GAME NAME: Last Of Us
DEVELOPER(S): Naughty Dog
PLATFORM(S): PlayStation 3
GENRE(S): Action-Adventure, Survival Horror
RELEASE DATE(S): June 14th, 2013
The Last of Us is an action survival horror game created by developers Naughty Dog. When it was revealed back in December 2011 I had some doubts about it. As gamers, we’ve seen our fair share of apocalypse futures with zombies or zombie-like creatures moaning all over it, so I felt that I might have been zombied out at that point. Or at least that’s what I thought, until I finished what might be considered a gaming masterpiece
The year is 2033, and the world is falling apart thanks to a recent fungus outbreak. This isn’t the type that you find on your feet, but the kind that goes into your brain and turns you into a raving lunatic, kind of like syphilis but without the customary romp in the sack with a mysterious woman named Helga. They aren’t undead, but they might as well be. Joel is a man that has lost everything and has only one goal on his mind: survival. Joel and his partner Tess are smugglers who trade with people on the outskirts of the quarantine zone in Boston. After they lose their weapons they went to enact their revenge, but soon found themselves smuggling something they haven’t’ done before, a young girl named Elli.
The story for this is emotional and dark with a dash of hope mixed in, and I couldn’t have loved it more. The characters are by far what make this such an incredible experience. Watching them grow right in front of you along with all the emotions they experience was a journey on its own, and writer Neil Druckmann should be awarded for it. Even though they went with a zombie theme, the creatures weren’t really zombies. The fact that they evolved as well was interesting, and it happened over years of being infected. It didn’t seem like this was a human experiment, but Mother Nature getting back at us. Kind of like that M. Night Shamalyan movie, but it doesn’t suck.
As you travel around you are in the third person perspective mainly playing with Joel and a few parts as Ellie. There are two different ways you can approach in combat. If you consider stealth more to your liking you can sneak around stealthily killing the enemy with a shiv or by choking them. You can take a more brutal path by hitting your enemy with blunt or sharp onbjects, or along the more permanent route, with firearms. Joel can also create items he salvages outside making weapons like a molotov, shivs, bombs, or sticking to non-lethal items like first aid kits. The player can also use a feature where he can hear the enemy’s footsteps and you can view where they are as long as they are making noise. All weapons and skills can also be upgraded by finding the right material to do so. The AI can be a bit dopy by running into enemies or not hiding right, but they will help you attack and sometimes stop someone infected from giving you a wicked hickey.
The enemy AI system is something to enjoy and fear all at the same time. The creatures or humans, whose purposes are to harm the characters, exploit their weaknesses, or manipulate environment around them. For example, infected clickers will scan out any type of sound that they hear, and humans will charge at Joel if they hear his gun click when he is out of ammo. This makes each encounter a different experience and forces the player to come up with new strategies
The world you explore can be beautiful with lush colors and gorgeous sceneries in forests or mountains, but at the same time be dark, gloomy and destructive in cities or sewers. Visually, the game is incredible with smooth environments. And the transitions from movie scenes back to the gameplay are fantastic. This is one of the best looking games I have ever seen and I wager might be hard to top with this generation of consoles. Voice acting and sound was also done incredible well with all the emotions and heart-breaking moments that make you tear up as you watch.
The only thing I can say that is bad about this game is if you haven’t played it yet. I rarely find a game to be this perfect, but Naughty Dog has done it. The multiplayer was good, but the spotlight is all on the campaign. Amazing story, fun gameplay and the overall gorgeous looks of this game make this a gem that every gamer needs to play. I wanted to make sure before I give it a ten to really think about it because it’s me saying this is flawless, but I couldn’t think of one thing I didn’t like about The Last Us.