The best game so far for the PlayStation 4 has just been released, and it’s a remastered edition of a PlayStation 3 game. The Last of Us Remastered is a souped-up version of the 2013 original, with full 1080p graphics, video quality that hangs steady at 60 frames per second, and all of the downloadable content available for no extra charge. The reviews are in, and the consensus is clear: The game’s quality hasn’t declined one iota in the year since its original release. The new edition currently stands at “universal acclaim” status on Metacritic, with a score of 95 out of 100.
In case you missed out on it last year, The Last of Us tells the story of a man named Joel and a 14-year-old girl named Ellie who make their way across a post-apocalyptic United States. It isn’t exactly a zombie outbreak that has destroyed the world’s population — it’s a fungal infection that turns people into mutated maniacs that make chilling click sounds before they leap on your back and bite through your jugular. Worse, you can’t even count on your fellow humans for support, as many of them are every bit as antagonistic as the fungal mutants.
But just describing the game by its setting does it a disservice. Many games take place in similar worlds, but The Last of Us stands out because of its characters. Players get a deep sense of who Joel and Ellie are as their relationship develops in a beautiful, realistic way. Much of this is due to the ability of the voice actors, who are very much up to the task. According to Kotaku’s review of the original game, “The actors have an uncommon chemistry and fearlessly tackle their roles; time and again they’re faced with difficult, emotionally raw material, and time and again they deliver.”
The most noticeable change between the two editions of the game is the visual upgrade. Game Informer writes: “The PS3 version of The Last of Us was no graphical slouch, but Remastered’s improvements to the detailed character models, lighting system, and framerate dramatically elevate it above the original. Looking at the two versions side by side, it’s remarkable how much smoother and crisper this new version is.”