Naughty Dog neglects Steam Deck users as it struggles to fix The Last of Us PC disaster

The Last of Us on Steam Deck with graphical bugs
(Image credit: Windows Central | u/Zerindo)

What you need to know

  • The Last of Us Part I was released on PC on March 28, 2023, ported from its PlayStation 5 version, both a remaster of the original title released on PlayStation 3 in 2013.
  • Initially developed in-house by Naughty Dog, the PC version was handled by Iron Galaxy, following its Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection port.
  • First impressions of The Last of Us Part I ranged from negative to mixed, with many Steam reviews describing game-breaking bugs and relentless graphical issues.

The Last of Us Part I has tumbled onto PC in a spectacularly disastrous fashion, launching on the official Steam store with no indication of real-world performance due to a lack of advanced copies for gaming press. Thoughts came flooding in from users lamenting outrageous loading times as they waited for shader compiling tasks alongside incredibly high VRAM usage on high-end GPUs, bringing down the overall review score.

Despite the warning signs, our managing editor Richard Devine still bought the game and found the abysmal performance destroyed all the hype created by the masterpiece TV show. Besides the shoddy results exhibited by enthusiast-level PC components, The Last of Us Part I was hinted as joining the prestigious list of games verified for Steam Deck by lead writer Neil Druckmann and even key art advertised on the official Steam Deck store page.

(Image credit: Valve | GamingOnLinux)

Since release, however, The Last of Us Part 1 has been listed as unsupported for Steam Deck on its Steam store page. Naughty Dog has openly shared its efforts to create hotfixes as part of upcoming patches for the game, with one due for release today, April 4, and a more significant collection of fixes coming later in the week on Friday, April 7. Promised improvements are a welcome sight, but the developers are focused solely on stabilizing desktop PC performance before the Steam Deck.

The Steam Deck doesn't exactly compare to the extreme-level performance of custom-made desktop computers. Still, Valve's handheld has already proven its ability to run other previous PlayStation exclusives, such as Marvel's Spider-Man and God of War. Despite its modest internal components, the Linux-based portable PC can handle many modern games, and a third-person cinematic adventure title from 2013 shouldn't have posed this many issues.

In the meantime, stick to my recommendations of 12 must-play classics in our best Steam Deck games roundup. There's plenty of interest surrounding Naughty Dog's iconic post-apocalyptic adventure title, thanks to the recent HBO TV show tie-in. A timely fix to the PC port is needed to capitalize on its popularity and attract new fans, and we'll keep an eye on how the upcoming patches affect performance.

Ben Wilson
Channel Editor

Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon to ask questions or share opinions.