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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Rondina

The Last of Us: The Franchise Continues to Evolve

Summer Game Fest offered plenty of news around The Last of Us franchise, from an online game, HBO TV series, to The Last of Us Part I remake.

During Summer Game Fest today Naughty Dog pulled back the curtain multiple projects surrounding the award-winning franchise. The series clearly resonates with fans around the globe with The Last of Us II selling more than 10 million copies globally. With this in mind, Naughty Dog has moved forward with multiple projects across different mediums, let's take a look at what was announced:

The Last of Us Stand Alone Multiplayer Experience

One of the big surprises that was part of the Last of Us - Part I package was the game’s original Factions multiplayer mode. It's been a decade since The Last of Us Factions’ release but many fans, myself included, want to see the mode return.

Today on the Summer Game Fest stage Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog Co-President, revealed the studio is creating something much larger than a mode. He revealed a piece of concept art from the upcoming multiplayer experience, which looks to be an extremely ambitious undertaking. At the same time he confirmed it will be a full-scale, standalone game, with its massive scope and immense world, "in a way that fans have come to expect from Naughty Dog." This was far from a full reveal but Druckmann said there will be "more news to come next year."

The Last of Us on HBO

If you played any of the games in The Last of Us series, you can understand its commitment to the cinematic experience. HBO recognized this potential and will continue to tell the tale through TV screens to audiences all around the globe.

The series is helmed by Craig Mazin, Creator and Writer of Chernobyl, in tandem with Executive Producer Carolyn Strauss and Naughty Dog's own Neil Druckmann.

During the Summer Game Fest showcase Druckmann revealed he has taken on the roles of Executive Producer and Writer as well as directed a full episode of the TV series. As a fan of the game, I am excited (and relived) to hear there has been a deep collaboration between Naughty Dog and HBO, I am hoping it will ensure the continuity and quality of the game.

The Summer Game Fest stage also had two surprise guests in Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker, Ellie and Joel’s in-game actors. Johnson and Baker will join the cast in major mystery roles, no other information was given other than they will be in the live action series.

The Last of Us - Part I Remake

To conclude Summer Game Fest Sony officially announced The Last of Us - Part I remake coming to the PlayStation 5 on September 2, 2022. The title will also be released on PC, but no timeframe was given only alluding to the fact that it is "in development." The newly announced title is a complete rebuild of the title as opposed to a resolution and frame rate bump.

Here is a first look at the game, with the official announcement trailer:

Over on the PlayStation Blog, Naughty Dog offered up early details on what improvements to expect on the PlayStation 5:

"We’ve implemented modernized gameplay, improved controls, and expanded accessibility options in this single-player experience to allow even more individuals to enjoy the game. Effects, exploration, and combat have all been enhanced. Leveraging the PS5’s powerful hardware, we also implemented 3D Audio, haptics, and adaptive triggers. Both returning fans and new players alike will have the opportunity to experience both The Last of Us Part I and its prequel story Left Behind in a whole new way."

The remake looks stunning bringing the graphical fidelity more in-line with the Last of Us - Part II, here are more official screenshots from the PlayStation 5 version of Last of Us - Part I:

Here are a few side-by-side comparisons provided by PlayStation between "The Last of Us Remastered" and the upcoming "Last of Us - Part I"

Last of Us Part 1 - Pre-Order Details

Along with all this information PlayStation shared the official box art along with different versions of the game.

The first is The Last of Us Part I Standard Edition ($69.99 USD / $89.99 CAD)

The Last of Us Part I The Digital Deluxe ($79.99 USD / $99.99 CAD) which includes an early unlock of the following in-game items:

  • Increased Crafting Speed Skill

  • Increased Healing Speed Skill

  • 9mm Reload Speed Increase Upgrade

  • Rifle Clip Capacity Increase Upgrade

  • Explosive Arrows Gameplay Modifier

  • Dither Punk Filter

  • Speedrun Mode

  • Six Weapon Skins: Black Gold 9mm Pistol, Silver Filigree 9mm Pistol, Rubber Tactical Shotgun, Sculpted Oak Shotgun, Arctic White Bow, Carbon Black Bow

The Last of Us Part I The Firefly Edition ($99.99 USD MSRP) available in the US via exclusively.

This limited edition includes the in-game early unlock bonuses featured in the Digital Deluxe Edition as well as a SteelBook display case and The Last of Us: American Dreams Comics #1 to #4 with new cover art for each comic.

Leading up to launch PlayStation is promising more to share, so keep it locked to dapper tux I'll have all the news as it breaks.


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