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The Last of Us is the latest PC port to bomb, and players are beyond fed up

Comprehensive performance issues tank the game’s rep on Steam

Marlene in The Last of Us Part I spreads her hands to show she is not a threat to the viewer Image: Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment

The Last of Us Part I is the latest console-to-PC port to badly stumble out of the gate, with players reporting multiple issues dragging down its visual performance, if not crashing the game altogether. TLOU creator Naughty Dog acknowledged the problems in a tweet on Tuesday and said developers are “prioritizing updates” to resolve the problems in the coming days.

It’s still a terrible look for a prestige franchise and studio. The Last of Us Part I launched on Tuesday, capturing plenty of interest following the conclusion of HBO’s nine-episode adaptation, which aired March 12. Players have reported problems with The Last of Us Part I ranging from general performance straining their CPU, to crashes-to-desktop, to freezes, and even strange cinematics where the characters are dripping wet for no reason.

The Last of Us Part I currently has a “mostly negative” reputation from more than 6,500 users on Steam, and it’s not something that can be waved off as the usual review-bomb complaining. Digital Foundry back in January practically predicted all of this, pointing to the interminable waits players face as their CPUs compile shaders in titles like Uncharted: The Legacy of Thieves Collection — another Naughty Dog joint ported by Iron Galaxy, the shop responsible for TLOU Part I’s disaster (and whose free-to-play battle royale Rumbleverse was unceremoniously scotched in January, not even a year after launch).

Wild Hearts, the Monster Hunter-like from Electronic Arts and Koei Tecmo, also landed with a meaty thud on PC back in February. Elden Ring had problems affecting “all hardware configurations on all graphical settings presets” when it launched on PC (alongside its console release) in February 2022.

Bottom line, after two years of this, PC gamers have subterranean expectations of games that have also had splashy console releases, and I can’t really blame them. PC launches of Marvel’s Spider-Man (in August 2022) or God of War (January 2022) are notable exceptions to this trend. It will take a lot more than post-launch support and promises of fixes to repair trust among video gaming’s most demanding audience.

Update [March 30]: Naughty Dog on March 29 rolled out an initial patch for “stability and performance improvements, and other smaller improvements.” The patch adds “extra crash diagnostic information to assist in investigating shade building related crashes and other common reported stability issues.” Naughty Dog said is still “closely watching player reports and actively working on a patch with more bugfixes,” which will be delivered soon.

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