Hands on: The Last of Us Remastered

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Hands on: The Last of Us Remastered

With The Last of Us Remastered’s PS4 release just weeks away (July 29th), I dove into a pre-release version of the game to see exactly how Naughty Dog is leveraging PS4’s hardware to upgrade last year’s biggest Game of the Year winner.

First, there’s the immediately noticeable bump in native screen resolution. The jump from 720p (PS3) to native 1080p (PS4) gives the visuals a major shot in the arm. The crisp new presentation banishes those nasty jaggies to the margins, while higher resolution environment textures adorn the lovingly crafted post-apocalyptic environments.

The Last of Us Remastered

But the kicker is the new framerate. I’ll admit to being at least a bit skeptical on hearing that Naughty Dog would target a smoother, more fluid 60 frames per second for The Last of Us Remastered. I wondered whether it would add a distracting layer of artificiality, that it might somehow interfere with the game’s cinematic look and feel. Luckily, based on my hands-on experiences at a recent media event in New York City, those concerns feel entirely unwarranted. Played at the higher framerate, The Last of Us Remastered has a silky smooth feel that makes aiming and camera control feel more responsive and natural.

Conveniently, the PS4 version was shown side-by-side with the original PS3 game. Curious, I picked up the DualShock 3 and panned the camera around for a few seconds, before hastily switching right back to Remastered. It’s nice to see that Naughty Dog is giving players the choice to lock TLOUR to 30 frames per second — which PlayStation.Blog’s own Ryan Clements currently favors — but for me the higher framerate is no contest. I suspect this one will boil down to personal preference.

The Last of Us Remastered

The Last of Us RemasteredThe Last of Us Remastered

Then there are a slew of subtler visual details. Lighting quality has received a boost, with improved shadow detail. Joel and Ellie’s in-game character models also look more detailed, sporting higher resolution textures that allowed me to see the fabric weave in Joel’s filthy flannel shirt. The 1080p presentation also helped me spot subtle visual details I’d never noticed in the original PS3 version, like the way tiny streams of blood trickle down Joel’s arm when he’s injured, or how rats weave erratically through garbage-strewn ruins.

The gameplay remains unchanged, though the higher framerate does lend a feeling of increased responsiveness. The most notable difference is that the L2 and R2 triggers now control aiming and firing — and yep, you can switch back to the classic L1 and R1 controls if that floats your boat.

The Last of Us Remastered

Though I didn’t get a chance to try out the multiplayer mode (a personal favorite), the campaign is looking mighty promising. The Last of Us Remastered will come complete with all previously released DLC, including the excellent story chapter Left Behind. And at a reduced price of $50, it’s a good bet for new PS4 owners who missed out on one of the best games of the generation, or seasoned TLOU veterans eager for another dose of Joel and Ellie.

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148 Comments

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  • Why are people so upset at the price? the value of the game for me, owning the game and DLC, is not at $50… so I will wait. It is that simple. I still have the choice to wait until it hits that price and I am not missing out because I still own the game until then. If I didn’t own the game, and especially if I never played it, $50 is a great bargain.

  • Here is an idea for a gameplay video. Recreate the initial E3 PS3 announcement gameplay video

  • show us gameplay videos !!!!!!!!!!!

    • Definitely a goal – trouble is, it’s not easy to host a 60 fps / 1080p video. YouTube is adding support but it’s currently in beta. Rest assured that we’re investigating!

  • There is no upgrade option if you already own this on PS3 digital or retail! Why is this so hard for people to understand? No one is holding a gun to your heads saying you have to buy this game again if you already own it. Enjoy the copy you already own and move on.
    TLOUR is for those on PS4 who have not played this on PS3, newcomers to Playstation, and the fans who just want to play it again remastered on next-gen. Please quit with the same old sad song and stop whining, it won’t change anything. Buy or don’t buy, but no upgrade option.

  • I purchased the PS3 version of TLOU at a full $60 shortly before this PS4 release was “announced.” And by announced, I mean leaked. The useful information that the PS4 version was in development long ago was disingenuously withheld from all of us as long as humanly possible so we wouldn’t stop buying the PS3 version or get upset that a better version of the game we just bought is right around the corner. If I had known, I certainly would have waited for the PS4 version. Lesson learned! This experience has caused me to commit to buying less and less games going forward because of these kinds of business practices. I had planned to purchase Left Behind but will now likely be leaving it behind as well.

  • @purse317

    I’m sorry, are you saying the content you paid for wasn’t good enough? You paid full price for the 2013 GOTY and its DLC. You got arguably the best game of the PS3 and 360 generation. Now you are upset because you feel entitled to a different version of the game?

