The Last of Us has been a part of our lives for almost 10 years, and it’s getting a new lease of life thanks to the exceptional HBO adaption that released earlier in the year. The game was a benchmark for storytelling, bringing a deeply personal tale of loss to the masses, showing how far someone will go while being blinded by their own pain. I could wax lyrical about Joel and Ellie until the clickers come home, but no doubt you’ve heard it a thousands times before. Unfortunately, and it pains me to talk this way about my favourite game of all time, The Last of Us Part I on PC is the currently worst way to experience such a masterpiece of modern gaming.
With Pedro Pascal being all over our TikToks and social media pages and becoming all of our collective daddy, The Last of Us has reached a far wider audience than it ever has before. The highly acclaimed show is perhaps the greatest video game adaption ever, and everywhere you go, someone is talking about it. It would have been the perfect pairing to have The Last of Us Part I on PC be the medium for those who haven’t got a PlayStation console and now want to experience the story that made the world collectively cry into their last tissue when Bill said, “you are my purpose,” but there’s no way in good conscience that I can speak positively of this release.
It’s been two weeks since it came out, and one of the reasons we waited to share a review was to see if there was any kind of improvement to the less than satisfactory release. From the moment I booted it up, I was waiting for well over an hour until The Last of Us Part I built the shaders needed for it to look good. For those with a PC likely to be playing on or above medium settings, this process is a necessity. I honestly couldn’t believe how long this process took for me, and there’ll be others where it can last for over two hours – something nobody should have to endure even after downloading the full game to their PCs.
If you’re thinking, “hmm, it can’t be that bad if I skipped this process,” then you should take ten minutes to see the various images strewn across the web of Joel’s thick black eyebrows and blocky hair and other monstrous experiences players have had. It looks poor without the shaders built, and while a frustrating process it is to have to wait for it to complete, there’s no way you can enjoy The Last of Us Part I on PC without it. Thankfully, it’s currently at a playable state, albeit some issues with framerate, but this should have been ready at launch, not almost two weeks since releasing to the public.
Even after a couple of updates, The Last of Us Part I on PC still suffers from stuttering. While I’m running on high settings on modest GPU I still had multiple framerate issues. It’s now not to the same extent as I originally had, but it can still hinder the smoothness you get on the PlayStation 5 version that came out last year. Visually, it’s wonderful, but with the lagging during pivotal moments, I rolled my eyes on more than one occasion. I tried to reduce the quality to see if this knocked back the framerate issues, but I still had instances where this happened.
It’s so frustrating because The Last of Us is such a phenomenal video game. I must have played through at least 15 times over the years, and despite knowing it inside and out, I had to switch to the PS5 for my fix after the show came out. While it’s definitely playable for most people now, it’s tarnished the PC release. Hopefully, these final issues will be ironed out in the next few weeks, but it shouldn’t have taken this long for a game with such love aimed at it to suffer so much, especially as this will be many players’ first time with The Last of Us.
The best story of all time
Gorgeous visuals when stable
Shader building takes far too long