Released last week, The Last of Us Part 1 is a remake of a true modern PlayStation classic. As already stated in our big PLAY3 test, PS5 players can look forward to massive technical improvements compared to the PS3 original and the PS4 remaster. In the following lines we will see how extensive the revisions from the Naughty Dog development studio actually are.
Lifelike character models
By PlayStation 3 standards, Joel and Ellie’s adventure was at the cutting edge of technology in almost every respect, showing what could be squeezed out of the Sony console. For example, the character models looked really good by the standards of the time, although in retrospect a very stylized look was chosen for the various characters. The remake is noticeably more realistic in direct comparison and offers lifelike character models.
Texture quality has been significantly improved. In particular, the skin, hair and eyes now look much more real. In addition, Joel & Co. appear significantly older and more worn than in the original version, which fits perfectly with the game’s setting, in which almost every day is a bitter struggle for survival.
Furthermore, the makers have noticeably improved the animations. The emotions of the characters in particular are now much more effective than was the case with the rather stiffly animated faces of the PS3 and PS4 versions. Even the smallest movements and muscle twitches can be seen if you look very closely.
Overall, The Last of Us Part 1 has had its character models for Joel, Tess, Ellie and all the other characters you meet on your road trip completely redesigned to look a lot more like real people. Joel and Ellie’s movements have also been upgraded and now appear more fluid and realistic than in the original and remaster.
The cutscenes have also taken a noticeable step forward. While they were pre-rendered on PS3 and PS4, they are now completely in-engine. In the videos themselves we now get to see significantly more detail in the environments and they are superior to the original in every respect.
You can even see tears running down the characters’ cheeks or small droplets of spit coming out of their mouths when the characters yell at each other in these scenes. Furthermore, the transitions between gameplay and cutscenes are now much smoother. There is no longer a short fade to black, but rather barely noticeable cuts between such a transition.
More detailed environments
But not only the characters have undergone a general overhaul, but also the surroundings, which now also appear much more natural. The buildings look noticeably more believable, partly because the different materials are now noticeably more recognizable: brick and wood, for example, clearly benefit from these revisions. In addition, various environmental details were added that were missing in the older versions.
In addition, the vegetation has been massively revised and now looks much more lifelike. The grass areas on the ground are denser and are reminiscent of “The Last of Us Part 2”. In addition, the flat plant textures on building walls have been removed and replaced with plants that appear much more realistic. This results in a much more homogeneous look that underlines the atmosphere of a destroyed world that is being reclaimed by nature very well.
There are also various minor improvements that may not initially be as obvious as the others. The representation of the water is much more realistic than in the two older versions, which is mainly due to the reflections and the simulated movements of the cool water.
Another rather small optimization is the physically correct representation of different textiles. This includes, among other things, a carpet in the museum that you cross with Joel and Ellie. The fabric reacts to your movements as well as to the steps of the opponents. The destruction effects have also been improved: during the shootouts, significantly more objects and particles are now flying around than on PS3 and PS4.
More natural light
Next to the character models and the environments, the lighting has undoubtedly made the biggest step forward. The light in the two older “The Last of Us” versions undoubtedly looked very good for the time, but can’t keep up with the remake. The survival-action-adventure relies heavily on natural light most of the time. In order to be able to light up the surroundings, Naughty Dog had to do a lot of tricks at the time.
Thanks to the computing power of the PlayStation 5, even fine details can now be displayed that would not have been possible before. This includes, for example, the correct representation of glass, over which the light now travels correctly. In addition, explosions and fires look noticeably more realistic and clearly beat the depiction in the original and remaster in every respect. The environment is realistically illuminated, enhancing the already dense atmosphere.
The display of shadows also benefits from this. While these were often displayed incorrectly on PS3 and PS4, they are now calculated correctly on PlayStation 5 depending on the respective light source. The massively improved lighting also ensures that various surfaces and materials now have a significantly more natural look and appear much more tangible than in the previous versions.
Finally, Joel’s flashlight should be mentioned in this regard, the light of which seems much more realistic in the remake. In the old versions of the game, she simply illuminated some objects and characters incorrectly, which led to sometimes grotesque results. Thanks to the rework, these blunders no longer occur. Directly lit areas are clearly visible, while surrounding objects or rooms remain dark, just as they would in real life.
The sound of the game has also undergone a rather subtle overhaul. These are generally still very close to what you are used to from the previous versions of the game. However, the sound effects are now richer and much stronger and are reminiscent of “The Last of Us Part 2”.
The remake also supports 3D audio like many other PlayStation 5 games. This fact is particularly noticeable when you play with headphones. The already dense soundscape benefits enormously from this, especially in the intensive stealth sections.
The Last of Us looked terrific for its time on PlayStation 3, there’s no doubt about that. Released a year later, the PS4 remaster features improved textures and resolution, and still looks snazzy today. With the PlayStation 5 remake “The Last of Us Part 1”, the audiovisual class of the cult game has reached an unexpected new quality, which is a massive improvement over the old versions in every respect.
The Last of Us Part 1 was released on September 2nd, 2022 exclusively for PlayStation 5.
More news about The Last of Us Part 1, The Last of Us Remake.
Discuss this news on the PlayStation Forum
Links to Amazon, Media Markt, Saturn and some other retailers are usually affiliate links. If you make a purchase, we receive a small commission that we can use to finance the free-to-use site. You have no disadvantages.
[stay updated with Aroged.com]