With a simple “Okay” came to an end a The Last of Us that since its launch in 2013 has been the subject of debate, study and, above all, a product to explore for Sony and Naughty Dog that have ridden the wave of success. . We know that, to this day, The Last of Us is no longer a product of the video game, much less an exclusive to the PlayStation family. Not only has he “visited” 3 generations of the Japanese, but for the first time, the pairing of Joel and Ellie steps on the PC. In fact, it does so with great expectation after the phenomenal series by Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. Is it what we expected after 10 years? No, and it pains me to say so.
Of course, know that here we are going to focus only on how it works on PC. Although the game has capitalized on a catalog of 3 Sony consoles and taking into account that practically everything has already been said, there are still many who have not played it.
The current state of the game is… worrisome
Before we get into a more swampy terrain than normal, or what we would have liked from our team for PC players, I think it is convenient to mention the current state of the game. This analysis has been made based on the release version of the game dated March 29 and build 126.96.36.199, that is, after the first update patch. As a recommendation for when you enter the game, do not skip the first load of shaders or shaders. It takes half an hour and up, but playing without them is unpredictable.
As it stands, The Last of Us remake on PC is problematic, too. Although performance has improved with its first patch, the bugs and crashes that lead us to the Windows desktop are so many that it has been difficult for me to get this text out. In addition to the occasional anger at not being able to play for more than 30 minutes without seeing an error screen. The rebuke from the community on Steam we already know and it is leading the game upside down, but it seems to be Russian roulette. Even with everything, on my PC with an RTX 3060 Ti, an i5 12400 and 32 GB of RAM -the game has been installed on an SSD, that’s for sure-, the experience has been difficult, although not as bad as I have been able to read Over there. When it works, it’s a delight as I will tell you now, but its current state is not good.
The performance of The Last of Us on PC
Here’s a word of warning: if your PC exceeds or is in line with the game’s requirements, pluck up the courage to run it. You have to overcome them with a lot of breadth, and even so I would say that we may find ourselves before a very tough nut to crack that will depend on more than one patch. With the aforementioned system it should, at the very least, run the game at 1080p and 60 FPS on high qualities, and it doesn’t.
The game needs, almost forces you to spend a lot of time fiddling with its settings, and not everyone is willing to do it. It is normal, there is no homogeneity on the PC, much less in the video game in general, and there is the first error of Naughty Dog which, by the way, has been the team in charge of this port, not Iron Galaxy — they have only offered support, they have not taken care of the bulk of the work and they are taking more slaps on the wrist than they deserved. Capping the FPS at 60 and not touching that option in the more than 10 hours that The Last of Us will take you is the best advice I can give you. And although it may squeak for many of you, if you don’t get stability even for those reasons, cap it at 30 or 40 FPS and you’ll save yourself trouble.
I understand that seeing the game, for the first time in 10 years, on PC encourages playing without frame limit, but it seems that the port weighs down a “very PS5” configuration, where it runs at a maximum (at least without the VRR) at 60 FPS. Even so, putting an artificial stop will not free you from certain jerks and stuttering, so it is advisable to activate Vertical Synchronization, even if it consumes a bit, or make use of Freesync and G-Sync (if you have them) to avoid the huge image cuts.
As for the performance tests, the new patch of just 20 Mb (launched on the afternoon of March 29) is a very small salvation for those who are willing to play now. GPU usage has dropped and sits at a slightly alarming 80% at peak loads, while on Tuesday it was no lower than 99%. Also, the rest of the statistics are much better. There is more stability in the FPS, which are maintained at a latency of 17 ms —as a general rule, for 60 FPS settings it should be at 16 milliseconds—; while the CPU suffers much less.
Do not skip the first load of shaders or shaders. It takes half an hour and up, but playing without them is unpredictable
Of course, the general consumption is outrageous. None of my settings have passed High quality. Many of them, like shadows or environment adjustments, have had to settle for Medium. Even with everything, RAM consumption is close to 20 GB with a 1440p resolution and DLSS in Quality mode, which cuts the resolution to maintain some stability. And the VRAM is not far behind. To give you an idea, uploading those aforementioned Environment Textures from Medium to High, something that improves visual quality, implies a use of 800 Mb only in that setting. It is not a game, at least in its current state, for everyone and you need a PC with a very good system for it to work optimally.
