Following the acclaimed release of The Last of Us Part 1 (as well as the success of HBO’s live-action TV adaptation), many were asking where the evitable PS5 upgrade for 2020’s PS4-exclusive The Last of Us Part II would be. These questions have finally been answered with the confirmation of The Last of Us Part II Remastered on PS5, bringing with it a host of extra features, graphical and performance enhancements to release early next year.
The biggest new feature included in The Last of Us Part II Remastered is No Return, an additional roguelike mode. In No Return, players partake in randomised combat encounters as a variety of playable characters, who have their own unique gameplay traits to mix up each run. Encounters feature a mix of combat and stealth challenges, along with special twists. As you progress through No Return, you can unlock additional characters and skins and other customisation options, along with the option of competing against other players on a global leader board.
The other new gameplay content in The Last of Us Part II Remastered is a bit more modest, but nonetheless welcome. For fans of the game’s iconic playable guitar sequence the new Guitar Free Play mode is being included, letting players flex their musical talents on a variety of instruments, as well as being able to change character and location among other options to customise your performance.
Another particularly intriguing new feature is a new set of Lost Levels in The Last of Us Part II Remastered, which are a selection of sections which were originally cut from the final game. The levels are not “fully furnished“, according to Naughty Dog, and are instead “rather early-development slices” giving a richer insight into the world and the game’s development process, augmented with embedded developer commentary. Additionally, newly recorded director’s commentary will be included across the main game’s cutscenes. The commentary will feature director Neil Druckmann, narrative lead Halley Gross, as well as actors Troy Baker, Ashley Johnson, and Laura Bailey. It is surprisingly rare to get much of a behind-the-scenes view of how a game like this is made, and plenty of fans are likely to be interested in a glimpse behind the curtain of The Last of Us Part II’s development.
Finally, The Last of Us Part II Remastered is getting a host of new graphical, performance and accessibility features. These are on top of the performance boosts the PS4 version already received when being played on Sony’s current-generation console. In regards to accessibility improvements, the remaster is getting Descriptive Audio and Speech to Vibrations, using the DualSense controller to indicate character speech and cadence. The game’s Photo Mode is getting many of the enhancements present in The Last of Us Part 1, such as dynamic lighting, Frame Forward, and Gaze Direction, as well as new frame and logo options. Finally, players can unlock Speedrun Mode, another feature introduced in the first game’s remaster which enables players to compete to achieve their best times.
Fortunately, we don’t have a whole lot longer to wait before the game is available. The Last of Us Part II Remastered will be releasing on PlayStation 5 on January 19th 2024, with prorders going live on December 5th 2023. Players who currently own The Last of Us Part II on PS4 can upgrade to the remaster for $10USD, with Australian prices to be confirmed when the game releases. Presently the game is only being released on PS5, although with the first game having received a PC release, Part II Remastered is likely to get a PC version as well before long as well. The Last of Us Part II was a landmark release when it came out three years ago, so whether you have played it before or are checking it out for the first time, the definitive way to experience it will be coming out in only a few months.