The Last of Us is the next chapter in line for Naughty Dog, and once again they have made a change. Unlike Jak and Uncharted, The Last of Us is an M rated game, and the first one Naughty Dog has created. By this time most of Naughty Dog’s original fans are now 17 years or older, and it is very clear that they still plan on keeping their fans of old happy. When The Last of Us was first announced, the game got a lot of hype, and that hype continued on for the next few years.
After waiting for quite awhile, that hype was over a month ago. Now that the hype has finally died down, how good is the game really? Were we all blinded by the hype? Did everyone just jump on the bandwagon and see this game as a masterpiece no matter how many faults it might have?
I’m not going to give any spoilers, but The Last of Us’ story, in my opinion, starts too slowly. You need a good four hours of game play for the real story to actually begin, but it is a really big emotional roller coaster.
While the game does have engaging gameplay to keep you going, what will really keep you hooked is the characters and the amazing acting. Every scene in The Last of Us is filmed in a motion capture studio, and both movements and audio are captured at the same time.
The Last of Us’ story starts too slowly
Although this may not seem like that big of a deal, it really helps get the character’s emotions across, and because of that the acting really stands out compared to some other games. The characters in The Last of Us are VERY believable, and they really help pull you into the world the game takes place in. There is always this sense of sadness in the air, and you can really understand what these characters are going through. You’ll understand their motives and what drives them, and you’ll be able to understand their somewhat questionable responses as well.
The thing is, no one is really a “bad guy” in this game world. Just like Joel and Ellie, everyone you meet is just trying to survive. Everyone has people that they care about, they have friends, they have family members, and all they want to do is live. In a world where supplies are limited, and where death is always around the corner, you have to do everything it takes to survive. “You either hang onto your morals and die, or you do everything it takes to survive.” This line spoken by Ellie in the game’s promos holds true, and it becomes very clear early on.
Killing people in The Last of Us is also extremely grounded as well. From a gameplay point of view, taking someone down is a risk, but the game also always reminds you that these are normal people as well. Killing isn’t taken lightly in The Last of Us, and it always reminds you if it truly is the right thing to do. Unlike in the Uncharted games where Elena simply picks up a gun from the start and starts pulling off head shots like its nothing, the characters in The Last of Us are always aware of their actions. At one point during the game, one character is forced to shoot and kill another which really has an impact on Joel. Instead of simply saying “good job” or “you did great,” he holds back crying, and turns his head as he smarts off to them in order to hide his emotions. At times like these you really feel that the characters are alive, and that is a rare quality in most games today.
The gameplay in The Last of Us isn’t quite like other games. Naughty Dog classified it as a “Dynamic Stealth” game, and that is exactly what it is. It is a Dynamic Stealth game that mixes elements of 3rd person shooting, survival horror, and puzzle solving.
Unlike in the Uncharted series, The Last of Us is overall a lot more grounded. The characters have sort of tank controls, where you turn them left and right or use quick turn around to turn yourself at a 90 degree angle, you cannot scale buildings or climb unless you can realistically reach a ledge and would be able to pull yourself up if it were in real life, bullets actually act like bullets (they kill fast, and if Joel gets shot, he’ll stumble backwards from the impact and bleed), and the enemies you come across are actually smart. If you’re expecting Uncharted, well, you better just stick with Uncharted because this isn’t it.
One awesome feature (that may grind your gears at times) is that the game never stops playing unless you actually pause it. If you pick up a note and read it, you have to be careful of your surroundings; meaning you may be ambushed from behind. You have to play smart in The Last of Us; press yourself up against a wall, get a clear view of the door, and be on the look out as you read. Ellie will be there to warn you from time to time, but enemies will use every opening they get to take you down, and they will always be on the watch. The moment you drop your guard, they will strike, and a warning from Ellie hardly ever comes in time.
Right to the Chase:
If there is any “bad” in The Last of Us, it is only based on people’s personal tastes. This isn’t the game that I’d expect my boyfriend to play, mostly because he (and gamers like him) don’t have the patience for this kind game.
If you’re one of the people who want to jump into a video game, and speed through it as fast as possible; chances are you will not like The Last of Us. The game starts out very slow, its gameplay is overall slowly paced, and its “puzzles” are nothing more than moving boards and ladders to where they need to be. It’s very basic, but it really doesn’t need to be anything more than that. The simple fact is, The Last of Us is a stealth game mixed with a horror survival, and if you don’t like that style of game then The Last of Us isn’t for you.
The Last of Us is easily one of the best looking games on the PlayStation 3
If you’re a fan of stealth games, RPGs, and hack-and-slash, then The Last of Us is going to be a must buy for you. It has an amazingly and deeply emotional story, it has solid stealth elements, it has solid survival elements, it packs a few scares every now and then, and it is easily one of the best looking games on the PlayStation 3.
The Last of Us is definitely going to be Game of The Year. It is not a game everyone will enjoy, that is true, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is rock solid. I’m sure you’ve already guessed it, but I’m giving The Last of Us for the PlayStation 3 a standing ovation. Good job Naughty Dog, I can’t wait to see what you do next.