PS5 Review: The Last of Us: Part II Remastered

Is this remaster Abby-solutely necessary?

Play the winner of over 300 Game of the Year awards, now remastered for the PlayStation5 console. Experience for the first time or relive Ellie and Abby’s story with graphical enhancements, new gameplay modes like the roguelike survival experience No Return, full DualSense wireless controller integration, and more.

I reviewed the original The Last of Us: Part II back in 2020 and while I knew it divided the fanbase with it’s story and mixing up the protagonists from Joel and Ellie to Ellie and a new character called Abby, I still applauded Naughty Dog for taking the risk for the sequel. They could have played it safe and had 3 games or more of just Joel and Ellie, but they decided to go down the road less travelled and only done by a few sequels such as Metal Gear Solid 2 and Halo 2. Each of which weren’t exactly received well at first, but over time have become more appreciated.

The remaster comes after the full remaster of the original game, which got a name change to “The Last of Us: Part I” which I also reviewed. That game had seriously pushed the PS5 well and I always hoped they would do the same for the PS4 sequel. Now that’s it finally here, was it worth it?

This version comes with the standard base game souped up with all new bells and whistles visually, as well as plenty of skins for Ellie and Abby to use. Those who liked the guitar playing will be happy to find a free play mode where you can play it with not just Ellie, but Joel and even the game’s composer Gustavo Santaolalla. There are also 3 Lost Levels you can play through with or without audio/video commentary as well as the new No Return mode. These are a bit rough around the edges but show the building blocks of the game development and the process throughout.

No Return is a roguelike survival mode where you must make it through a series of encounters that vary from your typical fights against enemies or some other time-based ones where you need to unlock a safe before it closes and a few other surprises. You can eventually unlock characters such as Joel, Dina, Tommy, Jesse and Lev to name a few.

As with roguelike modes, you only get one life and you lose all progress after a run whether you win or not. It’s a neat mode and there’s also a Daily Challenge option where you literally only get a single chance that day to complete it. There’s a nice variety in the encounters and you can even set up your own custom conditions after a while.

The visual upgrade isn’t as big a leap as it was from the original TLOU to it’s PS5 Part I remaster, but it is still incredibly impressive to look at and definitely looks a lot better than the original. It runs at an incredibly smooth framerate without any drops in performance throughout. The voice-acting is just as superb with brilliant performances from the entire cast. The music is also still amazing with truly atmospheric and emotional tunes throughout.

The Verdict

You may wonder if The Last of Us: Part II needed a remaster, but when it adds this extra content and spruces the visuals to this level you can’t complain. It’s even harder to complain when the upgrade fee is only £10. For those new to the game, it’s the ultimate version and essential to your PS5 collection.

Score: 9.0