The Last of Us PS4 Both Far Exceeds and Is Restricted By Its PS3 Origins, Analysis Finds

A breakdown of all the improvements in The Last of Us Remastered finds that parts of the game are still hampered by the tech made for the PS3.

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Tomorrow, The Last of Us Remastered launches on PlayStation 4. It features an array of graphical overhauls, and it runs at 1080p and 60 frames per second. Many people wondered if the original PlayStation 3 version was actually always meant to be on PS4. In a new graphics and performance breakdown, from Eurogamer's Digital Foundry, however, it seems that the PS4 re-release is still occasionally restricted by its PS3 origins.

GameSpot also did a graphics comparison, which you can see above. Digital Foundry then went into technical detail and discovered where the game's graphics shine and where they still come up short. What the group finds is that there are still graphical problems and anomalies that developer Naughty Dog's remastering couldn't fix. As Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter explains, "What Naughty Dog has done is to scale up both physical and temporal resolution, but the core technologies are very much PS3 in nature. The mind-bogglingly good anti-aliasing seen in the Uncharted 4 teaser isn't here, for example. Instead, it's a reasonable enough post-process effect."

"Some effects--such as water reflections--put a lot of full-blooded PS4 and Xbox One titles to shame."

He continues: "Lighting can appear rather basic and harsh in some scenes, the pre-baked global illumination isn't a patch on top-end PS4 titles, and while texture detail is enormously improved to next-gen standards, geometry remains unchanged--those hexagonal pipes, squared-off edges and bisecting polygonal foliage textures look jarring in the new current-gen era."

Although certain specific parts fail to stand up to current-gen standards, the group also found that Naughty Dog's work made other elements look far better than games made specifically for the PS4 and Xbox One. Leadbetter writes, "The more detail-rich exterior scenes, enhanced with longer view distances, look especially beautiful bathed in the ambient lighting and god-rays from a setting sun. While effects work can look a little basic in places, the higher precision marries up perfectly in most cases with the full HD resolution, while some effects--such as water reflections--put a lot of full-blooded PS4 and Xbox One titles to shame."

What Digital Foundry suggests, then, is that The Last of Us Remastered moves between two generations. In some parts--especially small-scale details--the game's PS3 lineage is obvious, but in others--environments and water--the graphics surpass even games developed exclusively for current-gen systems. As Digital Foundry concludes, "Some scenes can look rather plain, while others look absolutely spectacular, but the one thing that is constant throughout the experience is that gameplay in The Last of Us is golden." And this is true--gameplay is identical across both versions.

You can check out our review of The Last of Us Remastered here. Tonight you can also watch a stream of The Last of Us' voice actors performing some of the game's scenes live.

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