Naughty Dog’s acclaimed post-apocalyptic adventure The Last of Us Part II has received a major overhaul in its new Remastered edition for PlayStation 5. Most notably, the game now includes an entirely new “No Return” mode featuring roguelike elements and randomized levels.
No Return Mode Adds Replayability with Randomized Levels
The centerpiece of The Last of Us Part II Remastered is the brand new No Return mode (Gene Park). This optional mode remixes the game’s levels, enemy placement, item locations into randomized configurations each time you play. Resources are scarcer, and death is permanent – lose all your health and you must start the run over from the beginning.
No Return mode features a pool of over 300 uniquely crafted floor layouts and encounters across 10 runs. Level elements are remixed so no two playthroughs will have the exact same layout or approach (Game Developer). Procedurally generated levels coupled with permadeath heighten the tension and encourage players to rethink strategies on each run.
In No Return, players choose one of five distinct character builds, each with their own unique abilities and playstyles catering to stealth, assault, support, and more (Press Start). As you play, you’ll unlock various weapon and character skins as rewards. Developer Naughty Dog sees No Return as enhancing replay value well beyond the original game (Naughty Dog).
Remaster Showcases Visual Upgrades from PS4 Original
Beyond the new mode, The Last of Us Part II Remastered also brings visual enhancements harnessing the PS5’s more powerful hardware (Wccftech). Higher resolution textures, improved lighting, enhanced physics and particle effects make the sublime post pandemic world even more realistic. Framerates get a boost up to 60fps adding fluidity to the tense action. And DualSense controller features like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers heighten immersion in the world.
|Targets 60 fps
|Long load times
|Virtually eliminated with SSD
These upgrades polish an already stunning looking game and make Seattle feel more alive and visceral on PS5 hardware (PushSquare). When coupled with the new No Return mode, TLOU2 Remastered stands out as a must play title.
First Reviews Praise Additional Content and Accessibility
First reviews of The Last of Us Part II Remastered have heaped praise on the new roguelike mode and visual upgrades for PS5 (Collider). Reviewers found themselves replay the full 30+ hour adventure far longer than expected thanks to the roguelike mode’s compelling loop (The Verge).
The game also adds new accessibility settings to customize navigation and combat for disabled players. And NG+ mode lets players carry over upgrades to a new playthrough. The additional content and features make this the definitive edition of an acclaimed title (God is a Geek).
Cut Content Hints at What Could Have Been
Additionally, data miners discovery unused assets and levels hidden within the remaster, offering a glimpse at dropped concepts and storylines (GamesRadar). Discovered content points to extended plot lines involving other communities like the religious Seraphites. Fans speculate over whether entire story branches were cut due to time constraints or pacing issues. The unused assets offer fascinating insights into the game’s development process.
Pre-Orders Outpace Original According to Analysts
Industry analysts predict The Last of Us Part II Remastered to handily outsell the original PS4 release, thanks primarily to pent up demand from the PC and Xbox audiences (Economic Times). Over 2 million preorders have been placed for the game, split across the standard, digital deluxe, and WLF collector’s editions.
Sony expects TLOU2 Remastered to top sales charts and drive PS5 hardware adoption thanks to Naughty Dog’s sterling reputation (PlayStation Blog). Gamers who previously only had access on PC and Xbox will jump at the opportunity to play this genre defining title.
What Happens Next?
With The Last of Us Part II Remastered receiving glowing reviews, attention now turns to developer Naughty Dog’s future projects. Rumblings suggest the studio next plans to revisit its Uncharted series, which defined PS3 era action adventures. An Uncharted 5 built expressly for PS5 hardware with the learnings from TLOU2 could set new standards for narrative driven blockbusters.
Of course, the other eagerly anticipated Naughty Dog project remains the multiplayer experience originally planned to complement The Last of Us Part II. Details remain scarce on what the standalone multiplayer title might include beyond factions PvP combat. But with the stellar single player Remaster about to drop, Naught Dog may finally be ready to share their grand plan for expanding The Last of Us into a cross media universe.
In summary, The Last of Us Part II Remastered stands out as a must-play title for all PlayStation 5 owners. The additional content expands an already landmark game into an even more compelling and replayable experience. And for gamers who haven’t yet experienced Ellie’s emotionally charged quest for justice, no better time exists than now on the PS5 definitive edition.
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