October 6th was an interesting day to be Mark Pajarillo.
The community at ResetEra came together when they discovered some scintillating information. It appears the lead outsource artist at Naughty Dog accidentally updated their LinkedIn too early.
And because of that, it all but confirmed the now announced The Last Of Us Part II Remastered for the PlayStation 5 coming out on January 19th next year. The first argument from many will be “BUT IT’S A RECENT GAME”. Understandable, but it did release 3 years ago which was then followed by a global pandemic which placed us into some form of time dilation we feel we haven’t recovered from. So a remaster seems fitting. When you filter it under the lens of marketing, with the huge commercial success of the television series, it also makes sense to jump on that and get another game from the franchise out for new fans. It also helps with the issues they’ve been having trying to make the multiplayer game happen.
So it’s not really odd to announce the remaster.
And when it comes with a tonne of new features, I can’t be too mad at them plunging me into another round of internal pain so severe that it resonates to this day.
While it isn’t my favourite new mode, the sheer idea of it is the one I find most provocative. You’ve probably seen a tonne of different videos of players recreating songs within The Last Of Us Part II‘s guitar segments. Ones such as this amazing recreation of Metallica‘s ‘Nothing Else Matters’. Well they decided to go all-in and add a Guitar Free Play mode. This will allow players to strum the strings across a host of unlockable instruments, use audio FX pedals to modulate the performance, and play as different characters in several in-game locations to customize the aesthetic of the set!
Now the new No Return mode, that may be the favourite new mode I’m looking at. Screaming Resident Evil‘s Mercenaries mode with a twist, it’s a roguelike which gives players a host of playable characters to choose from – some playable for the first time in The Last Of Us franchise (Lev?!) – who each comes with their own traits to suit different playstyles. Players will chart their own course through each run, choosing various stealth and combat encounters which will pit them against a range of enemies, with unique twists which add new, unexpected factors to any given encounter.
Each run will offer players new chances to decide what rewards they’ll get after each encounter, how they build their character, and more. With the ability to unlock more characters, skins, and more as they progress, they can also customize their own runs, and compete on a global leaderboard as part of a Daily Run.
There’s a tonne more, like newly recorded director’s commentary across the campaign’s cutscenes, the Speedrun mode introduced in Part I, bonus skins to play in throughout the game and improvements to Photo Mode. These additions introduced in Part I, which include dynamic lighting, Frame Forward, and Gaze Direction, as well as new frame and logo options.
The tech improvements see native 4K output in Fidelity Mode, 1440p upscaled to 4K in Performance, and Unlocked Framerate options for TVs that support VRR. This also sees increased Level-Of-Detail distances, improved shadow quality, animation sampling rates which all bring the world of Part II’s story to life in richer and smoother detail. So basically we’ve had the main, and are not getting dessert.
Pre-orders will be available from December 5th.
At this stage, the W.L.F Edition is only available to select markets due to it being sold from PlayStation direct. Which has me shaking, because the Champions trading cards being included is such a nice addition for fans of the game and its in-game collectibles. But the good news to counter that is existing owners of The Last of Us Part II will be able to upgrade to a digital version of the remaster for $10 USD! We’re unsure of what this will convert to in New Zealand, but hopefully it’s not over $20 because PHEW. That would be a number indeed.
So here’s to feeling bad again! And I can’t wait to take me on that journey again.