In recent months and years, there have been a number of issues and controversies that have cropped up in the world of video games. Questions of representation, violence, sexuality, and artistic merit have divided and unified gamers the world over. One issue however remains, and it is among the most divisive of topics. Yes, I am talking about screenshot comparisons.
Whether it is between Xbox 360 and PS3 or PC and Wii U, the documentation of seemingly minute differences between versions of the same game have become blown up to a ridiculous level. In the leadup to E3 2014, there are rumors abound that the release date for The Last of Us Remastered, a PS4 upgrade to last year’s hit, will be announced there. Well, Twinfinite has the scoop on not only how the upscaled version looks amazing, but on how much Naughty Dog was screwing the pooch with its original version on the PS3 and we didn’t even realize it.
Let’s have a look at a screenshot from the ‘Winter’ scene in The Last of Us.
Now let’s compare it to what it looks like on the PS3:
While some of the landscape looks pretty much the same, the PS3 version is clearly downscaled especially with the shading around the character. Hell, you can’t even tell whether that’s Ellie or Joel there. One particular difference is that the real-time shading is much less detailed in the bottom image. Based on the light source, there should be at least a partial shadow near the character’s right foot.
Speaking of characters, let’s have a look at Ellie. Naughty Dog is on record numerous times as having spent a great deal of time and resources capturing total performances. A big part of this is with character expressions evoking emotions in the player. This image below suggests so much about the character of Ellie with a single shot. As you can see, this game is making use of the PS4’s powerful hardware.
Compare this with the PS3 version however:
While the character model is virtually identical, take a look at the difference between the wood grain in the above picture versus the detail on the stones below. Upscaling to a more powerful system is not really about the dramatic differences; rather, it’s about making sure the small details shine through.