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Naughty Dog May Be Graphical Wizards, But It Was Hell Getting The Last of Us on PS4

Posted by Sammy Barker

Fortunately, it wasn't for nothing

Transitioning to a new generation is never easy – and first-party powerhouse Naughty Dog has admitted that porting The Last of Us to the PlayStation 4 was Hell at first. Speaking as part of an interview with EDGE magazine, creative director Neil Druckmann explained that merely getting an image on the screen required plenty of blood, sweat, and tears from the studio’s award-winning engineering team – and that was just the first stage in The Last of Us Remastered's long and arduous production process.

“I wish that we had a button that was like, 'Turn on PS4 Mode', but no,” he joked. “We expected it to be Hell, and it was Hell. Just getting an image onscreen, even an inferior one with the shadows broken, lighting broke, and with it crashing every 30 seconds… that took a long time.” Druckmann added that the release was optimised for the PlayStation 3, but switching systems meant that it had to go back to the drawing board with many of the title’s fundamentals in order to get them up to scratch.

“I can’t describe how difficult a task that is,” he continued. “And once it’s running well, you’re running the [versions] side by side to make sure that you didn’t screw something up in the process, like physics being slightly off, or lighting being shifted, and all of a sudden it’s a drastically different look. That’s not ‘improved’ anymore – that’s different. We want to stay faithful while still being better.”

As a result, the studio’s resisted changing the core experience. “We have a really hard time playing the game because we constantly see things and think, 'Oh man, I could've done that better, I could've written that better, that animation pop over there, that transition...' but once you start going down that road, where do you stop?” he pondered, comparing the situation to George Lucas’ incessant tinkering of the original Star Wars trilogy. “At what point are you making the experience just different or worse?”

However, there will be many optimisations elsewhere, including the introduction of re-rendered cinematics that play at 60 frames-per-second in 1080p, as well as an alternate control scheme that employs the DualShock 4’s revised L2 and R2 triggers for gunplay rather than the more traditional L1 and R1 bumpers. The developer’s also considering creating some form of touchpad crafting feature, but details are scarce right now.

Lastly, Druckmann confirmed that while all of the game’s difficulties will be unlocked from the off – including the newly added Grounded option – you’ll need to complete the core campaign to access the Left Behind expansion. Fortunately, you won’t have to wait if you want to hear the cut-scene commentary from stars Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, as that will all be unlocked from the off. Well, that’s assuming that the developer can squeeze it all on the disc.

[via edge-online.com, ibtimes.co.uk, playstationlifestyle.net]

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User Comments (18)

Confused_DudeStaff

#1

Confused_Dude said:

Genuinely looking forward to this one, it'll give the multiplayer community a much-needed kick up the arse!

Glad they persevered.

ReigningSemtex

#2

ReigningSemtex said:

Can't wait for this. Does anyone know if ps3 users will be able to play factions with ps4 players?

BL_Donth

#4

BL_Donth said:

I missed out on the PS3 version so I'm really looking forward to this. Hope they announce the exact release date soon.

SimonAdebisi

#5

SimonAdebisi said:

Says more out the ps3 than the ps4, pain in the a** I gather. I can see it doing really well with all the delays to other titles piling up.

Splat

#6

Splat said:

"alternate control scheme that employs the DualShock 4’s revised L2 and R2 triggers for gunplay rather than the more traditional L1 and R1 bumpers."

I haven't played PS4 yet but HATED using L2 and R2 for shooting on any game on PS3.

Chouzetsu

#7

Chouzetsu said:

@Splat L2 and R2 are much better on PS4... Much more comfortable and satisfying to press. I still prefer L1 and R1 but I wouldn't mind using L2 and R2 as I haven't played TLoU yet.

JaxonH

#8

JaxonH said:

L2/R2 is the only way to go!

So, what exactly is re-rendered cinematics. I've heard of PRE-rendered, but never this...?

Dohv

#12

Dohv said:

It sounds as if it's far off ? I hope it releases in June like the original release date.

SimonAdebisi

#13

SimonAdebisi said:

@Splat its much better on the ds4, using l/r 2 for cod was much better than my brief excursion on the ps3 version of ghosts. Its just more comfortable all round I believe.

BlueProxy

#14

BlueProxy said:

Good to hear they're putting so much effort into making a top quality transition to the PS4. Little improvements like the new trigger options are great. L2 and R2 feel so much more natural on the dual shock 4.

ReigningSemtex

#15

ReigningSemtex said:

@Confused_Dude @RawWilson1

Thanks for your replies it's a shame because most of the people on my ps3 friends list have only got ps3 and they aren't kill stealing non revivers ;)

I really cannot wait for this and look forward to playing through the campaign a few more times while streaming my gameplay just because why not lol.

charlesnarles

#16

charlesnarles said:

Commentary sounds interesting. I wish they would have changed it rather than have ps3 playing side by side to make sure it's faithful. For example, in factions can your teammates still push you out of the way while you try to aim and shoot at someone? In sp can Bill still warp into my body to use the same cover as me? Do the throw arcs still not show if your Molotov will hit the ceiling? Do you still get disallowed from opening all shiv doors on Survivor? Stuff like that wouldn't be missed

Holydiver85

#17

Holydiver85 said:

Since I missed out on this on the PS3 this is definitely going to be a day 1 purchase if not a preorder. Im just itching to find out the release date.

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