Why I Still Found Value in Replaying the Last of Us on PS5

Why I Still Found Value in Replaying the Last of Us on PS5

Almost 10 years ago one of the best games of all time was released. This week, Naughty Dog’s seminal game, The Last of Us: Part I, is released again, this time rebuilt for a new console generation and a new wave of players.

Will it have the same impact as it did in 2013? Probably not. But during my time with it, I’ve still found a number of reasons The Last of Us: Part I is worth playing (or in my case, replaying).

The Best Things About The Last of Us: Part I on PS5

The Last of Us: Part I looks mighty fine

the last of us part i
That’s some real nice water you got there. (Screenshot: Naughty Dog)

Like with any new console, a big focus is on the visual improvements and there’s no denying there’s a stark contrast between The Last of Us on PS3 and on the PS5. The game has always looked good, but on the PS5 it really pops.

Landscapes are more breathtaking, characters’ expressions are more nuanced and even the tiniest of details stand out. From spore particles floating through the air to ripple effects on the water, The Last of Us: Part I expands on the groundbreaking visuals Naughty Dog introduced in its 2013 classic.

the last of us part i
Even the spores look good. (Screenshot: Naughty Dog)

I can honestly say I’ve never paused a game more often to take screenshots than I have with this one.

TLOU is a cinematic game in every sense of the word and this version is no doubt the best it’s ever looked.

Next-gen features

the last of us
Screenshot: Naughty Dog

Deeper immersion into a game is something the PS5 has been able to achieve through well-thought-out accessories. 3D audio capabilities and the DualSense controller are a large selling point of the new console and with every new game, it’s always exciting to see how a developer takes advantage of these new features.

As someone who has played TLOU many times before I’m pretty familiar with all its nooks and crannies, so new audio and controller sensations were some of the only things that could surprise me during my playthrough — and they did.

At one point in the game, I watched a single empty can roll past me down a hill and listened as it rattled through my soundscape just as if it was really travelling through my lounge room. Sometimes I’d make Joel stand in the rain just to feel the little pattering sensation of droplets rippling through the controller.

It’s all the little things here that add to such an immersive experience that it made a new playthrough of The Last of Us: Part I feel worthwhile.

Accessibility options

the last of us part i
Image: Naughty Dog

When The Last of Us: Part II was released in 2020 it received high praise for its large suite of accessibility features. Now The Last of Us: Part I has been rebuilt with these features as well, making it playable to a whole new group for the first time.

Leveraging the power of the PS5 and its controller functionality, The Last of Us: Part I offers a number of neat features like audio descriptive cinematics and dialogue that rumbles through the DualSense’s haptic feedback. There are also completely customisable controls, allowing players to map out their button scheme as desired.

These accessibility options may not justify the price tag for the average player, but it makes a whole world of difference for those who can now experience The Last of Us for the first time.

It’s good for new fans and big fans

the last of us
Screenshot: Naughty Dog

When it comes to thinking about who this game is rebuilt for, I can identify two main groups: new players and die-hard fans.

I’m not going to waste time harping on about the story of TLOU: Part I here. If you’re a returning player you already know how good it is, and if you’re new then you’re better off experiencing it without context.

That experience hasn’t changed and the bottom line is it remains one of the essential PlayStation games. For those who haven’t played The Last of Us: Part I before, this is the best way to do it.

It’s also the most expensive, but the value you put on your own gaming experience is ultimately up to you.

For returning players who already own a copy of the game, you don’t need to shell out another $100. Unless, like me, you are a big fan of it.

The combination of enhanced visuals and next-gen features which bolster the cinematic and emotional experience of the game make this the definitive version of The Last of Us: Part I that did not fail to completely suck me in once more.

If you’re a fan of The Last of Us there’s likely no price that is too high to get more out of this world and this is a refreshing way that will only reinforce your love for the game and its characters.

It’s the perfect way to prep for the TV series

the last of us tv show
Image: HBO/Binge

Next year The Last of Us will be introduced to the world in another brand new way with the release of HBO’s TV series.

If you’re a new player hoping to do their homework before the show drops, or someone wanting a refresher on the story, TLOU: Part I’s release comes at the perfect time.

From what we’ve seen so far, HBO’s The Last of Us looks to be a very faithful adaptation of Naughty Dog’s game. Therefore experiencing the most up-to-date version of the game is the ideal way to set yourself up for the series that will follow.

When it comes down to it, The Last of Us: Part I isn’t a cheap purchase, but the combination of visual improvements, accessibility features and audio and controller enhancements may just make it worthwhile enough for die-hard fans and new players.

The Last of Us: Part I is available on PS5 now.

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