Es­sen­tial: The Lasto f Us: Re­mas­tered

Re­boots are all the rage, but The Last of Us: Re­mas­tered re­builds an award-win­ner with care

Australian T3 - - CONTENTS -

The gam­ing tear-jerker has been lov­ingly up­graded for the PlayS­ta­tion 4

For a games con­ven­tion where in­no­va­tion and nov­elty have been prized in the past, this year’s E3 Expo in Los Angeles had a dis­tinctly retro feel to it. Sure, there were new ti­tles on dis­play – al­though most were ac­tu­ally an­nounced last year – but the big­gest fan­fare was re­served for the dust­ing off of old favourites.

With many next gen-spe­cific games tak­ing longer than ex­pected to wad­dle to­wards the day­light, high-oc­tane newies such as Xbox One’s Sun­set Over­drive and PS4’s The Or­der: 1886 gar­nered en­gaged if muted re­sponses. The big­gest cheers came, in­stead, for the repack­ag­ing of four last-gen Halo games, a newly pol­ished GTA V, a re­boot of 2008’s sand­box sleeper hit Crack­down and the cen­tral plinth of the PlayS­ta­tion party: The Last Of Us: Re­mas­tered.

The lat­ter cer­tainly makes sense. Naughty Dog’s PS3 sur­vival hor­ror is the most crit­i­cally ac­claimed ti­tle of last year, with over 200 game of the year awards and a BAFTA to its name. Re­leased so close to the PS4’s launch – the

same week Sony re­vealed the con­sole at last year’s E3, in fact – it would have been a trav­esty had it not re­ceived an up­grade to its younger brother. That it’s been over­seen by the orig­i­nal team and is crammed with all the down­load­able con­tent is a nice bonus.

The Last of Us had a pro­found ef­fect on both play­ers and crit­ics alike. Set in a world where a plague’s turned many into can­ni­bal­is­tic, trif­fid-like mon­sters, the main draw, un­usu­ally for a mul­ti­mil­lion-sell­ing game, isn’t the guns or the post-apoc­a­lyp­tic set­ting – al­though that does look amaz­ing up­scaled. In­stead, it’s the re­la­tion­ship that grows be­tween the pro­tag­o­nists, Joel, a jaded smug­gler and El­lie, his young teenage charge.

with the orig­i­nal naughty dog team at the helm, this is 24-carat 1080p gold

“When we ex­plained that we had a post-pan­demic game that stars a 14-yearold girl, Sony said if that’s what we wanted, they’d sup­port it,” Neil Druck­mann, cre­ative di­rec­tor at Naughty Dog, told our sis­ter site CVG. “Dur­ing de­vel­op­ment I was wait­ing for some­one to come in and say, ‘You have to cut this, this goes too far.’ But they didn’t. Sony gave us this free­dom, and I feel there’s a re­spon­si­bil­ity on us to make the most of that.”

As El­lie and Joel face the night­mar­ish world, an al­most fa­mil­ial bond grows. It’s this very hu­man re­la­tion­ship in an in­hu­man world that gives The Last Of Us its most pow­er­ful edge. Druck­mann says they knew they’d nailed it when they pre­sented the game to test au­di­ences ahead of re­lease.

“For the first time in my ca­reer, people cried dur­ing the fo­cus test,” he says. “They came up to me at the end and said they’ve never been so at­tached to a char­ac­ter. That’s when I knew.”

With El­lie and Joel’s faces now in full 1080p, pre­pare for the emo­tion to get hi-def. $80,au. plays­ta­tion.com, out July 30 on PS4

“I Spy” was be­com­ing an in­creas­ingly bleak pas­time

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.