The Last of Us Remastered Review
What is The Last of Us?
The Last of Us is the latest game from Naughty Dog. It is not a sequel to an existing series. It is a new IP.
It is a survival action-adventure game in which you have to make it through harsh environments while using limited supplies and ammo to deal with monsters and enemies.
The game is quite linear and features light exploration to find gear, hints,weapons and ammo.
The Last of Us is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a fungus outbreak has turned almost all humans into cannibalistic monsters. Joel, one of the survivors in this world, must escort Ellie, a young girl who is immune to the fungus; across the United States to possibly cure mankind of the infestation.
The Last of Us was originally released on the PlayStation 3 in 2013 and a remastered version was released on the PlayStation 4 in 2014. The Remastered version also features the DLC episode “Left Behind” which comes separately from the PlayStation 3 version.
The Last of Us is rated M for Mature. It has a lot of violence and swearing.
NOTE: This review doesn’t include the multiplayer mode.
Who made it?
The Last of Us is made by Naughty Dog and Sony Computer Entertainment.
Naughty Dog also made Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and the Jak & Daxter series.
Naughty Dog is one of the main companies producing the biggest PlayStation exclusive games. They are known for producing games that are well-polished and cinematic (Mostly because of The Last of Us and Uncharted).
What is great about it?
- Solid action and controls. Controlling your character feels great.
- Great cinematic camera that never gets in the way of your progress.
- Aside from a few glitches, graphics are gorgeous and detailed. They do a really good job of setting the mood of a post-apocalyptic world. It’s almost as if the environments do half the story-telling.
- The Remastered version on PlayStation 4 runs at 60 frames per second and looks very fluid and gorgeous.
- Although a bit on the cliché side, the story is very well told and you will really care about all the characters. It really conveys greatly the desperation of living in such a chaotic world.
- Cutscenes look amazing and the facial expressions are almost perfect.
- Voice acting is great and characters talk a lot during gameplay without becoming annoying.
- Your character doesn’t have regenerating health (A design choice that plagues many games of this generation) and it forces you to manage your health and supplies. (This is essential to a survival game.)
- Multiple difficulty settings.
- Support NewGame+ (Playing through the game again while conserving some upgrades.)
What is not so good about it?
- Many areas of the game don’t have anything happening in them and I don’t see them as fun areas to go through after the first time. Even the initial exploration of those areas becomes kinda boring and feels like it artificially increases the length of the game.
- Navigation challenges (“puzzles”) sometimes don’t make sense. (Why can’t I hoist myself up to that platform even if it looks low enough? – Why do this small bunch of junk in the way prevents me from going through?) Also, they are limited to moving a plank or ladder to another location or moving a wooden pallet with Ellie on top of it because she can’t swim. Pushing doors, pulling chains, boosting up Ellie or other contextual actions are sometimes the only meat of the gameplay in some areas and those scripted actions are just not fun to perform or re-perform in another playthrough.
- The number of enemy types and the interactions you can have with them are limited. This leads to the challenges thrown at you getting old and feeling repetitive fairly quickly. The game would have benefitted a lot from a few additional monster types.
- Far from being as deep/advanced as advertised in trailers, the AI is glitchy. I encountered a few problems with enemies stuck in certain states. Also, characters accompanying Joel are invisible to enemies. Joel can be seen and pursued by enemies but Ellie and other allies won’t be spotted no matter if they are running directly within the enemies’ fields of vision. They will be pursued only if Joel has been spotted.
- AI characters sometimes get in the way of your movement.
- There are important choices to be made late in the story. It would have been nice to have the player make these choices and change the ending according to those decisions. Other survival and story-focused games have this.
- The game lacks music. Although some sequences that have music are superb, the game could use more music. Most of the time the only sound is the ambient noise.
- Although it only happens once when you first enter gameplay, that initial loading time is very long on the PlayStation 3. PlayStation 4 version is fine.
Pick up this game if…
- You enjoy post-apocalyptic stories and cinematic-style story-focused games.
- You enjoy 3D survival adventure games.
- You enjoy both stealth, ranged combat or melee combat.