The Last of Us Part I finally arrives on PC today. Following on from the Uncharted, Horizon ZD, and Spiderman ports, TLOU Part I continues the big push by Sony into the PC market, taking some of their highly prized PlayStation exclusives and getting them onto the many more screens of PC gamers.
If you haven't been living in a cave for the last 18 months or so, you'll know that The Last of Us has become something of a pop culture phenomenon since the release of the HBO miniseries that is (mostly) based on the first game. Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey star in roles of Joel and Ellie - characters that have become iconic in the gaming world since they first appeared 10 years ago.
The original game (simply called The Last of Us at the time) released in June 2013 as a PlayStation 3 exclusive to critical acclaim. It was especially praised for its narrative, gameplay, visuals, sound design, score, characterization, and depiction of female characters. The Last of Us has become one of the best-selling PlayStation video games of all time, selling over 1.3 million units in its first week and over 17 million over its first five years.
The game has won multiple year-end accolades, including multiple Game of the Year awards, from several gaming publications, critics, and game award ceremonies. Both it and the Remastered version released a year later for the PS4 maintain their 95% metacritic scores to this day.
The version of the game releasing to PC is a remake of the 2013 original. It features revised gameplay, including enhanced combat and exploration, expanded accessibility options, and significant technical enhancements to take better advantage of the PlayStation 5 and PC capabilities.
Twenty years after a pandemic radically transformed known civilization, infected humans run amuck and survivors kill one another for sustenance and weapons - literally whatever they can get their hands on. Joel, a salty survivor, is hired to smuggle a fourteen-year-old girl, Ellie, out of a rough military quarantine, but what begins as a simple job quickly turns into a brutal journey across the country.
The game is played from a third-person perspective throughout. The player travels through a number of post-apocalyptic environments to advance the story, and uses firearms, improvised weapons, hand-to-hand combat, and stealth to defend against hostile humans and cannibalistic creatures known as the Infected, who have been infected by a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus.
For most of the game, you play as Joel, escorting a young girl who appears to be immune to the infection, Ellie, across the United States. The player does control Ellie through the winter segment of the game. Players also get to briefly control Joel's daughter, Sarah, in the game's opening sequence.
In the included expansion, The Last of Us: Left Behind, the player controls only Ellie as she spends time with her best friend and love interest Riley Abel in the days just before the main story starts.
The game was rebranded as The Last of Us Part I after the announcement that Naughty Dog were developing a second game that would act as a continuation of Ellie's story: The Last of Us Part II. Set five years after the events of the original game, Part II was released in 2020 for the PS4, and, like its predecessor, received universal acclaim.
With a metacritic score of 93%, Part II is one of the best-selling PlayStation 4 games and the fastest-selling PS4 exclusive, with over 4 million units sold in its release weekend, and over 10 million by 2022. It won more than 320 Game of the Year awards and received multiple other accolades from awards shows and gaming publications.
There has been no official confirmation that Part II will also come to PC, but it seems highly likely. It was built with the newer generation of consoles in mind and would have the added advantage of having a team that has converted Part I already. I guess it depends on the success and the sales of the Part I PC release. Personally, I think every PC player that can will be playing The Last of Us Part I over the next year or so.
In addition to including the original games' standalone Left Behind DLC and a Behind the Scenes documentary, the PC edition of the game features:
- Unlocked framerates
- A Permadeath Mode
- AMD FSR 2 and Nvidia DLSS Super Resolution support
- An improved Photo Mode
- Ultra-Wide support (for both 21:9 Ultrawide and 32:9 Super Ultrawide aspect ratios)
- 3D audio (on supported devices)
- Audio descriptions
- High contrast mode
- An enhanced listen mode
- Customizable control inputs
- Various controllers supported
- DualSense Controller support with haptic feedback and trigger effects
Additionally, a Speedrun Mode, some additional gameplay modifiers, and a Director's Commentary can be unlocked through gameplay progress. It should be noted that some of these features required the Digital Deluxe edition of the game. This DLC can be purchased as a separate addon to the main game for R170, or as a bundled item with the base game.
The base game is out now for PC players on both Steam and Epic Games Stores.