The Last of Us 2 Remastered looks amazing but I can’t bring myself to replay the game — here’s why

The Last of Us Part II Remastered
(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

The Last of Us Part II (or simply The Last of Us 2, if you’d prefer), is a bonafide masterpiece. It’s one of the very best PS4 games, and it plays brilliantly on PS5 thanks to a free 60 fps update

I completed Naughty Dog’s traumatizing masterpiece back in 2020 the weekend it launched, which also marked my *checks notes* 35th birthday. Suffice to say, I wasn’t blowing out the candles on my cake with the cheeriest expression. 

That’s because, as brilliant as it is, I need to go back to that “T” work. The Last of Us 2 is the most trauma-inducing video game I’ve ever played. And it’s not even close. 

As much as I was thoroughly engrossed in Ellie’s vengeful tale for the roughly 19 hours it took me to finish this perfectly paced blend of horror and stealth title, parts of the game massively upset me. If you’ve not gotten around to playing Naughty Dog’s nerve-shredding sequel yet, I’m obviously not going to spoil any major plot points.

Let me just say that the pivotal moment of the story shook me so badly, I felt completely numb for the next three hours of gameplay. Looking back, I had to physically push myself to keep on playing it. I was that heartbroken.

This brings me (semi) neatly onto the matter of the recently announced The Last of Us Part II Remastered, which is set to launch on January 19. Unlike The Last of Us Part I, Sony isn’t trying to rinse all the money from your pockets this time out through a $70 release, either.

A (re)masterful deal

The Last of Us Part II Remastered

(Image credit: Sony)

If you own a digital copy of the original PS4 game, you can upgrade to this PS5 remaster for just $10. Considering the visual fidelity has been brought up to the standards of its incredible looking rejigged predecessor, includes a new roguelike survival mode, lost levels, new outfits, updated guitar mechanics for those times Ellie wants to bust out a banger and full support for the DualSense controller’s haptics and adaptive trigger functions, I’d say that’s a seriously sweet deal. 

The Last of Us 2 is the most trauma-inducing video game I’ve ever played. And it’s not even close.

Not only does it let you play both games across a consistent current-gen aesthetic, it gives viewers of the pitch perfect The Last of Us HBO show the best way to play The Last of Us 2. Considering there was almost a three year gap between the launches of the game and series, there’s bound to be a lot of Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey fans out there who missed out on Ellie’s dark tale when it was first released on PS4 and PS4 Pro

And yet, no matter how impressive the graphical upgrades prove to be or if that survival mode ends up becoming a brilliant addition, there’s just no way I can put myself through the experience of The Last of Us 2 again. 

90 minutes in, it basically broke me and it was only thanks to Naughty Dog’s impeccable stealth mechanics and peerless world-building that I was able to push through to finish an undeniably excellent but utterly harrowing video game.

The only mild(ish) spoiler I’ll drop — and I’m not spilling the beans here as this element of TLoU 2’s gameplay was revealed during trailers — is that you're occasionally forced to merc digital doggos in Ellie’s adventure. I HATED this aspect of the game three years ago, and considering I’m now the owner of a 19-month-old husky called Bear, that’s close to the strongest reason I can never revisit one of the best video game sequels ever made.

But hey, that’s just me. If the thought of sending PS5 pooches to heaven doesn’t bother you all that much and you’re keen to experience The Last of Us 2 in the best possible fashion, don’t let my hang-ups get in the way of you replaying an all-time classic.

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Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal.