The Last of Us Remake: do we really need it?

Let's face it, time has never been particularly kind to the gaming industry. If films, books and music can be enjoyed with relative simplicity even after decades - and without particular technical differences from today's productions -, video games considered to be the pillars of the market have over time lost the appeal of the public. Let me be clear, here we are not talking about their historical and symbolic charm, but rather about their practical playful enjoyment; between cumbersome controls, design choices dictated by poorly performing hardware and frighteningly dated technical compartments, there are countless productions of our videogame career that the new generations would not even touch with a stick. On closer inspection, substantially all the productions ranging from the Ps2 / Xbox era downwards - but also various PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 works begin to show some crunching - appear today difficult to digest in the eyes of an audience that, quite simply, is used to it. to a different fruition of playful experiences.

In short, gaming is a constantly changing market, with changes that are manifesting themselves much faster than any other entertainment sector, a peculiarity that if on the one hand has allowed the medium to explode with renewed strength throughout the globe, on the other hand it has penalized countless titles that already after a few years after release are stamped as dated. It does not matter whether we are talking about Resident Evil, Shadow of the Colossus or Final Fantasy, in the end we always find ourselves with experiences that will remain etched in our hearts until the end of time, but that very few players today would want to touch. … And in the event that they decide to take the big step, they would feel with extreme force those structural limits that at the time were simply the practice.

From remastered to remake

These palpable difficulties in maintaining current generations-old play experiences have been partially circumvented thanks to the remastered, slightly revisited versions of those much-loved titles that, thanks to higher resolutions and greater general cleanliness, have allowed some "new levers" to give a chance to various jewels of a bygone era. Only with the arrival of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, however, has we really tried to take a step forward that could really bring back those masterpieces that have accompanied us throughout our videogame career, when the major industry majors decided to push the accelerator on remakes. By expanding the concept behind the remasters, various software houses have rolled up their sleeves, giving new and concrete lifeblood to titles of great depth. Resident Evil 2, Crash Bandicoot, Demon's Souls, Final Fantasy VII, these are just some of the games that have been able to enjoy a real second life, capable of achieving two distinct objectives; bring new users closer to sagas sometimes forgotten by the general public and test the waters in anticipation of potential chapters for those IP often belonging to a forgotten era.

Whether we are talking about striking graphic changes, modifications to the play structure or real transformations of what was the original experience, the practice is always and only one; pick up productions incompatible by today's standards and modernize them, making them capable of competing on equal terms with the titles of the moment ... and it is precisely starting from this assumption that the latest news from Sony have made more than one fan turn up their noses. As you most likely know, in fact, in recent days the well-known journalist Jason Schreier has revealed a lot of information relating to the Japanese company, its future strategies and some of the company's First Party teams. Among the many innovations unveiled by the journalist, the one that it would seem to be a real The Last of Us Remake in development for some time, first left in the hands of a secondary team and later entrusted to the boys of Naughty Dog. We are talking about news not confirmed directly by Sony and which, consequently, must be taken with the right precautions, but at the same time they were able to unleash a general confusion among gamers, all of whom found themselves asking the same emblematic question: is there really a need for The Last of Us Remake?

The Last of Us Remake, minimum effort for maximum profit

As mentioned above, the remakes are especially designed for particularly dated productions and whose playful and technical limits make them unappetizing today, e The Last of Us is anything but that. Of course, we are talking about a title released 8 years ago, but at the same time it identifies itself as one of the best games ever released on PlayStation 3, to the point that it is still enjoyable today without the slightest problem; then if we consider that the creature by Naughty Dog was also able to enjoy a remastered version for PlayStation 4 - which has smoothed out some small edges present in the original work - the choice to develop a real remake of the title does not seem sensible ... of course, as long as you don't want to look at everything from a distinctly commercial point of view. Although it is certainly possible to further improve the game to allow it to approach the very high technical standards obtained with the second chapter, already today everyone is well aware that a hypothetical The Last of Us Remake would offer very little in terms of novelty and, consequently, would also require investments. particularly low in the face of potential earnings.

The first great adventure of Ellie and Joel, after all, is still remembered today with incredible joy by the public and there are many who would probably be happy to buy it back at full price - or almost - even on PlayStation 5. Yet, it is right from here which returns to the fateful question: do we really need such a production? When you think about remastered, it's easy to go back to the times when there were plenty of them, reinterpretations of titles on titles very often completely useless. Think of that Tomb Raider whose only real novelty was relegated to the realism of Lara's hair or, again, the awful Silent Hill HD Collection, made quickly and out for the sole purpose of scrapping together a few coins. These are just two of the infinite names that we could list as striking examples of this practice, the attempt to obtain the maximum profit with the minimum effort, even if it were necessary to exhume from the grave productions that perhaps would have been better left to rest underground. Now that with the new generation consoles, however, we have also strongly focused on the concept of backwards compatibility, the remasters have lost a good part of their (already not particularly exciting) appeal in the eyes of the public, and there are many who are wondering what could be the next move by the big videogame companies.

Well, The Last of Us Remake could be identified as an important piece of this passage, a work that if it were to obtain the right success could lead to the birth of a real trend, with old titles, even if only a few years old, polished and re-proposed on the market to "make money". The remakes are an important opportunity for the industry and which, if exploited properly, would allow pillars of videogame history to emerge from their ashes to return to amaze gamers of all ages, an opportunity that however also risks going miserably wasted. The revival of The Last of Us positions itself as a potential test case for the future on which we must pay close attention, a return with great fanfare which, honestly, you do not feel the need in the least.

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