Though Naughty Dog have boasted that the improved visuals in the PlayStation 5 remake are a “glow up” from the original release, fans are divided on whether The Last of Us Part 1 remake actually improves on that much.
Announced during the Summer Game Fest 2022 (but leaked before), The Last of Us Part I was promised to be more than just a remaster of the first The Last of Us title, with Naughty Dog informing players that they were fully rebuilding the game from the ground up.
Along with new combat (though with currently no details as what that will actually entail), the developer also promised that the remaster would take advantage of modern PCs and the PlayStation 5 hardware to provide an allegedly improved visual experience – a point further driven home by studio director Neil Druckmann’s explicit noting that the remaster would reuse the characters’ original facial motion-capture performances.
Along with a preview of scenes on the PlayStation Blog and a comparison video of the remaster and the original by Digital Foundry, a further snippet of Naughty Dog’s work was shared by the developer themselves on Twitter.
Sharing a side-by-side comparison of Joel and Ellie’s ally from each respective version, Naughty Dog tagged the character’s voice actress, Annie Wersching, and proudly drew attention to “Tess’ glow up. 9 years ago vs. September 2, 2022”,
Tess' glow up ✨@Wersching
— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) June 14, 2022
The updated version appears to show Tess with more micro-expressions, repressed concern as she slowly draws breath, and exacerbation as she sighs, compared to the original, where she keeps a neutral expression while breathing in, before simply jutting her jaw out in frustration as she sighs.
Of special note is how the two models appear very different from each, to the point where they almost don’t look like they depict the same character, with Tess’ Part I incarnation looking arguably closer to Wersching herself.
Though Naughty Dog likely expected widespread praise for their graphical update to The Last of Us, these comparisons led to a stark division among players.
Offering his short and sweet approval, @501Lyfe commended, “Looks better than the whole Xbox Showcase lineup lmao”.
“Wow, she looks a bit more older and exhausted here. Which makes sense though since she seemingly has a lot of history with Joel,” observed @AdamantiumLive, before quoting Tess, “We’re s—-y people Joel. It’s been that way for a long time.”
Referring to the sequel’s divisive story, @Tribe_Freecs theorized, “I feel like the hate #TheLastofUs is receiving is due to people still sour about Part 2.”
“Like these are really amazing upgrades for the character, for all of them,” they argued. “I can understand the gripes about it being 70 but everything else just seems like bad faith and hating.”
While plenty of fans praised the upgrades, others felt that the remaster did little to improve upon the previous PS4 remaster, especially not at the full-asking price of a next-gen game.
“Still not worth the $70 price,” @optimus_pledge denounced. “It’s just a visual remake with some gameplay tweaks…BUT you’ve removed multiplayer. So a visual overhaul and some gameplay adjustments justifies the new price Sony is trying to push on us for new games? Nah man. Don’t support this gamers. Wait.”
Comparing The Last of Us Part 1 to Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 REmake, @NotHaru47 mocked, “This is an actual remake, [these] suckers are actually gonna pay $70 for a glorified port”.
“They completely changed all the character designs just to make this remake look different so it would mask the fact it barely looks any better,” proposed @xelor_official. “You can’t be f—–g serious this is a real-life Ctrl+Alt+Del comic.”
Do you think of The Last of Us Part I’s visuals offer any significant improvement over any of the game’s past releases? Let us know your thoughts on social media and in the comments below!