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REVIEW: The Last of Us II: Remastered — To Return, or Not to Return


Published by: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developed by: Naughty Dog
Platform(s): PlayStation 5
Genre(s): Action-adventure, survival horror
Mode(s): Single-player
Game Type: ,
85/ 100

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An inexpensive definitive version of TLOU2. Upscaled and better framerates. No Return is a fun survival roguelike that works with the TLOU gameplay formula.


Visual Update is arguable negligible. Extra content not too compelling outside of No Return

Posted January 16, 2024 by

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Never have there been a game that managed to split its gargantuan fanbase right down the middle before The Last of Us 2. Regardless of which side of the fence you stood, we can all agree that the game is something that must be experienced. That leaves the TLOU 2 Remastered in a remarkable position to give the uninitiated an opportunity to experience the title on the latest hardware and to beckon a return of veterans with the allure of updated visuals and additional content. Does the game succeed in doing either? Or does it call for No Return?


We’ve covered the original release in our review and since the core story content remains the same, we won’t talk much about it here. Read our full review of the original The Last of Us 2 here!

TLOU2 Remastered gives us a peak at never before seen sections and levels in the game that never made the original cut. The best part is that these are playable levels albeit at a rough but serviceable state with audio logs scattered about that plays commentary from the devs and Neil Druckman himself. These levels were developed far along enough that any one of them could have made it into the game, one of which dives much deeper into the mind of Ellie and her desires and convictions.

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Unfortunately, that’s about it, ultimately they’re not much different from content you’d see from the bonus section of a Blu-ray release of a film. Outside of these extras, the core campaign experience remains mostly the same.


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The core gameplay gameplay experience remains the same for the campaign as well, but the most significant update to this release is the addition of the No Return mode – a roguelike experience that lets you play randomized levels which you will have to survive with the limited resources you have from beginning to end. It’s a rogue-like, so, death means you lose all but the progress on challenges. These challenges will require you to perform various actions or complete a specified amount of runs.

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Completing challenges unlocks various perks, most notably new characters to play as. You can pretty much play any of the main and supporting characters from the core game. Each character start with different loadouts and perks. Dina for instance, focuses on traps and crafting, while Abby is more of a melee centric character with enhanced close combat perks. There’s bound to be one that fits your playstyle, but you’ll start with only Abby and Ellie as playable characters and work towards unlocking others by completing runs.

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I found the roguelike elements to work quite in THOU2 Remastered, with what I feel is the right amount of challenge that calls for progress on challenges as well as master over combat and each character. That said, No Return is still a very optional experience, but those that finish the story still wanting will find that No Return provides numerous hours of combat replayability more so than replaying the campaign encounters (which you can still do)

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The game looks and runs phenomenally on the PS5, however outside of the upscaled resolution and better framerate, the gains are quite negligible in no shortcoming by the Remaster but a testament to the visual fidelity of the original that holds up to date. That unfortunately makes it harder to justify the upgrade for those who’ve played the original but have no interest on the extra content considering the negligible gains in visuals. That said, TLOU 2 Remastered is no doubt the definitive version to get for those who’ve never experienced the original.

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The Last of Us 2 Remastered does little outside the addition of a new roguelike mode in terms of new content, but at such an inexpensive base price and an even more affordable upgrade option for those who own the original, this is an easy recommendation for those whose never played it and those that wish they could play more. Those who care little for the extra content may find that the visual upgrade seems negligible, but hey, its a $10 upgrade, It’s still quite the bargain! 


[This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.]

Dian Raval

Dian is a writer for Flipgeeks who, in his spare time, stares at a wall in his basement. If you'd like to discuss music, video games, or the infinite wisdom of concrete, follow him on twitter @iburnandfume or subscribe to his YouTube channel @iburnandfume. He's pretty much iburnandfume in everything. Apparently he... burns and fumes.


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