Naughty Dog has once again released a remastered version of a game we didn’t need a remaster of. But seriously, just because it’s the same game doesn’t mean there isn’t anything new added. Let’s dive in and see what this remaster is about.
The Last of Us Part II Remastered is the latest from developer Naughty Dog. This is a remastered version of the critically acclaimed game that won Game of the Year in The Video Game Awards 2020. There were a lot of controversies about this game when it came out because it was leaked prior to it being released and players weren’t happy what they knew. Even then, I think Naughty Dog still delivered a stellar game and if it wasn’t for the leaks I believe the game would have still been successful. Despite of it being leaked and people knowing certain details of the game, the game went on to being sold to more than 4 million copies worldwide.
For those who have still yet to play the game or have not bought it when it was first released on the PS4. This would be the perfect time to buy the game as it is now enhanced and remastered for the PS5 system with several new features and improvements to the base game. It now has 4K native graphics, and you can also choose to play in 120FPS to ensure precision action during combat. I do believe it performs much better and smoother than the PS4 version.
It also incorporates the Dual Sense controller integration for a more immersive experience. The haptic feedback lets you feel the strain of every medkit you use and every gun you fire. You can even feel the rain at the palm of your hands which I always find really cool ever since this was implemented in Returnal.
Aside from the main story, they also added a new game mode called “No Return”. In this game mode, you can play as any of several characters from the game and go on what is called a “Run”. A complete run is comprised of several mini-games called “Encounters”. Each Encounter will have different game types, different environments, and several other features that will be unlocked as you keep playing. The most interesting thing about this game is it is roguelike. Meaning random encounters, random game types, random rewards. If you die within an encounter, that’s it, it’s game over and you will have to go on another full run.
The initial unlocked characters are Ellie and Abby, and you get to unlock the other characters just by continually playing as each character. You can also unlock costumes for each character by completing challenges. Some of the character choices were surprising, though, but there are a lot of character choices on Abby’s side. Like I’m not sure why Manny was picked over Owen. I barely knew who Manny was and didn’t really care for what happened to him but for him to be chosen to be as equivalent as Joel’s on Ellie’s side is confusing to me. Hopefully they will add Owen on a future update. I also wish there were more characters to choose from.
No Return is a fun game mode if you just want encounters and not mind about what the story of the game is. It’s a quick no nonsense game that you can put off once you’ve completed an encounter. You can even pick back up where you left off in a run as it saves the last Run you have played as long as you don’t quit while playing an encounter as it counts as a death as well. However, if you don’t want to continue an encounter, you can just start a new one and it will automatically overwrite any encounters you’ve done.
They have also added three levels which they call the “Lost Levels”. These are levels from the game that were cut from the main game and didn’t make it to the official release. They even placed a warning before you play them that these are were developed at the alpha stage of the game so they may not be optimized or they may contain bugs when you play them. I think it’s cool that we get to experience these levels but I would have loved if they were optimized instead of just providing us with the Alpha version of the levels.
Now the question is, would I pay full price for this Remastered version? I don’t believe just getting the No Return as an additional feature is worth it at full price. If you’ve already played the game, the $10 upgrade would be worth it as it is just like paying for a DLC of the game. If you’ve never played the game, then I would also say it’s worth getting it at the $49.99 price tag as it is definitely much cheaper than the original game plus you get those additional features.
Overall, Naughty Dog has once again delivered a stellar game that just keeps giving you more and more. The No Return in itself is worth playing this game again. If you love the world of The Last of Us and you want to be able to play as Joel again, then this game is definitely something you should get.
The Last of Us Part II Remastered – Review
Almost perfect if not for the nitty-gritty. If it’s quite there but not enough to push the boundaries, it’s still an awesome game.