Hey everyone, LIFE here back from the dead! I know this review of The Last of Us is way late (see Kaushik’s review here), but I had to actually play through the game. Then I had to go back and play it through for the 100% completion on the hardest difficulty. So months after the game released here is my review for it.
Starting off with the presentation of the game, developer Naughty Dog introduces you to an unbroken, uninfected world with Joel and his daughter Sarah. After 30 minutes of playing and watching scenes you are then brought to the cold, hard world of survival where the story starts to unfold. Joel is now accompanied by Ellie, an orphan (I won’t spoil anything, but you can probably guess what happened to Sarah). The dynamic between Joel and Ellie really drove the story, and I can honestly say they are some of the strongest leads in video games to date.
Also, the way Naughty Dog detailed the characters was phenomenal; they really made an effort to develop every character regardless if they were minor or not, and I thought that was brilliant. The cut scenes were equally incredible. In fact, they were so good that the option to skip them was unthinkable. The amount of emotion shown through the characters was just outstanding.
Moving along to the gameplay, the controls were without a doubt flawless. Ducking for cover, assassinating people, and walking and running felt right. My only complaint was the combat. Not necessarily the melee aspect of it but more about the shooting. It felt clunky and slow to aim. It didn’t seem to flow well compared to Naughty Dog’s other PS3 franchise Uncharted. In that trilogy, the combat flowed seamlessly, and I felt they fell short in The Last of Us.
Now, the graphics were definitely one of the strongest points of the game. It is, without a doubt, the best looking console game to date. As I mentioned earlier, Naughty Dog really created a vast and detailed world. Everything from the amazing scenery of the wilderness to the vast abandoned cities left me breathless. The scene that most amazed me was towards the ending with the giraffes roaming the city. By far the best scene in the entire game. It brought you out of the crazy, zombified world to a peaceful calm. It set you up for the climax of the game. I think it deserves repeating that the cut scenes and character models were very impressive. We’ve come a long way in depicting accurate emotions in video games.
Yet what really brings character emotion to life is the voice acting. Troy Baker (Joel) and Ashley Johnson (Ellie) bring their “A” game. Not only is the voice acting superb, but the original soundtrack was very memorable and added to the various scenes in the game. You can tell Naughty Dog wanted to deliver an amazing experience because even the sound effects were life like. Things like gunfire, dropping a bottle, and even the little nuances from the wind hitting the trees were realistic.
Overall, The Last of Us is without a doubt the best game to come out in 2013. There are plenty of other big franchise games to come, but this game provided me with such an amazing experience that I find it hard to believe something else can top it. The possibility of a sequel is out there, but quite frankly I would be content without one. The way things ended seemed to fit perfectly with the feel of the game and the events that took place. But I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see!
–Best graphics to date
–Incredible voice acting, soundtrack, and sound effects
–Questionable gun gameplay mechanics
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Available on: PS3
Genre: Action-adventure, Survival horror
Release date: June 14, 2013
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