The PC version of The Last of Us Part I has been released in a very poor technical state. This has already resulted in one of the worst AAA launches on Steam in terms of player reception in recent memory.
The Last of Us remake has been one of the most anticipated ports of PlayStation games, but many players faced huge problems when it came out on March 28.
The game first showed a showed a good start on Steam in terms of concurrent users (CCU), peaking at 36,496 CCU (via SteamDB). It also attracted 54,659 viewers on Twich.
TLoU Part I is now the fourth biggest Steam launch of any PlayStation first-party title, outshining Days Gone (27.4k CCU) and Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection (10.8k CCU). God of War still holds the crown with 73.5k peak concurrent players, followed by Horizon Zero Dawn (56.5k CCU) and Marvel’s Spider-Man (66.4k CCU).
Poor optimization and technical issues
Despite good numbers, The Last of Us Part I received a negative reception from Steam players. At the moment of writing, only 33% of the over 6,000 user reviews are positive, which stands for a “mostly negative” rating.
Poor optimization is once again the root of all evil, with users from different countries citing shader compilation as one of the main issues. Many people, including those with top-tier gaming PCs, see the game crash during the “Building Shaders” screen.
Completely wiped. Redownload, reinstalled. Crashed whole PC at exactly the same moment. pic.twitter.com/RKsnY7TSL6
— Henry (@digitalhen) March 28, 2023
In some cases, compilation takes up to two hours, which also doesn’t guarantee that TLoU Part I will successfully run without stattering or other problems. One user called the game “Crash Simulator” in their review, experiencing 14 crashes, as well as freezes and other technical issues.
It is worth noting that Sony didn’t provide the press or influencers with review copies of The Last of Us Part I ahead of launch, so it was already suspicious. As Alex Battaglia of Digital Foundry noted on Twitter, “I am not even sure where to begin with video direction.”
I am going to do my best to try to cover TLOU Pt 1 in an informative way – with the reports I am seeing from users though I am not even sure where to begin with video direction. Oh how I long for the older days when games launched in a state that was simpler to cover!
— Alexander Battaglia (@Dachsjaeger) March 29, 2023
Who was responsible for porting The Last of Us Part I to PC?
When Naughty Dog shared official system requirements for TLoU Part I, it was revealed that the PC version was developed in collaboration with Iron Galaxy. For those who don’t know, this is a Chicago-based studio known for its outsourcing work with large game companies.
Among many ports of console titles, Iron Galaxy was responsible for the infamous PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight. In fact, it was so unplayable and technically bad that Warner Bros. had to suspend its sales.
Naughty Dog partnered with Irong Galaxy before to develop the PC version of Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection. Although the game had some technical issues, it was nowhere near as problematic as the TLoU Part I port.
The Santa Monica-based studio has already addressed the problematic launch on Twitter, saying that the team is “prioritizing updates and will address issues in upcoming patches.” Naughty Dog also asked players to submit tickets for all the issues they are experiencing, but it is unclear when The Last of Us Part I will run smoothly or at least be playable on PC.