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Photo Modes: The Last of Us Remastered

After thoroughly enjoying myself with the DriveClub Photo Mode, wow this one is a chore.

I've said before that I'm a sucker for good Photo Modes. DriveClub's Photo Mode was great, and I loved the freedom the camera gave you to set-up shots. I wish I could say the same for The Last of Us Remastered. The camera is a pain to use - it's so fascinated with one fixed point that it feels like you are constantly wrestling with it.

Don't get me wrong - the game is still beautiful to look at, and you can get some great shots. And there is one advantage it has over DriveClub's - I prefer the Depth of Field setting to DriveClub's Aperture setting. Other than that, The Last of Us Remastered seems far inferior. 

All in all, Naughty Dog's Photo Mode for TLOU is not user-friendly at all. Changing settings is so convoluted that what should be a relaxing experience is unnecessarily frustrating. Yet the art and environment design of TLOU has you entering Photo Mode every few steps.

The remastered version of TLOU has an option to change the FPS to 60fps or 30fps in Options>Display. For Photo Mode, it's best to have the game running at 30fps, as you get better graphical fidelity. Especially in anti-aliasing.

Last of Us Anti-aliasing 30fps

 30fps 

Last of Us Anti-aliasing 60fps

 60fps

How it Works

Click L3. Photo Mode engaged. Now any directional input - D-pad or analogue sticks - will change one of a few settings. Firstly however, familiarise yourself with the terrible camera controls and choose your angle. Pressing up and down will move you through the different settings to find the camera controls.

So what can you do to the image? Pressing up and down on the D-pad will take you through a list of settings. Here's a list of what they are and what each of them does.

  • Field of View: This is the Photo Mode's zoom, ranging from 20 - 90 degrees. Odd way of phrasing a zoom, but it works well enough.
  • Depth of Field: This'll be the setting where you choose what is in and out of focus. The width setting within Depth of Field gives you extra control over what is and isn't in focus.
  • Color Filter: Different filters like Winter, Noir and Vintage are available to add to the image. These filters can change the image a lot at high intensity. Most of the time, however, you'll want the intensity at a very low percentage.
  • Frame: 12 different frames available for around the edge of the image. Some rather comical ones with the ShareSnap frames. The Instant Film frame is rather unique.

The Last of Us Instant Film Frame

  • Vignette: This puts what can be quite obtrusive soft black edging around the photo. Especially at size 1.00 and at 100% intensity, the two settings within Vignette.
  • Film Grain: Ah, film grain, You either love it or hate it. Film grain can add to the atmosphere of the game, giving it a more rustic look. But at 100% the image is almost ruined. I prefer to have this around 10% intensity, so it's barely noticeable, but still adds a film look.
  • Brightness: Make the image darker, or lighter. You'll find yourself brightening images most of the time, especially if you intend to upload them. It's hard to make out the great detail in TLOU when the image is too dark, so I tend to brighten each shot slightly.
  • Hide Characters: This setting will remove any characters from the screen in photo mode. None, all, player, buddies, and enemies. "Player" removes Joel and "Buddies" removes Joel and Ellie.

In the TLOU Photo Mode, I attempted to take photos as if shooting a film. This is mainly why I used the "Film Bars" frame in the settings. 

Last of Us Bird Photo Mode

The Last of Us Depth of Field

The Last of Us Ellie Photo Mode

The Last of Us Photo Mode Detail

The Last of Us Photo Mode Cafe

The Last of Us Photo Mode

The Last of Us Photo Mode Fight

Let me know what you think of these shots in the comments below. 

Published Sep. 19th 2015
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Associate Editor
    Can't wait to see the photos you get with Forza (especially Horizon 2), Shadow of Mordor and Mad Max.
  • Jack Bampfield
    Correspondent
    Unfortunately, I don't own an Xbox so I can't do Forza at the moment. I do however have both Shadow of Mordor and Mad Max, so expect those soon.

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