Does The Last Of Us Really Need A Remake?

At the beginning of April, it was reported that Naughty Dog is in the process of remaking The Last of Us. While this announcement was met with a lot of excitement, there was also a large degree of scepticism. Don’t get me wrong, I would still love to play a remake of The Last of Us built from the ground up. However, it still begs the question: Does The Last of Us need a remake?

the last of us
Credit: Naughty Dog

When The Last of Us released for the PlayStation 3 in 2013 it was met with high critical acclaim from both the press and fans alike.

The Last of Us pushed the PS3 to its absolute limits, releasing towards the end of the console’s life cycle. If there was ever a glimpse into what the next-generation could bring, The Last of Us was close to giving us that very insight.

The exact same could also be said about The Last of Us Part 2, a game that pushed the PS4 to its limits when it was released in 2020, with the release of the PS5 mere months away.

The original The Last of Us also received a PS4 remaster about a year after the initial release in 2013. At the time I remember many questioning whether or not we needed The Last of Us: Remastered when it arrived in 2014.

Image from the last of us
Credit: Naughty Dog

One argument to justify the existence of The Last of Us: Remastered on PS4 was the fact that in terms of sales, the PS3 fell below the likes of the Xbox 360 (at least in the West). In that respect, it could have been argued that The Last of Us was not experienced by as many players as it may have deserved.

So with the PS4 being one of the best-selling video game consoles of all time, with well over 100,000,000 unit sales worldwide (and counting), there was more potential for The Last of Us to reach more players with the remaster.

Despite coming just a year after the launch of the original, the release of The Last of Us: Remastered proved to be justifiable by Sony. As of October 2019, The Last of Us had sold over 20,000,000 copies across both consoles.

last of us
Credit: Naughty Dog

Despite only a year between The Last of Us and The Last of Us: Remastered, it proved to work out. But what about this reported remake?

Well at the time of writing, it’s been eight years since The Last of Us released on PS3, and when you consider that this alleged remake hasn’t even been officially announced, it’s likely that at least ten years would have passed by the time the remake arrives on PS5.

A full decade may have passed by the time The Last of Us remake arrives, and I believe that’s a fair amount of time to wait. However, let’s look at some of the positives and negatives of the alleged remake.

Image from The last of us
Credit: Naughty Dog

Firstly, if this remake is being built from the ground up, it will look and play amazing on the PS5.  

It will also offer an introduction to the series for new fans and should they want to, it will give existing fans the prospect of playing a better version of a game they already love. Heck, they might even expand on the Factions multiplayer mode.

At its core, it would be safe to assume that we’ll get improved visuals with new textures and character models. It will perhaps give Naughty Dog an opportunity to tell some added back-story to some of the characters, not only with Ellie and Joel but perhaps Tess, Bill, or Tommy.

I was also a big fan of the expansion Left Behind, which not only told some vital back story to Ellie but also filled some plot holes of the main campaign. If Naughty Dog could add more stories to The Last of Us and incorporate Left Behind into the remake rather than being a standalone expansion, that would be fantastic in my opinion.

last of us
Credit: Naughty Dog

Now let’s now get on to the negatives of a remake. Gamers’ biggest concern with the prospect of another version of The Last of Us is that it’s simply a cash grab from Sony. Thanks to the remastered version, gamers can easily play the game with the PS5’s backwards compatibility, and with it being an older title, it’s pretty cheap to pick up.

If it’s true that Naughty Dog is working on a remake, it could mean that we’re missing out on an all-new experience. Gamers have been noting across social media that Naughty Dog should be working on a new game, either a new IP or a new addition to an existing franchise, instead of releasing a third version of The Last of Us. If faced with the choice of a new Naughty Dog game or a remake of The Last of Us, many players would pick the former.

last of us
Credit: Naughty Dog

Players simply don’t want a third version of a game which is barely 10 years old, and have argued that Sony is just attempting to cash in on the franchise. By comparison, 2018’s God of War recently received a free PS5 upgrade, upping its graphics and load times for a more seamless experience. Perhaps this is a better option for The Last of Us: Remastered, as opposed to a whole new remake.

Personally, I don’t have any other major concerns at the prospect of The Last of Us being remade from the ground, if it’s done right. So I’ll ask again, does The Last of Us need a remake and on top of that, will Naughty Dog do it justice? Only time will tell.

Be sure to let us know your thoughts across our social media channels if you believe a remake for The Last of Us should happen.

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Featured Image Credit: Naughty Dog