Naughty Dog has released The Last of Us Part II Remastered today, January 19th, bringing their critically acclaimed 2020 game to the PlayStation 5 with visual and gameplay enhancements. The release comes amidst some controversy and mixed reactions from fans.
Enhanced Visuals and New Gameplay Options
The Last of Us Part II Remastered takes full advantage of the PS5’s graphical capabilities to display the game in native 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. Reviewers have praised the increased level of detail and improved lighting enabled by the more powerful hardware:
“The PS5 remaster also enables the game to run at 4K/60fps with impressive results. Every last detail leaps from the screen with astonishing clarity that exceeds even most native new-gen games.” Source
In addition, Naughty Dog has introduced an all-new “No Return” roguelike gameplay mode, featuring permadeath mechanics and randomized item placements for increased replayability:
“No Return, the new roguelike mode introduced in the PlayStation 5 remaster, might be the best possible way to re-experience The Last of Us Part II…Not only does No Return remix item and weapon placement, it introduces brand new challenges to test your skills.” Source
Mixed Response from Fans
While critics have praised the visual overhaul and new gameplay options, the release of a remaster only 4 years after the original game has proven controversial with some fans:
“The director of The Last of Us Part 2 has said that he doesn’t “really get the consternation” from fans about the newly released PlayStation 5 remaster of the game…Fans have suggested that the remaster, which launches on January 19, 2023, comes too soon after the June 2020 release.” Source
Developer Naughty Dog has defended the release, saying it’s the “definitive way” to experience the game. However, some fans feel it’s too soon for a remaster and that resources could be better spent on new games.
What Critics are Saying
While the response has been mixed from fans, most reviewers have applauded TLOU2 Remastered as an excellent overhaul that makes an already phenomenal game even better:
“The Last of Us Part II was a groundbreaking, generation-defining video game, and this refreshed version for PlayStation 5 makes it look and play better than ever before.” Source
“The Last of Us Part II Remastered is the definitive way to play one of the PS4’s very best games. New effects, features and frame rates combine to create an unmissable experience whether you’re a series newcomer or completing your 10th playthrough.” Source
Reviewers have specifically pointed to the excellent technical overhaul, enhanced gameplay options, and ability to experience the game’s emotionally-resonant story in the best way possible.
What’s Next for The Last of Us
Naughty Dog hasn’t announced any future plans for The Last of Us franchise yet. However, the developer’s increased focus on accessibility and replayability options in TLOU2 Remastered may provide hints at their future direction:
“We’re thinking about this stuff really seriously,” said Naughty Dog’s Matthew Gallant. “The teams at Naughty Dog have grown a lot over the last few years and some amazing work is being done in departments across the board. I can’t wait to show you what we have in store—when it’s ready!” Source
While unconfirmed, Naughty Dog is likely already in early development on The Last of Us Part III, which would continue Ellie’s story into the future. But in the meantime, TLOU2 Remastered stands as Naughty Dog’s monumental, visually-stunning magnum opus – one that definitively caps off the PS4 generation while also showcasing the start of a new one.
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