    Do you always go complain like an entitled whiner when a GOTY version comes to retail? Do you march in to the the place you bought the game and say you demand you get that one free just because you already paid for the game at launch and bought its DLC? Ugh, massive facepalm. Key difference here though is that Naughty Dog spent of year (yes, one full year of paying its employees…that costs money you moron) to up the resolution, framerate, add controller options/framerate options, add a photo mode…oh and it comes with all of the DLC…..for LESS than the original game by itself.

    Stop being an entitled brat and use your brain for once.

  • By FAR, The Last of Us is the best video game I’ve ever played in my life! I don’t make that comment loosely, because I really mean it! I can remember feeling so sad when I finally beat the Last of Us..it was like saying “goodbye” to two people I cared about (Joel and Ellie). Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson really gave amazingly magical performances as Joel and Ellie. They really made those characters seem like living breathing people. It’s been months since I’ve played this game, so I’m gonna savor each and every second once I play it again. Sorry if I’m gushing over this game, but it’s a really special game to me. I just wanted to say to Neil Druckman, Bruce Straley, Troy Baker, Ashley Johnson, and all the developers at Naughty Dog, Thank You all so very much in giving me (us) this amazing game. :)

  • Nahhhhh I will pass on this over rated game,I got bored playing this game half way through.

    I want to see a Red Dead Redemption Remastered, that game is a classic.

  • Does TLOUR come with all dlc packs (left behind, and the multiplayer map packs)?

  • I have pre-ordered the game on the first week it got on PSN store when it was $60, also recieved the $10 refund credit like 2 weeks after the $50 price change. Actually to be honest i almost bought a PS3 for this game ( I only have PS4 and Vita ). Now Sony needs to release a GT6 HD and Uncharted 1+2+3 Rematered. I think alot of people would gladly pay $70-$80 price for an Uncharted 1+2+3 Remastered Bundle and I know if you release a GT6 HD PS4 version I would gladly pay a $60 price for that game !

  • so this game was purely made for ps4 owners who have never played original?

  • i don’t know why you people buy from store when you can get it cheaper in retail?

  • +JadeZodiac

    @JadeZodiac

    Hello. Fundamentalist conservative Christian here, and if I’m reading my bible correctly, it says that >I< shouldn't swear; not that I am forbidden from hearing other people swear. I'm not attacking you, as I know that everybody has their own taste, and some people can be put off by too much language, sex, or violence — and that's valid on your part. The Last of Us? Greatest game of all time, and I'm glad nothing stopped me from experiencing it.

    It should also be noted that, as a work of dark and intense fiction, there are a lot more offensive things in The Last of Us than swear words. Violence, death, torture, and one character trying to force himself on the young female character. It's all awful, but that's what I love. TLOU marks the first time that a AAA game tried to be anything but fun — it's intense, depressing, nerve-wracking, and heartbreaking. A true elevation of the medium.

  • meaning sony skips pretty much out on all the PS3 + DLC owners of the PS3 version and forces them to pay almost the full price again to play the same game with a few graphical improvements on a new system? I really don’t intend to mark the angry “left behind” guy here but I would’ve expected a little loyalty towards previous owners, considering the changes they made to ship this “remastered” version, which should be called “ported”. I’d really love to play it one more time, just for the fun of having it run on my PS4, even though I finished the game already 5 times on PS3, though not for 50 bucks. How about a small refund, like 10 bucks? Is that too much to ask for? *sigh*

  • @KidGreengene yeah I’ll wait until someone sells it for half the price on ebay; just a bit weird that sony is doing that because from people like me, previous owners, who wait until someone sells the remastered version for half the price used on ebay, they will not make a profit of. It just saddens me a little, because I’ve jumped on the bandwagon for every major release sony put out day one, but given their lack of customer retention, I might be going back to my PS2 days of buying everything used from the bay.

  • Some of the “self entitled” comments here is just flat out depressing. :/

  • @KidGreengene yeah I’ll wait until someone sells it for half the price on ebay; just a bit weird that sony is doing that because from people like me, previous owners, who wait until someone sells the remastered version for half the price used on ebay, they will not make a profit of. It just saddens me a little, because I’ve jumped on the bandwagon for every major release sony put out day one, but given their lack of customer retention, I might be going back to my PS2 days of buying everything used from the bay. But what the hell, when there are already enough customers buying in the first day, I can get it for less from them.

  • @GuitarIpod93 – You know that most movies are filmed around 24fps right. That is what they were trying to get across with the Frame Rate increase.

  • @loakum self-entitlement: A feeling that one deserves more than one actually does.

    Don’t use grammar that’s beyond your educational horizon.

