The Last Of Us Part I: A 2024 Revisit on PC

The Last of Us Part I is the remake of one of the most iconic games of the last decade. The original The Last of Us was released in 2013 and was an exclusive PS3 title developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. The Last of Us Remastered was released for PS4 in 2014 as a remaster of the original game for the then-latest Sony gaming console. Following the tradition of The Last of Us being released for every newer PS console, Part I was released in 2022 for the PS5. In 2020, the direct sequel to the original title, Part II, was released for PS4 and in 2024 for PS5. The franchise also includes comic books and a successful HBO TV show. However, in my humble opinion, the TV show couldn’t keep up with the game’s legacy.

The action-adventure game is set in a post-apocalyptic world and focuses on the struggle for survival of Joel and his, in a way, surrogate daughter, Ellie. The user controls the two main characters fighting against virus-mutated, once-human creatures and still-humans as they try to reach the Fireflies medical facility camp. The Fireflies is an organization that fights against FEDRA (which serves as the government) and hosts a medical facility that focuses on researching an effective anti-mutated-cordyceps-virus vaccine. The mutated Cordyceps virus is responsible for the pandemic that turned humans into offensive cannibalistic creatures and led to the 60% human population extinction.

I should add that I was surprised that cordyceps is an actual virus that affects insects and turns them into “zombies”. It needs a host to survive; until now, it can’t affect humans. The mutated cordyceps that the game focuses on can affect humans, though. Although it is impossible for now, a drastic mutation of this virus sounds like a nightmare. Ellie is immune to the mutated Cordyceps virus, vital to a cure. Joel is a smuggler with a tragic past and agrees to deliver her to the Fireflies. And this is how their adventure begins. They will learn to respect each other and develop a father-daughter bond during their journey together. This strong bond is the key to dealing with all the challenging situations during the journey.

For years, I was forced to watch gameplay videos for The Last of Us on YouTube because I am not a heavy-duty gamer, so buying PS consoles for three games wasn’t a viable option. But Sony seems to have listened to my prayers, and in 2023, the remake was available for Windows and the Steam platform. According to reports, the game initially suffered in performance and optimization, and I decided to buy it when these issues were resolved and at a better price. Generally, I am not in favor of pre-orders and day-one buying. I prefer to buy the games when the issues are resolved and enjoy them as they should be. So, when it was ready, I grabbed the chance.

The remake resembles the original plot but offers better visual and combat enhancements. Regarding its performance, I think that needs a bit of improvement. Deploying DLSS, though, was a vast improvement. But still, FPS drops were present throughout the game, and in some sets, the performance was a bit low. But I didn’t notice lags or stutterings on 1440p, RTX4070Ti, 13700K, and Windows 11 OS. Performance still might be challenging for a lower-spec setup, though. But a nasty surprise was waiting for me after the first introductory videos.

“You know that you are not my daughter, right?”

Entering the city to track the smuggler who “played” unfairly Tess, my screen was like my graphics card was about to give up. It was like seeing the game through a wire-mesh mess. Reloading didn’t help either. I must mention that I didn’t interrupt the graphic process initially, so it wasn’t related to it. Hopefully, exiting the game entirely and reloading it did the trick. I didn’t notice this behavior again in the whole game. Poor performance might be a thing, but almost no visuals are far worse.

Regarding the gameplay, I have to mention that I am probably not the best out there. I always prefer the most accessible level to enjoy the game, and only after I master it will I try harder ones. I mastered not many games and played none on the most challenging level, though. Some of us weren’t born for pro-level gaming. I prefer to enjoy the game rather than risk my PC’s destruction. That said, things were straightforward and relatively accessible at the easy level. There were plenty of critical supplies, avoiding enemies and continuing with the main story as it was meant to be. I was stuck in some spots because the solution wasn’t easy to spot, like finding ladders to place in the correct spot, but nothing major.

