The Last of Us Part II Remastered review: it’s the extras that count!

The Last of Us is undoubtedly one of the greatest stories ever told and while its PS5 remake was too early for some, it is undoubtedly the best way to experience the game. The Last of Us Part II on the other hand is one of the most controversial stories in video games and today we have with us the remaster. Some are questioning if it is too early for a remaster and I would like to remind you that the game originally launched for the PS4 back in 2020 (and subsequently got a frame rate boost for the PS5 backwards compatibility version). As far as being too early is concerned, I would also like to tell you that The Last of Us which was released back in 2013 (at the tail end of the PS3’s lifecycle) got a remaster for the PS4 merely a year later. The cherry on the cake this time is that unlike The Last of Us Part 1 which costs a whopping Rs 5,000 on the PS5, The Last of Us Part II Remaster is a mere Rs 2,999 if you are buying the full game. With that out of the way, let’s get into one of the greatest pieces of storytelling in video games.


“Revenge is a dish best served cold”, Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’s (French author) famous words may not be the best way to describe the story of The Last of Us Part II, but it certainly is the most effective. The story of the game hasn’t changed and whether you loved it or hated it, you still have to live with it. I personally found the story quite impactful especially when you have unresolved issues with a loved one and the said loved one passes on without giving you closure. Now that I’m a dad the story of The Last of Us Part 1 especially the opening act and the closing one hit the gut quite differently. I had the same feeling for The Last of Us Part 2. Putting me in the shoes of the one who killed Joel and forcing me to empathise with her loss is one that still made me uncomfortable even though this is possibly my 5th playthrough of the game overall.

But The Last of Us Part II Remaster is more than a retelling of the story. There is enough here to keep fans of the franchise happy and keep you playing after the credits have rolled thanks to a new roguelike mode called No Return!

Gameplay – A revival of the roguelikes!

As far as the campaign is concerned, the gameplay is identical to the PS4 version with some DualSense goodies and visual upgrades thrown into the mix and of course, more guitar play. If you could string up some slick tunes on the in-game guitar mode on the PS4, then the remaster has some more of those goodies. But the gameplay goes beyond just replaying the story.

There is a suite of accessibility features just like Last of Us Part 1 and those interested can toggle on permadeath mode or even give the speedrun mode a shot. If you’ve beaten the game on your PS4, then can import your save and start a New Game + keeping all your upgrades and equipment. But it’s the No Return mode that I spent most of my time with.

The Last of Us Part II Roguelike

No Return is a roguelike mode. What is a roguelike mode you ask? Well, put simply, you start a run, going through levels, getting upgrades and skills as you progress and if you die, you come back to the beginning to try again. While Spelunky and Hades will always be my favourite roguelike games, I loved what Returnal and God of War Ragnarok: Valhalla have done to the genre. Now, the Last of Us Part II has been added to the list.

You start each run in a room where you can purchase new weapons and upgrade and then you can select the levels to tackle from a pinup board. There are branching levels with each offering a different scenario and perk. Some will have you fighting either waves of human or infected enemies with the catch being that based on the level and the scenario, the enemies either know your position or you are anonymously hidden. Some runs will have you fighting off waves of enemies till you die along with an AI partner by your side. After a few levels you encounter a boss which is generally quite challenging and then you move on to the next set of levels. It’s a standard roguelike formula, with the unique element being The Last of Us style gameplay.

As you progress, you will unlock new playable characters like Abby, Dina, Lev, Jesse, Yara, Tommy and more with each character bringing a unique element to gameplay. For example, Abby’s stealth takedowns revive some lost health, and so on. This motivates you to try different characters with different loadouts mixing up the gameplay further.

There are challenges to unlock as you progress and if you are feeling experimental, you can also take on a custom run where you control the difficulty, game mode (like Assault, Hunt, Capture or Holdout), control the availability of drops and workbench, type of enemies and bosses and mods and more. There are also daily runs you can take on to put your achievements on a leaderboard.

The No Return mode in itself is a worthy piece of DLC and will keep you playing long after the credits have rolled.

There are a whole lot of extras too!!

In addition to the guitar freeplay, you have access to three lost levels – Jackson Party, Seattle Sewers and The Hunt. These are incomplete levels that were cut from the game and are fully playable with developer commentary sprinkled through your playthrough. If, like me, you enjoy learning about how games are developed, then these are a peek into the madness that is video game development.

You also have a trailer for Grounded II: Making of the Last of Us Part II (which is now available on YouTube as well). If you haven’t seen Grounded then you should definitely check it out! It’s a deep dive at how the developers made the first game and it is worth a watch here.

Lastly, there is also a Director Commentary that you can enable over the cutscenes in the game to shed light from the cast and crew of the game as to what went into making a scene, or how it was achieved and more titbits in the development of the game and its story.

Graphics and Sound

Since this is a remake, it has improved upon the visual presentation of the game. You have a performance mode and a fidelity mode with the former giving you a 1440p output at 60FPS and the latter a 4K output at 30FPS. I played the story on the former for better response time and checked the ‘Unlocked Framerate’ box as I am fortunate to play the game on an LG B9 OLED that supports HDMI 2.1 and VRR.

In addition to the improved visuals (I feel HDR has been improved as well) you also get a suite of DualSense features in the game akin to Last of Us Part 1.

Is The Last of Us Part II Remastered worth the upgrade?

I loved The Last of Us Part II when it came out for pushing the limits of the PS4 and telling a story that made people uncomfortable. I loved revisiting the game in its PS5 glory not only to relive the story but also to enjoy the extras which I poured more hours into! The lost levels are a glimpse into what may have been in the game, No Return is a great way to be invested long after the credits have rolled and the developer commentary offers insights that you may not have known. All this at a nominal upgrade cost for existing gamers is totally worth it. Also, the fact that newcomers can experience everything for Rs 2,999 is great in an age when new AAA games cost Rs 5,000 easily!

Editor’s Rating: 9/10


  • Revisiting a fantastic game with improved fidelity
  • Developer commentary and lost levels are a treat
  • No Return is a great take on the roguelike genre


  • The story will still leave fans divided
  • It isn’t the next big game from Naughty Dog we’ve been waiting for

More Info:

Developer: Naughty Dog

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Platforms: PS5

Reviewed on: PS5

We played a review copy of The Last of Us Part II provided by Sony