The Last of Us - Part 1 PC feature image

The Last of Us – Part 1 PC review: For the 1%

Not for you if:

  • Your PC is not the best of the best.
  • Smooth gameplay is a feature you expect from AAA games.
  • You expected more story to be present compared to the HBO show.
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This The Last of Us – Part 1 PC review is a bitter one. After all the hype the series created in the last few months The Last of Us – Part 1 PC hit like a wad of wet toilet paper in PC gamers’ faces. Utter disappointment on everything except the story front. Only the select few with the strongest powerhouses seem to be spared from this unoptimized port. You’d think after releasing The Last of Us for the fourth time it’d be flawless. Sadly, The Last of Us – Part 1 PC is far from it.

The Last of Us - Part 1 PC intro cutscene, Joel and Sara watching tv in the sofa

TL;DR

While The Last of Us brings an amazing story with supreme acting, shocking moments and nail-biting tension. It’s unlikely to run properly if your PC isn’t decked out with the latest hardware. Right now, buying and playing The Last of Us – Part 1 is like opening a loot box. You’ll either have a legendary experience or one filled with stutters, crashes, blurry visuals and buggy encounters. The short of it all is to wait for patches and optimization.

The Last of Us - Part 1 PC Vram hog

The Last of Us – Part 1 PC review – Sony’s Skyrim

The first release of The Last of Us was way back in 2013. Ten years ago PlayStation 3 players got to experience the blockbuster story The Last of Us brought and brand it as one of the best exclusive games PlayStation has to offer. It was so well received that a year later there was a The Last of Us Remastered version for the PlayStation 4. 

Then, nine years later, came The Last of Us – Part 1 for PlayStation 5 with a bigger update and changes to core mechanics and dual sense controller features. Now ten years later since its original release, the fourth version of The Last of Us would bring PC players into the franchise. After releasing a television adaption by HBO and hyping up gamers and non-gamers alike it falls short of any expectations.

  • The view of the capitol building
  • The Last of Us - Part 1 PC View of boston
  • Modding guns and upgrading them

The perfect blend of gaming and a blockbuster movie

The Last of Us franchise is met with critical acclaim. While The Last of Us – Part 2 got a more divided reception, The Last of Us – Part 1 is known for being the best part of the franchise. With Naughty Dog not yet having confirmed The Last of Us – Part 3, who knows what the studio will bring next?

The Last of Us - Part 1 PC cutscene where Tess shoots robert

Keeping you on the edge of your seat

The story of The Last of Us – Part 1 is one filled with hope, love, hate, shock, and horror. The way tension is created within the world of The Last of Us – Part 1 is simply sublime. Man’s own destruction ravages the post-apocalyptic world to fight the cordyceps fungus infecting and wiping out humanity. But it’s a recovering world where nature has carefully crept back over the corpse of civilization as we knew it.

The quarantine zones the last of humanity live in are controlled by a totalitarian military group that keeps a tight grip on the citizens. This caused the rise up of a rebel group called the fireflies, actively fighting the regime to pry the zones free from their control.

In all this mess you play as Joel and Tess, smugglers that ran into a dispute with one of their contacts. After trying to get their shipment of guns back from him they meet the leader of the Boston, Massachusetts Fireflies, Marlene. She promises to get their guns back and more if they smuggle a girl (Ellie) out of the zone and to another branch of the Fireflies. As it turns out Ellie is immune to cordyceps and could be the potential candidate to develop a cure or vaccine.

Now I won’t spoil anything in this review. If you managed to avoid any spoilers and still haven’t watched the series in anticipation of playing The Last of Us – Part 1 on PC first. We fully respect that and won’t take the experience away. If you have watched the series it really takes away all the amazing and shocking moments from the story. You will quickly recognize characters and environments that are monumental to the story. The series did an excellent job of recreating the story of The Last of Us – Part 1.

Sneaking behind a clicker zombie trying to remain undetected

Sneak, fight and shank your way through the apocalypse

The Last of Us – Part 1 is a linear single-player action-adventure game. There aren’t any game-changing choices for you to make and the story is set in stone. The way you navigate through the story is a mix of stealth, combat and easy puzzles.

Stealth and combat are equally intense, combat is brutal and can be over as fast as it starts. Joel, Ellie and Tess aren’t superhuman powerhouses that can take several bullets or bites. One bit from a clicker means a restart from your last save. Stealth is an intense hide-and-seek game between you and whatever you are facing. The sound design of the infected keeps you on your toes and constantly peeking around the corners.

