The Last of Us Part II Remastered Review

The Last of Us Part II Remastered

Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony
Platforms: Playstation 5
Release Date: Available Now
Price: $49.99 – Available Here


Overview

Games can be weird sometimes. After just under three years, The Last of Us Part II has been given a full remaster for the Playstation 5. While remasters are nothing new, Naughty Dog have pushed this one out a bit early in order to bring the game to the next generation. The Last of Us Part II Remastered also features a new game mode, graphical updates, and other ins and out to validate your purchase more (which would only be $10 US if you already have the original). Was this game that good or important to be given the prompt re-release? Let’s find out. 

Story

As you would expect, there is nothing new story-wise for this release. This is still a fantastic tale of revenge for both Ellie and Abby however, and one of the most gripping titles to hit consoles in years. I have never been one to be taken through a cinematic experience, but The Last of Us Part II has a way of making you care about what your doing with hours of cut scenes applied to what is already a lengthy experience overall. There is something special about a developer who is able to tell this kind of story and make the player feel so engaged they don’t want to pull away, and if you’re new to this sequel – it is absolutely worth the plunge just to get sucked into this masterful storytelling all over again.

Gameplay

This remaster comes with its new package of meat known as “No Return”, which is basically a rogue-like mode where the player has to survive, facing difference challenges from the gameplay with several modifications turned on. Yes, its just a survival mode, but one that takes some of the best parts of combat from the main game and turns it into an addictive test for the player with four randomly generated scenarios. If you die, its game over despite your progress, and I honestly had a lot of fun with this one. That said, co-op has always made these types of modes have legs, and not having that here seems like a huge missed opportunity. Sure, the mode is great, but considering there are even moments of having an AI partner, it comes off as an odd, if not rushed omission.

Of course, the main game is still included, and I really cannot recommend it enough. There is something really special about the way this game builds itself up. Supplies are always so important, so exploration is required in order to survive. The stealth moments are there, but never feel absolutely required, as Naughty Dog have built this game to be handled around the player’s own personal skillset, and I think this recent play-through has made me appreciate everything all over again, as it really is that enjoyable and very hard to tear away from.

As far as other extras go, there are some nice features such as a guitar mini-game you can play by choice, which can be a nice breather from the intensity. Naughty Dog have also included haptic feedback from the Playstation 5 controller, but I can’t say I really caught this all too much. If you are one to care about the “feel” of your weapons and pay attention to the vibrations of your controller, sure – you will notice a difference, but I feel like this was lost on someone like myself. Overall, this is the perfect piece of cake, re-released with a new coat of frosting. Its up to you if you think Seattle is worth a revisit, but those bonus features absolutely are worth their weight on top of the already outstanding main attraction.

Visuals

Here is where I kind of stop defending the whole idea of the remaster, because even as someone who plays a lot of modern games – I couldn’t tell. Maybe that is cynicism, maybe I am just blind, but The Last of Us Part II Remastered looks fantastic, but it still did three years ago. Its one of the best looking games of its entire generation and while I appreciate the new 4K features, the “graphical fidelity” and so on, this is really going to be for someone who counts frames or has an eye for small visual distinctions. The game looks amazing, but it always did.

Audio

As far as the audio goes, it really is about the same as the visuals. I had some new appreciation for all of the performances this time around however, as they really are so good you kind of get lost into every scene. Again, the storytelling is unmatched for this story, and the amazing soundtrack and voice acting adds a layer that really takes it over the top. I do think they could have edited out some of the AI enemies voice lines in No Return mode a bit, as it sounds a bit odd to have them scream moments from the story in a standalone survival mode. Small gripe, but relevant.

Overall

The Last of Us II Remastered honestly doesn’t need a lot of push to promote. Its a nearly perfect game, enhanced for a new generation and I get why it exists. Releases like this keep relevancy for franchises and help build bases on new platforms, and those who want a bit more will find it in the “No Return” mode, as well as the little costumes and easter eggs. This is no different than picking up the “special edition” blu-ray of your favorite movie for those deleted scenes, as this is made for fans and to catch a few new eyes in the process. The Last of Us II Remastered is a trend I am fine with, and one that hopefully will stick with games of the quality of this one here.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Excellent
9.5
While the public are becoming critical of remasters and re-releases, The Last of Us Part II Remastered easily earns its new package with some lovely new content.
While the public are becoming critical of remasters and re-releases, <i>The Last of Us Part II Remastered</i> easily earns its new package with some lovely new content.The Last of Us Part II Remastered Review