The Last of Us took our breath away the first time it was revealed to us. At first, it seemed like your regular cup of coffee – a post apocalyptic setting, shooting and staying alive. But it doesn’t just end there. Oh no, it gets a lot better.
Let me be straightforward: The Last of Us is one of the best PlayStation 3 exclusives and an exhilarating roller coaster ride. It walks for a little while and then doesn’t stop running. I don’t remember getting bored for even a second during the game. It’s remarkable, memorable and a game that no one should miss out on. Don’t have a PlayStation 3? Well, get one. It’ll be worth it.
Naughty Dog is certainly letting this console generation go with a bang. Who said new IPs don’t work out?
In The Last of Us, gamers are given control of Joel, a very deep character with an unkempt beard that you end up liking. The year is 2033 and society has been subject to chaos. People are desperate to survive. Joel takes up several strange jobs in order to get by. Sometimes, Joel has to make some tough choices, like killing people. But you feel for him. You understand why he’s doing this. Despite his violent attitude, Joel is a tender-hearted person. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t murder and steal. It’s all part of one job: survive.
Joel is accompanied by a young girl, Ellie. The former has to escort the latter across the United States, or what’s left of it anyways. It’s impossible not to develop an attachment to this duo comprising of marvelously portrayed characters. Like with Bioshock Infinite’s Elizabeth, players will find it difficult not to adore Ellie and her interesting, yet curious personality. You see, Ellie was born before the state of the world changed. Therefore, she has a lot of questions about the current world and the past. Once again, I must compare her with Bioshock Infinite’s Elizabeth as some of their characteristics were quite similar.
Of course, Ellie and Joel aren’t the only characters in the game. Players will meet the other humans, and find out how they are coping with their lives. This is an important aspect of the Last of Us and one which it displays quite effectively as you can’t help but feel sympathetic for most of the characters. Sometimes, when you kill enemies in the game, you’ll think back at some point and realize whether it was the right thing to do. After all, they’re only trying to survive.
I normally don’t explore every region of a game world, but the Last of Us compelled me to do so. There is so much to see, so much detail to take in. The game looks gorgeous and it’s bursting with detail. Gaming can definitely be a form of art; the Last of Us clearly proves this. The voice acting is near perfect, the animations are realistic, the gore is sickening (which is a good thing) and everything feels alive and vibrant. This is the best post apocalyptic world I’ve ever seen in a video game.
The gameplay is excellent. A brilliant blend of action, horror and stealth. Players can choose to take part in direct combat, or take out their enemies silently. The artificial intelligence in this game is… intelligent. Better than most other games at least. The enemies will know when you’re out of ammo and come charging at you. They’ll respond in ways you wouldn’t think they would. It’s amazing to see how far video game AI has gotten. I think it’s safe to say that you haven’t quite played a game like The Last of Us before.
The game also contains enemies called “The Infected”. They’re the cause of this post apocalyptic world. As the name implies, they were ‘infected’ with a plague. This is where the survival horror part kicks in. The Infected are definitely scary and will give you a fright or two as you progress through the game. To be honest, I think modern survival horror games could learn a bit from the Last of Us and the way the player confronts the infected. Once again, it’s about survival, not just shooting and making things ‘go boom’.
The controls of the game are fairly standard and it’s not hard to get used to it. There aren’t any nuisances or limitations when it comes to gameplay, which makes it easier for the game to seamlessly transition from one part to the next.
The story is great, and very mature. If I were you, I would keep kids away from this game at all costs unless you want them to have nightmares. As I stated previously, the gore is very realistic. The game shows no mercy when it comes to violence. The violence goes with the atmosphere though. It’s a dark world (figuratively speaking) filled with dangers. You’ll always think twice about doing something. And once you do it, you’ll wonder if it was the right thing to do.
Despite all this, I must say that The Last of Us is not completely original. It borrows some significant elements from The Walking Dead, The Road and a few other places. It’s unique in it’s own way, but don’t expect everything to be new. Furthermore, although exploration is there, the game tends to feel a little linear at times. It feels like the player is just following a set path, which he/she is, but the game isn’t masking that as it should.
But ultimately, that doesn’t matter much. You’ll be so engrossed in the game that you’ll just want to enjoy the atmosphere and bring the game’s rich and highly satisfying story to an end.
The single player of the game is a must-play, but what about the multiplayer?
Surprisingly, the multiplayer of The Last of Us is fun. It offers a variety of modes and gives you a fully customizable character. This character is the leader of a band of survivors. When you win matches or achieve something online, your band grows, and vice versa. It’s a simple system and there’s nothing too extraordinary about it, but the online matches are fun and addicting, giving you plenty of reasons to revisit the Last of Us even after the story has been completed, instead of letting the game catch dust.
The Last Of Us Review (PS3)
All in all, the Last of Us is a wonderful experience and you'll be missing out a lot if you don't pick this game.