The Last of Us was released last year to universal acclaim from both consumer and critic alike. Garnering a 95 score on metacritic.com and a perfect 10 from IGN, the game was received as a revelation, and was considered to be the perfect swan song for the PS3. A beautiful game with a great story to tell about two intriguing characters, Sony and Naughty Dog had truly saved their best for last, and the PS3 was able to retire knowing that it had gone out with a bang.
…And that’s where this story should have ended. But it didn’t. The minds behind the scenes decided that The Last of Us should be experienced on the all new PS4. So the game was given a shiny new makeover to look better than ever. Given the PS4’s increased power from its predecessor, The Last of Us would truly become a beautiful game and even be able to run at 60 frames per second at a native setting of 1080p. Impressive stuff.
The problem here is that, aside from the new graphics, this rereleasing of The Last of Us came with essentially nothing new. Remastered comes with a couple of new multiplayer maps, director commentary during cut scenes and some light audio enhancement. Oh, and let’s not forget the “photo mode” where you can take snapshots of how simply gorgeous your shiny new game is. Here’s the thing though. It’s not a new game, is it? It’s the same game. It’s the EXACT same game you paid sixty dollars for way back in 2013 (and depending on which version you bought you could have spent up to a whopping one hundred and fifty dollars). It’s the same story, the same gameplay, the same everything. And how much will this PS4 revival of The Last of Us cost you? Fifty bucks.
That’s the issue here. I’m okay with games being rereleased. If console gamers want to see their favorite games the way PC gamers saw theirs three years ago, more power to them. But that cost is absolutely unacceptable. For a studio to rerelease a game literally one year and fifteen days after the original’s release, is dumb enough, but for these companies to have the audacity to charge their loyal and faithful customers full price for the exact same thing they bought last year is truly stupid to me. If they were to release it and charge maybe half that, then maybe, it might seem a little more reasonable. I think twenty-five dollars is a fair price to see your favorite game with a much more powerful engine under the hood.
The horrifying part of this is that the customers are eating it up. The Last of Us Remastered sold 1.5 million copies on day one. Day one! “Oh but it looks so much better than it did last year” consumers surely thought while the on call nurse dabbed the drool from their mouths. When did gaming become about how good something looks rather than how much fun it is to play? If you want to see truly amazing visual spectacle, go see a movie, or at the very least get a PC. Games aren’t about how good they look. That’s only a part of the equation that goes into making a successful game, and it’s by far, not the most important. Only one question really matters when we’re gaming: “Is it fun?” Is The Last of Us fun? Absolutely. Is it a truly remarkable piece of art that almost transcends its medium? Yes. But no game has ever been worth buying twice when nothing new is to be gained from it. The Last of Us Remastered is robbing the people who buy it. And with new creative, innovative (do I dare whisper the word indie?) games to play, customer’s money could be spent so much better.