The Last Of Us Part 2 Remastered Review — The Return of The King

A Brutal Journey That Doesn't Hold Back.

The Last Of Us Part 2 Remastered Review
Overall
5
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered is a must-buy for PS4 owners since it is a $10$ upgrade, and the No Return mode alone makes it worth it.

Pros

  • Thrilling Narrative.
  • Incredible Gameplay.
  • Amazing Soundtrack.
  • Addictive Roguelike Mode.
  • Beautiful Visuals And Art Style.

Cons

  • Not Enough Boss Fights.

Re-releasing The Last of Us Part 2 as a remastered version would’ve felt lackluster if it hadn’t been for the upgrade options like the No Return mode, which I’ll discuss in my review. This game has to be one of the most controversial releases, but for me, it is nothing short of a work of art. With a divisive narrative paired with an amazing combat system that fuses action and stealth perfectly, I had a blast with The Last of Us Part 2.

Key Takeaways
  • Developer: Naughty Dog
  • Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Release Date: January 19, 2024
  • Platforms: PS5
  • Game Length: 25 Hours
  • Time Played: 30 Hours

Story And Setting

the narrative of LOU2
The Story And Setting. (Screenshot Captured by eXputer)

Set in the post-apocalyptic environment of Seattle, The Last of Us Part 2 follows the journey of Ellie as a grownup who has finally decided to leave Jackson for reasons I will try not to spoil. Naughty Dog’s depiction of death and disease in a post-pandemic world was already a masterclass in Part 1, but the developers have outdone themselves yet again.

Seeing man-made architecture rotting away and nature reclaiming what was once taken from it is a sight to behold.

In this dying world, the story that is presented throughout the journey is filled with multiple emotions, and the developers have made a lot of controversial decisions. Because of these decisions, you will either end up loving or simply hating the narrative by the time you reach the finale, but one might consider that a win on Naughty Dog’s behalf if it successfully invested you into the game’s narrative.

The Dual Protagonist Journey

playing as abby in the last of us part 2
Abby’s Section In The Last of Us Part 2. (Image Credit Copyright: eXputer)

The Last of Us Part 2 is one of the few games that nails the dual protagonist storytelling in video game narrative. Both perspectives of Ellie and Abby are so well told that I was almost empathizing with both characters at the end of the story. I also love how we live through 3 days of Seattle from the perspective of both characters before entering the final stretch of the plot. 

Gameplay

playing as ellie in the last of us part 2
The Gameplay. (Image Captured by eXputer)

The narrative might be a controversial topic, but almost everyone agrees that the gameplay is top-tier in The Last of Us Part 2. Part 1 already featured great stealth but lacked action combat, which is now fixed in Part 2. And all the returning mechanics from the previous game have also been upgraded. The level design is so great that I had the freedom of silently ending a stage with stealth or killing everyone off with fast-paced action.

Melee combat takes a considerable upgrade as well, with the addition of a dodge button.

It feels so satisfying to punch enemies around with a bat or beat them using your bare knuckles. While playing as Abby, I mostly punched around the infected and, very few times, turned to stealth. In my experience, I found that Ellie was designed for a more stealthy playstyle with the tools that she’s given, and Abby provides a more action-filled experience since she can punch her way through almost anything.

hand to hand combat in the last of us part 2
The Melee Combat With Abby. (Image Captured by Us)

Stealth also requires more skill, and I had to analyze enemy movements more carefully while sneaking around. Dogs can now sniff you out, making your location vulnerable, which adds another layer of tension to the stealth. Additionally, the game also provides more tools that help you sneak around, such as the pistol silencer, which allows you to silently take out enemies from range.

Crafting is back and still plays an important role in your survival in this post-apocalyptic world. You have to continuously stay on the lookout for resources so you can craft various items. Some levels like Ellie’s Day 1 in Seattle are also huge and almost feel like semi-openworlds. I loved exploring the devastated buildings of Seattle for unknown rewards and this was all completely optional.

using a weapon upgrades bench in LOU2
Upgrading Weapons In The Last of Us Part 2. (Image Credit Copyright: eXputer)

I have to give props to the animation quality as well. From movement to facial animations to how a gun fires, everything is top-notch. Another thing that I absolutely love in Part 2 is the new bench upgrade system. Seeing weapons getting torn apart piece by piece and then looking at the individual upgrades getting inserted into the weapon feels so satisfying.

My only gripe with the gameplay in The Last of Us Part 2 is that there are not nearly enough boss fights. There is only one main boss fight against the Rat King in Abbyy’s section and it was an overall amazing fight. I just wish there were more boss fights with mutated infected, and Ellie’s section was completely lacking such a fight. If there is ever going to be a Part 3, then I want to see more bosses like how RE4 Remake does it.

The No Return Mode

new content added in the remastered version
The New No Return Roguelike Mode. (Screenshot Captured by eXputer)

The remastered version of The Last of Us Part 2 comes with the No Return mode, which is essentially a roguelike mode akin to GOW Ragnarok’s Valhalla DLC. There are around 10 playable characters in this mode, and each character has a different playstyle, which adds to the replayability. The replayability is already extremely good, with each run having randomized levels and enemies.

In my opinion, the No Return mode is the best place to experiment around with Last of Us 2’s amazing gameplay. I was playing this mode for hours on end without getting bored for a single second since each run felt different from the last one. You can even get upgrades after completing a level and get stronger throughout each run; however, death means a complete reset.

Visuals And Performance

art direction amplifies visual fidelity
The Visuals And Performance. (Image Captured by eXputer)

The developers at Naughty Dog are masters at crafting some of the best visuals you’ll ever see in a video game. Even the original PS4 version on last-gen hardware looked better than most next-gen games utilizing features like ray tracing. In terms of its visuals, The Last of Us Part 2 didn’t need a remaster because they were already ahead of the industry.

Visuals don’t always shine through fidelity, a distinct art style massively elevates the final output, and that ideology is reflected in The Last of Us Part 2.

As for the performance, I found two different graphical modes on the remastered version of the PS5. A 60FPS mode that targeted a resolution of 1440p, which would then be upscaled to 4k. And the quality mode focuses on providing a native 4k resolution but at 30FPS. Both modes felt optimized in my experience, and I experienced almost zero bugs during my playthrough.

Verdict

the final hours as ellie in the last of us part 2
The Verdict. (Image Captured by Us)

The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered is a must-buy for PS4 owners since it is a $10$ upgrade, and the No Return mode alone makes it worth it. Even if you haven’t played Part 2 before, this version is the best one to start with since it has better visuals and much faster loading times. Despite four years since its release, The Last of Us Part 2 still stands as one of the gaming industry’s best achievements yet.

This has been my The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles. 

This is box title
Get This Game
If you’re a fan of a post-apocalyptic setting and want to experience a thrilling story with a satisfying gameplay system.
Dont Get This Game
If you cannot tolerate long cutscenes and a slow-paced narrative or haven’t played the first part yet.
Buy/Don't Buy/Wait For Sale
If you own the PS4 version, then the Remastered version upgrade is a must-buy just for the No Return roguelike mode.
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Haris Umer is a Guides Writer on eXputer who can be seen torturing himself by playing FromSoftware’s offering of Souls games. He speaks about games with overwhelming passion, which readers can spot in his guides. Haris has been avidly playing video games for 15+ years now. You can learn more about his gaming experience through his PSN and Steam profiles.

Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelors In Medicine And Surgery.

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