Next-generation consoles aren't backward compatible, so gamers have had to keep their older systems plugged in order to play games like The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto 5.
- Buy Last of Us Remastered PS4 (opens in new tab) today at Amazon.
Developer Naughty Dog didn't just port the original game to the new system. It enhanced the critically acclaimed post-apocalyptic adventure of characters Joel and Ellie.
This has inspired a new debate among early adopters of Sony's new gaming platform: Is The Last of Us Remastered for PS4 worth the upgrade?
We talked to Naughty Dog programmers Jason Gregory and Christian Gyrling to get a rundown of what has changed in a year's time.
1. Graphics resolution is now 1080p
The Last of Us Remastered bumps up the horizontal lines from a competent 720p resolution to an even better 1080p. The game gets the full HD treatment it deserves on your television.
Textures, shadows and draw distance benefit from this higher resolution. The all-important mood-setting lighting effects for a survival horror game like this have has also been tweaked.
Changes have been made down to the tiniest details, as there are more freckles on Ellie's face. Just as important is what you don't see; fewer pop-ins of trees in the distance make the experience less jarring.
Naughty Dog says that it targeted 1080p from the very beginning of this re-release while uprezzing everything without completely re-authoring the graphics.
2. Moves at a steady 60 frames per second
The Last of Us Remastered not only looks crisper with its higher resolution, it actually moves better thanks to a steady 60 frames per second.
At first, there was an internal debate within Naughty Dog whether or not to stick with the lower 30 frames per second or reach for the silkier 60 frames per second.
However, the team's fears of running into the soap opera effect that's often associated with the higher frame count were assuaged when seeing the game in action.
3. There's a 30fps lock for purists
The Last of Us Remastered is just as cinematic at 60fps on PS4, but for purists Naughty Dog added a 30fps lock within the game's menu.
They stressed that this decision to include the 30fps lock feature was made early on before the new engine was created and it was not the result of trouble keeping to 60fps.
A side-by-side video comparison of the PS4 vs PS3 versions confirms just that. There are few noticeable dips in the frame rate.
4. Gameplay is more functional
The higher resolution and frame count of The Last of Us Remastered combine to make the gameplay a little smoother this time around.
It's not a dramatic difference, so the game and AI do remain true to the original. But now there are fewer distractions like pop-ins and better texture detail.
This makes a big difference in multiplayer. Fast battles with AI and especially humans are now less blurry and benefit from better anti-aliasing and the 60 frames per second.
Things feel more responsive and there's slightly more detail. It may be the difference between seeing that guy hiding behind a corner wall and having to respawn.
5. Takes advantage of DualShock 4 features
The Last of Us for PS4 took advantage of the new system's gamepad, which includes a touchpad and built-in speaker.
Yes, the DualShock 4 not only feels better in the hand, it helps this game function better too.
The touchpad is used to slip into Joel's backpack and open up the crafting menu, which feels more intuitive compared to reaching for the archaic select button.
The speaker within the DualShock 4 also serves as a more natural way of listening to the recordings found in-game - an idea we first saw with Killzone Shadow Fall last year.
To be even more consistent with PS4 games, the new controller switches the aiming and weapon firing from L1 and R1 to L2 and R2. This too can be reset in the menu.
Finally, the light bar changes colors based on health, though we all know the real reason the DualShock 4 light bar is important to the future of PS4: Project Morpheus.