Games: The Last of Us could be coming back for more on PS5
DESPITE the title, it seems it'll never truly be The Last of Us. Sony's grim critical darling first wowed gamers back in 2013 on PS3, with a sequel keeping the home fires burning on PS4. Despite already getting a remaster, reports suggest the original (and by far the best) is being resurrected yet again for current hardware, and will see light of day this year.
It's fair to The Last of Us hit big. Set 20 years after a virus mutates most of the world's population, grizzled anti-hero Joel and his young charge Ellie embark on a grief-roasted trek across America in a beautifully written and performed masterpiece that invests as much in its storytelling as it does in gunplay, where players blast and sneak their way through fungi-faced mutants and jackbooted army types.
Unlike the Resident Evil games, where your enemy shuffle along like a queue at Lourdes, The Last of Us's snarling hordes had their Weetabix, giving chase at a moment's notice.
While developer Naughty Dog has never officially announced a re-make, its existence was first hinted at by Bloomberg over a year ago, and respected rumour-mongers now say it'll release this year.
So, given the remaster was perfect (and perfectly playable on PS5), why waste the time and energy? How do you improve on perfection? It's a question I ask every mirror.
The answer probably lies in HBO's upcoming The Last of Us TV series, and the opportunity to cash in. Starring The Mandalorian's Pedro Pascal as Joel (reportedly earning $600,000 per episode, making him one of the highest paid American TV stars) and Bella Ramsey as Ellie, the small-screen adaptation is being helmed by Craig Mazan, who penned the equally cheery Chernobyl.
Set to release early next year, on-set whispers hint at flashbacks fleshing out the game's back-story along with a new character, Perry, who, according to actor Jeffrey Pierce, "is brand new, and part of a brand-new branch that has huge implications for things that did occur in the game.
"That's exciting, because it will unveil things that attach to the game and you'll be like 'Oh s***! That all makes even more sense now!"
While the original can still hold its head high amongst the greatest games ever made, re-makes are, of course, all the rage, as publishers grab their shovels and resurrect beloved classics – and The Last of Us joins the likes of space horror Dead Space in getting a full-throated do-over.
If, as reported, this is a full-blooded re-make rather than an upgrade, expect to pay full whack. But after being reheating a second time, here's hoping The Last of Us doesn't give us botulism.