Never two without three! Following the base version in 2013 and a remaster shortly thereafter on PlayStation 4, Ellie and Joel’s first adventure returns to PS5 with The Last of Us Part 1. A remake taken from scratch by the Naughty Dog team that arouses just as much excitement as request. So, in reality, how much is it really worth? Here is our final opinion.
Just above, in autoplay, our video version of The Last of Us Part 1 test.
- Test performed on PS5. The Last of Us Part 1 will be available on September 2, 2022 (later on PC).
The Last of Us is not a post-apo zombie game like the others. Yes, because there are no zombies in the strict sense but monsters infected with a large fungus – this is an important clarification – and above all because it has pushed the Naughty Dog studio even higher, among the essential companies of modern video games. After breaking through the current screen of the 2010s, with Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3, why not definitely break through the ceiling and prove that you excel at writing heroes? This is the tour de force that marks The Last of Us, unanimously praised by the press and gamers when it was released in 2013. The project that interests us today, The Last of Us Part 1, is a remake of this success, which also includes the Left Behind extension. No revision instead of “Factions”, multiplayer mode of the time.
Born in the United States
Before tackling the novelties and brand new visuals of this remake, The Last of Us Part 1 therefore remains above all the story of Ellie and Joël, shaken along the roads of the United States in search of the Fireflies. A story that hasn’t moved an inch. The Naughty Dog team has accurately reproduced every dialogue and footage here with their new engine, and that’s clearly not a bad thing. Even after all this time The Last of Us writing hasn’t aged a bit, always so true, touching, overwhelming. What a thrill to see Ellie’s relationship rewritten | Joël (especially with such credible faces) how and when scenes of rare authenticity. Of course, it’s hard not to have The Last of Us Part 2 in mind, even more ambitious in terms of storytelling. But the magic of 2013 works, whether it’s the main adventure or the Left Behind DLC, which often hits straight to the heart. The extension shows a piece of Ellie’s past, before she met Joel, then accompanied by her best friend Riley. With these two sides of the same coin, you will have your share of excitement and a total of around 18-20 hours of gameplay.
The Last of Us Part 1 – Long cinematic in the car (fidelity mode)
Tomb of the fireflies
So yes, that’s no surprise! The writing of The Last of Us Part 1 remains identical to the original project. What is most surprising, however, is that the structure and level design of the adventure scrupulously follows this same path – for a less exciting result. Of course, the first The Last of Us relies on much more classic and linear bases compared to the second part, very often following the “narration, exploration, combat, exploration, narration …” scheme which, moreover, at restricted levels and not very favorable to exploration (compared to The Last of Us Part 2). Not to mention the old-fashioned puzzles based on ladders and wooden planks! In concrete terms, everything lacks a lot of breath, of open spaces. The Last of Us Part 1 therefore seems stuck between two eras, with its structure on one side and its graphics on the other.
That said, keep your feet on the ground. The Last of Us Part 1 course may be classic, but it works well despite everything! Yes, because the sets crossed are varied enough – at least in terms of atmosphere – to rekindle the player’s interest. But mostly because in The Last of Us, history is a great engine for progression. Whether it’s between a touching scene with two characters, an action phase that comes out of nowhere or even a reversal of the situation that puts everything into question, Naughty Dog has no shortage of resources to get us back on track. What about the Left Behind DLC? It is almost a candy that you will want to swallow, in 2-3 hours of play. Even knowing the base title well, we fell in love with The Last of Us again. He’s really there for something.
Here we are ! “The elephant in the room” for The Last of Us Part 1: Graphic review. A redesign with a capital “R” as the Naughty Dog team not only updated the textures, but also overhauled the art direction. We don’t go four ways. In this remake, the work on the graphics is quite exemplary. Here, the PlayStation studio once again shows the full extent of its technical know-how, with a project that sets the bar even higher than the second installment thanks to the PS5 resolution. The Last of Us Part 1 therefore offers two graphics modes. The first, “Fidelity”, offers native 4K and a target framerate of 40 frames per second (with regular dips for rich moments). The second, “Performance”, favors fluidity at 60 fps with dynamic 4K or – depending on the screen – 1440p. However, it should be noted that in the second case the new visual of The Last of Us is less brilliant and that the mode is particularly useful for having more fluid fights. The Last of Us Part 1 allows you to switch from Loyalty to Performance on the fly, without returning to the title screen or reloading a game.
