The Last of Us Part II made serious waves when it first shambled onto PS4s back in 2020. Naughty Dog’s sequel to their critically-acclaimed 2013 game divided gamers with its uncompromisingly brutal story that pulled no punches. While its mature narrative and controversial moments sparked endless debates online, the game was lauded for its groundbreaking accessibility features, stunning visuals, and unflinchingly realistic portrayals of its characters.
Now the post-pandemic adventure has shambled onto PS5 with The Last of Us Part II Remastered. This version polishes the visuals to a next-gen sheen and adds new content for both first-time players and grizzled veterans of the series. We’re talking locked and loaded frames, gorgeously grungy textures, and extra modes to really immerse yourself in the bombed-out world.
Whether you missed out on one of the defining games of the PS4 era or just want to take another emotionally-draining trip with Ellie, Abby and the gang, The Last of Us Part II Remastered lets you experience this landmark title at its absolute best. From the eerily silent streets of Seattle to the spore-filled sewers below, the improved visuals and DualSense features make the world feel more vividly real and lived-in. And new content like the rogue-lite No Return mode gives you fresh ways to explore the game’s fantastic combat mechanics.
Strap on your gas mask and grab your nail-covered bat, because it’s time to head back into the quarantine zone with Joel, Ellie and company. The Last of Us Part II has never looked or played better than it does in this remastered version.
PS5 Power Makes TLOU2 Look Better Than Ever
The Last of Us Part II was already a visual showstopper on PS4, with meticulously detailed environments and cinematically lit character models that made the most of the hardware. But this PS5 remaster kicks the fidelity up a notch, giving us two slick graphics modes to choose from.
In fidelity mode, TLOU2 runs at native 4K resolution while targeting 30fps. If you’ve got a high-end display, this mode shows off all the gritty details in the post-apocalyptic world. Pores, scars, hair follicles – no blemish or freckle goes unseen on the faces of characters like Ellie and Abby. The cloth on their jackets have visible stitching and wear. Each abandoned building interior feels palpably real.
Switch over to performance mode and you get silky smooth 60fps gameplay rendered at 1440p. While you trade off some of that ultra high-res polish, the fluidity and precision this unlocks is invaluable. Landing headshots with Ellie’s bow or dodging out of harm’s way feels markedly improved. 60fps brings combat to life in an almost filmic way.
VRR support also means unlocked framerates are an option if you have a compatible display. This provides the best of both fidelity and performance, with the higher resolution of the first mode and uncapped fps that averages above 30fps.
No matter your mode, the DualSense’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers breathe new immersion into the experience. Feel subtle vibrations as Ellie strums a guitar or the tension of her bow draw. It syncs up flawlessly with the stunning visuals.
From dark buildings blanketed in shadow to lush overgrown cities reclaimed by nature, TLOU2’s environments astound no matter where you look. Improved lighting makes things like dust particles sparkling in rays of sunshine all the more visually arresting. Seattle has never looked more beautifully bleak.
Performance mode’s high framerate unlocks the combat’s full potential. While fidelity provides unmatched visual impact, the fluidity and precision afforded by 60fps can mean life or death in tense encounters. Still, either mode delivers an exceptional level of detail that pulls you deeper into the post-pandemic world.
Whichever you choose, The Last of Us Part II Remastered represents a new high watermark in graphical achievement and optimization. Naughty Dog has set the bar nearly untouchably high. Whether you favor resolution or frame rate, this game is a stunner. Druckmann and co. have crafted a benchmark experience to show off what the PS5 can do.
Loads of New Content Makes TLOU2 Feel New Again
Beyond just polishing the visuals, The Last of Us Part II Remastered comes packed with an impressive amount of new content. For fans of the original, this stuff will breathe exciting fresh life into the experience. And for new players, it provides bonus insight into the development and tons of replayability.
Easily the banner addition is a rogue-lite mode called No Return. Here, you battle through a series of randomized combat encounters in standalone challenges. Each run pushes you to survive longer against progressively tougher foes.
The different encounters shuffle things up. Some pit you against endless waves of enemies until the timer expires. Others challenge you to capture an objective while fending off attacking hordes. There are also boss battles that unlock as you play.
Occasionally, modifier cards will provide unpredictable mutators like zero gravity, inverse controls, or extra armor. Two cards are dealt per encounter, so you never know how wild things might get!
