Sony Interactive Entertainment’s critically acclaimed but controversial action-adventure game The Last of Us Part II has launched in a remastered version for the PlayStation 5 console. The upgraded title provides technical and visual improvements for PS5 players, but has stirred up issues around pricing and upgrades.
Remaster Brings Enhanced Visuals and New Mode
Originally launched in 2020 for PlayStation 4, The Last of Us Part II puts players in the role of Ellie on a quest for revenge in a post-apocalyptic America filled with zombie-like infected humans. Hailed for its emotional storytelling and realistic graphics, the game also garnered complaints about its violence and divisive narrative choices.
The PS5 remaster, officially titled The Last of Us Part II Remastered, brings 4K resolution at 60 frames per second along with enhanced shadows, reflections, and other graphical effects to better take advantage of the newer console’s power. It also adds haptic feedback and adaptive trigger support when played with the PS5’s DualSense controller.
Additionally, the remaster includes a new Rogue-lite inspired mode called No Return. Players start with basic equipment and progress through escalating difficulty while scavenging better gear until they eventually die. It provides a fresh take for those who already completed the original story.
|PS5 Digital Version
|PS5 Physical Version
Launch Marred by Upgrade and Pricing Issues
Despite the visual and gameplay additions, the remaster’s launch has seen consumer backlash stemming from how PlayStation enabled upgrades from PS4 and the pricing scheme.
Although free upgrades are normally provided for those who owned PS4 games that received PS5 remasters, that was not the case here. Likely due to the recency of the original version, players needed to pay the full $69.99/$79.99 cost to play the enhanced edition.
Making matters worse, the similar naming conventions between the two versions caused some PS4 owners to accidentally purchase the full-priced PS5 remaster when attempting to redeem the free upgrade they were expecting. PlayStation has since apologized and is providing refunds for those affected, but the situation left a sour taste.
What’s Next for The Last of Us Franchise
With the remaster now launched, attention shifts to the future of the property beyond the original game and its PS5 upgrade. An HBO television adaptation is currently filming that will depict the events of the first title with Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie. It’s expected to closely follow the emotional character beats of the game when it releases.
There are also rumors that developer Naughty Dog has started work on a third entry in the video game series. The story direction remains tightly under wraps, but it would likely feature an older Ellie and further examine this post-pandemic world. With the success of the initial two titles, another sequel seems inevitable at some point from the PlayStation first-party studio.
The road to release for The Last of Us Part II Remastered has seen both impressive technological upgrades for PS5 yet also consumer confusion and frustration around pricing and upgrades from the previous generation. As those issues hopefully smooth over in the coming days and weeks, the title has a chance to find the same critical and commercial success as the original. And beyond the remaster, fans have both an HBO show and likely another video game sequel to look forward to revisiting this compelling world.
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