Of course, even before the sets, it is the faces of the characters that benefit from this increase in power. The pout of Ellie, Joël, Tess or Riley has never been so authentic and credible, undoubtedly increasing the emotional impact of many scenes. From this side, The Last of Us Part 1 doesn’t have much to envy to the second part. Same observation for the sets, even more convincing and immersive than in the past (special mention for the sumptuous lighting effects). After yes, there are still two or three less flattering details, like the NPC animations they know from 2013, the allies scrolling through the action stages, and the bugs they show. But nothing serious! Overall we can say that the contract is 100% respected, so much so that we would have liked to explore beyond the limits set by the base title. Limits that, however, sometimes make us forget this solid remake work, when the technique becomes less gaudy, especially during the indoor phases. An impression that can also be felt with the level design and gameplay.
One by one!
All in all, if it is obvious to want to compare The Last of Us Part 1 to the second episode of the license, we must not forget to take this version 2022 for what it is. While the level design and structure are more classic, they work pretty well despite everything, and the same goes for the gameplay. I study Naughty Dog thus offers more modern gameplay compared to the past by relying on all the ingredients of the original app. Hand-to-hand combat is now more visceral, with a camera that sticks to the action and rougher animations. In the same logic, it is now easier to grab and then throw an object at an enemy (brick or bottle). You can also use the DualSense’s gyro to adjust your aim, a nice help but it still doesn’t work perfectly. For the rest, The Last of Us Part 1 is a surely classic action-infiltration game but quite successful in reflecting the urgency and violence of the blows. Not revolutionary, but solid!
The Last of Us Part 1 – High Voltage Stealth (Fidelity Mode)
In other words, with this remake you will have no problem feeling the soul of a post-apo survivor, especially in the higher difficulty mode (the challenge is also customizable from A to Z according to multiple settings, as in The Last of Us Part 2). The mix of craftsmanship, survival and firearms remains a safe bet. Not to mention the nice boost brought by the vibrations of the DualSense, which give a pleasant personality to every means of defense. Recall that in The Last of Us ammo is generally limited and you will have to use everything you have on hand to get by. But discretion is also a solution! As in the base game, you can also improve the skills of the hero and weapons. However, here we would have liked to be able to lie on our stomachs and dodge, as in the second part. One last point that would have avoided frustrations during the fights.
behind the mountain
On the other hand, The Last of Us Part 1 adds many bonuses that will please the fans. Starting with a permadeath option, a speedrun mode, images | Never-before-seen 3D models to view in the Bonuses menu, skins and even gameplay commentary from director Neil Druckmann and the original cast of Ellie and Joel. It also includes a new photo mode and a whole system for customizing the controls. As you may have guessed, there are many things to unlock. But the most substantial – and important – addition to this level is undoubtedly the accessibility options. The Last of Us Part 1 is definitely the most accessible blockbuster today, with a variety of aids to activate, motion sickness settings and even a full audio description. A great thing to allow everyone to discover this masterpiece, now in its best light on PS5. Come on, it’s time to wrap up.
- A solid graphic overhaul
- Faces that make the difference
- Still a moving story
- A magic that has remained unchanged
- Classic but strong enough
- More accessibility options
- Lots of bonuses for fans
- The details remained in 2013
- Too superficial a remake
As you might expect, with The Last of Us Part 1, PlayStation and Naughty Dog have worked to faithfully recreate the basic adventure with all that entails. On the one hand, the graphics are incredibly beautiful and realistic, while on the other the levels and gameplay are reminiscent of the 2010s. But in the end, all we remember is the wonderful epic with Ellie and Joël, even if we already know their history. Even after ten years, The Last of Us’s script and storyline haven’t aged at all. It is still strong, moving, captivating. A steamroller such as to forget the anachronistic stylistic effects and the few defects. More than ever, it’s time to (re) discover this post-apo masterpiece!
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