Last Of Us Part 1 VS Last Of Us Part 2: Which Is Better?

Learn about Last Of Us Part 1 versus TLOU Part 2 & the battle for the best game of all time!

When it comes to the Last Of Us Vs Last Of Us part 2, we have to examine the pros and cons of each title carefully. Just like we made a comparison analysis of Diablo Immortal vs Diablo 4, we have done similar with Last Of Us part 1 vs Last Of Us part 2. So, let us find out which one isis better and why? 

The original Last Of Us came out in 2013, and Naughty Dogs liked it so much that they remade the game, not once, but twice! The impact of the game on the entire gaming ecosystem as a whole is undeniable. The idea of remaking an already remastered game felt odd to most people. Moreover, people have been cynical about getting the remake, and that too at an exaggerated price tag. 

Part 2 was released in 2020 after a long wait. Whatever people thought of the story is up for discussion, but everyone agreed to the mechanical marvel that the game was. Naughty Dog had once again pushed the boundaries for video games, this time in the gameplay aspect. Every action in the game felt like it had a force behind it, and it felt visceral.

Story And Setting

The Story of Part 1.

The story of the original ‘The Last Of Us’ is what propelled the title to monstrous heights and gave it the legendary status that it has. The story was the driving force behind the record-breaking sales. It’s no wonder that Naughty Dog decided not to change any of the elements of the story. The same story has also landed it a live-action TV series on HBO. Let’s compare the story and setting of Last Of Us Vs Last Of Us part 2.

Joel and Ellie take us through the post-apocalyptic world of Last Of Us Part 1. Humanity just has a few desperate survivors left who are fighting to stay alive. Joel is a grizzled veteran of this world who smuggles for a living after losing everything to the infection. He is tasked to smuggle Ellie to a group called The Fireflies. This duo travels across the dilapidated US in order to fulfill this mission. 

For returning fans, Part 1 will be a visual treat with the same story that they know and love. The original story is amplified thanks to the realistic graphics of the remake. You can experience an excellent story with life-like visuals and enhanced graphical fidelity. The story of Part 1 still stands at the pinnacle of storytelling in video games and deserves to be played if you haven’t already. 

Part 2 takes place five years after the events of the first game. It follows Ellie, who is out for revenge, and Abby, a soldier that got stuck in a conflict between two groups. While not as airtight as the first game, the story is still decent. But it makes some questionable decisions that some people might not enjoy.

The pacing of this part is also weak, and the story seems haphazard at times. But it is still an enjoyable experience coupled with the amazing gameplay that it offers. 

Comparing the two, Part 1 is the clear victor when it comes to the story. There haven’t been many video games, or media in general, that have been able to reach their level. It is undoubtedly a classic, and the bar that it has set will be hard to overcome.  

Gameplay

last of us Vs last of us part 2
Joel in Part 1.

When it comes to the gameplay in Last Of Us Vs Last Of Us part 2, there’s almost a clear winner here. The original Last Of Us was released in 2013 and the gameplay in the remake hasn’t aged too well. It might even seem counterintuitive for a remake to change nothing about the gameplay itself.

But in hindsight, that might have been an artistic decision. Even still, the game is very linear and might seem outdated at times. But nevertheless, the thought and care that went into creating the original have been carefully transferred over to the remake. It still is a worthwhile experience, especially if you are new to the franchise. 

Back in 2013, when it was first launched, Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us provided the players with an experience like no other at the time. It was the first time that a game like that had hit the shelves and people realized what the PS3 was capable of. If you have already experienced the game once, the remake provides little to nothing regarding the gameplay department.

In Last Of Us Part 1, the level designs feel outdated because they are. With the rise in popularity of open-world titles in the last decade, a linear experience might not be for everyone. The levels are closed out and linear, and at times almost suffocating in their approach.

The game directs you through this well-crafted world, only for you to realize that there is only one way to progress. The entire essence of the gameplay can be summarized as, “Enter a place through point A, and shoot your way out through point B”. This gameplay loop can feel repetitive and wouldn’t have worked if the game’s story wasn’t as riveting as it is. 

There are also sporadic puzzle parts throughout the game to add some variety to the experience. But the riddles only seemed like filler to make the game longer. Thankfully, some much-needed accessibility features now make it possible to skip through these puzzle sections of the game.

