In a recent chat with UK gaming mag Edge, Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann said it was “hell” porting The Last of Us to the PlayStation 4. Taking the Remastered edition — which brings with it improved visuals, the Left Behind expansion and some multiplayer content — to Sony’s new console doesn’t sound like it was a particularly easy task.
“We expected it to be hell, and it was hell. Just getting an image onscreen, even an inferior one with the shadows broken, lighting broken and with it crashing every 30 seconds… that took a long time. These engineers are some of the best in the industry and they optimized the game so much for the PS3’s SPUs specifically. It was optimized on a binary level, but after shifting those things over, you have to go back to the high level, make sure the systems are intact, and optimize it again.
“I can’t describe how difficult a task that is. And once it’s running well, you’re running the [versions] side by side to make sure you didn’t screw something up in the process, like physics being slightly off, which throws the game off, or lighting being shifted and all of a sudden it’s a drastically different look. That’s not ‘improved’ any more; that’s different. We want to stay faithful while being better.”
The Last of Us Remastered is slated for a release this summer for $59.99.