Combat is either brutal melee fighting or third-person shooting with a variety of weapons. A lack of bullets and resources keeps you from going everywhere guns blazing. You will either have to fall back on your bare hands or run out of healing items to sustain that way of playing.

The puzzles in The Last of Us – Part 1 consist of traversal puzzles. Finding ladders, plugging in cables or placing planks to cross gaps. Nothing too complex needs a ten-minute YouTube tutorial because you missed a hidden clue or item. All three aspects come in a nice balance, not too much combat or too many puzzles. Filled up with the story and interesting dialogue in between.

The worst port I have played so far

The Last of Us – Part 1 is a good game, but The Last of Us – Part 1 is a terrible port for many. I have an above-average rig that can play anything I can set my mind to. I never use DLSS in any of the games I play because I find it plain ugly to look at. I know what my PC can take and how to tweak settings to make games run smoothly.

With an RT3080, 32GB ram, and i5 10th gen I can’t get The Last of Us – Part 1 for PC to run stable. Lower settings seem to run even worse so I fine-tuned them to something that had FPS ranges between 60-101. Perfectly playable for a single-player game. Enter random stutters that slow everything down to a whopping 20 – 30 FPS. I ended up turning on DLSS in the hopes of evening out those spikes, kind of better but certain zones still incur random stuttering and FPS drops. And then we have the rest of the issues.

The Last of Us - Part 1 PC washed out blurry graphics.

Blurry visuals and weird glitches

The visuals look like they came straight from The Last of Us 2013 version. Textures are simply washed out and blurry, all while taking ages to load in and sharpen a bit. This also results in crafting materials being hard to pick up in the environment. Making The Last of Us – Part 1 harder than it is even on normal difficulty.

Some textures of items glitch out when on the edges of corners or just in range of the camera. Like a bright blue grate set in the wall, breaking immersion. During my playtime, I saved my game and when I later wanted to continue I was teleported forward in the story, I had skipped several checkpoints and ended up further in the game than where I left off. I was scratching my head thinking Joel came to life while I was gone and decided to continue on its own.

The Last of Us - Part 1 PC bad graphics once more

Control scheme that just feels off

The control scheme created for The Last of Us – Part 1 PC just feels a bit off. Leaving menus or returning from your inventory is set to Backspace as a default. I’m used to using the TAB or Escape keys to close in-game inventories and continue one. These buttons are close to where your left hand is when playing and ensure some fluidity when playing. Backspace has you lifting your hand from the mouse or keyboard to exit. If you are crafting during combat these vital seconds can mean the difference between life and death.

While you can customize your key binds to your personal liking, it’s a weird initial setup of key binds. Changing weapons in your holsters and reloading work great in a console setting. But PC has just that tad more to offer and I wish more thought had gone into utilizing the UI and key binds more for pc.

Key binds are a minor frustration and easily interchangeable after going through your settings. My biggest gripe was the mouse aiming that could act up. Having an intense shoot-out while hanging upside down is hard enough as it is. Add in the stutters and the challenge is even bigger. But having my mouse sensitivity acting up and changing is even more challenging. All these little things add up to a big pile of frustrations.

The death animations are brutal, Joel his jaw is getting ripped off by a big mushroom boy.

The Last of Us – Part 1 PC review – Conclusion

The conclusion is that The Last of Us – Part 1 runs way better on a console. And a 3000€ VS a 550€ console to run the same game is a crazy comparison. The price point to buy The Last of Us – Part 1 for PC is also the same as for console. Making a 70€ purchase for a game that might not run well is a hard pass. Waiting for patches and optimization is the key to saving yourself a lot of frustration and buyer’s remorse.

When I compare The Last of Us – Part 1 for PC to the port of Returnal that I also reviewed. Returnal ran beautifully and looked amazing. Comparing Returnal to The Last of Us – Part 1 is day and night. Right now, The Last of Us – Part 1 PC port is a stain for the franchise.

Thank you Playstation Greece for the review key.

Stijn Ginneberge

Posts published: 131

Gaming for me is about experiencing their stories, overcoming challenges, living in fantasy worlds and exploring alien planets. You can also find me in the local game store or on an airsoft field.