the hero you are currently controlling.

The haptic response of the DualSense makes shooting a bow really have “thrust”. However, a minor drawback is the fact that when cleaning the weapon, the controller seems to “click” and interfere mainly in quieter, more exciting passages.

Ellie and Joel in The Last of Us Part I.

Ellie and Joel in The Last of Us Part I. | Photo: Sony

At the same time, it should be added that the remake does not bring many changes to the gameplay. Both stealth and combat are the same as before. For example, the heroes don’t crawl and just crouch. Enemies behave similarly, perhaps only occasionally walking in different directions. Sometimes it tries to surround your character, but as a result, it never causes a difficult situation to get out of.

Sidekicks still sometimes run away from the main character and run into the path of an angry clicker (which in one case caused my death for some reason). The graphics are beautiful and better than some of the brand new games, but some of the controls, like the slavishly moving ladders, are outdated.

The game also includes the excellent Left Behind DLC. What the remake left out, on the other hand, is the ancient multiplayer.

Tricks in the depths of the setting

A big chapter is the accessibility of the game for people with health restrictions. The sequel, The Last of Us Part II, which was released in June 2020, won awards for its adaptations for players suffering from deafness, blindness or motor difficulties. The same is true of the remake of the first part.

As can be seen in the attached screenshots, the menu is varied. For example, it allows you to convert dialogues into vibrations, so that the player holding the controller can tell from it whether the line of Joel, shown in the form of subtitles on the screen, was spoken softly, or, on the contrary, loud and emotional. Those who have hearing problems will also appreciate the graphic display of enemy attacks, which can unexpectedly stand directly behind the protagonist and beat him to death without being in the field of vision.

The increase in contrasts makes The Last of Us playable even for those who couldn't before.

The increase in contrasts makes The Last of Us playable even for those who couldn’t before. | Photo: Sony

Another upgrade highlights characters or objects that can be picked up from the ground with bright colors. For players suffering from blindness, it is also useful to have a setting that allows you to hear a soft sound, a kind of tingle, when the hero approaches either an important object, a closed door, or perhaps a low ceiling that requires stooping. The creators also thought of color-blind players or those who have problems pressing the buttons on the controller – you can switch between holding the button and turning it on/off.

You can also set it to prevent Joel from drowning in water if you’re uncomfortable with such footage. Or you can turn off the “ringing in the ears” when something explodes nearby. The customization menu is wide and provides an enjoyable game even for those who would not simply visit the depths of the settings.

Do you mind being surrounded by enemies when they find a cut mate? It can be turned off. Are you afraid of falling off a cliff because you don’t have an estimate of distances? The so-called edge watcher can be activated. Tired of constantly pressing buttons to collect ammo? You can turn on the automatic collection of everything that is nearby. Are you easily lost in space? There is a navigation assistant for you, an optional arrow that shows the direction of travel.

The remake of The Last of Us is also successful in this – it allows people who have not had the opportunity to play the game that has been praised for years. But its modifications and improvements may not be enough for someone to pay more than two thousand for it in the digital version.

The Last of Us Part I is released on PlayStation 5 on Friday, September 2, the game includes Czech subtitles. It will also be released in a PC version later.

The article is in Czech

Tags: Review Part

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