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Early Reactions To The Last Of Us Part 1 Are All Saying The Same Thing

The highly anticipated remake of "The Last of Us" is right around the corner. Set to release on Sept. 2, 2022, "The Last of Us Part 1" will deliver a reimagined version of Ellie and Joel's journey built from the ground up. Fans of the original series can look forward to the plot that made them fall in love with the game in the first place, plus dramatically improved combat, visuals, and beyond.

"The Last of Us" as a franchise is more popular than ever these days, not to mention prolific. The sequel to the beloved original game, "The Last of Us Part 2," was incredibly well-received, and that's only the beginning. There's also currently an HBO TV series adaptation in the works, featuring the stars fans wanted in the roles all along in addition to involvement from Ellie and Joel's original voice actors.

With so much "The Last of Us" content in the pipeline, there's plenty of excitement in the air from fans eager to hear how it all pans out. Judging by an onslaught of positive reviews, "The Last of Us Part 1" is so good that it may rank amongst other reimagined versions of games that are better than the originals. So far, critics are singing nearly unanimous praises for "The Last of Us Part 1" – here's what they're saying.

The Last of Us Part 1 remake is the best version of the game

The critics didn't mince words about "The Last of Us Part 1," like Luke Reilly at IGN, who called it "a gorgeous and well-honed remake of one of the biggest boppers in the PlayStation pantheon, 'The Last of Us Part I' is the best way to play – or replay – Naughty Dog's esteemed survival classic." The Verge's Andrew Webster had similar thoughts: "After spending some time with the remake, I have to say — it's also the best way to experience this classic."

Critics can't help but celebrate what they see as the quintessential "The Last of Us" experience. In the words of Jordan Oloman at NME, "'The Last of Us Part 1' is a beautiful, accessible entry point for newcomers and a victory lap for fans." For those who haven't played the game before, this remake offers an optimal modernized version, though there's also appeal for returning players. As Anthony Taormina from Game Rant wrote, "Without question, it deserves to be played, and 'The Last of Us Part 1' is the best version of the game available."

On top of gameplay improvements, "The Last of Us Part 1" features new Permadeath and Speedrun modes, plus costumes and collectibles (via GamesRadar+). Though critics felt the absence of multiplayer Factions mode from the original game, fans can take solace in the other new modes, as well as the fact that Naughty Dog is working on a full-fledged multiplayer "The Last of Us" game. Aside from Factions missing, "The Last of Us Part 1" was a smash hit with critics who couldn't find much to fault.

Enhanced sights and sounds propel The Last of Us Part 1 story

Two standout features of the remade "The Last of Us Part 1" are drastically enhanced graphics and audio. As Webster at The Verge wrote, "'Part I' has the kind of graphics you'd expect from a lavish blockbuster in the year 2022: incredible water reflections, disturbingly gruesome death sequences." Webster also noticed quicker load times, haunting 3D audio, adaptive triggers, and thorough accessibility settings.

Collider's Ross Bonaime was particularly struck by the intensity of the visual improvements, which allow players to see the details of emotions in character's eyes. Bonaime also got major cinematic vibes from the remake, writing, "'The Last of Us Part I reminded me of a great film that gets updated based on the current technology." IGN's Reilly echoed these sentiments: "It's an absolutely top-shelf visual showcase of what the PlayStation 5 is capable of."

Game Rant's Taormina was blown away by the level of detail in the graphics that still utilized the best production elements from the original. As the review spelled out, "The developers called their work on the project meticulous, and it feels that way." Just as meticulous as the visuals were the highly detailed and visceral sonic additions. As Alex Avard at GamesRadar+ wrote, "The horror of the newly infected's screams, a gargled cocktail of rabid rage and abject fear, is heightened thanks to 3D audio that pinpoints their location with terrifying accuracy."

Combat is a satisfying challenge in The Last of Us Part 1

While the story of "The Last of Us Part 1" is identical to the original, the enhanced optics give it a whole new feel. IGN's Reilly appreciated the remake's use of improvements to combat and character behavior carried over from "The Last of Us Part 2." As the review stated, "While it isn't retrofitted with every one of the sequel's best changes, the upgrades to movement and AI make a welcome difference in an already outstanding game." Conversely, Avard at GamesRadar+ found the combat improvements to be strong, yet not transformative: "I've no doubt that foes fight harder and smarter than they used to, but I'd be lying if I said it felt as though their new behaviour made for any significantly game changing shake-ups to The Last of Us' already exhilarating combat."

Oloman at NME pointed out that aside from dodge and prone capabilities, the combat in the remake matched much of that from "Part 2." As the review spelled out, "Encounters feel guttural, your tactics exploited and composure ready to crumble at any moment." The power of the PS5 DualSense controller stood out, making the whole thing feel more immersive and presenting a welcome challenge. Collider's Bonaime commented on this as well: "The PlayStation 5's DualSense controller makes the player feel the power of every bullet, every arrow, and every struggle that this pair has to face as they cross the United States."

After absolutely astounding critics, "The Last of Us Part 1" has the stage set for its success once fans get access to it.