The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered Review

by Gamingstry
The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered

Release Date : January 19, 2024
Developer(s) : Naughty Dog
Publisher(s) : Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platforms : PS5

The Last of Us Part II was released in 2020 on PlayStation 4, where Ellie and Abby’s adventures made a huge impact on the gaming community, among gamers and critics alike. Indeed, Naughty Dog propelled its masterpiece to the top of the podium, winning Game of the Year at the Game Awards. The Last of Us Part II even managed to become the most awarded video game in history.

Whether we like it or not, Naughty Dog’s latest work has left a huge mark on the history of video games, and The Last of Us franchise has been exported beyond its comfort zone with a critically acclaimed HBO series, which also won an award at this year’s (highly controversial) 2023 Game Awards. And with the latest news on season 2 already pouring in, it’s no surprise that Sony will release The Last of Us Part II remastered for PlayStation 5 on January 19.

The PlayStation 4 version has already received a 60 fps update on PlayStation 5, and the question of whether it was worth releasing a new version is justifiable. But this remastered version brings new features worthy of purchase at full price, or an extra $10 if you already have the original game.

The Last of Us Part II Remastered is a remastered version of the PlayStation 4 title. In fact, this re-release doesn’t change the story of the original work like a remake of the scope of a Final Fantasy VII or Resident Evil 2, for the sake of comparison. So we’re not going to review the game again, but we will see what this “re-release” offers for Ellie and Abby’s story.

Even if the story is the same, this new version includes a number of Lost Levels, similar to the deleted scenes included in movie Blu-Rays.

These levels can be found in the “Behind-the-Scenes” category, and you shouldn’t expect great technical quality. Indeed, we’re certainly entitled to their pre-alpha version. However, it’s a really interesting addition, and one we’ve been very excited about ever since it was announced.

These three new levels are fully playable from A to Z, with an obvious unfinished side, but we do get some nice features, including comments from the developers that tell us more about the idea behind the creation of these passages. This allows us to learn more about the game’s lore, as well as the developers’ thinking behind the level design.

The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered

But that’s not all, in addition to the Lost Levels, we have two new game modes featuring something new and interesting in their proposition, but less so in terms of relevance and utility, especially for the free-play Guitar mode, which is only fun for five minutes. Apart from playing Gustavo Santaolalla with a banjo, the utility of this feature is very limited, unlike the roguelike mode.

With the release of The Last of Us Part II Remastered on PlayStation 5, Sony continues to express its love for the roguelike with the No Return mode. In this mode, you choose a character to launch a session, before a series of random confrontations with challenges and modifications that vary between each run, ending with a boss fight.

However, the No Return mode is much more complex than it sounds, because the more you play and the more fun you have with new sessions, the more you unlock new game modes, challenges, penalties, bonuses, skins, and characters, each with their own characteristics. For example, Tommy can’t dodge, but he’s tougher, or Dina starts out with the ability to make stun grenades and explosive traps.

You’ll never get bored in this mode, assuming you like the roguelike genre. Unlike the free God of War Ragnarok DLC, there’s no new storyline to focus on here, just a mode that’s completely separate from the story, with a bit of challenge, scoring, and an online leaderboard.

And once we’ve completed nine sessions, we unlock the “Daily Session”. Players from all over the world play the same randomly generated session to achieve the best daily ranking. It’s a great way to encourage people to come back to the game every day, and even if it didn’t work for us, maybe it will for others.

All the gameplay possibilities available in No Return mode are quite interesting, with certain encounters causing us to suffer malfunctions that make us play in mirror mode, with a photo mode filter, or even against enemies that are simply invisible, and that can be your worst nightmare. But to compensate for these setbacks, at the end of each encounter, we return to our hideout to recover and upgrade our equipment.

It’s also possible to fight alongside another character, who will be there to support you. This is particularly the case in defense mode, where the additional character is of great importance, because if he or she dies, the session ends immediately.

Today, in the world of video games, we’re used to getting the same recipe based on ports, remasters, and remakes, followed by the price supplement and debates about whether this or that software deserves special treatment to replenish its publisher’s treasury. In recent years, Sony has been criticized for its decision to resell its games, including The Last of Us, at full price and by removing features such as the multiplayer mode on the remake of the first game, as well as the remaster of Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy.

However, in 2014, Sony was already using this practice with the release of The Last of Us remastered on PlayStation 4, with improved graphics that looked great at the time. However, back in 2014, PlayStation 4 users had no other way of playing The Last of Us except to pay for the remaster, since backward compatibility didn’t exist.

But for The Last of Us Part II, things are different, as the title has been granted a free 60 FPS update on PlayStation 5. So gamers may well wonder why they should pay $50 for the physical or digital version if they don’t already own the title. Meanwhile, those who already own the PlayStation 4 version can upgrade for $10 to get the PlayStation 5 remaster.

Considering all the new features of the PlayStation 5 version, we think that the extra $10 for those who already own the PlayStation 4 version is totally justified, because let’s not forget that all work deserves to be paid for. In fact, in addition to all the new features mentioned above, the remaster version allows you to play with better 4K resolution, customizations for Ellie and Abby, and above all DualSense compatibility, which is far better exploited than on the remastered versions of Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy…

The Last of Us Part II Remastered improves the original title with numerous additions, including the Lost Levels mode, which lets you learn more about the game’s design, and the No Return roguelike mode, which is sure to keep many gamers on the edge of their seats. Plus, DualSense is used to perfection, and Ellie and Abby can be customized to the delight of fans, all in enhanced 4K resolution. All for $50 for those who don’t own the game, and a $10 upgrade for those who already have it in their library.

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