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The Last of Us Part 1 Review – An Unneeded but Appreciated Remake

I know we are a bit late, but there was no chance we would miss out on reviewing this game. I have been an avid fan of the series since the PlayStation 3 days, and it’s a series that changed the game for Zombie Survival titles, while also becoming a benchmark for most. For the purposes of this review, we will not be talking about the plot, character development, or Ellie and Joel’s relationship as everybody already knows how that plays out. What we were interested in checking out was how the remake looks and feels to the player, and man, they have really smashed this one out of the park.

A Visual Delight

As soon as the game kicks off, the players that have played the previous version of the game will be able to discern the differences instantly. From characters to environments to enemies, Naughty Dog has provided the players with an incredibly detailed upgrade. Players can now witness Joel and Ellie in 4K and through photo mode, it is almost possible to count every single hair strand on Joel’s beard. The facial expressions are lot more visible, which provides a lot more seriousness or sadness depending on the situation. The enemies, the combat and the blood splatter feel a lot more close to reality, and seeing the bloodstream flow out of the enemy you just killed is a satisfying feeling.

The game starts off by providing you two graphic modes to play the game in, Fidelity and Performance. In Fidelity mode, the players can experience the game in 4K at 40Hz or 40 frames per second. In Performance mode, the players can experience Last of Us Part 1 in Dynamic 4K or 1440p at 60Hz or 60 frames per second. For most of the game, we played on Performance as there was close to no sacrifice on quality and the game felt buttery smooth. There were almost no frame stutters or glitches in my play-through, apart from some minor ones that caused no hindrance to the gameplay.

The cutscenes have also received astronomical enhancements and watching them is a visual delight for the players. The gore level of the game has also been upgraded, the players can now see the entry point of the bullet in the enemy’s body along with the destruction it caused. Explosions seem a lot more accurate and true to life making us appreciate the art behind it. Moreover, a lot of the environment and landscapes have gone through major changes and some areas have been changed completely with brand new textures and other elements as well.

Haptics and Adaptive Triggers for the win

Even with all the visual changes, it’s the gameplay that brings about a major improvement. The incorporation of the DualSense features have been their ace in the hole, which makes the game feel even better. The haptic feedback changes according to situations and is even present during cutscenes, which makes the game a lot more immersive. While the visual upgrades are a gigantic step up, it’s the incorporation of the adaptive triggers, which is the icing on the cake. Adaptive triggers work as you would need them, with weapons like shotguns and a bow and arrow feeling entirely different.

Another cool feature that I observed was the change in colour of the DualSense LED indicators. When Joel’s health is at a decent amount, the indicators turn green, but as soon as he is close to dying, they turn red. Haptic feedback can be observed with certain environmental items too, such as the generators, the rain or when walking through a heavily infested area or while galloping on the horse. This addition provides a new layer of eeriness which is also incorporated in jump scares and other frightening situations. Enemies have become way smarter than they were in the previous title, thanks to the AI enhancements. Thanks tot the new improvements, they can now understand how to corner Joel and make situations a lot more ‘do or die’.

An apocalypse that set benchmarks

One thing that players should know is that this game is not a remaster in any sense, it has been remade from the ground up, therefore every element in the game feels vastly superior to the remastered version of the title. There is a vast amount of detail in the game which can be missed easily if not paid attention to. Players will see that the environment can be destroyed a lot more than the previous games, with glass shard flying everywhere during intense combat. The reflections that are visible through puddles, windows and other reflective surfaces are beautiful and the lighting that complements the environment makes it visually stunning.

Even the rain and water formation on Joel and his equipment is a sight to behold as players will observe the small water droplets trickling down his weapons and his body. Water droplets also show up on to the screen to provide an even more immersive experience. The same can also be said about the blood splatter, when an enemy is killed at close range or when Joel suffers damage. The Last of Us Remake has a newly designed world that players would love to explore and understand the level of enhancements it has been through, it is an exciting experience and combined with the fantastic storyline, it is a title that no player should miss out.

Last of Us Remake is a title that blows the remastered version out of the water. It is a surreal experience where players survive the perils of a zombie apocalypse in the truest sense. For new players to the series that haven’t played any of the previous titles, this game is a must buy and the best way to get into the series. For the existing players, there is no better way to experience or re-experience the game than the remake. I would have loved if Naughty Dogs knocked couple of bucks of the high price point this game comes at, which is the same as any title that comes to the market. Though I understand that it is a deserved price point due the amount of hard work that developers have put in to create this game. The Last of Us Remake is a must buy and every player should enjoy this fantastic experience whether they are new or existing players of the franchise.

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