Between battles, you spend collected supplies to upgrade skills and gear to take on the ever-stronger enemies. Signature weapons for each of the 10 playable characters add replayability. Abby’s powerhouse shotgun plays far differently than Dina’s precise pistol skills.
All this randomization and progression creates possibly endless replay value as you push for longer runs. It’s instantly addictive trying to set new personal bests. The tense, focused nature of the challenges makes No Return an utterly absorbing addition.
Also fascinating are three “lost levels” that showcase discarded ideas cut from the full game. Though unfinished, they provide invaluable insight into the creative process.
One has Ellie exploring the Jackson settlement during a lively festival, serenading kids with her guitar skills. Another shows a gross trek through the sewers. The third is an encounter with a towering boar out in the wilderness.
Brief audio commentary from developers plays at key points explaining why these levels got scrapped. Most were cut for pacing reasons as the scope of the game grew huge.
While these lost levels are necessarily a bit rough around the edges, they offer a rare look inside the minds of Druckmann and co. Seeing what almost made it in is hugely enlightening formega fans.
The developer insights continue with optional commentary on every major story cutscene. Hear Druckmann, Gross, Johnson, and others break down key moments and discuss creative choices. It’s like a mini directors’ commentary track!
A slew of smaller additions round out the package. Want to deck Ellie out like an astronaut or Abby like a punk rocker? The new unlockable skins let you put your own spin on the characters. An upgraded guitar mode with more chord options and effects pedals lets you recreate iconic song moments with more freedom. New accessibility options provide even more customization. And enhancements to photo mode mean capturing the perfect post-apocalyptic snapshots is easier than ever.
For fresh takes on the combat, the new slow motion aiming effect is a revelation. Headshots become oh-so-satisfying. Permadeath mode will challenge even grizzled survival experts. And if you just want to relax and soak it all in, some nifty unlockable gameplay modifiers let you breeze through the story with things like one-hit kills enabled.
Suffice to say, The Last of Us Part II Remastered has a wealth of new content that makes it feel like a whole new experience even for those who’ve played it multiple times already. This really is the definitive way to play.
Refined Gameplay Feels Better Than Ever
The Last of Us built its reputation equally on narrative and gameplay, with both working in service of each other. This remaster keeps the mechanics of the original intact while making everything feel more responsive and immersive.
At its core, TLOU2 gameplay revolves around tense stealth, brutal combat, methodical exploration and crafting. All of these pillars have been finely tuned to perfection. Clever encounter design constantly forces you to vary your approach with every new space. Will you sneak past foes or attack head on? Use loud guns or silent melee? Scavenge every inch or speed through? The wealth of options keeps each area feeling fresh.
Combat stands out in particular for its immense flexibility. TLOU2 achieves a phenomenal balance of weighty realism and accessibility. Guns have a punchy kick but handle quick and smooth. Melee fighting is visceral and desperate, with stunningly animated grapples. The way encounters ebb and flow from stealth to all out war keeps you on your toes. This is high watermark stuff.
DualSense implementation makes these already exceptional mechanics feel better than ever. The haptic triggers lend tangible feedback to actions like drawing back a bowstring or steadying your aim. Forceful vibrations deepen the bunker buster blasts of shotguns and mine explosions. Even subtle vibrations when rummaging through drawers provide new levels of tactile immersion.
Everything from the intuitive crafting wheel to context-sensitive environmental interactions has received a refined coat of polish since the PS4 original. Whether you’re seasoned in the ways of TLOU or new to the series, the gameplay here is immensely satisfying. The DualSense upgrades provide the icing on the cake.
Some things don’t need fixing when they aren’t broken. While much is new in the remaster, the superb core mechanics remain. This is tense, strategic survival action executed to peak excellence. Whether you fight, sneak, or run for your life through the abandoned cityscapes, TLOU2 gameplay grips you tight and never lets go thanks to phenomenal design. Naughty Dog has only sharpened an already razor’s edge formula.
A Complex Story That Sticks With You
Revisiting The Last of Us Part II’s story is an emotionally heavy endeavor. This is a mature, uncompromising narrative that pulls no punches when it comes to violence or morality. Without diving into spoiler territory, the twists and turns Ellie and Abby’s journeys take are sometimes controversial but always impactful.
