Five Things To Know Before You Start The Last Of Us Part I

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Last Of Us Part I

Naughty Dog released a top-to-bottom remake, called The Last of Us Part I, for PlayStation 5.

The Last of Us Part I is fundamentally the same game as its 2013 original. Guides that already exist for the original game apply here—right down to the combinations for safes and other locked doors.

Part I is the most mechanically superior version of the game, no question about it, and with the advancements come to some changes. Like its immediate predecessor, 2020’s The Last of Us Part II on PlayStation 4, Naughty Dog included an amazing array of settings and accessibility options. You’ll find well over 60 sliders and settings you can tweak. Most are dependent on preference, the sort of thing you’ll want to adjust as you play, but there is a some that are worth turning on from the start.


Vibrating Speech

Speech to vibrations, found under the DualSense menu, is one of the few parts of The Last of Us Part I that makes it feel like a legitimate PS5 game (rather than an extremely pretty PS4 one). The setting makes the PS5 controller vibrate when a character is talking, and it does so at the same cadence as their speech. It’s pretty cool! It’s also a little intense by default. For me, I’ve found the speech to vibrations intensity sweet spot at 5—just enough to “hear” characters talk but not so much that it’s distracting.


Custom difficulty

The Last of Us Part I is playable on six difficulty settings, ranging: from very lightlightmoderatehardsurvivor, and, once you beat the game, grounded. But the challenge isn’t so linear. You can adjust the difficulty for five different aspects of the game:

  • Player: Dictates how much damage you take from attacks, and how frequently or infrequently you clock checkpoints in the middle of a fight.
  • Enemies: Basically dictates how savvy your foes are.
  • Allies: Determines how often your allies assist you in combat.
  • Stealth: Controls a number of variables related to sneaking, including how long it takes for enemies to alert their comrades after spotting you.
  • Resources: Regulates how often resources, like food, ammo, and crafting supplies, appear.

So if you’re good at staying out of sight but struggle with the all-out action segments, you can reflect that in custom problem sets. There’s also a perk here for masochists. Though you can’t start a new game from the highest possible difficulty level—even if you’ve played it a thousand times during its previous iterations—you can manually set all five of those to the ground for a de facto hardest-possible run.


Photo Mode Shortcut

The Last of Us Part I is debatably one of the most stunning games on the console right now. In other words: You’re gonna wanna take a lot of screenshots. Typically, getting into photo mode requires opening the menu, which slows down the pace of the game—unless you turn on the photo mode shortcut, in the controls menu. When activated, you can hop right into photo mode by pressing both thumbsticks in at the same time. Just make sure to get the timing right, or else you’ll turn on Joel’s flashlight and ruin your shot!



Hints, at the very bottom of the HUD menu, are set to periodically by default. But they’re far more cumbersome than they are helpful. For one thing, they only offer advice as to the critical path. Sometimes you know exactly what to do to proceed in the story but, because it’s a Naughty Dog game, you want to poke around for a bit, and see if you can turn up any collectibles or key resources. And that brings me to the most annoying part of Part I’s hints: Once a tip pops up, it doesn’t go away until you complete the task it tells you to do.


Bow Reticle Style

The Last of Us Part I is the same game as The Last of Us. One subtle difference: There’s a new aiming system for the bow. And it’s kinda bad. By default, it comes with just a standard dot as a reticle—not great for gauging lengths when aiming with a bow. But if you change the bow reticle style setting, found under the HUD menu, to classic, you’ll be able to see the arrow’s path as planned: with a clear trajectory showing where it’ll land. It’s also a reminder that, yeah, some things are also better left unchanged.

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