The players encounter human as well as non-human enemies like clickers and runners. They can be dealt with using a number of weapons. In some cases, confrontation can be avoided through a stealth-based approach. 

Despite all this, the combat itself feels plain and too simple for its own good at times. Last Of Us Part 1 felt more or less the same as the original. Although, there were some quality-of-life AI enhancements that we will discuss later in the review. 

Glossing over the accessibility options, Last Of Us Part 1 takes a page from Part 2 and adds a ton of accessibility options to the game. Sony and Naughty Dog have been at the forefront of this inclusive revolution when it comes to gaming.

Options range from detailed audio narrations to visual adjustments, allowing a greater number of people to play the game. These accessibility options also include tweaking the difficulty for people who want to play the game for the story only.

You play through most of the game as Joel, who has a variety of weapons at his disposal. Moreover, he can also craft weapons and items, that add to the realism of the game. The ability to craft healing items and even offensive items grants the player more control over the combat. In addition to this, you can also reinforce melee weapons so that they last longer than usual. 

Now compare this to Last Of Us Part 2, and you will immediately notice improvements in the gameplay domain. The second game builds upon the foundation laid by the original and improves heavily upon the same formula. It evolves upon the standards set by the first game but with a lot more flexibility and a more dynamic approach.

While still linear at its core, the level design in Last Of Us Part 2 is much more open. In contrast to the progression-style level design of its predecessor, the levels in this game feel much more akin to a sandbox-style level. The levels’ appealing aesthetics stimulate exploration by the players.

With more flexibility, they may pick and choose what to investigate. Even the indoor stages are more charming because there are so many possibilities available to the players. Players may climb and explore the levels, as they develop vertically, as well as horizontally.

The addition of jumps and dodges to the game feels like a breath of fresh air. It would not be an understatement to say that these improvements alone make the combat significantly more alluring. The player has much more control over the characters.

They can perform defensive maneuvers like dodging as well as jumping and climbing. These actions play a huge factor in the exploration. A plethora of options are made available to the players, which makes the encounters, in addition to the exploration, feel much more natural

last of us Vs last of us part 2
Encounter with a Clicker in Part 2.

This new and improved approach makes the encounters much more varied as well. Where in Last Of Us Part 1, you have to go through an area and have a very limited way to deal with the enemies, Part 2 provides an open-ended approach where the players can choose more freely.

The players can go with a stealthy gameplan as they traverse the detailed battlefields. The levels are bigger and offer more options to players to execute stealth kills and pick off opponents one by one.

If the players choose to go with a more offensive and heads-on approach, they can do so while utilizing the new weapons added to the game. Weapons like explosive arrows, flamethrowers, and submachine guns add to the thrill of fighting an enemy group while navigating the maze-like structures where most of the combat occurs. Thanks to the PS5‘s haptic feedback, the kills feel more visceral and gritty, and the overall experience is more satisfying.

Players step in the shoes of Ellie and Abby in Last Of Us Part 2. Each protagonist provides their own quirks. Ellie is much more nimble and agile, and her playstyle lends well to the stealthy approach to doing things. With access to the adamantium switchblade, picking off enemies is easier than throwing shivs at them. In addition to that, she has access to the silenced submachinegun, which can decimate entire crowds of enemies in a flash. 

Abby provides the players with a more confrontational approach with access to weapons like pipe bombs. Some people might prefer this style over Ellie’s, as you can kill multiple enemies in succession and get a big momentum chain going. Playing with Abby might feel like an action film, as the fights are intense and relentless. The combat, as a whole, for both characters, feels much more realistic and brutal.

When comparing the combat in the two games, it appears that the dodge and prone techniques from Part 2 may have helped The Last Of Us Part 1. It almost feels like a tremendous missed opportunity since it would have really enhanced the experience and made it much more engaging and dynamic. It barely seems justified to remake a game that has previously been remastered after its first release for improved aesthetics and minor AI tweaks.

Naughty Dog has attempted to enhance the overall experience with AI in both games. In Last Of Us Part 2, the AI is extremely smart, which is apparent by the difficulty factor of the game. They have incorporated some of the same AI elements in the remake to make both games feel in line with each other. The enemy placement is better now, giving the players more of a challenge. 