Regarding the enemies, the best way is to avoid them and choose stealth combat. That means trying to terminate them by approaching them silently and stabbing them or choking them from behind. I believe the entire game is built on this technique. The Last of Us is not a kill-all-ords type of game. It focuses on survival, and surviving is not only unnecessary shooting. Most of us would probably try to hide and avoid challenging situations in real life. Of course, it was pretty funny not to be spotted when you were close to your enemies only because you were on your knees. I killed enemies just by being on my knees in front of them! Ok, the game does compromise; otherwise, no one would ever complete it. For long-distance combat, the arrow was far preferable to dealing with enemies. Silent and effective.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t die a couple of times until the game spared me, and I managed only this way to continue it. I hate bloaters. Yes, I hate you, you abominations. Every time a bloater was on my way, things were tough. And it wasn’t easy to avoid direct combat with them. Every time I killed a bloater, it was a sweet melody to my ears. I also managed some game achievements, such as a complete weapon upgrade. I have nothing significant to complain about the gameplay, except that sometimes quick actions were a bit laggy. E.g., catching a ladder or throwing a bottle. But that is a general issue in many games.

Regarding the graphics, the visuals were stunning. The areas and scenery were better lit, and the characters’ facial expressions were almost like those of real humans. That is a vast improvement over the original. The original game had outstanding visuals when it was released, but the remake did step it up a bit further. I enjoyed them. Some characters’ appearance differed (e.g., Tess was older than she was in the original), but to me, they were welcome additions. I am unaware of any remake being completely “loyal” to the original source material. What matters is that it be done right. And in my opinion, it was. An almost ten-year-old title came to life as it should. Naughty Dog scored well in this section.

It’s almost a left-behind photo…

The Last of Us is also dubbed in many languages. One of them was my native language, Greek. I tried to play it in my language, but the result was disappointing. The acting was terrible and resulted in losing the core meaning and situations. So, I preferred to switch to its original English score after a while. And the result was at an entirely higher level. I don’t know how the dub is in other languages, but if you are a native Greek speaker and you comprehend English, you should prefer the original score. This is my opinion, at least.

The Left Behind extra episode of the game takes about two hours to complete, focusing on Ellie and her best friend. It was spoiled at the end of the main story, and it was a vital part of the TV show. I won’t analyze it further as I want to keep this article spoil-free. I would only add that it is as good as the main story. This is what describes best the whole episode, I think. It is up to you whether you play it or not. It is highly recommended to complete the main story first, though.

So, is a decade-old game still capable of being on the spot by today’s standards? Is it a title that deserves all this hype, and can it keep up with the original’s legacy? Long story short, yes. If you enjoy well-written games, especially post-apocalyptic ones, you should add it to your collection. It balances well between the horror, action, and human relations sections. And does it pretty well. It can’t compete with Tellatale’s The Walking Dead, a dramatic-based masterpiece in its field, but it balances all its core elements well. It is not a matter of choices to continue the story, but it still reflects human relationships realistically. You can feel the characters and sympathize with them.

The combat mode is not based on how good you are at killing enemies rather than surviving. It is not Resident Evil, but it is a realistic survival game. And in its field, it scores more than just well. It is a game that captures your attention and makes you want to see what’s next. It took me about 20 hours to complete the main story and about two hours for the extra episode. And I still didn’t realize it took me so long to play. I was surprised to see that, according to Steam, less than 50% of the owners completed the game. I guess not everyone has the time nowadays.

So, if you want a game that you will enjoy and think over, The Last of Us is one of them. It keeps up with the tasks that make a game a good one. It is not, by chance, one of the most iconic games ever released. And comparing it to the original is up to this task, too. Although the remake’s reviews are not as high as the original’s, they are still favorable. In my opinion, both games are on the same level. You can’t go wrong with the remake. This post-apocalyptic world is yours to master. For now, I have to finish this article. My neighbors have been acting strange lately. All of a sudden, I feel like I am all alone. I hope that I am not The Last of Us.

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