The Last of Us: Part I, the remake of Naughty Dog’s legendary survival game, has been the most talked about topic of Summer Game Fest. First, it has been rumored for months, and then its trailer and details were leaked a few hours before the event.
But also because there has been a lot of debate about how necessary or unnecessary this remake is. Some think that, since TLOU Remastered exists, a new version of the game is extreme and that the graphic difference is not so excessive. I will try to give a point of view, not a personal one, but how this decision is understandable from a commercial point of view, even if there are points you disagree with.
Why do I understand that The Last of Us Part 1 is made?
First of all, yes, I would like to make a reflection. When talking about an unnecessary remake, it is enough to look back to see that nine years have passed since the original game and eight since the Remastered. There is not too abysmal difference with other remakes, as we can see in these examples:
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes -> six years after the original
Resident Evil Remake -> six years after the original
Demon’s Souls Remake -> 11 years after the original
In these remakes, there is an apparent visual improvement because the generational progress was much more noticeable a few years ago than it is now. Still, it is not that TLOU came out before yesterday. Beyond that, other reasons are much more important than time, which, as Einstein said, is relative.
Other reasons are much more logical from a business point of view. In the first place, and although Naughty Dog has proven to be a leading studio at a technical level, this remake can be a touchstone to test its engine on PS5 and take advantage of boosting it in various games; in fact, Neil Druckmann said at the event that they are already working on other projects.
This remake is part of an expansion movement of the saga, culminating with the HBO series’s arrival, starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. In addition, it is a point to expand the saga with its arrival on PC, which will take place later and whose version is already in development and has been confirmed. In this way, The Last of Us will reach even more people.
There are also things that I don’t like, of course.
Going back to the starting point, I agree with most people. While it is true that I understand the commercial reasons, it is true that for those of us who have played the game several times, it will not offer too many differences from the Remastered. I played it in 2020 again to prepare for the TLOU 2 review, and it might as well pass for a current release. And one of the aspects that stands out is the 60 FPS, which was already achieved with the revamped version of 2014. This is where I understand that perhaps the movement sings a lot, and the unnecessary thing is highlighted, making it difficult to compare with previous remakes.
There are still a few months to go, but several moments in the trailer, which we can see in comparisons, seem less detailed than in the original game. They say it has been built from scratch, but they are details that have made me twist my nose like Ellie’s design, which seems closer to the one in TLOU2 and not the innocent-faced girl who starred in the original game.
I also think that by taking advantage of this remake, new things could be added, and it doesn’t seem like they will do it. I also doubt how the gameplay of TLOU2 will be integrated into this Part 1, and if that will not make the adventure easier; although they assure that they have also rebuilt the AI of the characters; something that will come in handy, especially not to see Ellie walking around the stage without her looking like a ghost. There’s a 20-year time span that would give us more context about Joel Miller, and we’re supposed to see that in the HBO series. It would be a way to complement both products.
So, the most I read yesterday on Twitter was unnecessary, but I’ll buy it. So that speaks to the success of Naughty Dog and PlayStation with this new version. For my part, I will not miss the opportunity to revive one of my favorite games of all time in its definitive edition.