When The Last of Us Part 1 released on PC back in March, we here at The Koalition were HYPED! As we are all huge fans of the series and couldn’t wait to see this game run on a high-end PC or in my case on the best damn portable gaming device that is the Steam Deck.
Developers Iron Galaxy did a fantastic job porting over Uncharted Legacy of Thieves Collection (check out my review) to PC and it was Steam Deck verified day one. Unfortunately, as we all know the same cannot be said for The Last of Us Part 1. The game would crash or perform terribly on the best PC rigs and performance on the Steam Deck…well, it was pretty damn bad.
However, Naughty Dog and Iron Galaxy came out with a series of statements vowing to get this release up to the expectation it deserved. As time went by, we would receive a variety of patches, some addressing issues affecting the PC and others for the Steam Deck. The patch notes even singled out the fixes for the device, once again proving the importance developers see making their games playable on the handheld.
During the entire time, I was playing The Last of Us Part 1 on my Steam Deck and slowly watching the improvements transpire before my eyes. The extremely long shade caching was drastically reduced, about 20 minutes now instead of the insane hour+. I reinstalled the game twice to test this out and noticed the difference.
Another major issue was the sporadic frame rate drops. I recall fighting multiple clickers in a building and getting around 30-35 FPS. As soon as I exited the building and entered the open world, the FPS would drop to 15-20. There was no on-screen action, just the draw distance of the area and that was enough to drag the game down to a crawl.
This eventually also got addressed in a patch and the game was now producing a steady 30-40 FPS but at this point, I was already a 3rd of the way through the game. I also noticed many of the game’s graphical sliders were being tweaked along with each patch. While all these patches were rolling out the game was still listed as “Unsupported” on Steam Deck.
I had hoped that while I was progressing through the campaign that a magical patch would arrive to address some of the remaining issues. Unfortunately that did not occur. I completed the game with random freezing, audio clippings and the unexpected game crash. Fast forward to June 13th 2023 and Naughty Dog has released patch 1.1.0 that not only appears to resolve many if not all the major issues for PC and Steam Deck, but also announces that The Last of Us Part 1 is now officially Steam Deck Verified.
Seeing is believing, so I reinstalled the game and jumped around my multiple saves while taking some performance benchmark screenshots. If you want to read the full patch notes click here, for those Deckers see below.
- Overall improvements to performance while playing on Steam Deck
- Addressed a memory leak issue that could cause crashes
- Fixed an issue where certain button prompts would be misaligned
- Fixed an issue where changing (Options > Graphics > Graphics Preset) could trigger an intense lighting effect
- Fixed an issue where in-game HUD did not match Steam Deck Performance Overlay FPS value
- Fixed a crash that could occur during loading screens
- Effects Density now defaults to Very Low instead of Low
- [Lakeside Resort] Fixed a crash that could occur at the start of a cutscene
- [Pittsburgh] Fixed a crash that could occur at certain checkpoints
- [The Outskirts] Fixed an issue where locked FPS could make it difficult to move pushable objects
From what I can tell, the game definitely runs much better compared to a few months ago. Now I know what your saying “Adam! Just because a game is verified doesn’t mean its 100%” and your right. We have seen some games get listed with the green check and have nothing but horrible issues.
All I can say is those cases are rare, with that said that The Last of Us Part 1 from my experience is up to par and since its such a high-profile title, I’m sure that every effort will continue to be made to ensure the game delivers in producing one hell of a gaming experience.
This review was based on a digital review copy of The Last of Us Part 1 for PC provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment.