Videogames: The Last of Us Part II Remastered is the best way to experience one of the greatest games

The Last of Us Part II Remastered
The Last of Us Part II Remastered (Neil)

While Schindler’s List or Shawshank Redemption are two of the greatest movies ever made, I’d be hard pushed to suffer through them again. And so it is with Naughty Dog’s sequel to stone cold classic The Last of Us, which offered up another grim dose of award-winning survival in the PS4′s twilight years.

The most depressing videogame ever made, Last of Us II made The Road seem like Dumb and Dumber, and if you’ve survived the festive comedown of Blue Monday, its spruced up re-release on PS5 may have you sticking your head in the oven again.

Still, if you’re hankering for more Joel and Ellie action – especially those who were introduced to their bleak world in the brilliant TV adaptation – this is the best way to experience one of the last generation’s greatest games.

The Last of Us Part II Remastered
The Last of Us Part II Remastered (Neil)

An epic tale of violence and revenge that’s even more epic than the original, LoU2 continues the tale of a world gone to hell in a handcart with another grim road trip that manages to put the “fun” into fungal apocalypse.

One of the great apocalyptic yarns, The Last of Us stuck its landing with what seemed like the perfect ending. But Joel’s hospital shootout has grave repercussions (eagle-eyed viewers of HBO’s final episode will have spotted a curiously lingering shot on one of his seemingly irrelevant victims) and the sequel spares no-one in its uncompromising tale of revenge. Following the same grubby, brutal gameplay beats of the original, there’s much scurrying through buildings and shank-heavy ultraviolence against the infected and rival gangs.

A mid-game rug-pull, however, shifts focus to mind-blowing effect, testing loyalties and forcing players to tap buttons they may not want to. To be fair, the pacing’s all over the shop, and at an overlong 25 hours, its baggy narrative doesn’t know when to end, proving you can have too much of a good thing.

Given the original – already enhanced on PS5 - still looks incredible today, its remaster doesn’t look wildly different. Squint and you’ll spy fancier foliage along with improved shadow and texture quality, while the loading times get a kick up the arse, but the main reason to double dip is for its bonus bounty.

New skins for Ellie and Abby, a speed run mode, concept art and behind-the-scenes Lost Levels are nice if fleeting additions, while the Guitar Free Play lets players strum a virtual git box as either Joel or the game’s composer, Gustavo Santaolalla.

The headline is No Return, a brand-new survival roguelike mode where players take on waves of enemies, each leading up to a boss battle. Die and you’ll be forced to start again from the beginning.

The Last of Us Part II Remastered image of a boy shooting an arrow whilst a faceless monster comes up behind him.
The Last of Us Part II Remastered (Neil)

A 25-hour spoiler for those who can’t wait for HBO to hurry up and make the second season already, Last of Us II Remastered is the definitive way to experience a gaming masterpiece – and well worth the tenner upgrade if you already own the original.

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