Discussing ‘The Last of Us: Part I’ For ‘The Last of Us Day’ [Safe Room Podcast]

It isn’t exactly surprising that the announcement of The Last of Us Part I was somewhat contentious.

Releasing less than a decade after the original release of Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic stealth action darling The Last of Us, fans rightfully asked, “Why now?” Then there’s a $70 price tag for a remake that, while including the base game and story DLC Left Behind, still lacks the multiplayer portion featured in the original. 

So, yes, I understand where some people’s hesitancy came from.

That being said, after chatting this week with Gamespot’s Jake Dekker, these reservations regarding Part I being “Just a prettier rendition of a classic” largely ignores a handful of subtle improvements that strengthen an already near-perfect experience. 

The Last of Us remains notable for its phenomenal storytelling and performances that made Joel and Ellie’s trek across an infected America so emotionally gut-wrenching. This tale broadly resonates in a way that so many pieces of zombie media have attempted but often lack the emotional weight found here (largely due to the heart-felt and sorrow-filled performances of Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson). 

These performances and elements, obviously, remain in The Last of Us Part I, but the visual fidelity of the PS5 tech exemplifies these already top-tier performances. As Jake details in our episode, remaking characters from the ground up allows for their tragic pasts to be written across their face in a near photorealistic fashion, further emphasizing surviving the infection is hell. 

And while many still may not be on board with the $70 price tag, which is understandable, to outright disregard a remake on pricing (which WILL change) alone would deprive oneself of potentially re-experiencing Joel and Ellie’s journey in a way they hadn’t previously.

Safe Room is a weekly horror video game discussion podcast with new episodes every Monday on iTunes/Apple, Sticher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Linktree for additional streaming services. 

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Safe Room | Neil | Jay

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