The Last of Us told the story of Joel and Ellie, an unlikely pair struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland overrun by mutated humans. The game met almost universal acclaim for its balanced, tense gameplay, three-dimensional characters and bittersweet, multilayered plot, and is often regarded as one of the finest examples of games as art in recent memory. When it was announced that the game would be rereleased for the PS4 as The Last of Us Remastered little more than a year later, critics from around the world could only wonder if it was really necessary.
The Last of Us Remastered includes all the little bells and whistles one would come to expect from an updated rerelease: improved graphics and textures, better lighting, a greater draw distance and a near-constant rate of 60 frames per second. The gameplay is still just as polished as that of Remastered’s predecessor, and the transition from the PS3 controller to the PS4 controller was a smooth one. But that alone isn’t enough to justify a rerelease. Fortunately, there are several new features exclusive to this version of the game.
The Last of Us Remastered features several optional commentary tracks and a single-player side story called Left Behind, the latter of which was sold as separate DLC in previous versions of the game. In addition, Remastered also introduces photo mode, which allows players to take screenshots of the intricately detailed world around them with the use of a highly customizable in-game camera. In a game as beautiful as this, it’s a feature well worth visiting.
If you haven’t played The Last of Us, you owe it to yourself to play it through at least once, and if you own a PS4, Remastered is definitely worth the slightly higher price tag. Even if you already own the original version of the game on the PS3, The Last of Us Remastered may very well be the definitive version of an already phenomenal game. It looks nicer, it runs more smoothly, and it includes plenty of extras to keep both long-time fans and newcomers alike entertained, making it everything a proper rerelease should be.