The Second of the First of Us: TLOU Part 1 PC Review
The Last of Us Part 1’s PC port has officially arrived! Well, actually, it arrived some time ago, but this review for it has finally arrived! There are a couple reasons why this review took me so long to write. First, things in my life have been very, very busy. Having the time to play this game for review has been difficult. Secondly though, there are a few things I wanted to check before I officially reviewed the PC version. We’ll get to those later, but as a hint, these things involved me playing through the game twice. Anyway, let’s get to the review.
One of the greatest stories ever told in gaming has finally made its PC debut, and it comes with all the trappings. Not only does it include The Last of Us part 1, and its DLC entitled Left Behind, but it also includes the incredible suite of accessibility features that made the original game stand out. And yes, I mean all of them. Every feature that The Last of us Part 1 boasted on PS5 is available here, and a couple of them have gotten some upgrades. Not to worry, these upgrades have also come to the PS5 version via a recent patch, but I’ll be discussing them here as they served to improve my experience on the PC version during my review playthrough. I won’t go into the giant, detailed list of accessibility features here, as they are already widely publicized, but I will focus on the new, to give you an idea of what you can now expect from the Last of Us Part 1.
Let’s first talk about the PC-specific implementations you can expect. First, the unsurprising, but still welcome inclusion of PC-specific screen narration for options and controls. Remember, the narration in both of the Last of Us games is done using individual TTS files, so it’s nice to see that the appropriate files were created to cover new menu options that are specific to PC, such as deep graphical customization and so on. And think of all the work that went into PC controls, considering controls are remappable. That’s more files to ensure that every key can be appropriately described when necessary. Again, this one doesn’t surprise me as I have come to expect this level of care from Naughty Dog, but it’s definitely welcome. Now let’s talk about the one that DID surprise me.
When I headed into the graphics options, I expected to hear each option narrated to me. What I did not expect, and what happened to my delight, was that all the GPU and Video Ram stats were read to me. I was informed how much of my GPU was being used, how much Video Ram was being used in total, by the game, and by other applications running at the same time… It was awesome! Having access to that information on a PC game is extremely cool, and allows us to understand whether we might need to lower our graphics settings to improve performance, or if we’re doing just fine. The fact that these things affect performance make this information extremely valuable, even to the blind, so I’m really glad this was implemented.
Now, let’s talk about a few other notable improvements. There are small ones, and there are big ones. For instance, the throwable audio queue has been repurposed for drawing your bow. The “bong” sound you would usually associate with throwing things will now also be played when your bow is fully drawn, leaving you with 0 confusion as to how fast your current draw speed is. Also, you will now be given the throwable queue for all tripwires, such as those found in Bill’s town, instead of having to constantly aim to determine where they are. This is a very welcome and time-saving change.
One of the bigger changes, though, is in the way navigational assist works for safes in the game. Now, if you find a safe, choose not to crack it with the audio method, and then find its combination in some room far away, nav assist will now guide you back to the safe so you can open it with the code you’ve found. It’s a little bit of incentive to actually search out the combinations instead of just breaking in, though I still don’t blame anyone who chooses to do that. This represents one of the larger changes, and it makes me very, very happy.
And now, the most important fix applied with this release. The game-breaking accessibility bug, one which only occurred in New Game Plus, has been fixed. For those who don’t know, at the launch of the PS5 version, there was a bug which caused navigational assist to route you to the spot where the Flamethrower would be on your first run, but if you were in a New Game Plus run, you would already have it, and so it physically wouldn’t be there, yet the nav assist would route you there anyway, and it would be extremely difficult to break free of this pathing. That is no longer the case, and I’m so glad to see this issue resolved. This singular issue is the reason I took so much time with this review, as I wanted to check to see if this had been addressed. Thankfully, it has, and now everyone can fully enjoy this game at their leisure.
In conclusion, I can truly say that the Last of Us Part 1 is back and better than ever. I love that this isn’t merely a port. I love that it came with improvements which were then applied to the PS5 version as well. The PC specs are a bit high, so don’t expect to run this game well without a decent gaming PC, but if you don’t have a PS5, this may be the way for you to enjoy the incredible game that is the Last of Us Part 1. Thanks as always for reading.