Picking up years after the first game, we find Ellie living in relative peace within a survivor settlement run by Joel and Tommy. But when an event pulls Ellie back into the desperate pursuit of revenge, she travels to post-pandemic Seattle and crosses paths with Abby, a member of the Washington Liberation Front. Their stories become tragically intertwined in complex ways.
The Last of Us series has always aimed to portray characters as realistically flawed people shaped by their environments. Part II takes this to new extremes. Ellie, Abby, and all those they meet are neither classically heroic or villainous. They exist in moral gray zones, products of the cruel world they inhabit rather than embodying simplistic good and evil.
This nuance sparked endless debate upon the game’s original release. Some decried certain characters and story moments as too bleak or nihilistic. Others praised the game’s willingness to go darker than most mainstream media dares. There are no easy answers here, only an uncompromising commitment to depicting how far people will go when driven by revenge, anger, and tribalism.
The story’s quality lies not in whether you agree with every character’s actions, but in how powerfully it elicits emotional responses from players. Moments range from quietly heartwarming, finding intimacy and friendship on the brink of extinction, to utterly gut-wrenching and horrific. You may not love everything these flawed people do, but you understand them.
And while the overall narrative remains unchanged in this remaster, improved visuals make the emotional moments land stronger than ever. Thanks to the DualSense controller and enhanced fidelity, you feel closer to the characters and the weight of their decisions. The world around them also tells stories through optional exploration, often subtly revealing how certain events took place.
Make no mistake, The Last of Us Part II tells a bleak tale. As Ellie and Abby suffer loss upon loss in their quests for vengeance, the feeling of dread and futility weighs heavier than ever. This is an exhausting journey where brief moments of hope or beauty feel both vital yet fleeting.
But those highlights remind us this is a human story first and foremost. One that peers candidly at how our drive to protect loved ones can transform into something dangerous when left unchecked. It aims for truth over crowd-pleasing, and that uncompromising commitment makes for artful storytelling.
The Last of Us Part II won’t satisfy those seeking light escapism or one dimensional heroes. Its devotion to crafting a messy yet realistic post-pandemic world means looking the darkness in humanity straight on, albeit through the lens of sci-fi. But for players who value narrative ambition and emotional impact, this remains an achievement.
The Definitive Edition of a Modern Masterpiece
Whether you missed out on The Last of Us Part II the first time around or just want to revisit this dark landmark adventure, the PS5 remaster is the definitive way to experience it. For newcomers, this represents the pinnacle version of one of the most impactful narratives in gaming history. And for returning fans, the slew of new content and visual upgrades reinvigorate this gritty tale, making it feel fresh again even for veterans.
Put simply, The Last of Us Part II is a monumental achievement in interactive storytelling and worldbuilding that pushes the envelope of what games can be. While its unflinching violence and moral ambiguity sparked controversy, the masterful execution is undeniable. This ultra-deluxe remaster adds even more replayability and insight into the creation of this shocking yet affecting tale.
Whether you favor framerate or cutting-edge fidelity, the visuals and DualSense implementation bring the bombed out Seattle setting to life like never before. From the emotionally exhausting story to the tense, kinetic survival action, everything shines on PS5. And the wealth of new modes, difficulty options, skins, and behind-the-scenes content allows you to tailor the experience to your playstyle.
For those with the stomach for it, The Last of Us Part II is an unforgettable descent into the darkest parts of humanity, one that sticks with you long after the credits roll. This remastered edition is the premier way to take the grueling but poetic journey. Pick it up to experience a generation-defining narrative that pushes interactive storytelling into a bold new frontier. Just brace yourself for an uncompromising trip you won’t soon forget.
The Last of Us Part II Remastered
The Last of Us Part II Remastered is a visually stunning, content-packed edition of an uncompromising modern masterpiece. The enhanced graphics, polished gameplay, and wealth of new modes make this the definitive way to experience one of gaming's most striking narratives.
- Stunning visual upgrades and performance options
- Excellent new roguelike mode adds tons of replayability
- Wealth of bonus content like lost levels and commentaries
- DualSense implementation heightens immersion
- Core gameplay as razor-sharp as ever
- Reliving the emotionally draining story may be too much for some
- Full price is steep for a remake of a PS4 game
- Some fidelity compromises in performance mode