15 Things to Know Before You Buy The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered

Over three and a half years on from its PS4 launch, The Last of Us Part 2 is finally getting a native PS5 release soon. A full-fledged remaster is set to release on January 19, and while it’s hard to argue against the notion that a game that’s still as visually and technically impressive as The Last of Us Part 2 doesn’t really need a remaster at all, there’s also no doubt that Naughty Dog is beefing up its upcoming PS5 release in several other ways. To that end, here, we’re going to talk about some key details you should know about The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered and everything it will add.


The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered’s headlining addition is set to be No Return, which has been described by Naughty Dog as a roguelite survival mode. Each run in No Return will put players through a series of unique, combat encounters, each set in a different location from the campaign, including Jackson and the Channel 13 News Station in Seattle. From the locations you find yourself in to the enemies and bosses you encounter, every run in the mode will be randomized in a number of ways.


At the outset of each round in a No Return run, you’ll be given the choice of available combat encounter types, and after every encounter, you’ll return to your Hideout, where you will be able to choose your next fight, as well as prepare for what’s coming. Every run will be capped off by a boss battle, of which there will be six available in the mode, while at the end of every run, whether it ends in success or failure, you will also be given a score and a rank judging your performance.


No Return will have four different combat encounter types available, with each having its own unique challenges, rewards, and more. Capture will task players with finding and looting a safe that’s being heavily guarded by enemies, while Hunted will task you with surviving against constant enemy attacks and reinforcements until the timer counts down to zero. Then there’s Holdout, in which you and an AI-controlled companion (or Buddy, as the mode will call them) will have to work together to fight off hordes of Infected. Finally, in Assault, you’ll be taking on and defeating waves of various foes.


No Return will have ten playable characters, and though only Ellie and Abby will be available at the outset, as you play more of the mode and complete Challenges (more on that in a bit), you’ll also be able to unlock Joel, Dina, Jessie, Tommy, Lev, Yara, Mel, and Manny. Each character, as you may have guessed, will also have their own unique attributes. For instance, Abby will be something of a specialist in melee combat, coming equipped with a melee upgrade recipe and having the ability to heal every time she lands a melee attack, while Dina will be more focused on bombs, having access to recipes for trap and stun bombs right out the gate and having an unlockable skill that lets her double her yield every time she crafts bombs.


the last of us part 2 remastered

With No Return being a roguelite mode, it will obviously place quite a bit of emphasis on temporary progression, which means you’ll be losing a lot of your upgrades every time a run ends, and beginning the next run from scratch. That will include not only the items and weapons that you pick up (which will be dropped randomly in each run), but also any skills or weapon upgrades you unlock using the resources you’ve found.


Beyond the short-term, run-to-run, temporary progression of No Return, the mode will also feature several long-term, permanent, overarching goals to work towards. For starters, bosses will have to be unlocked successively, which means you’ll have to have five successfully completed runs to be able to see all six bosses in the mode, and only after that will they start capping off runs at random. Beyond that, character unlocks will also obviously be permanent, while each character will also have several outfits for players to unlock.


the last of us part 2 remastered

Challenges will play an important role in No Return’s metagame progression. Chief among the purposes of Challenges will be unlocking new characters. There will be a number of different Challenge tracks in the mode, each tied either to a specific character or to the mode as a whole, and progressing further in those tracks will allow you to unlock either new characters, or things specifically tied to individual characters, like outfits, the aforementioned Buddies, Gambits, and more. Oh, and speaking of Gambits…


Mods and Gambits are two additional ways that The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered’s roguelite mode will be attempting to keep things fresh and unpredictable from run to run. Mods are randomized challenges that players will be able to opt into to gain higher rewards, with each of the four previously mentioned encounter types having a number of different mods available. From enemies dropping pipe bombs when they die to the entire map becoming covered in fog, No Return’s mods will test players’ skills in a variety of ways. Gambits, meanwhile, are optional challenges that can grant you additional resources during a run, like, for instance, landing a certain number of headshots, or dodging a certain number of melee attacks.


the last of us part 2 remastered

No Return is set to be a purely solo experience, but it will still have some multiplayer elements in play in the form of Daily Runs. A new one of these will be available every day, bringing unique, randomized challenges. Each player will be able to tackle a Daily Run only once, with everyone having to use the same character, while a leaderboard will also track how players worldwide are doing against each other. Meanwhile, for those who want less randomization and would prefer greater control over their experience, No Return will also feature custom runs, where players will be able to tweak and toggle a number of settings to their liking.


No Return may be the biggest new addition in The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered, but it’s not the only one. Naughty Dog is also adding in what it’s dubbed the Lost Levels, which are early development slices of levels that were cut from the final game that players will be able to explore in their unfinished form. In total, there will be three Lost Levels – Jackson Party, Boar Hunt, and Sewers, all three of which are from Ellie’s sections of the game – and each will feature embedded developer commentary to provide insight about them and why they were removed from the final game.


the last of us part 2 remastered

For players looking for more insight into The Last of Us Part 2’s story, characters, and writing, Naughty Dog has also confirmed that all cutscenes in the game will include commentary from not only creative director and co-writer Neil Druckmann, but also narrative lead Halley Gross, and actors Troy Baker, Ashley Johnson, and Laura Bailey, who play Joel, Ellie, and Abby respectively.


The Last of Us Part 2’s guitar-playing minigame was a big hit among fans, and continues to be something of a favourite. In the upcoming remaster, it will take on a larger role in the form of Guitar Free Play, where you’ll be able to play the guitar to your heart’s content (in addition to several other unlockable instruments), choose the character you want to play as and the location you want to play in, and even use audio FX pedals to further modulate your performance.


the last of us part 2 remastered

Beyond all the aforementioned new additions, The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered will also boast several other smaller highlights, like bonus skins for Abby and Ellie, the unlockable Speedrun mode making its return from last year’s The Last of Us Part 1, new accessibility options in the form of Descriptive Audio and Speech to Vibrations, and new options in Photo Mode, including Frame Forward, Gaze Direction, dynamic lighting, and new frame and logo options. It’s also been confirmed that the remaster will feature support for the DualSense’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.


The Last of Us Part 2’s PS4 version is still one of the best-looking games around, but Naughty Dog has confirmed a new of additional visual and tech enhancements for the remaster, with improvements being made to everything from level-of-detail distances and animation sampling rate to shadow quality and texture resolution. Meanwhile, the remaster will also feature two graphics modes, with Fidelity Mode running in native 4K and Performance Mode at 4K upscaled from a native 1440p resolution. Presumably, the two modes will run at 30 FPS and 60 FPS respectively, though Naughty Dog hasn’t yet explicitly confirmed that. It has, however, confirmed that an unlocked framerate option will be available for those with VRR displays.


the last of us part 2 remastered

When The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered launches for PS5 on January 19, its standard edition will retail for $49.99, though those who already have the game on PS4 won’t have to pay full price. Sony has confirmed that an upgrade path will allow previous owners of the game to upgrade to its remaster for a price of $9.99. Meanwhile, save data transfers from the original to the remaster will also be available.