Never two without three! After the basic version in 2013 and a remastering shortly after on PlayStation 4, Ellie and Joel’s first adventure returns to PS5 with The Last of Us Part 1. A remake from scratch by the Naughty Dog team that arouses both excitement and questioning. So in reality, how much is it really worth? Here is our final opinion.
Find just above, on autoplay, our video version of The Last of Us Part 1 test.
- Test done on PS5. The Last of Us Part 1 will be available on September 2, 2022 (later on PC).
The Last of Us is not a post-apo game with zombies like the others. Already because there are no zombies in the strict sense but monsters infected by a large fungus -this is an important clarification- and above all because it has propelled the Naughty Dog studio even higher, among the essential companies of modern video games. Having busted the current screen from the 2010s, with Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3, why not downright bust the ceiling and show that we excelled at writing heroes? This is the tour de force that marks The Last of Us, unanimously praised by the press and players when it was released in 2013. The project that interests us today, The Last of Us Part 1, is a remake of this success, which also includes the Left Behind extension. On the other hand, there is no review of “Factions”, the multiplayer mode of the time.
born in the USA
Before addressing the novelties and the brand new visuals of this remake, The Last of Us Part 1 remains, therefore, above all, the story of Ellie and Joël, shaken by the roads of the United States in search of fireflies. A story that has not moved an inch. The Naughty Dog team has carefully reproduced every dialogue and cutscene here with their new engine, and that’s clearly not a bad thing. Even after all this time The writing of The Last of Us hasn’t aged one bit, always so true, touching, overwhelming. What a thrill to see Ellie’s relationship rewritten | Joël (especially with such believable faces) as and when scenes of rare authenticity. Of course, it is difficult not to have The Last of Us Part 2 in mind, even more ambitious in terms of narration. But the magic of 2013 works, whether it’s the main adventure or the Left Behind DLC, which often hits the heart. The extension shows a part of Ellie’s past, before she met Joel, then accompanied by her best friend Riley. With these two sides of the same coin, you will have your share of emotions and a total of approximately 18h to 20h of play.
The Last of Us Part 1 – Long Car Cutscene (Loyalty Mode)
grave of the fireflies
So yes, it’s no surprise! The writing of The Last of Us Part 1 remains identical to the original project. What’s more surprising, though, is that the adventure’s structure and level design scrupulously follows this same path, for a less exciting result. Naturally, the first The Last of Us is based on much more classic and linear bases than the second part, very often following the pattern “narrative, exploration, combat, exploration, narration…” that also in narrow levels and little conducive to exploration (compared to The Last of Us Part 2). Not to mention the ancient puzzles based on stairs and wooden planks! Specifically, the complex lacks much breath, open spaces. The Last of Us Part 1 seems caught between two eras, with its structure on one side and its visuals on the other.
With that said, keep your feet on the ground. The course of The Last of Us Part 1 may be classic, but it works well despite everything! Already because the crossed sets are varied enough – at least in terms of setting – to rekindle the player’s interest. But mostly because in The Last of Us, story is a great engine for progression. Whether it’s between a heartwarming scene with two characters, an action phase that comes out of nowhere, or even a reversal of the situation that calls everything into question, Naughty Dog has no shortage of resources to get us back on track. What about the Left Behind downloadable content? It is almost a candy that you will want to swallow, in 2-3 hours of play. Even knowing the base title well, we’ve fallen in love with The Last of Us all over again. It really is there for something.
Here we are ! “The Elephant in the Room” for The Last of Us Part 1: Graphics Review. A redesign with a capital “R” in which the Naughty Dog team not only updated the textures but also revised the art direction. Let’s not go in four directions. In this remake, the work on the images is quite exemplary.. Here, the PlayStation studio once again shows all its technical know-how, with a project that sets the bar even higher than the second installment thanks to the resolution of the PS5. The Last of Us Part 1 thus offers two graphic modes. The first, “Fidelity”, offers native 4K and a target frame rate of 40 frames per second (with regular dips for rich moments). The second, “Performance”, favors fluidity at 60fps with dynamic 4K or, depending on your display, 1440p. Keep in mind, though, that in the latter case, The Last of Us’ new look is less bright, and the mode is especially useful for having more fluid fights. The Last of Us Part 1 allows you to switch from Loyalty to Performance on the fly, without going back to the title screen or reloading a game.
