There are a few different groups of people that will be interested in the PlayStation 4 version of The Last of Us. Most interestingly, there’s a group of people who will have been predominantly Xbox 360 gamers for the last nine years, but have made the platform switch and be chomping at the bit to play one of the very best games of those last nine years.
Those people don’t need convincing; they’ve already got a pre-order in and will be playing it as soon as is possible. And I won’t go over the story or mechanics here, either, because you can read about all of that in my original review of the PS3 game, here. Thankfully, the remastered treatment is delicious, and that 10/10 score still stands (and that’s a treat for those of you that like to skip to the end).
But there are plenty of people who loved The Last of Us, and like me, consider it one of the best games in recent memory. And it’s fair to assume that re-releasing the game for their latest platform offers a conundrum for the cash strapped gamer: should you buy it?
The answer is complicated. It’s still an incredible game that marries storytelling and gameplay exquisitely. It is a game that creates unbearable tension, and has character interactions and relationships that are so well done, you buy them completely. In fact, with the remastered edition, it even includes the add-on content, Left Behind, which is one of the best pieces of DLC I’ve ever played.
But don’t expect it to look as good as a game like Infamous: Second Son. The Last of Us still looks gorgeous, with an art direction that matches up to all the other departments. Joel and Ellie’s facial animation is excellent, and this helps create believable characters. In fact, if this had been released six to eight months ago, it’d probably look like one of the best games around. But fire up that PS3 game, and you’ll see it has aged a little, and the PS4 remastered edition smooths over the rough edges, and gives us the 1080p visuals. It looks great, but it doesn’t look as good as you might expect it to.
The frame-rate, however, is one of the stars of the show. A smooth 60fps for most of the time (only stuttering occasionally in high-stress sections, and even then, not very much), this is one of the things that makes it feel at home on Sony’s new console. Offering the option to lock it to 30fps is a nice touch, because it prevents any complaints of motion sickness due to the 60fps default option.
A string to the PS4’s bow at the moment is the photo mode that has been included in Second Son, which returns for The Last of Us. You simply enable the function in the options menu, then, when you see a photo-worthy moment, click the left stick in and can move around the image, change all manner of settings, and even make it black and white (Instagramers, rejoice!), then remove the UI and snap your pic. It’s a fantastic feature, and although it’s not a system seller, it’s a nice way to feel invested in the title, grabbing your own personal snaps.
VERDICT: The best game on PlayStation 3 is now the best game on PlayStation 4. Despite some decent titles on Sony’s new machine, you can’t deny the quality of Naughty Dog’s masterpiece. Even the staunchest of advocates that want original experiences on their new console will struggle to find much wrong with The Last of Us. Truly magical.
INCREDIBLE. This is the pinnacle of our scoring spectrum, reserved for games that truly affect us, that capture our imagination so completely that they affect the standard by which we measure future games. 10/10 is not a declaration of perfection, but an assurance that the game in question is of amazingly high quality and has exceeded our expectations.