The Last of Us was one of the most iconic games of 2013, having become a modern classic not due to its technical or gameplay innovations but because of its groundbreaking and emotionally driven story.
The Last of Us has won over 200 “Game of the Year” awards while being ranked alongside Spec Ops: The Line and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater for having redefined storytelling. This is a game that has truly left its mark on pop-culture.
It’s always a challenge to improve an already perfect work of art but Naughty Dog would not settle for having The Last of Us be remembered as one of the best games of 2013. Like a perfectionist devoted to their work, Remastered is a polished improvement of a modern classic for the PlayStation 4.
To recap the story: 20 years after a deadly pandemic brings about the collapse of civilization, the survivors try to live on within the quarantine zones or out in the wasteland. Players take on the role of Joel as he becomes Ellie’s guardian during a journey to a resistance camp, as her blood may hold the cure to the infection that has ravaged the world.
As a narrative-driven game, The Last of Us was a flawless masterpiece that had an environment created with the picture-perfect graphics along with an ideal musical score. However it would be wrong to neglect the deep emotionally-driven performance of Troy Barker and Ashley Johnson in the main roles.
The game also brought something that has been long absent in the horror survival genre, the actual concept of horror survival. The gameplay is a return to the roots of the genre when gamers had to actually struggle to survive the horrors of the environment as opposed to fighting waves of zombies (or monsters). While many horror games have traded their survival concept for a Call of Duty-imitation, The Last of Us has instead drawn influence from classics like Resident Evil.
The Last of Us: Remastered sets itself apart from the original taking full advantage of the PS4’s hardware capability with a visual display of 60fps at 1080p. This gives the game a crisper visual image that adds more depth to the game’s environment while improving the fear factor.
However this is not simply another HD remake as the game offers more than a new coat of paint. As a bonus feature, the game also includes all the multiplayer map packs and the critically acclaimed DLC, Left Behind.
So why should a gamer give The Last of Us: Remastered a play-through if it was perfect back in 2013? The best answer is they missed their chance because they were most likely too occupied with Grand Theft Auto V or their last console was an Xbox 360.
Like Grand Theft Auto V and BioShock: Infinite, this is a title no gamer should have overlooked back in 2013. However for those who missed out should add Remastered to their PS4 collection.
Final Score: 10/10
Disclaimer: The game used for this review was borrowed from a friend and compared to the PS3 version.