The Last of Us Part 1 PC port has irreparably tarnished the reputation of Naughty Dogs, the development team behind the critically acclaimed franchise of the same name. Since the publisher has seen nothing but major successes in the last couple of years, the PC port disaster has obviously hit the team hard. Its shoddy PC port has been outrightly declared one of the worst PC ports by many players! So much so, Naughty Dogs themselves came out to publicly apologize and promised to get things right in the minimum time possible.
However, given the expertise of Naughty Dogs, one cannot help but wonder what could have gone wrong with The Last of Us Part 1 PC port! And while they are at resolving the issues, let us explore a couple of plausible reasons in this article.
What Went Wrong with TLOU PC Port?
When Naughty first lifted the curtains on the TLOU PC port at the Game Awards on the 8th of December, 2022, many fans got delighted. Players were eagerly anticipating the chance to re-experience the gripping story, exceptional cast of characters, and intense gameplay on their PC machines.
The launch date for the PC port was originally planned for March 3rd, 2022, but then got re-scheduled to March 28th. Via their Twitter account, the developer stated “We want to make sure that The Last of Us Part 1 PC debut is in the best shape possible. These additional few weeks will allow us to ensure this version of The Last of Us lives up to your, and our, standards”
Moreover, as per reports, this was also partly done because Naughty Dogs wanted to release the game after the end of The Last of Us TV series, which aired its last episode on 12th March 2022, in order to garner maximum profits.
For readers who don’t know, The Last of Us TV show had been a commercial success. It accumulated a gigantic number of 4.7 million views on its debut episode only. By the time the season featured its last episode, the viewership of the show soared by 75% to reach an all-time high of 8.2 million views, breaking all previous viewership records for the highest viewership for a season finale of an HBO original series in the last decade. On Rotten Tomatoes, the show received critical acclaim and has a whopping rating of 96%!
However, when The Last of Us Part 1 PC port was finally released on March 28th, the excitement soon turned to disappointment. Even despite the extended time, the PC port turned out to be infested with numerous issues, including poor optimization, bugs, crashes, and frequent frame rate drops.
Issues with The Last of Us Part 1 PC Port
There is not one but a plethora of issues with the TLOU PC port! Every day or so, some new issue is encountered by players. Although its current Steam rating is “Mixed” with about 15K reviews, early on it was “Mostly Negative” based on about 10K reviews.
Following is the list of known issues with The Last of Us Part 1 PC Port:
- Frequent Frame Drops
- Random Crashes and Bugs
- Poor Performance
- Dripping Wet Cutscenes
- Potential Memory Leak
- Tons of Glitches
- Old Graphic Drivers Issues
- Shader Compilation Problem
- Steam Deck Extreme Loading Time
- Mouse and Keyboard Stuttering
- Screen Freezing
And just like that, the list goes on…
Even with high-end PC systems, players have reported not getting more than 30 FPS at some scenes in the game. As per Tom Warren on The Verge, his Nvidia RTX 4090 is consuming a gigantic 15 GB VRAM memory and still resulting in frames getting lower than 30 FPS. Remember, this is for a game that has a recommended requirement of only 8 GB VRAM on Steam for PC players!
The problem is not only limited to PC systems but to Steam Deck as well. As per players, the shader compilation alone takes about an hour to load on their portable gaming devices! And this gives us an idea of how poorly the game has been optimized. Moreover, players have also reported the game suddenly crashing as well as taking a lot of time to load. On some PC systems, The Last of Us Part 1 does not even load although it meets the minimum requirements to play. Also, based on some particular in-game settings, the mouse and keyboard do not function well which results in a lot of stutters. In addition to all this, a weird glitch has also rendered some in-game cutscenes where characters suddenly become dripping wet. Potential memory leak issues have also been reported.
And since the players have paid a hefty $60 price for the game, this obviously made them lose their cool. As is evident in Steam reviews, gamers have harshly criticized Naughty Dogs for their underwhelming performance. So much so, many have labeled Naughty Dogs as simply greedy money grabbers trying to maximize their profit by building upon the success of the TLOU TV show. And since the talks for TLOU’s second season TV show are still in the air, it does seem that the PC port had been rushed for lucrative cash grabs.
In my opinion, players should have already taken the sign that something was off when the game was first delayed. Given that the PC port for The Last of Us was developed in partnership with Iron Galaxy, the studio notorious for rolling out the disastrous Batman: Arkham Knights PC port, players should have kept their guards up.
Lastly, on a lighter note, some of the awful glitches in the game have become a source of the internet’s meme factories. In addition, many fans have also come up with hilarious conclusions, ironically justifying the “immersive” TLOU Part 1 gameplay.
As per one Reddit user (LemonZitroneCitroen): “I believe that this version of the game is incredibly immersive. The world of The Last of Us is a harsh, unforgiving one and the people are suffering. We, the player, are in this cruel world and so too, should we suffer with its characters. We see graphical glitches, we experience the janky frames and we are angry and sad. And yet, we endure. We persevere and see this through. We PC players are the spirit of, The Last of Us.”
Naughty Dog’s Apology and Patch Updates
When players bombarded The Last of Us PC port with negative reviews, Naughty Dogs were quick to apologize. On their Twitter account, the developer said: “The Last of Us Part I PC players: we’ve heard your concerns, and our team is actively investigating multiple issues you’ve reported.
We will continue to update you, but our team is prioritizing updates and will address issues in upcoming patches.”
Since then, a total of 5 patches have been released by Naughty Dogs:
- 220.127.116.11 patch notes (released March 30th, 2023)
- 18.104.22.168 patch notes (released March 30th, 2023)
- 22.214.171.124 patch notes (released April 4th, 2023)
- 126.96.36.199 patch notes (released April 7th, 2023)
- 188.8.131.52 patch notes (released April 11th, 2023)
As seen above, Naughty Dogs are rolling out patch updates as quickly as they can. While the game’s issues and glitches have overshadowed its brilliance, leaving many players feeling cheated and deceived, we believe all of it will be resolved in no time. Despite tons of issues, it’s hard not to feel sympathetic towards the beloved title which failed to live up to expectations on PC.
What do you think? Share your thoughts with us and let us know in the comments below!