When it originally came out back in 2013, The Last of Us had a massive impact on the industry. Naughty Dog came out swinging with a mature and dark story about hope, survival, and two characters that would go on to be some of Playstation’s most iconic. The remaster that came out in 2014 helped bring the game to the PS4, and now, the iconic entry gains new life on PS5 with The Last of Us Part 1. With updated graphics, a ton of accessibility features, and more features to help elevate the experience, the question stands: is The Last of Us Part 1 worth the full price tag in 2022?
Well, that question ends up being a difficult one. At the end of the day, The Last of Us is still considered by many to be one of the best games of the last generation, if not all time. Naughty Dog gives a lot of love to Part 1 and really helps make the case for the remake. Let’s break it down.
The biggest difference one will immediately notice is the completely rebuilt and overhauled graphics. The game looks visually stunning, running almost perfectly the entire way. The emotion that you can see on Joel and Ellie’s faces feels the most genuine yet. You can see the little moments in a way that was never possible before. They draw you in quickly, making you fall in love with these characters all over again.
Joel’s side glances at Ellie as he starts to see her more as a daughter and less as cargo. Ellie’s determination to push forward and brief moments of hope and humanity. The pain and anguish on the enemies’ faces as you choke them out. These are the moments that really and truly shine as you push through the heartbreak that is the narrative.
That doesn’t mean that the environments are anything to scoff at. They’re dense, teeming with more life than before as you see rats scurry by, as both moments of hope and pain are amplified by the presentation. The dark spots in the hallway feel more threatening than ever before, along with the beauty of the forests as they give brief moments of respite in an already very heavy game.
Playing on performance mode, the game ran almost flawlessly. I did have a few frame dips, but they were barely noticeable and only happened a few times. Graphically, The Last of Us Part 1 is a huge success and looks incredible.
From a gameplay perspective, not a lot has changed in Part 1 when compared to the original, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. While the gameplay enhancements from The Last of Us Part 2 were certainly missed at the beginning, my concerns really fell away as I slipped back into the universe. Whether it’s the pull of the narrative, the overhauled graphics, or just the overall quality of the game, it really did feel like a new game that just came out. I found myself really enjoying my time playing it and forgot about the new systems that came along with Part 2.
The Dualsense features are incredibly welcome. This controller has really become my favorite, with the haptics, enhanced rumble, and everything else that comes alongside it. The guns feel different, pulling on the triggers has kickback, and they even have options that allow the Dualsense to enhance dialogue for those who may not be able to hear what’s going on. I really love what they’ve done with the Dualsense.
The one major aspect that DID carry over from Part 2 was the vast array of accessibility options that were added, with even more being included in Part 1. There are color blind options, heavier customization of difficulty, Enhanced Listen mode that can assist the blind or visually impaired, and so much more. Naughty Dog has really put a lot of love into the game, making sure that there is a huge amount of options available to let more players than ever before dive into The Last of Us. I truly do hope this becomes the industry standard moving forward.
Is The Last of Us Part 1 Worth It?
With all of this being said, is The Last of Us Part 1 worth a full price tag? The answer to that question really depends. For anyone experiencing this for the first time, this is *the* definitive way to play The Last of Us. For massive fans of the franchise that are looking for a reason to come back to one of the greatest games ever made, it’s another easy win.
Outside of that, it’s a hard game for me to recommend at full price. It took me being back in this world for it to really click. This really is the same game with a huge glow-up from 2013. For some people, that’ll be enough. For others, waiting for a sale or for it to inevitably hit Playstation Plus Extra or Premium will be the right call. I love this series and truly enjoyed my time with The Last of Us Part 1, and this has re-excited me for Factions to hit when it’s ready. The Last of Us Part 1 is out on September 2nd on PS5.
*code provided for review by Playstation Canada*
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