  • @Bobnotk2point5 except the new RED camera movies such as The Hobbit, but I agree, 24 fps stuff feels more theatrical immersive, that’s why they added the 30 fps lock, which is better than nothing.

  • @Strangeheaven

    I think the fact that you got bored with TLOU might say a lot more about you than it does about the game. I’ve also noticed that for the tiny minority who didn’t love the game, many of them had expectations for TLOU and got upset when the unpromised conditions were not met — they thought it was supposed to be open world, they thought it was supposed to be more like Uncharted, they thought it should have CoD style gunplay, or they thought that it was supposed to be less liked Uncharted. It’s a bit of a tragedy if someone allowed their attachment to inferior games to ruin their enjoyment of a masterpiece.

    Also, since the ending is widely regarded as a standout point in the game, calling it overrated without having experienced one of the best parts is, well, silly at best. Then again, I don’t know if you have the attention span to get that far.

    Red Dead Redemption… meh, I was impressed with it at first. Until I realised that the open world was hollow and paper-thin. It wasn’t an immersive game that it felt like you could live in, like GTA or TES. The ending was pretty neat, though. Definitely nothing that stands above all the rest.

  • Can’t wait for the 29th. In my case the 1st. As I’m broke till then.

  • I liked The Last of Us quite a bit on the PS3 and beat the game as well as the initial single player DLC offering too. I will admit that I did have some issues with the gameplay but the story/characters/atmosphere/writing was way above most movie that we get nowadays in terms of quality. Not worth me getting a PS4 over as I’m waiting on Mass Effect 4 on down the road before I make the next gen jump.

  • Pretty simple really.

    I cannot wait.

    Sold.

  • If that’s the case, then this line “The Last of Us Remastered will come complete with all previously released DLC” should definitely be altered. Like I said, I have all the DLC for my PS3 version, so it doesn’t matter to me, but others might not be too happy about it.

  • Um why is there no footage of said gameplay? It’s really bugging me, I’m not rebuying this game until I see some actual 1080p @60fps footage.

  • @71

    Totally forgot to mention that I did complete the game but did get bored halfway through. I maybe might give it another chance and replay through it again.

  • Double dip here i come

  • got the itch to play the multiplayer again bout a month ago.its all i wanna do now lol im so hooked again, cannot wait to play on the ps4, i will have to switch the controls to the classic tho.

  • Day One purchase!

  • about two months ago i started playing the multiplayer again, im so hooked again. i cant wait for the remastered. im going to have to change the controls to classic tho. lol

  • With all the 1080p 60fps the Dev have been talking about, what happened to the PAX 2012 AI we never got? Instead of focusing on graphic I hope ND improved the AI.

  • When I first played the game, the day it released, i finished it in about 2 sitting and had the most amazing and most moving experience in any game. So much so that unlike uncharted 3 I haven’t had the guts to play it again, worrying I might mess with my memory of this experience.

    But having said that I have been totally having the urge to play it again, since it’s been long enough. Still have my collectors editon, but I would soooo love to play it on the ps4. The graphic update of Tomb Raider was awesome, would love to see Last Of Us like that. VBt I am afraid I have to agree with everybody else, having spent so much on the game and dlc (non cosmetic), I can’t justify spending another 50.

    Just like with Tomb Raider, I think 30 dollars would still be fair for someone who owns the game already. Wouldn’t even have to think, would just scream “TAKE MY MONEY!”

    Guessing we wont see a discount any time before Game-tober or Game-vember when all games are releasing… leaving me too broke to jump on the discount even if it come… I know I am whining… but “wheaaaaah”

  • Never played this on PS3 pre-ordered when I bought my PS4. Hope this game doesn’t overheat systems like Uncharted 2 did.

  • If only the fixed features that matter like Ellie being completely invisible to the enemy AI.
    Plus they’re still releasing dlc after this, definitely not worth the $50 unless you love better graphics.
    And them just adding the option to lock the fps at 30 kinda shows it doesn’t run smoothly at 60.

  • To Clarify my question the PS Store says pre ordering the game grants early access to the multiplayer portion of the game, however it does not say when we can download it

  • Will my online progress carry over to the new version? All of my unlocks and made classes and stuff?

  • This is really upsetting to me. You’d think Sony would try and get this game in as many hands as possible on the PS4 before some of those major fall titles launch. So people have friends lists full of TLoU being played. Enticing even mor epeople to buy the game and enjoy the experience.

    Instead they literally isolate those of us who own the gam ealready and say if you wan tto play it on a PS4 you’re paying full price for it. So what if you already own a season pass or the dlc you’re paying full price.

    I’m going to just wait and spend my money elsewhere.

