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Naughty Dog shows off improved gameplay from ‘The Last of Us’ PS5 remake

With the PS5 remake for The Last of Us set to arrive soon, developer Naughty Dog recently showed the benefits you can expect with the new hardware. Now in a 10-minute video, the company has detailed new features including a speed-run mode and smarter AI, while walking through improved graphics, physics, character models, animations and more. 

As we saw last month, the new graphics are indeed much improved, with native 4K at 30 fps or dynamic 4K at 60 fps. The biggest changes are with gameplay, though. First off, the remake uses AI from The Last of Us Part 2, which gives enemies and NPCs more complex tactics, making for better fights. It’s not one-sided, either, as your companions’ AI has also been updated. 

The remake also includes new gameplay modes. One of those is a permadeath mode for those who want the full “infected” zombie apocalypse experience, along with new unlockable costumes for Joel and Ellie. The other is a speed run mode — details are scant on that, other than that you’ll be able to measure your progress with a timer. 

The other improvements revolve around characters, with new models that include far more detail “down to the irises and the pupil depths,” noted creative director and writer Shaun Escayg. The team also updated the animations with improved facial expressions, motion-matching tech for more flowing movements and more. It also includes new materials, physics, haptics, 3D audio and more.

The remake does look impressive, but it will sell at a full $70 triple-A price when it arrives on September 2nd. As such, Naughty Dog and Sony appear to be doing more than the usual amount of marketing for a remake, no doubt hoping to show potential buyers it’s worth that. 

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Naughty Dog reveals more details about ‘The Last of Us’ remake for PS5 and PC

As if official confirmation was actually needed after the leak earlier today, a remake of 2013’s The Last Of Us is coming to PlayStation 5 on September 2nd. Sony put together a trailer showing some of the gorgeous visuals of The Last of Us Part I and noted that the remake is coming to PC as well. The bundle also includes the excellent Left Behind expansion.

The developers used original performances from Ashley Johnson, Troy Baker, and the rest of the cast, but utilized a new AI and refreshed the combat. The effects and exploration have been enhanced as well. The team is harnessing 3D audio and the DualSense controller’s adaptive triggers and haptic feedback. There will be more accessibility features than the original game had too, building on the extensive options in The Last of Us Part II. More details will be revealed in the coming months.

The remake is a full-price game at $70. Opt for the $80 Digital Deluxe edition and you’ll be able to unlock some items and features early, including a speedrun mode, explosive arrows(!), weapon skins and modifiers for faster crafting and healing. The $100 Firefly edition includes all of those bonuses as well as a steelbook cover for the physical version and four issues of the The Last of Us: American Dreams comic. There are pre-order perks for every version too.

That’s not the only news about the franchise that was revealed today. It’s long been acknowledged that a standalone multiplayer games set in the world of The Last of Us was in the works, and now Naughty Dog has revealed more details about what’s in store. Studio co-president Neil Druckmann, the director of the first two games in the series, showed the first concept art at Summer Game Fest.

TLOU multiplayer game

Naughty Dog

Druckmann said it will be “as big of as any of our single-player games that we’ve done, and in some ways bigger.” It has its own story and a new cast of characters, along with a fresh setting. It’s led by a team of Naughty Dog veterans who have worked on the series as well as the Uncharted games. More details will be announced next year. 

Following that announcement, Druckmann touched on the HBO’s upcoming The Last of Us series. While lots of set photos have popped up over the last year, he showed the second official still from the show. It shows Joel (Pedro Pascal) and (Bella Ramsay) taking cover. Bump up the brightness on the image, though, and you’ll see something lurking in the background.

The Last of Us show

PlayStation Productions/HBO

It also emerged that Johnson and Baker, who played Ellie and Joel in the games, will appear in the show, but their roles haven’t been revealed as yet. Filming will wrap on the first season tomorrow. While the series is expected to arrive next year, Druckmann said that fans will hear more about it “very soon.”

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