The Last of Us Part II might be getting a new enhanced version for the PS5 soon. In a recent interview, composer Gustavo Santaolalla alluded that ‘new editions’ of the game are in the works at Naughty Dog, which would also expand on his character’s cameo appearance. Spanish-language website Vandal first broke the news, adding that in the new version, players will be able to ‘make [him/ Santaolalla’s character] play certain songs.’ It is possible that this could be delivered in the form of mini-games, as seen in the original version, where you could have the lead character Ellie play a myriad of songs by cycling through a bunch of notes.
For the uninitiated, Santaolalla’s character briefly appeared in The Last of Us Part II’s original PS4 version, silently strumming away at a banjo in the bustling Jackson City, while rocking on a chair next to his dog. The Argentine musician contributed multiple tracks to the original 2013 game and the recent television adaptation from HBO, which explains his cameo in the game. It’s worth noting that developer Naughty Dog is yet to make any announcement regarding plans for the purported PS5 version mentioned in the report. While the wildly polarising sequel received a PS5 performance patch in 2021 that targeted 60fps framerate output, it would appear that the studio is looking to further enhance the experience.
Reports from last year suggested that the studio was working on a director’s cut for The Last of Us Part 2, which if true, is how a port is likely to make its way to PC gamers. Naughty Dog previously ported The Last of Us Part I (remake) to PC, roughly half a year after the PS5 release in August 2022 — a release pattern that could be repeated, with Sony PlayStation prioritising its own console before expanding onto a different platform.
It’s not surprising for the publisher to develop PS5 versions of recently released games — The Last of Us Part 2 launched in 2020 — with Death Stranding and Ghost of Tsushima receiving ‘Director’s Cuts.’ Given The Last of Us’ success on HBO, even nabbing 24 nominations at the Emmys, an improved version for the PS5 doesn’t seem like a far-fetched idea.
The new versions generally consist of improved visual models and performance, alongside new accessibility features, serving as means for a developer to ‘double dip’ on a game’s sales. Neil Druckmann, who will soon solely lead Naughty Dog, hasn’t revealed what his next single-player narrative will be and hasn’t commented on The Last of Us Part III.
The studio recently scaled down development on The Last of Us multiplayer game as well, after Destiny maker Bungie raised concerns about the project’s ability to keep players engaged for long periods. Last month, the Microsoft v US FTC trial also revealed the budget for The Last of Us Part II — $220 million (about Rs. 1,805 crore) with roughly 200 full-time employees working on it.
The Last of Us Part II is out now on the PS4 and PS5.