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The Last of Us Part II Remastered review: Treat for fans

The Last of Us Part II Remastered review: Treat for fans

The Last of Us Part II Remastered

We all saw this coming. The Last of Us Part II Remastered was inevitable once The Last of Us Part I was remade for the PS5. Given that The Last of Us Part II was originally released for the PS4, the upgrade isn't that compelling in terms of visuals. But being able to play at 1,440p upscaled to 4K in performance mode, or have frame rates unlocked for modern TVs with variable refresh rate support, are probably worth the admission price. Especially since the launch price (S$67.90) is more palatable compared with Part I (S$97.90). And there's actually new content in the form of a roguelike survival mode that's quite enjoyable on its own.

Quick notes

  • Remastered for PS5
  • Full DualSense controller features, graphical improvements
  • New roguelike survival mode (No Return) and early-development versions of three deleted/unfinished levels
  • More accessibility options such as Descriptive Audio and Speech to Vibrations

Much has been said about the story of The Last of Us Part II. It's divisive, for sure. I can't wait to see how HBO adapts it for the TV series. But whatever you may feel about the plot, Naughty Dog is undoubtedly at the top of their game here. The way the story unfolds, the use of flashbacks to change up the pace (often as a palate cleanser after a gruesome action sequence), is masterful storytelling. But of course, some folks may disagree. I'm also less than enamoured about the gameplay. Despite several new mechanics e.g. guard dogs, and the ability to prone, Part II is still very much the same stealth survival game as its predecessor. It means a lot of creeping around, and scrabbling for scarce resources. I didn't find it that fun, though it had some great action sequences.

The Last of Us Part II Remastered
Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

But the remastered version did add a new, and fairly substantial game mode: No Return. This roguelike survival mode reuses the levels in the game. During each run, players have to clear a number of these randomised levels, such as surviving waves of enemies within the time limit, before facing a final boss. You earn resources, including an in-game currency, to buy weapons, ammo, or upgrade items between levels. Dying will end the run, and you'll have to restart a new run from scratch. You start with either Abby or Ellie, but you can unlock other playable characters such as Tommy, Joel, and Lev. To spice things up, there are also unique mods, such as invisible enemies and having melee attacks restore health, that tweak the gameplay. I think it's a really fun, and challenging addition that adds to the experience.

The Last of Us Part II Remastered
Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

The rest of the game reads like the contents of an DVD Extended version. Basically, you'll find plenty of extras, such as Lost Levels, which are unfinished or deleted content in a pre-alpha state, complete with developer commentary. There are trailers, interviews, podcasts, as well as new modes. For instance, you can play the guitar and other instruments, or do a speedrun. The game also utilises the DualSense wireless controller's haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, though some of these stuff seem superfluous. Graphically, the game looks great. The facial expressions and body animation are simply outstanding.

In short, The Last of Us Part II Remastered (S$67.90) not only revamps the game for the latest console, but it also adds a meaty new roguelike survival mode that's fun, and challenging. Definitely get this game if you haven't yet. Those who have the PS4 version can upgrade to the remastered version (digital) for US$10 (local pricing to be available at launch) when the game launches on Jan 19. If you're new to the game, you're in for a treat. Get it from the Sony PlayStation Store or Shopee (physical copy).

See Also
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Note: Review copy provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment

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Extras and enhancements offer good value

Buy it from PlayStation Store
Buy it at Shopee

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