Since Naughty Dog introduced the gaming world to The Last of Us in 2013, the IP has only grown in scope and popularity, and fans can look forward to several projects coming up. Next year, HBO will present a Last of Us television adaptation that features Bella Ramsay as Ellie and Pedro Pascal as Joel. Additionally, Naughty Dog is still hard at work on a standalone multiplayer game set in The Last of Us universe, though it is still a while away. Until then, gamers will be able to amuse themselves with The Last of Us Part 1, an upcoming remake of the iconic first game of the series.
Gamers have looked at The Last of Us Part 1 with skepticism, partially because this will mark the third time the game is being released in less than a decade. Naturally, this has led to some questioning whether Naughty Dog is exploiting gamers by constantly re-releasing the same game. However, a recent in-depth look at the game revealed that there has been plenty of new content added that should make the game worthwhile, even for gamers who have experienced Joel and Ellie’s journey.
The Last of Us Part 1 Will Make Good Use of the DualSense Controller
One of the benefits of remaking the game is that Naughty Dog has access to hardware that was unavailable to it when The Last of Us was in development. Because of this, the studio has been able to bring the game closer to what its original vision for the game was. One of the ways this is being done is by taking advantage of the DualSense controller’s various features to increase player immersion and amplify the power of both the adrenaline-raising moments and the quieter, more sentimental scenes.
The DualSense is being used to make the weapons in the game feel more realistic than ever. This is being done by implementing the controller’s adaptive triggers to mimic the tautness of a bowstring, and the further Ellie pulls the string back, the more resistance the triggers will offer. Different weapons in the game will also have different levels of resistance when players use the triggers to aim, making each weapon feel more unique. Haptic feedback will also be used abundantly, including when upgrading weapons, striking enemies, and other impactful moments. It will also be used in subtle ways, such as during the iconic scene which features Joel petting a giraffe.
The Last of Us Part 1 Boasts Impressive Visual, Audio, and Gameplay Improvements
When rebuilding The Last of Us, Naughty Dog vastly upgraded the visuals of both the characters and the environments. All aspects of the characters have been made more detailed, including their movements and their eyes, making them more realistic than ever. Gamers can also expect both enemies and companions to be far smarter and more believable thanks to the improved AI which goes beyond what was seen in The Last of Us Part 2. To increase immersion, the environments are more destructible than ever, and players will be able to see windows break and concrete chip around them in the middle of intense gunfights.
To get the best shots of this revamped world, the game also includes an upgraded photo mode. The improvements are not merely visual, however. The Last of Us Part 1 will also utilize the PS5’s 3D audio to make encounters with the Infected incredibly immersive, allowing players to hear enemies before they see them. Sound will also be used through the DualSense controller, which will play audio, for instance, when the player cocks a shotgun.
To spruce up gameplay, players can also choose from several gameplay modifiers, something which is common in Naughty Dog games. This includes modifiers that change the game’s visuals, as well as a permadeath mode and a speed-run mode for gamers looking to test themselves. Other features that have been added include a model viewer, additional clothing, and other unlockables.
Gameplay elements from The Last of Us Part 2 have made their way to The Last of Us Part 1, including the workbenches which feature realistic animations when players upgrade weapons. It also borrows many of The Last of Us Part 2’s accessibility options while including a few new ones, such as the ability to enable audio descriptions of cutscenes. These accessibility features will go a long way to allowing more gamers than ever to play without barriers. However, not all of The Last of Us Part 2’s features are present, including the ability to dodge, crawl, and go prone.
The Last of Us Part 1 is Not a Cash Grab
There have been accusations that The Last of Us Part 1 is a cash-grab from the studio, and that the remake is unnecessary. This is an understandable claim, especially when similar claims have been made against games like Grand Theft Auto 5 which have also been constantly re-released. However, with plenty of new features added, as well as several visual and audio upgrades, it does appear that it will be a sufficiently revamped experience that still manages to remain faithful to the original game. While this may not be enough for some who are already fatigued by Joel and Ellie’s story, fans looking for the definitive way to play the game will likely not go wrong with the upcoming remake.
The remake’s release comes at a convenient time, as it helps to build up hype for the upcoming The Last of Us television adaptation which will likely draw plenty of new fans to the franchise. Fortunately for those new fans, they will have the most polished version of The Last of Us waiting for them. Although plenty of gamers are clamoring for a sequel to The Last of Us Part 2, Naughty Dog is illustrating that it is worth going back to the beginning and experiencing the story that started it all again.
The Last of Us Part 1 is scheduled to release on September 2, 2022, on PS5. A PC port is also in development.