The Last of Us Part I arrives on PC today! It’s an exciting time for both Naughty Dog’s developers and fans alike, whether you previously played The Last of Us on PlayStation consoles, voraciously watched the HBO adaptation, or will experience Ellie and Joel’s journey for the first time with this PC release. We are so thrilled to share The Last of Us Part I with you and the passionate, global community of PC gamers.
As we began development in-house, we wanted PC players to experience an amazing story that truly lasts the test of time while maintaining the equally high-quality bar across both PC and PlayStation consoles. The Last of Us Part I marks the first time an entry in The Last of Us series has been available on PC with PC-specific quality of life improvements and features such as VSync and frame rate cap options, adjustable Texture Quality, Shadows, Reflections, Ambient Occlusion, and more. As our second modern PC release after UNCHARTED: Legacy of Thieves Collection, it’s important to us as a studio to consider what it means to reach new and old audiences alike.
Familiar World, New Territory
Following UNCHARTED: Legacy of Thieves Collection’s PC release, we focused our efforts and learnings onto the PC version of The Last of Us Part I. Behind the scenes, we worked towards ensuring that The Last of Us Part I would be an authentic, satisfying experience for those playing on PC. The challenges we overcame and the successes we achieved in our previous modern PC release empowered us to dig into Part I’s PC development. New projects bring new challenges and opportunities alike.
We were determined to do this right by preserving an experience so many love while delivering it to a new platform. From a technical perspective, Naughty Dog’s engine used for Part I was optimized for PS5. Moving it to PC meant a large amount of tuning, tweaking, and even re-thinking, especially when it came to how we utilized the GPU. We made careful decisions on how to adapt the overall experience for the PC.
PC gaming gives a lot of personal freedom to players to customize their experience. As developers, we must ensure the experience is authentic across platforms while addressing the reality of differing hardware, even if we must reconsider fundamental aspects of a game. For example, The Last of Us Part I on PlayStation 5 employs “stick-walking,” where players traverse a space using the DualSense controller’s thumb stick. As we all know, walking too fast in The Last of Us might alert the Infected, which, if you’re trying to remain stealthy, you’ll want to avoid. But while using the thumb stick, players’ emotions might sometimes get the best of them, resulting in throttling the speed at which they walk. This feature is both tactile and emotional, adding to the suspense of any encounter. For the PC version, we had to consider many players’ preference of using a keyboard and mouse as a viable control method. However, they don’t necessarily behave the same way as a controller. So, the Design team explored and adapted this traversal method while still ensuring a world-class player experience with mouse and keyboard. We want PC players to experience the same level of tactile and suspenseful gameplay console players already enjoy.
These are only a few examples of the considerations and adjustments made for us to deliver The Last of Us Part I on PC. We knew every modification, whether a slight tweak or complete adaptation to the PC platform, made a big impact on players’ experiences. Developing for both platforms will also allow us to incorporate lessons learned from either platform into the overall way our games are designed and played.
A 10 Year Journey
PC may be a relatively newer platform for modern-day Naughty Dog, but this milestone is part of an almost decade-long journey for this beloved story. We originally released The Last of Us in 2013, introducing a new story, characters, and world to players globally.
Every developer contributed their talents and creativity, sometimes in moments of unexpected inspiration. I remember when we recorded our Animation Director and a concept artist acting as a survivor and a Clicker to demonstrate how they’d move and interact in-game. In this video, a survivor scavenges for food while a Clicker stalks him as prey. This demo was so suspenseful to watch! What was even more surreal is seeing this footage adapted by our talented teams into the in-game Clicker’s erratic, scary movement style that still scares all of us today. Whether we were handwriting (and, at times, hand-drawing) discoverable letters Joel and Ellie would find along their adventure or working together to craft fun and tense gameplay, we felt incredibly proud to contribute towards an experience that was a summation of our collective creativity and passion for games.
As development of the original The Last of Us neared its end, we played the completed game for the first time at our desks. We emailed back and forth, proud and emotional over this profoundly evocative experience we poured so much effort into creating. Nearly 10 years later, we are humbled how it resonates with so many of you, and it is surreal to see fans of every era celebrate the games and watch the HBO adaptation. Countless talented developers contributed to the world of The Last of Us over the years, and their contributions have brought us to this day. We are proud of the work we’ve done, both now and then.
Remaking The Last of Us Part I was an immense creative and technical undertaking. While the story remains timeless, we knew we could significantly modernize the original experience and showcase an even more vibrant world to explore. We remade Part I for PlayStation 5, using all our learnings from the past decade. We’re proud of how this version breathes fresh life into the original story, so returning players and new fans alike may experience Joel and Ellie’s journey with modern visuals and gameplay.
Now that we accomplished releasing the remake on PS5, we are thrilled to bring this game, not just to PC but for PC.
The Road Ahead
So, where will the next Naughty Dog development adventure take us? Rest assured, PlayStation and PC players, we’re already looking forward to sharing more, whether you prefer a DualSense controller or a keyboard and mouse. Developing for both platforms empowers us to incorporate lessons learned from either into the overall design of our games. Sharing our stories and experiences on PS5 as well as PC is something that Naughty Dog has embraced and will continue to support moving forward.
That said: today, we celebrate! We have many people to thank for the launch of The Last of Us Part I on PC.
Thank you to Sony Interactive Entertainment, and, of course, our studio members who contributed their efforts towards launching The Last of Us Part I.
To The Last of Us community – thank you for all these years of support and passion. We are continually humbled and motivated by your energy and excitement. To new players, welcome to the world of The Last of Us! We hope you have an incredibly gratifying experience as you navigate the world with Ellie and Joel.
Thank you for playing. Endure and survive -- and thrive.