Options and visual quality
Like all these old Sony exclusives, either because of what they meant visually on the Japanese desktop or because of their power in the middle, their ports to PC are looked at with a magnifying glass. This The Last of Us Part 1 is no stranger to such an analysis, and it has a huge “problem” to overcome: its remake came to the last generation of Sony a few months ago as an exclusive product and unrelated to PS4. The PC version is capable of being measured face to face with PS5, although one thing must be taken into account, and that is that the graphic boost exists, but it is minimal.
RAM consumption is close to 20 GB with a 1440p resolution and DLSS in Quality mode, which cuts the resolution to maintain some stability
That said, the options that the PC leaves us are extensive, I would say too much. With my experience between good and bad ports, I think a balance between a rich list of options and not bloating the player is perfect. Or as it would be said in an everyday environment: not too much, not too little. The Last of Us remake has a vast number of “useless” options that minimally modify the visual experience and mess up the player. There are very unclear settings that, in addition, its preview is bugged, so the experience is bad. On the other hand, there is a group of minor tweaks whose performance impact is moderate, and its visual why is nil. In fact, if you play with DLSS or FSR, something imperative with this port, those little things; Those contact shadows on the beard or hair remain on wet paper.
Going into the options, we find the aforementioned DLSS and FSR, both in their most up-to-date version (FSR 2.2 and DLSS 188.8.131.52.), various adjustments to tinker with ray tracing, very important visually; and the best known that attack textures, lighting and volumetric effects. It is these last two options that really mark a dividing line between platforms, an important visual difference. It seems obvious considering that, at least basically, the PC is more powerful, but since it is not confined to the “limits” of the console, the sharpness, power and result of shadows, lighting and how it affects the scenes dark and the reflections are even very hard to see. They provide a spectacular visual to the game that has made me go back to 2013 and that, already old, first version of The Last of Us.
The visual finish can be compared to the most overwhelming version of PS5 (that of Loyalty Mode), but with the margin and fluidity that unlocked FPS give you. Of course, do not even think of going up or down from a configuration in Medium-High. Betting on minimal graphics means suffering nightmares, I guarantee it. There is a huge problem in the construction of this port. I don’t want to fall into the obvious “it’s broken”, but reducing the visual quality means getting a worse finish than the PS3 version itself, and it’s worrying. For their part, the Ultra or Very High segments consume more than they offer. With a good eye you can see how they surpass the PS5, but I do not recommend going further in any case. Not even out of curiosity.
New generation additions to PC
I want to close the analysis by addressing something that has been diluted like water with so many problems: the use of DualSense and other legacy additions from PS5 to PC. Of course, if you are afraid of playing The Last of Us with a mouse and keyboard thinking that you are going to miss a greater experience with the Sony controller, fear not. I skipped the remake on PS5, so I don’t have as much of a foundation as I’d like, but the adaptive triggers are pretty anecdotal. They have a small resistance when drawing the weapon and shooting. Nothing special. Something similar with the haptic vibration, very little in this remake.
It’s nice to see how playing with mouse and keyboard gives such a satisfying experience. It is not a genre other than playing it with these peripherals – it is not a Forza Horizon 5, for example, which with the keyboard + mouse combo is somewhat less interesting – but The Last of Us moves very well. Know that, in this case, the remake drinks from the functions of The Last of Us Part 2, so everything is much clearer and more fluid for the player. In addition, and unlike those Uncharted for PC, there is no problem with the mouse, so, at least in this case, it will not be an enemy of your hours of play.
We have had to wait a long time on PC to play The Last of Us. Anyone who did not want to make the leap or, out of curiosity, tried it on any of the 3 generations of Sony, and has endured stoically on PC, has seen a port that does not do the game justice, nor does it expect it. Many were afraid of the hand of Iron Galaxy for this port, but the focus must be placed on those from Santa Monica. It may have been the time they had for development or some other factor, but Naughty Dog’s product leaves a lot to be desired. There is a lot of work ahead for the studio, and the community already knows that they have to wait a little longer.