With the strikes now over, it looks as if it’s full-steam ahead for production on the second season of HBO‘s adaptation of The Last of Us. While little is known of the specifics, the first episode script was completed ahead of the strike and it is believed that the role of Abby (the character that is hunting Joel and is the opposition for Ellie in the game, though you play as Abby for half of it) has been cast – but there’s no official news of who will play her as yet. Earlier comments suggest that the second season will not follow all the beats of the game and that the story featured in the PS4‘s original Part 2 release could form more than one season of plot. The current plans are for filming to start in the near future with a proposed date of early 2025, not that far behind original plans. If Pedro Pascal is cast as Reed Richards in the MCU‘s Fantastic Four movie, it’s expected that a schedule will be worked out to accommodate both.
The actual games to date have been some of the most popular ever-produced, with both the original game and The Last of Us Part 2 leading the way in both technology and dynamic, multi-layered and often controversial story-telling. There have been several different versions so far. The original game (released in June 2013) got a Remastered edition in July 2014 with better graphics (which was my introduction into the story) and a third version of that for the PS5 took those graphics and feelings of immersion to even higher and deeper degrees in 2022. Now it’s the turn of Part 2 (originally released in 2020) with creators Naughty Dog announcing that a Remastered version of Part 2 will now be released for the PS5 on 19th January 2024, bringing up that sequel to the current threshold, adding textures, even more realistic gameplay and also a host of extras, described in the announcement as: enhanced graphics, including native 4K output(1) in Fidelity Mode, 1440p upscaled to 4K(1) in Performance Mode, an Unlocked Framerate option for TVs that support VRR, increased texture resolution, increased Level-of-Detail distances, improved shadow quality, animation sampling rate… also incorporating DualSense wireless controller haptic feedback and adaptive triggers integration ).
Those extras include deleted scenes from the original game, creator commentary – with director Neil Druckmann, narrative lead Halley Gross, and actors Troy Baker, Ashley Johnson, and Laura Bailey – and an interactive ‘Daily Run’ for those who ahve their console connected to the internet.
If you’re like me and still have a PS4 but can’t quite afford to pull the trigger on a PS5, it seems you’re out of luck… though if you already possess Part 2 on a disc for the PS4 and you are thinking of getting the PS5, you will be able to upgrade to a digital version of The Last of Us Part II Remastered to play on the PS5 for only $10 USD at launch and import your saves from the original game to Part II Remastered, which sounds like a great deal.