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The Last of Us Remastered

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The Last of Us Remastered
The game's cover art. The text "THE LAST OF US REMASTERED" is to the left, with an adult male (Joel) and teenaged girl (Ellie) to the right, both holding guns.
Developer(s) Naughty Dog
Publisher(s) Sony Computer Entertainment
Director(s)
Designer(s) Jacob Minkoff
Programmer(s)
  • Travis McIntosh
  • Jason Gregory
Artist(s)
  • Erick Pangilinan
  • Nate Wells
Writer(s) Neil Druckmann
Composer(s) Gustavo Santaolalla
Engine Havok Edit this on Wikidata
Platform(s) PlayStation 4
Release
  • NA: July 29, 2014
  • PAL: July 30, 2014
  • UK: August 1, 2014
Genre(s) Action-adventure, survival horror
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

The Last of Us Remastered is an action-adventure survival horror video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. An enhanced port of 2013's The Last of Us, Remastered was released for PlayStation 4 worldwide in July 2014.[a] Among minor gameplay additions, the game features enhanced graphics and rendering upgrades including increased draw distance, an upgraded combat mechanic and higher frame rate. It also includes the downloadable content episode Left Behind.

The game is set twenty years after an outbreak of the mutated strain of Cordyceps fungus that destroyed much of civilization. The single-player story follows Joel, tasked with escorting the young Ellie across a post-apocalyptic United States, in an attempt to create a potential cure against the infection to which Ellie is immune. Players make their way through various locations, fighting against the Infected and hostile human survivors. The multiplayer lets up to eight players engage in cooperative or competitive game matches. To accommodate Remastered's technical enhancements, Naughty Dog spent months developing the game, beginning upon the release of The Last of Us.

The game received critical acclaim. Reviewers were impressed with the graphics upgrades, praising all of the enhancements and additions. It also became a commercial success, selling over one million units within its first month.

Gameplay[edit]

The Last of Us Remastered changes little from the basic gameplay of the original version. As such, it is an action-adventure survival horror game that uses a third-person perspective. The game involves gunfights, melee combat and a cover system. For most of the game, players control Joel; Ellie and other companions are controlled by the artificial intelligence.[4] Remastered uses the DualShock 4's touchpad to navigate inventory items, and the light bar signals health, scaling from blue to orange and red when taking damage. In addition, audio recordings found in the game world can be heard through the controller's speaker; the original version forced players to remain in a menu while the recordings were played.[5] The game's Photo Mode allows players to capture images of the game by pausing gameplay and adjusting the camera freely.[6] In the menu, players have the ability to watch all cutscenes with audio commentary featuring creative director Neil Druckmann, Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, who portrayed Joel and Ellie, respectively.[7]

Development[edit]

The character of Joel being rendered on the PlayStation 3 on the left, and the PlayStation 4 on the right. Improved texture effects and lighting are visible on the PS4 version.
A comparison of The Last of Us (left) and Remastered (right). The latter features higher-resolution textures.

In March 2014, information concerning a release of The Last of Us on PlayStation 4 was leaked.[8] This was followed by the appearance of the game, titled The Last of Us Remastered on the PlayStation Store on April 9, 2014;[9] Naughty Dog announced the game on the same day.[10] This enhanced version of the game features an increased draw distance, character models of higher resolution,[11] improved lighting and shadows, and an upgraded combat mechanic.[12] It runs a native 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second, with the option to lock the game at 30 frames per second.[13] At E3 2014, Sony announced that the game would be released on July 29, 2014.[14] Some of the downloadable content from The Last of Us is bundled with Remastered, including Left Behind and some multiplayer maps, while others require a separate purchase.[10]

I wish we had a button that was like 'Turn on PS4 Mode', but no. We expected it to be Hell, and it was Hell. ... These engineers ... optimized the game so much for the PS3's SPUs specifically. It was optimized on a binary level, but after shifting those things over [to PS4] you have to go back to the high level, make sure the systems are intact, and optimize it again.

Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog creative director, Edge, May 16, 2014[15]

In Remastered, character textures were increased by a factor of four, shadows were doubled and a new lighting process was implemented. The motion blur when turning the camera, used to hide slower loading textures, was reduced, and the game's environments look "crisper".[5] In addition, new settings were introduced to allow players to customize the game's audio channels, and the loading times were reduced, due to the game streaming from the hard drive as opposed to the disc.[5] One of the biggest developmental challenges was fitting all content onto one Blu-ray Disc. The changing of the in-game textures, and the inclusion of Left Behind, were the cause for this difficulty.[13] According to lead developer Christian Gyrling, Remastered "looked broken up until a week before shipping".[16]

