The bonuses available as part of The Last of Us Part 1 special editions seem perfect – if you want to ruin the first few hours of the remake.
After copious leaks, Naughty Dog finally lifted the lid on The Last of Us Part 1 last night. The remake – heading to PS5 in September and PC some time after that – brings the 2013 game’s visuals in line with its 2020 sequel, and enhances combat and exploration. Speaking at the Summer Games Fest, studio president Neil Druckmann described it as “the definitive version” of the title.
As well as the base game, Naughty Dog outlined two special editions in a blog post (opens in new tab). First up is the digital deluxe edition, which offers a number of customisation options and gameplay tweaks, but the star of the show is The Last of Us Part 1 Firefly Edition, which comes with a beautiful steelbook case with grayscale artwork, as well as The Last of Us American Dreams comics, which come with their own new cover art. While the standard edition will set you back $69.99, the digital deluxe version is $79.99, and the Firefly Edition is $99.99.
The edition looks great, and is already attracting fans’ attention (some reports (opens in new tab) suggest it’s already sold out) but my issue stems from those gameplay tweaks. Described as “early unlock” of a number of in-game items, purchasing a special edition lets you unlock a bunch of skill and weapon upgrades. From the outset, you’ll be able to heal and craft items fast, and you’ll also have access to better weapons thanks to rifle and pistol upgrades. There’s even the “explosive arrows gameplay modifier,” which doesn’t seem in keeping with the stealth-focused early sections of the game.
In fact, all of those upgrades seem likely to detract from the point of The Last of Us, a story about scraping together everything you can to survive against the odds. The pre-order bonuses are an even more egregious subversion of that idea, as they hand over more supplement and weapon parts right at the start, further boosting you through the opening couple of hours.
Of course, you should feel able to play any game however you want, so if you’d like Joel to go barrelling through Boston before matching the gameplay curve a little more closely later on, more power to you. It’s just a little surprising to see a leg-up like this provided at all, given the mood the game attempts to set, but perhaps Naughty Dog is catering to long-term fans who are already very familiar with the early stages of the game.
Naughty Dog had plenty more to show off yesterday. As well as Part 1, Druckmann lifted the lid on The Last of Us multiplayer, a massive, standalone experience with its own narrative, set in the ruins of San Francisco, and revealed that filming on The Last of Us TV wraps very soon, and will feature new roles for Joel and Ellie’s original actors.
Keep an eye on the E3 2022 schedule to make sure you don’t miss the big announcements.