Released almost a decade ago, The Last of Us is still widely considered to be one of the greatest video games in Sony’s library. Just about every facet of The Last of Us has been praised, from its voice acting and character animations to its environmental design and its overall narrative. Perhaps one of the most impressive aspects is just how well it holds up today. While the PS4 remaster of The Last of Us was a welcome port, giving everything a fresh coat of paint, not much was changed, as the original game still had some of the best visuals around. But it has been almost ten years, and some fans are excited to relive one of their favorite games once more, this time on yet another new console generation.
The Last of Us Part 1 releases on September 2, 2022, and brings the beloved survival action game to the PS5. When the remake was first announced at Summer Games Fest last month, some long-time fans were a bit confused as to why this game needed to exist, unsure of what changes were actually being made to the original experience. Naughty Dog recently released a lengthy gameplay breakdown video, showcasing a plethora of new gameplay features and detailing a few of the visual tweaks and changes coming with The Last of Us remake.
The Last of Us Remake’s New Gameplay Features
The recently released Last of Us Part 1 gameplay breakdown trailer comes in at just over 10 minutes in length and is jam-packed with new details about the game. The whole intention of the trailer is to show fans just how much Naughty Dog has changed, and how much it’s added to the original Last of Us experience, with Co-President Neil Druckmann explaining that this is the vision the team originally had for the game, now unrestricted by technological limitations.
The trailer starts with a montage of iconic scenes from The Last of Us, showing a side-by-side of the original game and the upcoming remake. New lighting, new character models, 4K capabilities, 60fps, and updated environments are all showcased, all of which look genuinely very impressive, clearly pushing the PlayStation 5 to its max. While the original Last of Us was praised for being the height of realism at the time, The Last of Us Part 1 is bringing that 10 years into the future, giving the game all-new facial and character animations.
On that note of realism, The Last of Us Part 1 is also redesigning its combat environments so that character interactions are more naturalistic. For example, when a player or AI shoots at the environment, the object they’ve fired into now reacts more realistically, with shattered pieces of glass or splintered pieces of wood falling off naturally. Naughty Dog then explains that The Last of Us Part 1 is using much more realistic AI, modeled after The Last of Us Part 2‘s groundwork. Enemies will now communicate with each other and flank the player more naturally, leading to more strategic and complex gameplay.
Around the five-minute mark, Druckmann explains some of The Last of Us Part 1‘s brand-new gameplay modifiers. Both a Permadeath Mode and a Speedrun mode are mentioned, along with a whole slew of new unlockable cosmetic options for both Ellie and Joel, including weapon skins and outfits. Unlockable character models were also shown off, which can be viewed in an in-game collectible tab.
Naughty Dog has been at the forefront of accessibility in the gaming landscapeand it’s looking to continue this trend in The Last of Us Part 1. This breakdown reveals that this is the first PlayStation game that has audio description built-in from the get-go, and a colorblind mode is briefly shown. There’s sure to be a plethora of other accessibility options in the game when it launches in September.
The Last of Us Part 1 gameplay breakdown trailer then details some PlayStation 5 exclusive features included in the game, starting with the 3D audio, which the developers mention makes the game even more immersive and frightening, particularly during the Stalker sequences. The DualSense’s innovative features are then discussed, with each gun apparently getting its own level of resistance to the controller’s adaptive triggers. The DualSense’s haptic feedback is also being used throughout The Last of Us Part 1, with the breakdown mentioning that firing the shotgun will result in two distinctive vibrations, one following the initial shot, and one when Joel pumps the shotgun. Haptic feedback will be present throughout the game, from firing the bow to punching a Clicker to petting a giraffe.
Will These New Last of Us Features Be Enough?
In the following days The Last of Us Part 1‘s announcement, a good portion of the fan base went online to express their confusion over the remake’s existence. For these fans, the Last of Us Remastered was a more than good enough upscaling of the original game, and remaking the game just a few years later seemed at best a bit bewildering, or at worst, greedy on Naughty Dog’s part. Before fans got to see any real gameplay or technical improvements, many had written The Last of Us Part 1 off as a mere cash grab.
Now, with this gameplay breakdown, the general consensus on The Last of Us Part 1 seems to be a little better. As evidenced in the trailer, Naughty Dog is clearly putting a lot of work into the remake. While the developer may not have started the game again from the ground-up, certain areas of the gameplay and some technical aspects look almost like it has, with environments looking significantly better and character animations matching the high bar set by The Last of Us Part 2.
That being said, The Last of Us Part 1 is retailing for $70, just like any other modern AAA first-party exclusive. For some, this price is still too much of a barrier to entry on what is essentially a decade-old game with some reworked textures and gameplay, but for others, the price of admission is more than worth it for the definitive version of this beloved game.
The Last of Us Part 1 is scheduled to release on September 2, 2022, on PS5. A PC port is also in development.