Development on Remastered began shortly following the release of The Last of Us in June 2013. Though initially under light development, the team began working harder on Remastered when they saw the demand for it;[11] work on the game's code did not begin until a larger team was introduced to Remastered in February 2014. As development on the original game ended, the programmers expected that the game would be ported to the PlayStation 4, but planning and preparation did not begin until The Last of Us had launched.[16] The team aimed at creating a "true" remaster, maintaining the "same core experience"[13] and not changing any large story or gameplay elements.[17] For the game's frame rate, the team was initially split, with some preferring 30 frames per second rather than 60; when the game was running at the latter, the whole team became convinced.[13] The team that worked on Remastered was significantly smaller than the team for The Last of Us; in particular, the team did not include any designers, which led to various design issues remaining from the original game. Druckmann attributed this to the fact that Remastered was developed as a recreation of the original, altering only technical and graphical aspects.[15]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic95/100[18]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Game Informer10/10[20]
GameSpot8/10[19]
IGN10/10[12]
Polygon8/10[21]
VideoGamer.com10/10[22]
The Escapist4.5/5 stars[23]
The Telegraph9/10[24]

Like the original version, The Last of Us Remastered was met with critical acclaim. Metacritic calculated an average score of 95 out of 100, indicating "universal acclaim", based on 69 critics.[18] It is the second-highest rated PlayStation 4 game on Metacritic, behind Grand Theft Auto V.[25]

The game's enhanced graphics received positive reactions. Colin Moriarty of IGN felt that the graphical fidelity of Remastered was an improvement over The Last of Us, despite the latter being "the most beautiful game [he'd] seen on any console".[12] GamesRadar's David Houghton echoed this statement, calling the visuals "jaw-dropping".[26] VideoGamer.com reiterated the graphical improvement over the original game, particularly praising the increased draw distance and improved lighting technology.[22] Liam Martin of Digital Spy also felt that the lighting system improves the gameplay and makes the game "feel even more dangerous".[27] Game Informer's Tim Turi stated that the game is "even more breathtaking" than The Last of Us.[20] Matt Swider of TechRadar appreciated the minor detail changes and the technical improvements.[28] The Independent's Jack Fleming felt that the original game's visual flaws were enhanced in Remastered, but greatly complimented the updated graphics regardless.[29]

Many reviewers considered the technical enhancements, such as the increased frame rate, a welcome advancement from the original game. Turi of Game Informer felt that the frame rate "dramatically elevate[s]" the game above the original.[20] Jim Sterling of The Escapist complimented the upgraded frame rate, commenting that the original frame rate is a "noticeably inferior experience".[23] IGN's Moriarty stated that, though the change was initially "jarring", he appreciated it through further gameplay.[12] Tom Hoggins of The Daily Telegraph echoed these statements, feeling as though the increased frame rate heightened the intensity of the gameplay.[24] Metro's David Jenkins felt that the increased frame rate is almost imperceptible, though stating that it is "definitely an improvement".[30] Philip Kollar of Polygon appreciated the game's improved textures and loading times.[21]

The addition of Photo Mode was well received. TechRadar's Swider named the mode as a standout feature,[31] while IGN's Moriarty complimented the availability to capture "gorgeous" images using the feature.[12] The adjustment of the controls received praise, with Moriarty of IGN particularly approving the DualShock 4's triggers.[12] Swider of TechRadar felt that the additional controls result in a better functioning game,[28] while Digital Spy's Martin felt that it improves the game's combat, commenting that it "increase[s] this sense of immersion".[27] Reviewers also appreciated the inclusion of the DLC and the audio commentary.[12][19][21][24][31][32] These features led The Escapist's Sterling to dub Remastered as "the definitive version of the game".[23]

By August 2014, The Last of Us Remastered had sold one million copies. It is one of the best-selling PlayStation 4 games.[33] The game was nominated for Best Remaster at The Game Awards 2014,[34] and received an honorable mention for Best Technology at the 15th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards.[35]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ The Last of Us Remastered was released on different dates, dependent on territory: July 29, 2014 in North America; July 30, 2014 in Europe, Australia and New Zealand; and August 1, 2014 in the United Kingdom and Ireland.[1][2][3]

