Playing through Naughty Dog’s post-pandemic survival adventure The Last of Us is an intense, grueling, and highly rewarding experience — one that’s only heightened by the just-released remaster for the PlayStation 4. The Last of Us Remastered checks all the boxes you’d expect it to. The resolution has been increased to 1080p and the game now runs at 60 frames per second, with improved lighting and character models. There’s also a host of bonus material, including the Left Behind single-player add-on and commentary from the creative director Neil Druckmann and lead actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson. But despite my intimate familiarity with the game and the fact that the gameplay and story itself is entirely unchanged, the upgraded Last of Us experience is both more immersive and more terrifying — two things the original game already delivered on in spades.

Despite the fact that the game, according to lead developer Christian Gyrling, “looked broken up until a week before shipping,” The Last of Us Remastered really does make for a markedly better experience. The original was already regarded as one of the best-looking PS3 games of all time, but the doubled frame rate makes the frenetic, vicious attacks from hordes of the Infected more terrifying — when they push you up against a wall and start snapping at your neck, every movement is easily tracked in horrifying detail. Hand-to-hand combat also feels less disjointed and simpler to follow, and aiming your guns at swarms of approaching enemies is a bit easier — though Joel’s “weapon sway” means you’ll still have to work hard to be a true sharpshooter.