The Last of Us Part I Shows Not A Totally Honest Remake

Includes spoilers for The Last of Us Part I.

Although this is a remake of the game released in 2013 for PlayStation 3, The Last of Us Part I In most respects, the game resembles the original The Last of Us. Players who first experience the game through the remake will understand the plot in a similar way. They follow the same story to reach the same conclusion, meet the same characters and share many of the same emotions. They experience the same vision of a post-apocalyptic United States, where a traumatized man, Joel, assumes he cannot part with his surrogate daughter, Ellie.

But despite sticking to the original script and general design like Part I, in the end, it’s still a new game in its own right. By making the game look “better” than before, it changed into something else. Whether in small or large ways, it is subject to change.

In The Last of Us Part I, the most noticeable changes come from the character design. Developer Naughty Dog has updated the game’s visuals, improving the visual fidelity of everything the player sees, from the stomach-painful fungal boils covering a “Bloater” monster. giant to verdant patches of grass peeking out from the pothole-filled cracked asphalt of a ghost town. roads. However, it’s the cast’s faces that really stand out.

Protagonists Joel and Ellie have more natural expressions – their original animated facial expressions have been replaced with realistic furrowed brows and of course wide eyes in horror when something happens. something tragic happened before their eyes. They also look quite different from everyone else. While the change in character design is in some cases more dramatic than in others, in particular, Joel looks noticeably tired and older than before. Wrinkles were evident on his tired face. Dark shadows under his eyes. The white in his hair and beard accentuates his age.

He looked less innocent than before, his expression no longer that of a handsome cowboy and replaced with a kind of outward callousness. It’s hard to imagine him taking the heroic turns that both versions of the game suggest for him, but he’s ultimately unlikely to do. The feeling that Joel is a man running out of time – that the world has brought him down and that he has nothing left to hold on to but care for Ellie – makes him less shocked when he makes the decision. selfish determination prevents his partner from giving. her life to create a cure for a world-destroying virus. Joel has been redesigned to appear too battered by the horror of his violent life to believe in a better future.

This kind of change changes the impression of the game by subtly emphasizing the story of the original. In other cases, the remake introduces more dramatic differences. One-time-only characters, ranging from the hardcore residents of the Boston quarantine to the many human enemies Joel and Ellie killed on their journey west, now possess chi faces. more detailed, better reflecting the sense of individuality among a previously homogenous group. Rather than seem like they are less important than the main characters in the story, unnamed enemies give a better impression of real people.

The attention given to their faces erases some of the distinction between essential and unnecessary characters. Therefore, their deaths are not like the destruction of digital obstacles but more like the brutal destruction of human life that the original game wanted to convey its story. This emphasis also makes Part I more relevant to its sequel, The Last of Us Part II, which attempted to make its violence resonate more strongly through touchpoints like enemies calling for help. their friends while fighting or, in a sick feature put into the remake, begging for their lives when injured.

These visual prompts expand the scope of Part I’s world. In the original Last of Us, abstracting the dozens (or hundreds) of bandits and soldiers killed by Joel and Ellie into something of no being human would be easier. Their cuter faces help clarify the story, showing an entire nation living out of the spotlight on the main cast, whose fates are changed by bloody encounters with the main character. — or be narrowed down into a seemingly permanent barbaric future as Joel chooses to save Ellie’s life instead of allowing her death to give them a future full of hope.

While these design decisions emphasize aspects of the story that were present in the original, other significant visual changes alter The Last of Us’ characters in ways that fundamentally change the character of The Last of Us. must rethink their role in the story.

Tess, Joel’s romantic and crime partner from the beginning of the game, has probably received the most dramatic redesign. Tess is initially a younger, more vibrant partner with Joel – a companion whose relative youth and similar disregard for enemy life suggest that not only the game’s protagonist but those around him have learned to constantly kill others and risk their own deaths for a living in post-apocalyptic America. Because Tess now looks just as tired and writhing as Joel, her final moments in the story – sacrificing her life to make sure he and Ellie can escape a group of enemies in Boston. – has a different meaning.

Tess from the original game

Tess from TLOU Part I remake

In the past, little Tess seemed to represent a future generation of post-apocalyptic people looking for nothing in life but friendship and a murder-smuggling business to survive. When she sacrificed her life for Ellie’s survival, it meant she finally saw the world differently than Joel when it mattered most. This decision, echoing Ellie’s willingness to die for a cure, and Joel’s ultimate decision to condemn the world’s continued murder and horror for his selfishness, meant that the original game positioned Joel as something beyond the youthful capabilities that Ellie and Tess originally represented. . With Tess’s redesign, this subtle thematic accent is gone. Tess still sacrifices herself, sticking to the original script, but her doing so doesn’t carry the thematic weight it used to.

Examples like these show that a remake is never a truly neutral exercise, no matter how closely it follows the lines of the original. This dynamic holds true in the case of bottom-up reimaginings like Final Fantasy VII Remake. And it remains so in frantic devotions of art like Gus Van Sant .’s 1998 remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 horror film Mental, recreated as many aspects of the original as possible, from the script to the composition of the footage. Proof of what’s lost in even the most faithful remakes: It’s hard to find Vince Vaughn’s Norman Bates as terrifyingly compelling as the Anthony Perkins of the original. No matter how rework tries to refresh something old without drastically tweaking its source material in the process, the very act of entertainment that includes new decisions always leads to changes. .

That’s because a remake — even a remake by a team as big as Naughty Dog — reveals traces of its creators. Games are the product of time and place, of the priorities of their creators at the time of creation, and of course, of their technological affordability and time constraints. When Naughty Dog returned to The Last of Us for Part I, the studio did so with an understanding of the original’s successes and failures, commercially. and critique. It did so with a live sequel already made and released. And it did so with nine years of hindsight that informed its choices.

The result is that Part I, despite its many similarities, is a different game from the last part of Us. Its characters are not exactly the same characters as before, its world is not exactly the same as the previous one, and the experience of playing it is different enough that it becomes a new work – the best one that can be. see as another draft of the same novel, or a new installment of the same movie. By recognizing those differences, both The Last of Us of 2013 and The Last of Us end up looking like an older and newer version of the same story.

This article originally appeared in No. 351 of the Game Information Provider.


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