Footnotes

  1. ^ Mathé, Charlotte; Reynolds, Matthew (July 1, 2014). "Games out this month: 10 biggest releases for July". Digital Spy. Hearst Corporation. Archived from the original on February 8, 2016. Retrieved April 15, 2015. 
  2. ^ LeJacq, Yannick (June 10, 2014). "The Last Of Us Is Coming To The PS4 On July 30". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on March 15, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  3. ^ Ashraf, Jawad (July 30, 2014). "New on PlayStation Store: The Last of Us Remastered, Rogue Legacy, more". PlayStation Blog. Sony Computer Entertainment. Archived from the original on September 8, 2017. Retrieved July 3, 2017. 
  4. ^ Wells, Evan (December 10, 2011). "Naughty Dog Reveals The Last of Us at 2011 VGAs". PlayStation Blog. Sony Computer Entertainment. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Futter, Mike (July 16, 2014). "Re-Infection: Hands-On With The Last Of Us Remastered". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  6. ^ Maiberg, Emanuel (July 26, 2014). "The Last of Us Remastered Photo Mode Explained". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on February 8, 2015. Retrieved February 8, 2015. 
  7. ^ Makuch, Eddie (July 16, 2014). "The Last of Us PS3 Owners Won't Get a Discount on Remastered PS4 Version". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  8. ^ Moriarty, Colin (March 26, 2014). "The Last of Us Coming to PlayStation 4". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  9. ^ Williams, Katie (April 9, 2014). "The Last of Us: Remastered Revealed for PS4". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Moriarty, Colin (April 9, 2014). "The Last of Us Remastered: First Details, Pre-Order Info". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Karmali, Luke (April 10, 2014). "The Last of Us PS4 Development Began Ages Ago". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Moriarty, Colin (July 28, 2014). "The Last of Us: Remastered Review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b c d Haywald, Justin (July 16, 2014). "The Last of Us Remastered Devs Discuss Making 60fps the New Standard in Games". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  14. ^ Karmali, Luke (June 9, 2014). "E3 2014: The Last of Us: Remastered PS4 Release Date Announced". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on January 18, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b "The last of it: Naughty Dog on bringing The Last of Us to PS4". Edge. Future plc. May 16, 2014. Archived from the original on January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  16. ^ a b Ingraham, Nathan (July 29, 2014). "Endure and survive: how Naughty Dog brought 'The Last of Us' to the PS4". The Verge. Vox Media. Archived from the original on February 9, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  17. ^ GameCentral (August 1, 2014). "The Last Of Us Remastered interview – 'How much more immersive can this be?'". Metro. DMG Media. Archived from the original on January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  18. ^ a b "The Last of Us Remastered for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  19. ^ a b Petit, Carolyn (July 28, 2014). "The Last of Us Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  20. ^ a b c Turi, Tim (July 28, 2014). "Naughty Dog's Best Game Gets Better - The Last of Us Remastered Edition". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  21. ^ a b c Kollar, Philip (June 5, 2013). "The Last of Us review: dead inside". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  22. ^ a b VideoGamer.com Staff (July 28, 2014). "The Last of Us: Remastered Review". VideoGamer.com. Pro-G Media. Archived from the original on January 27, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
  23. ^ a b c Sterling, Jim (July 28, 2014). "The Last of Us Remastered Review - A Very Pretty Apocalypse". The Escapist. Defy Media. Archived from the original on February 9, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  24. ^ a b c Hoggins, Tom (August 15, 2014). "The Last of Us Remastered review". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Archived from the original on February 9, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Best PlayStation 4 Video Games of All Time". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on March 7, 2017. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  26. ^ Houghton, David (July 28, 2014). "The Last of Us Remastered review". GamesRadar. Future plc. Archived from the original on February 8, 2015. Retrieved February 8, 2015. 
  27. ^ a b Martin, Liam (July 30, 2014). "The Last of Us Remastered review (PS4): Naughty Dog's remasterpiece". Digital Spy. Hearst Corporation. Archived from the original on February 9, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  28. ^ a b Swider, Matt (August 1, 2014). "10 ways The Last of Us Remastered is better on PS4 vs PS3". TechRadar. Future plc. p. 1. Archived from the original on February 8, 2015. Retrieved February 8, 2015. 
  29. ^ Fleming, Jack (July 28, 2014). "The Last of Us Remastered PS4 review: just another masterpiece from Naughty Dog". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Archived from the original on February 9, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  30. ^ Jenkins, David (July 28, 2014). "The Last of Us Remastered review – definitive edition". Metro. DMG Media. Archived from the original on February 9, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  31. ^ a b Swider, Matt (August 1, 2014). "10 ways The Last of Us Remastered is better on PS4 vs PS3: Photo mode, DLC, remote play and price". TechRadar. Future plc. p. 2. Archived from the original on February 8, 2015. Retrieved February 8, 2015. 
  32. ^ Stuart, Keith (July 29, 2014). "The Last of Us Remastered: is there ever closure for completists?". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Archived from the original on February 9, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  33. ^ Dunning, Jason (September 1, 2014). "The Last of Us Remastered Crosses One Million Sold Worldwide". PlayStation LifeStyle. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on March 21, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  34. ^ Futter, Mike (December 5, 2014). "Here Are The Winners Of The Game Awards 2014". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on May 2, 2015. Retrieved January 16, 2015. 
  35. ^ Pitcher, Jenna (March 4, 2015). "Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Wins 17th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards GOTY". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on March 5, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2015. 

External links[edit]