Naughty Dog might be 'the Uncharted studio', but The Last of Us is a game that marries the same inimitable art style with a completely different gameplay experience.
The world around the protagonist, Joel, and his companions - a former partner named Tess and a 14-year-old girl called Ellie - is grim and lifeless. The player must guide them on a quest for survival, tackling the dark landscape as they go. Devoid of colour. Roads have buckled, segments of cities have sunk into the ground, and the buildings left standing are half-destroyed, masked in overgrown foliage. The landscapes, as depressing as they are, are presented in stunningly gorgeous detail.
Suspense is clearly what Naughty Dog is going for with The Last of Us. If Uncharted is your explosive blockbuster action flick, this is a tense horror-thriller in the same vein as 28 Days Later. It's a punishing game, challenging you to scavenge dusty rooms for equipment and scrap, offering little health when facing enemies and pacing each set-piece with slow, morbid tension in mind. Rather than nimbly gliding across the scenery from set-piece to set-piece like Nathan Drake, playing The Last of Us has more in common with any recent Resident Evil game.
The Last of Us has something of an RPG element in terms of Joel's rucksack. As you progress through the game, you can find scissors, tape, bandages and all kinds of other objects that can help you craft useful items. These objects come under a variety of categories - battery, blade, binding, rag, alcohol, explosive, sugar, and melee weapon.
With the exception of the melee weapon, you can carry more than one of each object category, and creating new tools and resources will require a certain number of objects from different categories. Pick up a melee weapon, for example, and you can use binding and blade items to upgrade it into something more powerful - you'll be able to see the tape strapping a pair of scissors on the end of your block of timber as a result, too.
This Remastered edition includes all the content released for The Last of Us up to release, incliuding new multiplayer maps and the Left Behind single-player campaign starring Ellie. It also has graphics that have been reworked to take advantage of the PS4's added power.
All in all, it's an intense survival experience that impresses both graphically and in terms of gameplay.