After several high-profile leaks let the cat out of the bag about The Last of Us Part II getting a remaster, Sony has thrown up its hands and released an official announcement. The Last of Us Part II Remastered launches on January 19 on PlayStation 5 — just as the rumors said.
While it promises to bring with it a slew of graphical improvements, the biggest addition appears to be a new "roguelike survival mode" called No Return "designed to let players prove their mettle in randomized encounters and experience The Last of Us Part II’s combat in a fresh experience,” explains Naughty Dog’s Jonathon Dornbush a PlayStation blog post.
The new mode features a roster of playable characters to choose from, including some that are playable for the first time in the series's history. Each has their own traits to suit different playstyles. The announcement says players will face off against "a range of enemies," so it's unclear whether you'll be mowing down hordes of the infected, other humans, or, most likely, some combination of both.
"Each run will offer a new chance to decide what rewards you get after each encounter, how you spec out your character, and more," Dornbush continued. In typical roguelike fashion, you'll unlock more characters and skins as you progress to tailor your strategy each run, and there will also be a global leaderboard for players to show off their best runs. Sony said more details will be revealed the closer we get to launch.
But besides the new mode, perhaps the most important part of the announcement is that players who already own The Last of Us Part II on PlayStation 4 will be able to upgrade to the remastered version for $10. You can also bring over your save data from the PS4 version. This falls in line with the strategy we've seen Sony adopt with previous upgrade paths for its titles like Ghost of Tsushima and Gran Turismo 7.
As far as technical improvements go, Dornbush said The Last of Us Part II Remastered offers native 4K output in fidelity mode or 1440p upscaled to 4K when playing in performance mode. There's an option to unlock the framerate for TVs with variable refresh rate support as well. You can also expect faster loading times and improved DualSense features like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.
No Return isn't the only new mode being added. The Last of Us Part II Remastered adds a new guitar free play mode with unlockable instruments and a mode tailored to speedrunning. A new set of "lost levels" also lets players experience some incomplete levels that were cut from the original game along with developer commentary. Newly recorded director’s commentary will also be available across the main campaign’s cutscenes.