Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023

The Last Of Us Part 1 is a pricey but first-class horror remake on the PS5

It has been wonderful stepping back into one of the greatest video games of all time.

The 2013 PS3 hit has been completely rebuilt from the ground up for the PS5 console as Sony tries to tap into a whole new generation of players.

And it’s amazing, as you’d expect from developer Naughty Dog.

The problem is the £70 price tag.

Many of today’s gamers would have already played this single-player post-apocalypse zombie story.

And it’ll be hard for many to justify splashing out the full sum again for something so linear, especially when the multiplayer mode is missing.

That said, this is Playstation at its best and an absolute must-buy for anyone who’s never played The Last Of Us.

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For a start, the most striking thing on boot-up is the visuals.

Lush, detailed vibrant lands come alive in this version of the monster hit, with character’s and their animations incredibly lifelike.

That in turn seems to add to the already-amazing storyline, as you really get more emotion from Joel and Ellie’s often tragic journey through what used to be American civilisation.

That defining moment in the opening scene – past players will know the one – attacks the heart way more than it did back in the day as you see the tears drip naturally down Joel’s face.

It brings the player closer to the game, and makes you care more about the heroes you take control of.

Thanks to more realistic lighting and atmosphere, more intricate environments and creative reimaginings of familiar spaces, The Last Of Us Part 1 is as good as any game I’ve ever played.

Haptic feedback in the DualSense controller, making you feel the gun work, bow shooting, even subtle falling raindrops, all add more immersion.

Gameplay is tight and honed to its absolute best.

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Audio is also crystal clear, with the dialogue really impacting.

Naughty Dog have added value to this release by packaging in the excellent, but shorter, Left Behind prequel DLC. That fleshes out Ellie’s story after your run-through of the main game.

And there’s now a Speedrun mode, which enables an in-game timer that tracks your current and best play through length in an attempt to get gamers to replay the story over and over again.

There’s also a bitingly difficult Permadeath mode for the expert players out there who only want one life to dice with.

Going into this rebuild, we knew that with Naughty Dog’s history we were going to get the real definitive The Last Of Us here, even after the 2014 PS4 remaster.

It’s way better and bigger than that job, and the work here should be used as a showcase for how to redevelop legacy products for a new generation.

I would have liked to have seen it priced slightly lower, as I fear some gamers may be put off paying full-whack for a nine-year-old storyline.

That said, if you really want to see what the PS5 is capable of when pushed, this is your game.

And if you’re new to this series, this must be your next purchase.

VERDICT 5/5

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