CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With enough Game of the Year awards to its credit to fill a small apartment, there’s no denying Naughty Dog’s “The Last of Us” is one of the most unforgettable video game experiences of the modern era. The fact that the PlayStation 3 classic has been re-released on the more-powerful PlayStation 4 really should come as no surprise.
What is surprising, however, is that Naughty Dog managed to actually improve on what many consider to be a flawless game.
Indeed, “The Last of Us Remastered” is the ultimate version of the tale of Joel and Ellie and their struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. With souped-up visuals, all of the previously released downloadable content, a new Photo Mode and a handful of new multiplayer maps, “The Last of Us Remastered” is a can’t-miss game even if you’ve already completed it on PS3.
The graphical overhaul isn’t merely eye candy. The game now runs at 60 frames per second in stunning 1080p — far surpassing the 30 fps and 720p resolution of the PS3 version — and the improved lighting and textures bring the dilapidated world to life in a way few other games can match. But once you see the game in motion, and feel the difference 60 fps makes, it’s like night and day. Of course, it took a while to get used to the noticeably smoother animations and transitions, especially during the cover-based shooting segments, but after I adjusted I couldn’t begin to imagine going back to the original. There’s a reason the best first-person shooters run at 60 fps, after all.
The new Photo Mode allows players to capture the haunting beauty that “The Last of Us” offers and share their screenshots with friends. Players can freely adjust the camera to get just the right angle and apply filters to create some truly amazing scenes. Those who missed out on the excellent “Left Behind” DLC will find it here, too, with all the same upgrades applied to the main game.
Those who have already completed “The Last of Us” may be quick to dismiss “Remastered.” After all, it’s a game still fresh in the minds of many who experienced it only last year. But even though we know where the road will ultimately lead Joel and Ellie, the journey to get there is certainly one worth taking again. Especially since the view has never been prettier.
“The Last of Us Remastered”
Developer: Naughty Dog
Available for: PlayStation 4 ($59.99)
Rating: M for mature
Reach Jeff Rider at firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-348-5122 or follow @Gazette_Gamer on Twitter.