Game of the year.
Best game of 2013.
The scariest and most moving story in video gaming history.
These are some of the descriptions being thrown out by everyone who has played the game. And true to those descriptions, The Last of Us delivered the same quality that has often been expected of games coming from Naughty Dog.
It is not fair to compare this game to the company’s other best seller Uncharted because they are two different genres. While Uncharted is brimming with action and wit, this new game is full of suspense and drama. With The Last of Us, you don’t go out guns ablazing killing off infected, you have to play it smart.
But I’m already talking forward, let’s back up a little and start from the beginning: the story. This is set twenty years after a fungal infestation spread all over the world. The Infected (sort of like zombies only creepier looking) litter the entire nation. Joel, a smuggler, who experienced a tragedy when the infection began was forced to transport a 14-year old girl out of Boston to a militia camp on the other side of the country. Thus begins the tale of morally gray men and women of The Last Of Us.
If there are acting awards given to video game characters, Joel and Ellie deserve the trophy. You can really see the desperation in their eyes whenever they are forced to kill someone. And the voice work of both Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson are just superb. They’re really effective. The emotions shown on screen by both computer generated characters are way better than the ones from LA Noire which was supposed to be a game about analyzing people’s emotion.
Thankfully, the gameplay is easy to figure out. Watching demos on youtube got me worried at first that this is going to be a difficult game, but when I finally got my hands on it, it felt like home. While you are allowed to go guns blazing fighting either the Infected or your fellow survivors, stealth is more favorable. You see, this is 20 years after apocalypse. Bullets and whatever stash you can have are rare finds. So you really have to play this game smart. This is bad for me as I’m someone who’d rather fight and kill everyone on sight rather than hide. So I really had a hard time playing this game. Fortunately, you’ll get invested with your characters that I never thought, not even once on giving up on the game.
The environment, what can I say… it’s definitely prettier than the one I played in Skyrim. Set pieces are large enough that you’d really want to wander around and scavenge for supplies or trinkets or comic books. The post apocalypse America is so beautiful you’d forget this is a survival horror game. Heck, I’m surprised that the PS3 can still release pretty games at the end of this console generation’s life cycle. And the AI is really good too. Sometimes, I’d just hide and let my companions do the fighting for me.
The next generation of video game consoles will be coming out by the end of the year. And if you’re an owner of a PS3, then you can’t pass on this game.
The first three sentences on this review are perfect descriptions of what this game is. It’s more actually.
Bravo Naughty Dog. I can’t wait to play your next game.
After I play The Last Of Us seven more times.
RATING: 10 out of 10 stars