This past Friday, we were surprised by a curious news: the naughty dog supposedly working on a remake of the first The Last of Us.
The news is from Bloomberg, more specifically from journalist Jason Schreier, one of the most respected game journalists in the world today, and always has “hot” sources.
According to the article, the remake of The Last of Us use the codename T1X and was started by Michael Mumbaer, founder of Visual Arts Service Group, a somewhat “unknown”, smaller in-house studio that often helps in game development at PlayStation Studios, but he has never produced anything that bears his signature.
The project T1X was already in an advanced state of development, but Herman Hust, boss of PlayStation Studios, supposedly considered the project too expensive.
However, after that, the Sony would have moved several developers from naughty dog to continue the project T1X, making the remake of The Last of Us an official project of naughty dog/Playstation Studios.
The initial person responsible for the project, Michael Mumbaer, he would have already left the company — along with a good part of the Visual Arts Service Group, but the remake (supposedly) is still in development, after all, the IP belongs to the Sony and the naughty dog.
But, The Last of Us need a remake? I have raised a few questions here to help us assess this situation:
Is the game hard to get?
Video game remakes should have a purpose of historical preservation, of keeping alive the legacy of a game that, for some reason, can no longer be obtained or played on its original platform.
For example: recently the Sony confirmed that it will close the virtual stores of PSP, of PS3 It’s from PS Vita. This means that some games that were released only for these platforms — and exclusively in digital format — will no longer be available for purchase after July/August.
When a platform is no longer manufactured, or becomes a collector’s item, relaunching its games to other platforms is justifiable: it is important that people continue to have access to the games on more current platforms to keep these titles alive.
The cultural value of emulators
That’s why emulation is important: leaving aside the issue of piracy, emulation helps keep titles from decades ago alive. Those who are not collectors or enthusiasts deserve to be able to enjoy games from atari, Master System, nintendo and so many other old consoles, even without the original equipment — there’s the money to have all the consoles, cartridges and accessories you need.
This is not to say that piracy is a good thing (for the industry), but it would be hypocritical of me to say that I have never used an emulator. Emulators are practical and affordable: a time travel that is just a click away.
Emulators can even improve the experience of an old game, as they add “perks” like save state, image filters and, in some cases, they run classic games better than their original platforms — with higher resolutions and more stable framerate, for example.
But, reinforcement: this argument is valid for games of 20, 30 years. The Last of Us is a 2013 game, is not even 10 years old. And, it’s a game that can be purchased very easily: it’s available on PS3, has been remastered in PS4 and can be played via backwards compatibility on the PS5. It’s a game that can be found (for very affordable prices) both on disk and digitally.
Have mechanics aged?
Not a lot. It is a fact that The Last of Us Part II it has a more fluid gameplay, but overall the mechanics have remained the same. There were some additions, of course, but overall, what already worked in the first game was polished to keep up with the natural evolution that took place from 2013 to 2020.
The first The Last Of Us aged little, and aged well. It’s still perfectly playable. There’s nothing there that has become problematic or obsolete from 2013 until now. Mechanically, everything still works.
A remake this early would only be valid if it brought a game mechanic very different from the original. Something like the Capcom made with Resident Evil 2 Remake, which abandoned the fixed camera and “tank” control to offer third-person view, which totally transforms the gaming experience — and increases immersion.
If we take the main remakes of the Sony – like Shadow of the Colossus and the recent demon’s souls, for example – we see that the company tends to respect the feeling of the original product as much as possible. So, this supposed remake probably wouldn’t add much, in terms of mechanics.
Has the look aged?
Definitely not. The Last of Us was released at the end of the generation PS3, that is, already made the most of the console’s potential. The remastered version was still there and gave the game a nice upgrade, runs very well and is able to go head-to-head even with games that were released more recently.
THE naughty dog is a very capricious company in terms of design, art direction and character models. even the first Uncharted, which dates back to 2007, already feels more of the weight of age, but it’s far from dated or too ugly, and it’s still perfectly playable.
Remembering that remake is not reboot: what did they do with tomb Raider, for example, served to reintroduce the character in a new adventure — and does so taking advantage of all the technological evolution that has taken place. THE Lara Croft of today is not the same as the 90s. The Last of Us it doesn’t need neither remake nor reboot.
Where’s the creativity?
I think the main problem with this supposed remake, however, is that it might be considerably pruning the creativity of a company that delivered some of the best games in the Playstation family.
If we analyze, the naughty dog has been working basically with two IPs for 15 years: Uncharted and The Last of Us. They are big franchises, no one doubts that… but how about giving her space to create something new, original?
The millions of dollars that will be invested in this remake would be much better used in the production of a new game — which could even become a great new franchise for the Playstation. Injecting money in this remake means NOT injecting money into new ideas — and keeping a talented team stuck in the past.
For all this, no, The Last of Us doesn’t need a remake. The game is still super current, relevant and accessible as it is. You can find the remastered version on disk for around 50 reais, and it works great. Visual upgrades aren’t that much needed in a game that’s still fresh (and pretty darn good).
I say this as a huge fan of the franchise, who loves the first game — and defends tooth and nail the value of The Last of Us part II, despite the controversies and all the hate it generated. I love the franchise, but I want to see the naughty dog working on new things.
But of course, that’s just my opinion. And you, what do you think of this story? The Last of Us needs a remake on Playstation 5?