Game Review: The Last of Us Part 1‘s PC port is far from perfect

It’s no secret that The Last of Us Part 1 has released on PC to some extremely negative reactions, mainly due to its buggy and at times, game-breaking performance issues. There have been two patches issued since its release, yet the game is still struggles to run on mid tier PC’s, let alone an entry level machine. Admittedly, you’ll need to check your specs before you grabbing this one, as it takes a fair amount of processing power and may be difficult to run on older systems. With that aside, it’s still great to see that the Last of Us has finally made the leap to PC in some shape or form, allowing players to experience an otherwise incredible story that has defined a generation of gamers and cemented itself as one of the greatest games of all time. 

Performance Issues

After installing the game and booting up the menu screen of curtains blowing in the breeze, I was ready to jump in all over again. But upon selecting to begin a new game, another loading screen starts, prompting the game’s shaders to load, albeit at an extremely slow rate. It took my PC about 45 minutes to fully load the shaders. Patience is not necessarily one of your virtues, but The Last of Us Part 1 deems it so as if you decide skip ahead, the game performs horribly. It simply looks grainy and the performance is extremely sluggish to boot. I guess what I’m trying to say is, please, wait for the shaders. 

Once loaded however, the game does look the best it ever has. And that’s saying something given the impressive visuals on the PlayStation 5. Cutscenes have never looked so clean and cinematic in scope with detail flowing through smoothly into gameplay, which then offers richer lighting and vivid details that look stunning on a 4K monitor, should your specs suit. That being said, The Last of Us Part 1 also provides AMD FSR 2.2 support, Nvidia DLSS Super Resolution support, VSync and frame rate cap options, and a bunch of other smaller options for the best possible version on your PC, from adjustable Texture Quality, Shadows, Reflections, and Ambient Occlusion.

A Tale as Old as Time

At the end of the day, we’re all here for the story. If you’ve finished binging the HBO show (if not, please do) and not had a PlayStation console to play this previously, this has all of the included original content including the additional Left Behind DLC, which stands out as a separate story highlighting Ellie’s own journey prior to the main story. For those who are new to the series, you play as Joel, a survivor of the infected outbreak who lives on the fringe of society, apart from the guerrilla group knows as the Fireflies. Through a series of intertwined circumstances, he ends up escorting a young girl by the name of Ellie across the country in the hopes of finding a cure for the deadly fungus infection once and for all. But not all is as it seems, as our protagonists endure a brutal journey across the country in a bid to fight for what is right and what is easy. 

The story then aims to build a solid relationship between our two protagonists, each dealing with their own grief and turmoil, all while navigating the thin line between life, death, Clickers and rogue gangs. It manages to bring together a range of existing tropes and concepts with enough depth and maturity that it begs for its own examination as a story worth enduring all over again. If you want to read more about the story or our broader impressions, you can do so via our PS5 remake review here.

Final Thoughts

Put simply, The Last of Us will go down as one of the best games ever made, and this remake is no exception; when it runs right.  Expanding such an experience to a new audience and platform not only allows for PC gamers to experience this, but it also allows for the visuals to look the best they possibly can, should your system be willing. Although it may be best to wait for an upgrade to an NVIDIA RTX 3090 for the best of everything, the PC version is in many ways the ultimate version of this game. If you are new to the franchise, you are in for an unforgettable experience. If you have played it previously on a PlayStation console, the price of admission might be worth weighing up against the specs of your current PC, and if it’s a better option than the PS5 in terms of hardware. Hopefully with a few more patches and some time, the majority of performance issues and bugs will be ironed out.

Before heading down to our score, keep in mind at the time of writing that Steam are offering refunds for the game if you can’t get past these issues. But for as rough as it can be, there’s no denying that if you can get the game to run as intended, you are in for one of the greatest gaming experiences ever made, remade.


Highlights: Masterful storytelling; Looks the best it ever has on higher-end machines
Lowlights: Plagued with performance issues; Initials shaders install time can be lengthy.
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: PlayStation Studios
Platforms: PC
Available: Now

Review conducted on PC with a pre-release code provided by the publisher.