Rumors of a potential Last of Us remake has surfaced recently. Reported by journalist Jason Schreier, Sony has apparently canceled a Days Gone sequel and elected to put Bend Studios in the same room as Naughty Dog for a Last of Us remake.
While the news has been met with mixed reactions - many are somewhat confused whether a 2013 game that has aged fairly well needs a remake? Typically, a "remake" is when games have new mechanics, visual updates, and in some cases - controls.
Recent examples of fantastic remakes include the Resident Evil remakes by CAPCOM, Mafia: The Definitive Edition and Final Fantasy 7: Remake. It is quite clear that the market responds well to remakes. But something does feel off about The Last of Us being picked as a candidate.
Does The Last of Us really need a remake for the PS5?
Sony and the PlayStation brand have been the home of innovation and game development. The PS3/Xbox 360 console battle was hotly contested.
Yet, as the two headed towards the end - Sony pulled ahead by a large margin. Much of that is credited to Sony's decision to focus on new IPs - which resulted in games like Uncharted and 2013's seminal hit - The Last of Us.
How has the game aged?
There is no doubt that both The Last of Us and Part II are excellent titles, with the 2013 being a bona fide classic and a true masterpiece. The game has often been cited as one of the best stories ever told in gaming.
Naughty Dog had a pretty clear vision for The Last of Us and how the game should feel. The removal of a button-press cover system allowed for Joel to interact with the environment in perhaps a far more organic way.
When it comes to visuals - The Last of Us extracted every ounce of power that the PS3 had. The game was remastered for the PS4 and it is one of the better looking games on the console.
While it obviously pales in comparison to the sequel - not too many people would say that the visuals get in the way of them being able to experience the game. In all fairness - one look at the remake might change all of that - but yet there simply isn't a huge demand for a complete remake right now.
Controls - thematic consistency
The melee felt truly weighty - with each hit producing a bone-crunching sound. All the visuals were impressive as well. Joel handled pretty smoothly - with players having little problem navigating both stealth and loud combat sequences.
They also feel pretty thematically consistent. Joel, being an aging man, isn't capable of jumping across wide gaps or going prone instantly. Joel isn't built to perform dangerous athletics like Ellie did in The Last of Us Part II.
For what it was, The Last of Us functions pretty great to this day - with it being one of the better games in the PS4 library.
Whether the exclusion of a dedicated jump button was a deliberate creative decision by Naughty Dog is an entirely different discussion. Yet, it would feel very inconsistent for Joel to be moving like Ellie does in the sequel.
Thus, as it currently stands, Sony's decision to go back to the well doesn't sit right with fans. Perhaps all of it could change when the game does arrive - but until then, players can do nothing more than speculate and discuss.