During their press conference at E3 this year, Sony officially announced the existence and release date for The Last of Us Remastered and also revealed that Grand Theft Auto V will be coming to Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
The Last of Us was one of the PlayStation 3′s finest moments, and was certainly a game that showcased exactly what the powerful system could do. In turn, Grand Theft Auto V was one of the most talked-about and visceral experiences on last-gen systems when it made its debut. You’re doing yourself a disservice as a gamer if you didn’t try either one of them. Luckily, you’ve got time to get into them for the very first time (Or all over again) with a shinier, more powerful version of each before the end of 2014.
For the uninitiated, The Last of Us follows the grizzled Joel and scrappy Ellie as they make their way across a post-apocalyptic United States, fighting against humans infected by the bizarre Cordyceps fungus. It’s survival action at its finest, packing a narrative that’ll simultaneously tug at your heartstrings and keep the adrenaline flowing. In addition to bringing the original game to a full 1080p, The Last of Us Remastered will include the first campaign DLC, Left Behind.
In an interview with Edge, Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckman discussed the conversion process, explaining why The Last of Us Remastered was far more complicated than you might think:
“I wish we had a button that was like ‘Turn On PS4 Mode’, but no,” creative director Neil Druckmann says. “We expected it to be Hell, and it was Hell. Just getting an image onscreen, even an inferior one with the shadows broken, lighting broken and with it crashing every 30 seconds… that took a long time. These engineers are some of the best in the industry and they optimised the game so much for the PS3’s SPUs specifically. It was optimised on a binary level, but after shifting those things over [to PS4] you have to go back to the high level, make sure the [game] systems are intact, and optimise it again.
“I can’t describe how difficult a task that is. And once it’s running well, you’re running the [versions] side by side to make sure you didn’t screw something up in the process, like physics being slightly off, which throws the game off, or lighting being shifted and all of a sudden it’s a drastically different look. That’s not ‘improved’ any more; that’s different. We want to stay faithful while being better.”
While it hadn’t been official until E3, the existence of The Last of Us Remastered suffered a couple of leaks that beat Naughty Dog to the punch. However Sony still managed to save the game’s release date until their press conference, announcing that the game will launch July 29th, 2014.
What’s there to say about Grand Theft Auto V that you haven’t heard before? If you’ve ever played any of the prior games in the series, you know the drill. Bigger, better, and badder than the games before, Rockstar’s behemoth of a sandbox game is rolling onto PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC with a new look and hopefully decreased load times. Whatever the case may be, it’s sure going to look and perform a lot better than on last-generation consoles. On the E3 stage on July 9th, Sony debuted the trailer above, and Group CEO & President Andrew House also revealed that any online progress from PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of GTA V will be transferrable to the PS4 version of the game. Neither Rockstar nor Microsoft have announced yet whether the same can be done for Xbox One.
If the announcement trailer wasn’t clear enough or you we’ve got some GIFs (courtesy of Gameranx) that really drive home how incredibly stunning the next-gen version is when compared side-by-side to the original game. These PS3 vs. PS4 comparison images tell it all:
The next-gen port of GTA V will release this Fall.
So whether you’re into cruising around in a stolen car with someone you kidnapped or simply trying to survive during the apocalypse, Sony’s got something for you. The next-gen versions of these games look absolutely fantastic, but repackaging old games is a polarizing issue for many consumers. Both The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V are only a year old at this point: Would you consider buying the game twice based on what is, essentially, a new coat of paint?
Images: Rockstar, Sony, Naughty Dog