We wish we could say this came as a surprise, but it most certainly didn’t. The Last of Us’ remake had been in the rumour mill for over a year, and the last couple of weeks had seen its name popping up with greater regularity. Just a couple of hours before its official announcement, its unveiling ended up leaking in its entirety (via PlayStation itself, no less). So when The Last of Us Part 1 was, at long last, formally unveiled at Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live, it wasn’t surprising in the slightest- though to the credit of Geoff Keighley and Neil Druckmann, they didn’t try to pretend like it was either. Either way, now we know for sure that the remake is real and that it’s coming soon. There’s plenty more we know as well, and here, we’re going to go over those details.
This is something that Naughty Dog keeps stressing- The Last of Us Part 1 is a ground-up remake. It’s not a remaster of the original (that would have been weird, since a remaster already exists), with Naughty Dog instead having remade the game from the ground up for the PS5 hardware- that’s very explicitly the messaging from the developer and from Sony. As for what it’s going to include, in addition to the base game itself, the remake will also include The Last of Us’ prequel DLC, Left Behind, which focused on Ellie and her friend Riley. How it will be integrated into the base game – or if it will be integrated at all – remains to be seen, but it’s good to know that the package will recreate the entire experience.
LEVERAGING THE PS5 HARDWARE
The very point of a remake – any remake – is to leverage the better hardware available that simply wasn’t around at the time that the original work was made, and obviously, The Last of Us Part 1 is going to do that with the PS5 as well. Specifics on this front are a little scant right now, but Naughty Dog has provided some brief bullet points at least. You can, of course, expect improved visuals and 60 FPS gameplay – that sort of goes without saying – while other improvements will include the implementation of 3D audio and the DualSense’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. What about load times, resolution, and what have you? Those details will (likely) be revealed in the coming weeks and months.
Naughty Dog is saying that The Last of Us Part 1 is more than just a simple visual upgrade- according to the developer, the remake is going to bring several gameplay improvements as well, and these will apparently apply to combat, exploration, accessibility options, controls, and more. Again, we don’t have a lot of specifics here, but at Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live, Neil Druckmann kept bringing up improvements made to the AI, and made it a point to emphasize the fact that the remake is bringing over gameplay improvements from recent Naughty Dog titles like Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us Part 2. Does that mean we can expect an expanded range of movement options and larger and more complex levels? That’s certainly the hope.
CUTSCENES AND PERFORMANCES
If The Last of Us Part 1’s trailer provoked some serious deja vu for you, it wasn’t just because this is a remake. As it turns out, Naughty Dog hasn’t re-recorded any lines or cutscenes for the remake, or recorded any new ones either, which probably means we shouldn’t expect many story changes (especially significant ones). That said, while actors’ performances are being lifted from the original game, new work has gone into stuff like animations and character models. How does that work? Here’s how Druckmann explains it: “We came up with a process where we can take the original animations we did for the faces and retarget it on these new rigs that have a lot more fidelity. The great thing about these faces is that they’re closer to the original performances. All the animators went and studied those videos and got it closer to what [the actors] did on set than we could have achieved before.”
2013’s The Last of Us was jointly led by game director Bruce Straley and creative director Neil Druckmann. Neither of them is involved with the remake. Straley, of course, hasn’t been at Naughty Dog in years, while Druckmann, who’s now the studio’s co-president, is busy with another project (that we don’t know anything about right now, other than the fact that it’s being worked on). For the remake, the directorial duo is game director Matthew Gallant and creative director Shaun Escayg. Gallant has been at Naughty Dog for nearly a decade, and had a big role in the development of the original The Last of Us, The Last of Us Part 2, and Uncharted 4. Escayg, meanwhile, has been at Naughty Dog since 2011, though he did spend three years at Crystal Dynamics between 2018 and 2021. Escayg co-directed Uncharted: The Lost Legacy at Naughty Dog and Marvel’s Avengers at Crystal Dynamics.
The Last of Us Part 1 is going to launch sooner than you’d think, with a turnaround between reveal and launch that’s much more compressed than what you’d expect from a major AAA game such as this one. The game is out in less than three months- on September 2, to be precise, and on the day, it will launch exclusively for PS5. Here’s the bummer though- the game will cost $70. That price is always a bummer, of course, but it’s even more of one when it’s attached to a remake of a game that’s not even a decade old.
ALSO COMING TO PC
Though The Last of Us Part 1 will be available exclusively on PS5 at launch, that won’t be the case for much longer. Sony has been making a push in the PC space of late as it looks to expand its presence on the platform, and this remake is going to be another step in that plan. It’s been confirmed that it is also in development for PC, though once again, exact details are unknow. It’s likely that PC port specialist Nixxes Software is helping out with the PC version, though a specific release date for it is unknown- though Druckmann did say that it will follow “shortly afterward”, so take from that what you will. Could it be out this year itself? It’s hard to say, but Sony’s PC lineup for 2022 is already looking very packed with Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales- and those are just the ports that have been officially confirmed. According to leaks, Returnal and Sackboy: A Big Adventure are headed to PC as well. How Sony chooses to spread all of this out remains to be seen.
If for some reason you want to spend even more money on The Last of Us Part 1 than what its already-pricey standard edition will cost, you will have the option to purchase the digital deluxe edition as well. That will include the base game, in addition to several in-game bonuses, like increased crafting and healing speed, six weapon skins, increased reload speed for the 9mm pistol, increased ammo capacity for the sniper rifle, an explosive arrows gameplay modifier, the Dither Punk filter, and a new speedrun mode. The digital deluxe edition will cost $100. Meanwhile, pre-ordering any edition of the game will reward you with bonus supplements and weapon parts in the game.
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