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The Last of Us Part II Remastered's “No Return” is relentless

The Last of Us Part II Remastered's “No Return” is relentless

The Last of Us Part II Remastered represents another step from Naughty Dog towards visual improvements to an already existing series. In this article, I'll only go over the subtly visible changes, which are mostly minimal and only noticeable through a side-by-side comparison. Here, the main focus is on the new “No Return” mode, a roguelike that has the potential to capture the attention of die-hard fans of the series.

After the surprise free DLC that the Santa Monica Studio team provided for God of War Ragnarok fans, packed with content that rivals many full games, the “No Return” mode got me thinking that it might be a similar approach. But unfortunately, this is not the case. Although it does offer some visual changes, including new viewing modes and graphical improvements, I have to admit that the decision to not be free leaves a bittersweet taste.

Naughty Dog is offering PS4 players the opportunity to upgrade their original experience for an additional cost of €10. However, for those who do not yet own the title, the purchase will be made at full price. This strategy rewards the loyalty of existing players, while also allowing new players to explore what's new in the remastered version.

Roguelike is not for everyone

“No Return” is an important addition to this Remastered, being a roguelike mode that challenges even the most dedicated The Last of Us players. It is undoubtedly a challenge not for everyone, as death is the end of the world. Line. It's possible to play on a lower difficulty for a more accessible experience, but the challenge at these levels is very limited, with enemies often being ineffective at shots that rarely hit us. The real brilliance of this mode comes when you choose medium or higher difficulty, where loot is rare and enemies pose deadly threats.

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The characters available are diverse and divided into two distinct groups: those who accompany Eli and Abby's allies. For a total of 10, Eli is joined by Joel, Dina, Jesse, and Tommy, while Abby's allies include Liv, Yara, Mel, and Manny. Each character has unique skills and attributes that directly affect our approach during the rounds. For example, Abby excels at hand-to-hand combat, while Joel is lethal and aggressive but lacks the ability to dodge. Others, like Lev, are more stealthy and skilled, and there's Tommy, whose specialty is using a sharpshooter with great enthusiasm.

The variety of characters, each with their own characteristics, adds a layer of variety to the gameplay, providing options for different styles of players. Realizing that every player has their own preferences and unique styles, Naughty Dog offers multiple ways to tackle challenges, tailored to different playstyles.

No Return works in a relatively simple way, presenting players with a challenging map. The initial mission consists of choosing which path to follow, carefully analyzing the available options and making strategic decisions to reach the final boss. Although a path provides multiple paths, selecting one automatically blocks the others.

“Back” to factions

Each round offers specific challenges, with several modifiers that give each stage its unique character. These modifiers are key, as they determine the type of enemies, game mode, and even visual changes, such as mirror display or switching to black and white. Additionally, there are Gambits, which are high-stakes challenges that appear once per encounter, offering more valuable rewards for those willing to take on greater challenges.

After a successful round, players are transported to their hideout, where they receive well-deserved rewards. In this strategic refuge, they have the opportunity to improve their weapons on the workbench and even obtain new equipment with resources obtained in raids.

The Last of Us' unique gameplay is skillfully integrated into No Return, and it flows smoothly and without hiccups that impact the experience. To some extent, this mode took me back a decade, reminding me of Factions on PS3, and the approach is similar, where you collect resources on the map while keeping an eye on enemies, building items as needed, and of course, trying to achieve the objectives of the round. This familiarity provides a sense of nostalgia for veterans of the series, while offering a captivating experience for newcomers, thanks to its intuitive and captivating mechanics.

In-depth exploration of complex game mechanics provides us with extremely rewarding moments. The roguelike mode adds an interesting element for those who appreciate Naughty Dog's meticulously crafted gameplay in this legendary series. There are many hours of pure joy, without pauses, dialogue or cinematics. The focus is exclusively on raw, intense action, which provides an action-packed experience for those most dedicated to The Last of Us and beyond.

Conclusion

“No Return” is a valuable and well-received addition that introduces new features and reflects Naughty Dog’s commitment to providing fans with additional content in anticipation of the final release of The Last of Us Part III. Although it's not offered for free, it's always good to know that owners of the original PlayStation 4 version can purchase it at a discounted price.


For those who aren't familiar with the original The Last of Us Part II, we recommend checking out our review for an expanded look at the game before considering the remastered version.