The Last of Us Part I is the remake of an award-winning action-adventure game set in a post-apocalyptic world. Players take on the role of Joel, a hardened survivor, as he embarks on a dangerous journey with a young girl, Ellie, across a crumbling America. With intense, brutal combat and a gripping story, The Last of Us Part I is an unforgettable experience that will leave you breathless.
Settled in a post-apocalyptic United States ravaged by an unknown parasitic fungal infection that transformed humanity into infected mutants, Joel, a frazzled man, is tasked to take care of and smuggle a 14-year-old Ellie out of a military quarantine zone.
Unfortunately, nothing went as planned, and the small jobs turned into a brutal journey across the country. But, as people can turn into monsters when it comes to survival, you will face things way more terrific than mutants out there.
Are you still there? Pack up your goods, prepare for the worst, and do what you got to do. Still, remember Nietzsche's saying, "Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.".
- Survive and fight: The combat system has been improved based on The Last of Us Part II, offering dynamic, organic, and challenging battles. You can use firearms, improvised weapons, and projectiles, but stealth and hand-to-hand combat may be a good alternative, depending on the situation and your play style. This time, you will experience fewer pre-scripted combats for more replayability.
- Enemy AI: The different artificial intelligence implementations have been revamped to offer more realistic unpredictable behaviors. Hence, your enemies will act more tactically and aggressively for more thrilling confrontations, and more NPC are supported simultaneously.
- Explore: The game is full of beautiful environments, so even though the story is scripted, you should take the time to explore the different places to discover hidden spots and find alternative paths to shift the balance of power when facing challenging scenarios.
- Face your foes: Throughout your journey, you will learn the faces of horror wears many masks. First, you will meet many different mutants at different stages of infection, transforming them progressively like the parasite inhabiting their brain. Watch out, as each has specific behavior, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. On the other hand, people are still trying to survive across the ravaged country, and if some may help you and behave friendly, many others are hostile and will hunt you down.
- Crafting: Cleverness and crafting are your two most significant assets in this world. If the former can help you elaborate strategies, the latter is the hammer you can use to take advantage of dangerous beings. Scavenge to find different items like alcohol, rags, sugar, explosives, binding, blades, or scrap parts, and assemble them to craft Health Kit, Molotov Cocktail, Shiv, Melee Upgrade, Nail Bomb, or Smoke Bomb. The rule of thumb is to craft items when needed or if Joel is full.
- Narrative: The Last of Us Part I was designed to offer an eminently story-based experience, and it truly nailed it. Indeed, you will meet many different characters, each with a unique background and personality, and the whole story beautifully unfold under your feet as you progress.
Graphics and sound
This is Naughty Dog's stuff, and you know they usually push the limits regarding rendering and immersiveness as their game engine drastically matured and evolved over the years.
Hence, you will get stable 4k 60fps performance, more lively environments through denser foliages, more destructible objects, and beautiful particle effects like rain, dust, spark, and more. But it also comes with substantial rendering improvements with smooth and realistic soft lighting, polished animations, stunning reflections, high-quality textures, and wholly refined 3D models for characters and environments. In addition, as the characters have been enhanced, you will notice the facial macro and micro expressions are refined, bringing more tension during dialogues.
Regarding the sound, the majority of sound effects and soundtracks were reused from the original game, and the mixing and mastering processes have been revised to bring more fidelity and clarity.
Duration and game modes
The Last of Us Part I offers a tremendous single-player experience of about 14 intense hours of gameplay, but you can make it last around 21 hours if you take the time to explore every aspect of the game. Still, keep reading, as this title offers other ways to enjoy the adventure for dozens of hours.
The game includes the original story and the prequel chapter named Left Behind, which explores previous events that changed the lives of Ellie and her best friend Riley forever.
Depending on the kind of experience you want to have, you can choose from six difficulty levels:
- Very Light: You will explore and experience the story with a lighter combat challenge, and your camera and aim assistance settings are enabled by default.
- Light: Less demanding than the Moderate difficulty level, enemies are less dangerous, and resources are more common.
- Moderate: It offers a balanced experience with limited resources.
- Hard: It starts to be tough, resources are very limited, and enemies are more dangerous. So think twice before making a decision.
- Survivor: Your adventure is going to be demanding and intense. Enemies are deadly dangerous, the Listen Mode is turned off, and resources are scarce.
- Grounded: This is the most challenging and realistic experience you can expect. HUD, Listen Mode, and other gameplay elements are altered.
The Permadeath mode comes back for those who want to test and hone their survival skills differently:
- Whole Game: Your saved game will be completely reset on death.
- Per Act: On death, your progress will be reset to the beginning of the current act, which is about 2-3 hours of game time.
- Per Chapter: The lighter one. Your progress will be reset to the beginning of the chapter, which is about 30-60 minutes of game time.
Last but not least, you can also enjoy two New Game Plus modes, wherein you can play again with all upgrades acquired in a previous walkthrough:
- Classic: You only keep upgrades carried over from a previous playthrough. Your weapons and recipes will unlock on progression.
- Full Loadout: You keep all your weapons, upgrades, and recipes acquired in a previous playthrough. The weapons and recipes are unlocked when Joel finds his backpack.
What do the reviews say?
The Last of Us Part I has no Metacritic score yet as it is not released yet.
The Last of Us Part I is rated PEGI 18 as it contains violence and bad language.