The Last of Us II: Remastered Joy

January has proven to be a thrilling month for fans of The Last of Us. The Last Friday witnessed the launch of The Last of Us Part II Remastered, a release that received widespread acclaim from both fans and critics. Garnering a commendable 91 on Metacritic, the game secured the coveted “must-play” accolade on the site. Our own review at GAMINGbible didn’t fall short either, awarding The Last of Us Part II a perfect 10.

The Last of Us Part II Remastered offers an immersive gaming experience with enhanced graphics, new modes, and insights into the game's creation.
Image credit: PlayStation.Blog

The sheer brilliance of The Last of Us Part II Remastered lies not only in its visual enhancements but in the nuanced improvements that elevate the overall gaming experience. While the new bells and whistles do amplify the intensity and immersion, this release transcends a mere graphical upgrade. Naughty Dog, with its unparalleled storytelling, has made this version the definitive way to traverse Ellie’s intricate narrative.

Unfortunately, despite the game’s merits, a familiar menace has resurfaced – review-bombing. The character of Abby, central to the plot, became a focal point of criticism during the initial release. It’s crucial to distinguish between disliking a character and unjustly rating a game poorly based on narrative divergence.

Reviewers on Metacritic launched a hate campaign akin to the one witnessed in 2020. Negative reviews critiqued the story, deeming it equivalent to a bad 1980s B-movie. Such sentiments echo the divisive nature of the narrative. The user score, however, rests at a fair 8.2, with 18% leaning towards the negative spectrum.

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Despite the unwarranted backlash, The Last of Us Part II Remastered stands as an epitome of perfection. Far from a mere visual upgrade, this remastered edition pays homage to the art of game creation. New modes like “No Return” showcase the game’s brutal combat system, providing an experience unparalleled in the franchise. “Guitar Free Play” celebrates fan creativity, allowing players to exhibit their musical prowess outside the main story. The addition of “Lost Levels” and “Director’s Commentary” offers invaluable insights into the game’s creative process.

The narrative of The Last of Us Part II is a masterclass in perspective, complicity, and allegiance. Set years after the events of Part I, Ellie’s journey to settle scores in Seattle unfolds a tale of revenge’s pitfalls. The remastered edition introduces darker visuals, intensifying the gameplay experience. The attention to detail, even in minute aspects like finger smudges on Joel’s guitar, is a testament to Naughty Dog’s commitment to excellence.

A standout addition is the integration of PlayStation 5’s DualSense haptic feedback. The distinct feel of each weapon and subtle environmental cues enhance immersion. The revamped lighting and shadows contribute to a heightened sense of realism. Visually, The Last of Us Part II Remastered retains its status as a graphical marvel, with improved attention to detail evident throughout.

Beyond the main game, the addition of “No Return” as a new roguelike-inspired survival mode is a stroke of genius. With four distinct modes, diverse enemy types, and gameplay mods, “No Return” demands quick thinking and adaptability from players. The sense of variety is further emphasized with each playable character possessing unique traits, adding an extra layer of complexity.

Diving deeper into “No Return,” the mode’s pacing and variety leave players breathless. The mode features four distinct types: Assault, Hunted, Holdout, and Capture. The introduction of enemy types, branching paths, and gameplay mods elevates the stakes. Characters with diverse traits add another dimension, forcing players to adapt their strategies. The balance of risk and reward becomes evident as players navigate through challenging encounters.

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The appeal of “No Return” extends beyond gameplay mods. Challenges like facing a horde of enemies in thick fog, dealing with exploding enemies, or combating invisible foes add layers of difficulty. The mode’s high-risk, high-reward nature ensures a dynamic and unpredictable experience. Mastering the flexibility demanded by “No Return” becomes a captivating journey, and players will find themselves irresistibly drawn back for more.

Transitioning to “The Lost Levels,” this addition, though relatively low-key, provides valuable insights into the game’s creative process. These levels, still in progress, offer a glimpse into cut content and discarded ideas. Playing through these levels is enjoyable, but the real treasure lies in the accompanying developer commentary. Understanding why certain elements were cut and where recycled ideas found a new home enriches the player’s understanding of the narrative.

While “Guitar Free Play” might not rival the excitement of “No Return” or “The Lost Levels,” it’s a well-crafted addition for players eager to showcase their musical talents. With various characters and instruments to choose from, accompanied by sound filters and background adjustments, this mode adds a layer of creativity outside the game’s main narrative.

As The Last of Us Part II Remastered stands as a culmination of the game’s evolution, it’s essential to acknowledge the challenging journey it faced during the original release. Dealing with leaks, plot backlash, and a global pandemic during launch, the studio weathered numerous storms. Developer Matthew Gallant’s words about the game being precious remain true. Now, it’s time for the developers to revel in a well-earned victory lap.

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The Last of Us Part II Remastered, with its immersive DualSense haptic feedback, diverse gameplay modes, and insightful Lost Levels, exceeds expectations. “No Return” doesn’t just showcase the franchise’s narrative prowess but unveils a thrilling combat system often underestimated. This release signals that Naughty Dog’s reservoir of creativity extends beyond what we witnessed in Part II. If this is a glimpse into the studio’s future, anticipation for their next creation is palpable.

Pros: DualSense haptic feedback boosts immersion, “No Return” offers immense variety and replayability, “Lost Levels” provide interesting insights into the making of the game.

Cons: None

In conclusion, The Last of Us Part II Remastered delivers an unparalleled gaming experience, blending narrative excellence with gameplay innovations.

frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to The Last of Us Part II Remastered:

Q1: What is The Last of Us Part II Remastered?

A1: The Last of Us Part II Remastered is an enhanced version of the original game released for the PlayStation 5, offering improved graphics, additional features, and new gameplay modes.

Q2: What are the new features in the Remastered version?

A2: The Remastered version includes DualSense haptic feedback, a new mode called “No Return” with varied gameplay, “The Lost Levels” providing insights into cut content, and enhanced graphics.

Q3: What is the significance of “No Return” mode?

A3: “No Return” is a roguelike-inspired survival mode, adding immense variety and replayability to the game. It introduces diverse challenges, enemy types, and gameplay mods, making each playthrough unique.

Q4: Tell me more about “The Lost Levels.”

A4: “The Lost Levels” are unfinished levels that were cut from the original release. Playing through them provides players with insights into the game’s creative process, accompanied by developer commentary.

Q5: How does DualSense haptic feedback enhance the gaming experience?

A5: DualSense haptic feedback adds a new layer of immersion. Each weapon has a unique feel, rain is felt as a gentle patter, and encounters with formidable enemies produce distinctive vibrations, enhancing realism.

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Q6: Is “Guitar Free Play” a significant addition?

A6: While not as impactful as other modes, “Guitar Free Play” allows players to showcase their musical skills. With various characters, instruments, and customization options, it adds a creative dimension to the game.

Q7: What challenges did The Last of Us Part II face during its original release?

A7: The original release faced challenges such as leaks, backlash against the plot, and the impact of launching during a global pandemic. Despite these hurdles, the game garnered critical acclaim.

Q8: How does The Last of Us Part II Remastered contribute to the franchise’s legacy?

A8: The Remastered version builds on the franchise’s legacy by showcasing the continued creativity of Naughty Dog. It reaffirms the studio’s commitment to delivering a captivating and innovative gaming experience.

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