Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023

Review of The Last Of Us Part I - It Can't be for Nothing

Part I of The Last of Us on PS5 Naughty Dog's filmic survival horror masterpiece, The Last of Us, has left an indelible impression on the gaming..

Review of The Last Of Us Part I - It Can't be for Nothing

Part I of The Last of Us on PS5

Naughty Dog's filmic survival horror masterpiece, The Last of Us, has left an indelible impression on the gaming world like few other games. It was first released in 2013 on the PlayStation 3, and then again in 2014 as a PlayStation 4 exclusive. It has received numerous Game of the Year awards and accolades. Nearly ten years later, we now have a "from scratch" remake of the original PlayStation 3.

Let's get to the point: If you haven't played The Last of Us, I think it's the most amazing game ever made. Sony's beloved horror IP is a powerful and moving story. It has a deeply thought-provoking, tragic story. It also features intense horror-action that can be quite brutal. And it builds a post-apocalyptic world that will remain with you long after the credits roll.

Joel is a relatable father who feels lost. You play the role. Modern society is thrown into turmoil when a pandemic turns its victims into zombie-like creatures with a penchant to eat human flesh. Governments around the globe are scrambling to stop the spread of the disease and control it.

As the world continues to fall apart, pockets of primitive civilization start to emerge from the ashes. But the Fireflies, a resistance group, may be the key to finding a vaccine to end human suffering.

Image source: Naughty dog

Although it may sound a bit trite, the way The Last of Us presents the story and places it so strongly in reality is what makes The Last of Us so compelling. The infectious fungal disease that is at the core of the game's story actually comes from a real-life condition.

However, in nature, Cordyceps fungi prey only on insects, so they haven't made the leap to humans yet. (Phew!) (Phew!) *Shudders*

The Last of Us is a third-person survival horror game that plays mechanically. It features stealthy cat and mouse gameplay, melee combat, intense shootouts, and crunchy melee combat. You'll spend a lot of time searching for resources in order to craft useful items such as Nail bombs and Molotov cocktails.

In between the thrilling gameplay sequences, there are some of most memorable and well-written videogame cutscenes. From both a narrative perspective and a visual perspective, The Last of Us is still a landmark in the industry. No small feat, indeed. Many of you might be curious about what the brand-new PS5 remake brings to the table. With that in mind, there's a lot to talk about.

Image source: Naughty dog

The Last of Us Part I still retains the core narrative of Joel and Ellie. However, the game has put a lot of effort into creating new environments, facial animations, enemy AI, DualSense, and 3D audio features. The new facial animations are a great improvement on the previous outstanding performances of Troy Baker (Joel), Ashley Johnson(Ellie), Jeffrey Pierce, Tommy Pierce (Tommy), Annie Wersching, Tess (Tess), and others.

The game's facial capture has been improved to an even higher level. You'll also notice subtle changes in how characters react to cutscenes, which was a bit harder to see on older-generation hardware. The environments have been largely updated with better lighting and textures.

Some areas have additional details that were not in the original. For example, the Boston Statehouse Museum's lower floor used to be empty but now houses historic artifacts such as art canvases or busts of famous American politicians. This new remake also features the immersive upgrade system introduced in 2020's sequel, The Last of Us Part II.

Instead of Joel simply upgrading his weapons at a workbench, the new version allows for specific weapon makeovers, such as a new muzzle, or grip. The new upgrade system, combined with an increase in fidelity, really adds an extra layer to an already amazing-looking game.

The new PS5 remake doesn't just focus on the cosmetics. There have been many tweaks under the hood. The enemy AI has also been greatly improved. Comparing to the original, enemies behave more dynamically: Clickers and Bloaters move faster, Stalkers hide more in shadows, Hunters flank you more tactically and Clickers and Clickers are more aggressive.

Image source: Naughty dog

There are many accessibility options available. You have many options to customize the gameplay to your preference. There are many options available to customize the gameplay experience of The Last of Us Part I, including screen reader, audio cues, and alternative controls. This is always admirable.

The DualSense and 3D audio features have been updated. DualSense, as is the norm with PS5 exclusives adds texture to the immersiveness. For example, using a Health Kit requires extra tension to pull down the R2 trigger. You can also "feel" rain and blizzards through the controller. The 3D audio is excellent and helps to intensify the horror atmosphere, especially when paired with the Pulse 3D wireless headphones.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the elephant in this room. Although the latest version of Sony’s classic shines brightly on cutting edge hardware, it is worth mentioning a poignant, provocative question: Is The Last of Us Part I remake really necessary. This would be the second time that the game has been given the remaster/remake treatment within a span of less than a decade. It does feel, especially for those who have played each game.

The truth is that the answer will differ from one person to another. I can only say that Naughty Dog is an absolute masterwork; if it isn't already, The Last of Us Part I should be. This revamped version will be a little more difficult if you haven't already played the original. The Factions online multiplayer component is gone, and it is hard to believe that you are getting a package with less content than the original. But deep down, I believe that there is never a bad moment to revisit a classic.

The Last of Us Part I is much like the amazing writing in the game. It often focuses on the small things. DualSense, AI upgrades and visual improvements all help to elevate this exclusive from Sony. It's a human story that feels as relevant as ever when taken as a whole. We hope that the faithful remake will allow a new generation to enjoy one of our most beloved games. Period.

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