Evidently, even before the sets, it is the faces of the characters that benefit from this gain in power. Ellie, Joël, Tess or Riley’s pout had never been so authentic and believable, undoubtedly increasing the emotional impact of many scenes. On this side, The Last of Us Part 1 does not have much to envy the second part. Same remark for the sets, even more convincing and immersive than in the past (special mention to the sumptuous lighting effects). After that, there are still two or three less flattering details, like NPC animations reminiscent of 2013, allies running around in action phases, and display bugs. But nothing serious! In general, we can say that the contract is 100% fulfilled, so much so that we would have liked to explore beyond the limits set by the basic title. Limits that, furthermore, sometimes make us forget this solid work of remake, when the technique becomes less ostentatious, especially in the interior phases. An impression that can also be felt with the level design and the gameplay.
One by one!
All in all, if it is obvious to want to compare The Last of Us Part 1 with the second episode of the license, we must not forget to take this 2022 version for what it is. If the level design and structure are more classic, they work quite well despite everything, and the same goes for the gameplay. The study Naughty Dog thus offers a more modern gameplay than in the past relying on all the ingredients of the original application. Melee combat is now more visceral, with a camera that sticks to the action and grittier animations. Using the same logic, it is now easier to grab and then throw an object at an enemy (brick or bottle). You can also use the DualSense’s gyroscope to adjust your aim, which is a nice help but still doesn’t work perfectly. For the rest, The Last of Us Part 1 is an action and infiltration game that is certainly classic but quite successful in reflecting the urgency and violence of the blows. Not revolutionary, but solid!
The Last of Us Part 1 – High Voltage Stealth (Loyalty Mode)
In other words, with this remake, you’ll have no trouble feeling the soul of a post-apo survivor, especially on the highest difficulty mode (the challenge can also be customized from A to Z based on multiple settings, like in The Last of Us Part 2). The mix between crafts, survival and firearms is still a safe bet. Not to mention the pleasant boost provided by the vibrations of the DualSense, which give each means of defense a pleasant personality. As a reminder, in The Last of Us, ammo is generally limited and you’ll have to use whatever you have on hand to survive. But discretion is also a solution! As in the base game, you can also upgrade the hero’s skills and weapons. However, here we would have liked to be able to lie face down and dodge, as in the second part. One last point that would have prevented frustration during fights.
behind the mountain
On the other hand, The Last of Us Part 1 adds a lot of bonuses that will please the fans. Starting with a permadeath option, a speedrun mode, images | Never-before-seen 3D models to see in the bonus menu, skins, and even in-game commentary from director Neil Druckmann and the original cast of Ellie and Joel. A new photo mode is also part of it, as well as a whole system to customize the controls. As you may have understood, there are a lot of things to unlock. But the most substantial -and important- addition at this level are undoubtedly the accessibility options. The Last of Us Part 1 is undoubtedly the most accessible blockbuster today, with loads of help to activate, settings to prevent motion sickness, and even a full audio description. Something excellent to allow everyone to discover this masterpiece, now at its best on PS5. Come on, it’s time to wrap up.
- A Solid Graphical Overhaul
- Faces that make the difference
- Still a moving story
- A magic that has remained unchanged
- Classic but strong enough.
- More accessibility options
- Lots of bonuses for fans.
- Details remained in 2013
- A remake too superficial
Unsurprisingly, with The Last of Us Part 1, PlayStation and Naughty Dog have worked to faithfully recreate the basic adventure with all that goes with it. On the one hand, the graphics are incredibly beautiful and realistic, while on the other hand, the levels and gameplay are reminiscent of the 2010s. But in the end, all we remember is the wonderful epic with Ellie and Joël, although we already know his story. Even after ten years, The Last of Us’ script and plot haven’t aged one bit. It’s still so strong, moving, catchy. Such a steamroller that we forget about the anachronistic stylistic effects and the few flaws. More than ever, it’s time to (re)discover this post-apo masterpiece!
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