That’s not all that improved AI does. The enemies call each other names and coordinate with each other in Part 2, and much of that same AI can be seen in Part 1 now. The enemies are able to adapt to the scenario at a moment’s notice which makes the combat feel more thrilling and intense. The enemy placement in the remake, paired with enhanced awareness and new means to attack the players, makes the game more enthralling.

In addition to the improved enemy AI, Last Of Us Part 1 also has improved character AI. This ensures that the friendly characters, which aren’t controlled by the player, don’t come in your way during combat. Moreover, they are more intelligent and aid you in a more effective manner. They follow your lead and execute actions depending on the actions your character takes.

One thing that even Last Of Us Part 2 doesn’t have is the customization options at the player’s disposal in the remake. You can now customize both Joel’s and Ellie’s outfits in Last Of Us Part 1. This cosmetic change lends some charm to each playthrough as these tiny details make the game feel more personal. 

Learning from Part 2, the remake also features the highly welcomed Speedrun and Perma Death modes. You can unlock these modes once you complete the game, which might seem counterintuitive for returning fans. There is also the Director’s Commentary Mode which allows the players to have some insight into the creative process of the game. The commentary is done by Neil Druckmann himself, accompanied by the various cast members.   

Visuals And Performance

Visuals and Performance.

Last Of Us Part 1 and Part 2, both use Naughty Dog’s internal engine. It uses a deferred renderer, which makes the unmatched lighting in the game a possibility. The post-apocalyptic setting of both games, it plays a huge role in building the atmosphere of the game, using light and shadows. Last Of Us Part 2 also introduced motion matching to the series. This allows for seamless animations and realistic movements by the characters. 

Last Of Us Part 2 has more open and vast outdoor levels, like ruined cityscapes and jungles. You can see the marvel and splendor of these levels in all of their glory with the help of a next-gen console like the PS5. The highly detailed textures lend to an unforgettable experience.

Much of this has been transferred over to Part 1, and it is now capable of showcasing the same awe-inspiring visuals as its chronological successor. 

The complete visual overhaul is the primary selling point of Last Of Us Part 1, and the magnificent and mind-blowing visuals certainly seem captivating. Naughty Dog showed us once again what they are capable of doing and what the PS5 can achieve.

The game looks more astonishing than ever, with the masterfully crafted environments and life-like textures. It takes from the deferred rendering and motion matching implemented in Part 2 to bolster the visuals of the game. 

The facial expressions in both games seem to be on par with each other. You can now see the subtlest shift in expression, which makes the interactions feel more impactful. Once again, it feels as if Naughty Dog has set the standard for visual storytelling in a game. The audio in both games stands out as well. With each fire of a weapon, you can feel its impact through the sound and visuals combined. 

When it comes to performance, both games support a stable 60FPS without any stutters at 1080p. You can push the resolution up to 4K, but you will have to sacrifice some framerate for this. They will run at 30FPS if you decide to push the visuals to their limits.

All in all, the visuals and performance of both titles push the boundaries of what was previously thought possible. It’s incredible to see how far animation has progressed in the gaming industry in recent years, to the point where it blurs the fine line between what’s real and what isn’t.

Verdict

Verdict.

Last Of Us Part 1 is a stunning remake, combining the old narrative with next-gen gameplay. The developers have put in a lot of effort into remaking the entire game and giving it a complete visual overhaul. However, the core gameplay itself might feel outdated at times. 

On the other hand, Last Of Us Part 2 provides an unmistakably fun gameplay experience. The narrative and story might feel weaker at times, but that’s only because it’s being compared to its predecessor. On its own, it is a solid story with some pacing issues.

The lack of the father-daughter dynamic from the first game might also make the game feel lackluster. But it makes up for this with improved combat and level exploration. Both games have some things that they do well and some things that they don’t.

In recent years, video games have been pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a game. Technological advancements have made it possible for games to achieve a life-like quality. This is true for the gameplay aspect but also for the storytelling.

It is easier for people to relate to other humans, and this is proven by titles like RDR2 and Disco Elysium. This is because the protagonists feel relatable, and players can imagine themselves in their situations. The studio behind the Last Of Us franchise, Naughty Dogs, is no stranger to this idea.

This has been our Last Of Us Part 1 Better Than Last Of Us Part 2 Analysis. While you’re at it, be sure to check out some of our other articles.


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Javeria Ali


Just an avid gamer who loves everything about video games. I have a special place for Sims 4 in my heart, which happens to be one of the first games I tried.

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