  • this looks awesome! Alas, I refuse to spend $50 on a game I already own. The game is a year old now, so it should be $30 or $40 max. I’ll pick it up after a price drop I guess :/

  • I bought this game last year and quite disliked it. Even if this was my favorite game last year, I wouldn’t double dip.

  • This is going to be awesome. Those arguing about 60fps vs 30fps get their choice which is great. This is the same argument when HDTVs came out with features like “Motionflow”. People complained that it made a lot of movies look fake or less cinematic because of the smoother movements. But in fact it just makes the movies look more “real” because they move like real life. We’ve been used to seeing lower frame rates on TV/movies for a very long time. It’s just an adjustment period.

    But The Last Of Us looks amazing in 60fps and it makes it feel like a higher quality product. Watching that trailer in 60fps gave me the chills because it reminded me of how amazed I was when I played this game on release day for PS3.

    I remember eagerly staring at the count-down just to play the demo that came with God Of War Ascension! I stayed up the entire night on midnight waiting for the download to finish. Then I did the exact same thing when the full game released. This game is on my top 10 games of all time and I’ve been playing games since Colecovision in the early 1980s.

  • Why haven’t they shown a second of gameplay, and why do I have to get previews of the game from Playstation employees?

    Here is a copy and paste from the EU blog…

    This is the biggest news since Naughty Dog announced they are using the full 8GB of RAM, overriding the OS. Or not showing a second of gameplay before launch. Or giving Last Of Us remastered their GOTY. Or not finding the tech available for a PS3 to PS4 upgrade program. Or Eurogamer doing a piece that says the framerate will dip below 60fps.

    These guys are wizards.

    • 60 fps and 1080p is not supported by the vast majority of video services, so we’re looking into what options are available.

  • @honkayjeezus yeah that’s what I’m saying, for what it does, calling it “remastered” is the most inappropriate term ever, call it ported with a better screen resolution, better shadows and uncompressed textures and drop a discount for previous owners. How the hell did Sony come up at the launch of their new console with offering access to titles on both generations for merely 10 bucks when they now can’t even give a 10 bucks discount to previous owners? It’s all about making as money off one of their most successful titles. The problem is that 99% of people purchasing the “remastered version” will be new to this IP and the rest will wait until it is half price or buy it used off the bay. The bad news for Sony is, is that most of all players have already dipped into their franchise, which will make sales look really bad.

  • I loved The Last of Us, definitely in the top five of all PS3 games. However, Sony is really showing their sheer greed by not offering some type of discount for owners of the PS3 version. Thankfully, I came up with a discount of sorts for myself. The price of the PS4 version is $50, so I sold my PS3 disc for $25, and I had $15 of Best Buy reward certificates sitting there burning a hole. In the end, the remastered version is going to cost me $10, which I can definitely live with. Even if Sony was offering a discount, I like my way better.

  • @duke301 yeah, too bad for people though who have obviously put their trust in Sony and bought it on the PSN digitally, such as me.

  • First, it’s been confirmed the game actually runs at an average of 40 fps — hence the inclusion of the 30 fps option (like in Infamous and Killzone), which is necessary to smooth the framerate on a 60 Hz screen. Second, I’m dead tired of those “remastered” editions. That was ok for PS1 and PS2 games on PS3, but here it’s downright ridiculous and mercantile. The PS4 doesn’t add anything valuable to the PS3 titles. And I don’t buy the claim that “most” PS4 customers never had a PS3. Third, it looks like the PS4 is only capable of running PS3 games.

    Sony, that’s enough! Get a move on!

  • @96 Who confirmed it? Or are you basing that based on other PS4 games. It does seem that way and this game will be like Tomb Raider on the PS4 where the framerate goes all over the place. That’s why I liked that game better on the other console where it was locked at 30 frames.

  • As much as I like this game I’m not sure if I’ll buy it again unless GameStop has a excellent deal going on for a trade in towards it.

  • Reserved on PSN & ready for downloading on launch.

    It’ll be the first time I play this game coz’ last year I bought GTA V instead just to wait for the PS4 to launch and didn’t thought about buying any PS3 games when I was gonna already be busy with my PS4.

    I wanted the Retail version of this game though (I like collecting remasters in retail)
    But I had to make an exception for this one because of all of the bonuses included on PSN.. *sob*

    Well what matters is I enjoy this game!
    I haven’t seen much just to experience it all from the beginning :)

    Anyways, this should also take care of me for waiting for both Destiny and Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth that are coming in September :)

    Thanks for making this game a remaster for the PS4, @NaughtyDog!

  • chris_giordano95

    I didn’t get to finish it on PS3, I made it maybe 1/4th through, so I’m really looking forward to this so I can actually beat it. The fact that it comes with the DLC is just more incentive to buy it.

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