Is The Last of Us Part 1 video game a remake or remaster?

Since the presentation of The Last of Us Part 1 at Summer Game Fest 2022, the Internet has been ripped off to find out if it was a remake or a remaster of the first, iconic title from Naughty Dog.

The End of Us Part 1 // Source: Sony

If there was only one announcement from the Summer Game Fest organized by Geoff Keighley, for many gamers, it would be The Last of Us Part 1. starting with the adventures of Joel and Ellie, Sony has revealed a new- the first edition of the series for the PS5. For the first time, and in line with the new PlayStation strategy, this new edition will also be adapted for the PC after its release on the PS5.

The progress of this edition has already been heard, but its announcement still shocked many people. Last of Us has been closely following players since its first release in 2013. The game is now entitled to a remastered edition on PS4 The Last of Us: Remastered, then a sequel to The Last of Us Part 2 in 2020 , before this The PS5 The Last of Us Part 1 reissue is dated for release on September 2, 2022. In less than 10 years, the first episode will be released for the 3rd time, in addition to the release of the TV adaptation and after.

But what is most debated by internet fans is not the level of Sony’s financial appetite in many of its releases, but rather the question of the difference between a remake and a remaster. Is The Last of Us Part 1 a remake of the first episode? What is a remake really? How to tell the difference in a remaster?

Remake or remaster: definition of the terms

For many years now, video game publishers have liked to constantly offer remasters or remakes of old games. The overall idea is to allow new players (new customers) to discover the titles that have made history in video games. It also allows you to test the popularity of an era license. Finally, it makes it possible to have a version of the game adapted to contemporary requirements: compatibility across multiple platforms, integration of automatic saves, keyboard and controller playback, 16: 9 format, Full HD or 4K display definition, and more.

Resident Evil Remastered HD
Resident Evil is a remaster of the remake (yes) // Source: Capcom

The problem is that no one officially defines the difference between a remaster or a remake. Each publisher will name things differently, appropriately generating debates of the misleading nature of certain terms that are sometimes used. Here’s how we differentiate the two terms.

The remaster

Typically, a remaster of a game is related to a title released by the previous generation on consoles, whose publisher will offer a complete edition that combines all the DLC with some technological changes. The difference between the original game and the remaster is usually less: a little less aliasing on the screen, some new effects, better playability and maybe some performance changes (replacement up to 60 frames per second on the console).

  • Examples of remasters: The Last of Us Remastered on PS4, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix, Mass Effect Legendary Edition, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition
The visible differences between a game and its remaster are usually small // Source: EA

The remake

When we’re talking about remaking a game, it means making a new “ properties », That is to say a new 3D modeling for the characters, a completely new game engine, the rewriting of the game plan of the game with some elements or even major title change. The “reboot” difference is sometimes hard to understand because the remake can move away from the original game. This is especially the case with the Final Fantasy VII Remake, which allows for some significant changes compared to the original game. In general, the remake should provide a significant difference in perspective between the original game and the new version, sometimes with a complete overhaul of the game.

  • Examples of remakes: Wonder Boy: The Dragon Trap, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Resident Evil 2, Black Mesa (Half-Life), The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Resident Evil 2 remake against the original IGN
The difference between a remake and the original version should be clear // Source: IGN

Why our definitions are wrong

As we said above, each publisher does differently, and there is no real meaning in the terms remaster or remake. So all this being so subjective, we tried to write definitions that widely overlap between the two types of reissues.

For example, creating something new properties which we show for making remakes can be well related to remasters. The Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Collection is well categorized by Square Enix in its name, but the 2D pixel art models of various characters have been redesigned by the developers.

On the contrary, very good Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Hole actually runs the original game behind its perfectly designed look. Is this a remake if the implemented code is actually an imitation of the original game.

Finally, some may wonder why we can’t keep track of the decisive scale of the game machine used. If the new edition uses a different game engine, then surely it’s a remake? Once again, it’s not that simple. Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition famous for being a port of a new graphic engine, moving from Renderware to Unreal Engine 4, while for many players it was just a visual remaster. Behind the lighter visual work, the Legendary Edition of Mass Effect balances and fixes many of the issues from the original games. An effort is usually left to remake.

Even Sony lost

Let’s go back to the case The End of Us. The situation is, to say the least, difficult to decide. It has to be said that unlike The Last of Us: Remastered edition, Sony doesn’t clearly indicate the title whether it’s a remake of the first game or a remaster. To add further confusion to the situation, the French trailer of the game says that it “ completely remastered on the PlayStation 5 “While the English trailer for selling us a remake” completely rebuilt from scratch “.

Is The Last of Us Part 1 video game a remake or remaster?
Is The Last of Us Part 1 video game a remake or remaster?

So is The Last of us Part 1 for the PlayStation 5, and soon the PC, a remake or a remaster? According to us, this is a remake of the first installment released in 2013. Here’s what allows us to figure it out.

First there is a noticeable difference between the remastered PS4 edition and the planned PS5 edition. Yes, it may look bad when we compare what The Last of Us Part 1 has to offer as a variation on its original, in the face of remakes of games that sometimes skip multiple generations. Of course, between remaking a PS1 game like Resident Evil 2 or Final Fantasy VII and their remake on PS4, there are bigger differences than between a PS3 game remastered on PS4 and the PS5 remake of it. Especially since we’re talking about a game that was already pushing the visuals and the PS3 to the limits when it was first released.

The End of Us Part 1 comparison
The remake version on the right // Source: Sony

The visible difference can be seen in the change in the modeling of the characters, which has been changed to look more like their modeling in The Last of Us Part 2, but also in the surrounding environments, like the furniture that has also been changed there. It means creative work at every level of the game. Finally, consider some comparisons you can find on the Internet between the two editions. The first episode has videos with pre-renders for some cutcenes. This no longer seems to be the case with The Last of Us Part 1 benefiting from real-time scenes.

If it’s a simple remaster, Sony will likely release it on the PlayStation 4 and benefit from the many installed base consoles. If the company decides not to do and does so without this source of revenue, it may be for technical reasons. The remake may be more in demand for the previous generation console, or will require expensive optimization efforts for Sony.

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Another argument in favor of the remake, Sony has promised to change the gameplay, and especially the AI ​​of the enemies to provide a better experience. We’ll have to wait for the test to be sure, but it’s the kind of rewrite elements that lean on the remake side.

To buckle the buckle

Whether judged as a remake or a remaster, The Last of Us Part 1 allows, no matter what happens, to introduce new players to a video game monument. It also allows for the realignment of the title in the first installment to the second, and perhaps to bring their individual scenarios on line (we won’t say more). While waiting for the trials and release scheduled for September 2, 2022, each of the former fans will decide if the level of work seems to be enough for them to return to checkout, or whether they will leave this edition. .

The End Of Our Part 1 is available for pre-order from 79.99 euros at Fnac.

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