What can you expect when you begin your fight for survival? Read on to find out...
Could you be The Last of Us?
Mankind has always faced danger, but it wasn't war or natural disasters that virtually wiped us out. Tiny fungal spores eventually did more damage than any bomb or earthquake ever could - ripping through humanity and decimating the population.
Twenty years on, what remains of civilisation is confined to Quarantine Zones - harsh, oppressive military compounds with strict controls over who is allowed in and out. Anyone showing signs of infection is dealt with swiftly - no exceptions. Amongst this desperate, violent population is Joel, a black market smuggler whose only concern is looking out for number one. That is until a deal with underground rebel group the Fireflies means he must smuggle an unexpected cargo out of the city.
Fourteen year old Ellie has never known anything but life inside the Quarantine Zone. Brave, outspoken and tough beyond her years, Ellie is put in the care of Joel as his most precious consignment yet. Together they begin a journey into the ravaged world beyond the walls that will push their will to survive to the limit.
A beautiful wasteland
The Last of Us Remastered's staggering visuals will make you simply stop and stare at your surroundings. Amongst the decaying streets and buildings, vibrant greenery grows from the cracked concrete, adding to the ever-present feeling that Joel and Ellie are virtually alone in the world outside of the Quarantine Zones.
It's this beauty that gives the game world such a stark contrast to the terrifying action sequences however - particularly when encountering one of the Infected. The fungal growths that have consumed their bodies and turned them into relentless killers are a chilling reminder that not everything that has been overtaken by nature is peaceful.
Underpinning the gameplay is an original music score composed by Academy Award winner Gustavo Santaolalla. The haunting soundtrack provides a perfect emotional link between the player, characters and the game's unique setting and is a poignant reminder of how Joel and Ellie perceive the world around them.
An unlikely pairing
It's thanks to Joel's survival instincts that he's charged with protecting Ellie on their journey into what's left of the outside world; scavenging for supplies and crafting new weapons are essential to keeping the pair alive in the hostile environment.
Although Ellie is Joel's "cargo", she's no dead weight, and is more than capable of holding her own. Her sassy, opinionated attitude even provides occasional moments of light relief - and reminders that she's still only a teenager.
Joel and Ellie aren't alone in the post-pandemic world. Lurking in the shadows are ruthless human survivors, hunting for anyone or anything that could provide them with food, weapons or supplies. But it's the grotesque Infected that pose the greatest threat to survival. They initially come in three types; Infected still retain some of their humanity, whereas Runners will rabidly charge Joel and Ellie as soon as they see them. Most deadly of all are the Clickers - fully infected enemies who have succumbed completely to the spores. They're totally blind and locate their prey with a series of clicks; so if you hear them, it's time to hide - a single bite from a Clicker, and you won't live to tell the tale.
What will you do to survive?
Joel's ability to scavenge for supplies and craft useful items from whatever he finds is the key to his and Ellie's survival. With guns and ammo scarce, items such as metal bars, duct tape and scissors can be crafted into deadly melee weapons, whilst bottles, rags and alcohol can produce Molotov cocktails to take out enemies from a distance. There are choices to make here though; the same ingredients that produce Molotovs could also be used to make a health kit, so choose wisely. Remember to search for supplies wherever you go - you never know what you'll find.
Rushing into battle is a sure way to get Joel killed, so it pays to listen to where your enemies are, assess the threat and work out the best strategy for defeating them - or escaping unscathed. Press the R1 button to focus Joel's hearing, so you can build up a picture of the situation you're facing and how many enemies are lurking ahead. Staying low and sneaking around the danger area - perhaps by distracting enemies with a thrown bottle or brick - can be essential, and could also mean missing out on useful items that may be dropped in the fight.
Come for the apocalypse, stay for the Factions
Multiplayer mode in The Last of Us Remastered comes in two modes. Supply Raid is a four versus four team match where survival relies on you and your teammates finding supply caches, crafting weapons quickly and eliminating the enemy. Survivors mode also sees two teams of four competing; but with a cunning twist of no re-spawns - the first team to take four rounds (out of seven) wins out.
If you're yet to pick up a copy of The Last of Us Remastered on PS4, what are you waiting for? Grab it from PlayStation Store now.
Spelunky, Dust an Elysian Tale and more, available now