The Last of Us Part 1 is a remake of the 2013 award-winning hit and it's coming to PS5. It's an announcement that was met with a lot of criticism and negativity, but that probably won't matter in the long run.
If you took an extra-long nap today, here's the quick recap. To close out the big Summer Game Fest 2022 presentation, Naughty Dog director and co-president Neil Druckmann talked a fair bit about what the studio was working on across the world of The Last of Us, including the first concept art for the long-in-development Factions multiplayer title, as well as another update on the upcoming HBO series starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey.
The "showstopper" however, was for something that already leaked earlier in the day, ironically thanks to Sony itself: The Last of Us Part 1, a remake built from the ground-up for the PS5, with a PC version coming later down the line. This remake is perhaps best-described as The Last of Us put into the engine of The Last of Us Part 2, with all the gameplay enhancements, AI upgrades, and visual improvements that come with that kind of undertaking.
Even before this, we've known for some time that a remake was on the way, with a report in early 2021 detailing how it began as a project at Sony's Visual Arts team before being taken over by Naughty Dog.
On the surface, it's easy to dismiss this remake as unwanted. The Last of Us came at the close of the PS3 generation and was quickly ported to the PS4 in 2014. Across both versions, it went on to sell 20 million copies by 2019, and while some of the visuals and gameplay are feeling their age, the game is still perfectly playable. Indeed, it's still included in the PlayStation Plus Premium and Extra games catalog. If anybody wants to play it, they can easily do so without buying a $70 remake. A remake that, it should be noted, doesn't even include the original multiplayer mode!
The same thing happened with Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, but that was a $50 bundle that included two games and only charged a $10 upgrade fee for anyone who owned either Uncharted 4: A Thief's End or Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. No such upgrade path exists here for The Last of Us Part 1.
It's also, frankly, a bit tiring to see Naughty Dog yet again return to the well of The Last of Us. Naughty Dog is one of the larger, critically-beloved teams at PlayStation Studios, and it would be nice to see more work being put into a new experience, in something that's not related to The Last of Us or Uncharted.
Naughty Dog always strived for cinematic experiences ever since Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, but since The Last of Us, we've cycled back and forth between the same two worlds, and I'm eager to see what the team's downright stunning art direction could be if was applied to something new.
With all of that said, I don't think it's fair to say there's no value in a new version of The Last of Us. Using advancements from The Last of Us Part 2 means there'll be new accessibility options, which means that someone who potentially couldn't play the original game will now be able to enjoy it.
While the PC version is further off, there's also access coming for an entire new audience, an important expansion route as Sony continues to grow PlayStation across PC and mobile. The additional revenue will be welcome to a company as many big PS5 games are still a ways out.
And finally, at the end of the day, this remake's existence was justified the moment it was announced. It's a guaranteed success, a game that performed incredibly well and can do so again. The Last of Us Part 1 on the PS5 isn't necessary, but it'll happen because it is The Last of Us.
There are many people — myself included — who will simply take a better version of a thing, even if they already had a good version of said thing. Did it need to happen? No, but now it does, and people will buy it. That's a good enough reason as any for PlayStation.
The Last of Us Part 1 is scheduled to arrive for PS5 on Sep. 2, 2022. A PC version is scheduled to launch at a later date.
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