Tons of digital ink has been spilled on Naughty Dog's famous Last of Us. Justified or not, it's something that lies in everyone's personal opinion. However, we can't help but acknowledge its huge impact on the gaming industry when it first appeared exactly ten years ago, in the twilight of the Playstation 3's life. We're talking about a phenomenon in narrative games that established Naughty Dog as a pioneering development team in the genre, which had anyway established its credentials with titles like Jak & Dexter and of course Uncharted, just not with such a big "bang".

Since then, the franchise has continued to progress with the release of a notable DLC (Left Behind), a remastered version for the then-new PS4, and a controversial (that's putting it mildly) sequel that particularly divided audiences with some decisions made about the fate of the beloved protagonists Joel and Ellie. Sony's recent policy says that we'll see the second part on our screens at some point, however for now what we're concerned with in this review is the remake version for PS5, which was "successfully" ported to our PCs a few days after the HBO TV series wrapped up.

The opening sequence is one of the many highlights of the game.

The word "successfully" was put in quotation marks because, according to many players and some journalists, the PC port is a disaster. After all, the development team involved in the production is Iron Galaxy, which drew most of the fire because of the bad reputation it gained for the completely unacceptable port of Batman: Arkham Knight, and the relatively incomplete (compared to those of Nixxes and Spiderman) port of Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection. The buzz created (Mostly Negative feedback on Steam) forced Naughty Dog itself to publicly admit that the release has problems and promise to fix them soon, with a series of patches. Already, as of this writing, Last of Us has received two hotfixes and more to come.

However, I cannot hide the fact that my personal experience with this version has nothing to do with the complaints of hundreds of players. Because, with the exception of the long delay of the initial shader compilation (about thirty minutes on i7 11700k and SSD NVMe drive - who dug Spectrum out of the loft?) and a desktop crash when I attempted to exit to the menus, I didn't encounter any noticeable problems with the game. Consequently, I'll avoid jumping into the "hate" wagon of the technical issues, precisely because... I didn't see any. Of course, I don't deny that they exist in some PC configurations, but in the hope that these problems will soon be eliminated for all players, I'm going to clearly refer to the game alone.

Once, a civilization was here, thriving…

A game that is one of the most intense experiences in gaming. Perhaps not so much in its premise per se, which is based on solid foundations, but in terms of plot and character development. The duo of Joel and Ellie is one of the most well-written and convincing we've seen, with their motivations being perfectly adequate and the emotional bond that develops between them unfolding masterfully before the player's eyes. The extremes he experiences, the constant twists and turns and the exhausting march towards the bitter finale leave the player stunned, but at the same time make him wonder if this is a natural consequence, considering what Joel has been through in the past. Certainly, those of you who are parents might understand him a little more.

Of course, the truth is that it's hard not to have heard about what's going on in the Last of Us. After all, this is a production that's already ten years old, and the recent TV series largely follows the plot of the game (therefore, you've already seen THE spoiler if you've watched it). But if, for some reason, you've been cooped up in a basement with no internet and are completely unaware, then the Last of Us will be a delightful experience for you.

Close contact with clickers is best avoided.

All the more so, when it is presented so audiovisually enhanced on our PCs. The work that has been done is amazing on all levels and often leaves you with your mouth hanging open, even though the backbone of the game remains almost the same and unchanged from 2013. The claim that on a hardware level Last of Us is quite demanding is true, but the graphics engine is capable of taking advantage of every resource on your system, while providing a range of dozens of customisation options to bring the game to your liking.

In particular, if you're planning to play the game in 2k or 4k resolution, you'll need a little monster in terms of GPU and memory (16GB is getting a bit low, or is it just me?), but the visuals will make up for it with crystal clear textures, exceptional lighting and environments capable of making you stare at them with fascination. Combined with the impeccable direction from the folks at Naughty Dogs and the brilliant depiction of the misery, decay and bleak new reality of the world, Last of Us gets an A in the atmosphere aspect.

It all seems nice and quiet... but for how long?

Its footsteps the audio follows, with Gustavo Santaolalla's soundtrack now considered a classic and highly fit to the on-screen events, while the voice-over is an example to follow - at least the English one. You guessed right, there is also the Greek dubbing that we had heard on the Playstation version (in addition to the Greek subtitles of course), however I didn't choose it, as I always prefer the original speech in every game and/or movie I watch, whatever they may be (English, Russian, Japanese, etc.). I guess not many PC users will choose the Greek voice-over, but in any case, it's welcome as an option.

In the main game, Last of Us is in the familiar Naughty Dog framework, offering, for the most part, a linear, action, experience with strong cinematic elements and gameplay that is simple but with plenty of variety. In the vein of Uncharted, the Last of Us' structure is divided into exploration and combat, with the former being mainly about the process of collecting materials to create improvised weapons and accessories and solving simple puzzles, while the battles are not limited to standard gunplay, which is adequate, but has a strong element of stealth. Our approach depends mainly on the location we are in, but also on the type of enemies we face.

Sometimes, you have to turn the world upside down to find the solution.

The most common species are of course mutants of various kinds and sizes, while there are also "healthy" (physically) humans, who often prove to be worse than the mutants, and not only on the battlefield. The combat system is one of the strong points of the game, as it works seamlessly whether we use firearms (pistols, shotguns, rifles) or more stealthy ones (knives, bows) or in even crowd control situations such as Molotov cocktails and booby traps. The winning bet here for Naughty Dog is how organically the action and stealth elements are combined and how enjoyable each is individually. Aiding in this is Joel's excellent controls and immediate response to our commands, making engaging with the game very enjoyable, whether the pace is slow and we're listening in on the protagonists' conversations, looking for the next exit, or it speeds up, placing us in very dangerous situations for our physical integrity.

However, at least on the "medium" difficulty level, AI isn't the most advanced we've ever seen, as it's quite possible to take out hordes of mutants if you're a bit careful. However, the game never gets too easy, and if you're constantly engaging in combat without first devising a plan, you'll suffer to move on. Therefore, the game encourages us to use every means to get away with it, remembering that we are primarily trying to survive and not exterminate everything that breathes, while also rewarding any minor deviations from the main path with more loot, ammo, etc. Overall, Last of Us seems to have aged well, and certainly the little boost Naughty Dog gave it by incorporating a few features from the more recent Last of Us Part II has benefited it more than enough so that it doesn't lag behind modern productions.

Is it a good idea to shoot or will all the clickers in the area hear me?

On the contrary, Last of Us is not inferior, but rather superior to many modern and highly publicized productions, and it is still a model game for how to set up a narrative game. With a length that can run for over twelve hours, and with the addition of the standalone DLC Left Behind extending it for another four or so, Last of Us Part I is a game you owe it to your PC to play, especially if you haven't been lucky enough to try it before. Of course, I maintain my reservations about the technical issues reported online, so I can't recommend it highly, at least until the necessary patches are released. If all goes well, then...don't even think about it.


We would like to thank Sony Hellas for providing the review code.

Go to discussion...

RATING - 94%


Endure and Survive

A unique quality game, worth trying on your PC. If the technical issues that have been reported are resolved, then this is a must-have.

Γιώργος Δεμπεγιώτης

Lover of action, shooter, adventure, RPG's and sometimes racing games, he prefers mainly single-player gaming. Every now and then he breaks out into a multi, but he doesn't overdo it.

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