The Last Of Us is set in 2033, and sees the rough looking Texan Joel team up with the innocent looking teenager Ellie in a post apocalypse world caused by an infection causing humans to turn in to zombie like enemies. While having to deal with the dangerous threat these two unlikely allies also realize that not only are the infected giving them problems but also human survivors are as much an enemy in this game as the infected.
The intro to The Last Of Us was unbelievable! One of the best intros to a video game that I have ever seen. The intro to The Last Of Us perfectly captures a world that one day was peaceful and like any other day but it all takes a sudden turn for the worst. I’m not spoiling anything but this intro was incredible. After that perfect way of starting the game I felt like it took a little turn for the worst, it became a little too slow for my liking. The start had too much button prompts as well as a lot of walking and talking but altogether it was worth it for what I ended up getting with this great video game.
Although story talk is mostly missed out in my reviews for spoiler purposes I really wanted to talk about a certain part of the story. When Joel first meets Ellie it doesn’t feel like these two would work together well, and weirdly enough the team of Joel and Ellie worked very well as a Father-Daughter kind of relationship. During the game Ellie will make discussion with Joel like asking him about the past as Ellie was born in to the apocalyptic world so she never got to see the world as it truly was before the infection began. The narrative between Joel and Ellie also helped build this relationship up, as the game progresses you should feel the difference compared to when they first met. It’s crazy how it worked but I am not surprised because when you have Naughty Dog’s impressive skills they can make anything work.
Gameplay is extremely impressive. I really enjoyed how physical interactions with human enemies can end in either two ways, one way is you can use stealth to choke out an unsuspecting enemy thus saving the limited bullets that may need to be saved for a much more dangerous encounter, and the second way to attack is by using face to face combat either using melee attacks or guns. Ammo can be found after killing certain enemies so the risk of using bullets can pay off with even more bullets, but if you don’t get so lucky, and are out of bullets then combat becomes that much more harder. Remember that not only are your fists a weapon, look out for bricks and glass bottles lying around for a much more effective strike.
I said at the start of the review that there are two types of enemies in this game, one is humans and the other are the infected which gives the player a whole different kind of threat. Gun wielding humans were the biggest threat to you before. Now obviously with the infected, guns are gone, in their place though are two kinds of infected. You have the “traditional” zombie (Although faster than normal) that just tries to bite you but there is a second, much more interesting infected type. The Clickers are infected who have formed a growth on their head after being infected for so long, these annoying enemies can kill you with one attack which caused me plenty of trouble, their other perk is being able to see through hearing (The head growth caused blindness) careful stepping is required to pass through undetected by these dangerous monsters.
Graphically the game is one of the best I’ve seen on Playstation 3, the character models look extremely realistic, mouth animation is top quality, and even the graphics have a some effect on gameplay performance. Naughty Dog paid quite a lot of attention to detail, each hit feels even more brutal than the last as well as looking painfully realistic on the screen. Environments in the game can be used to your advantage during a fist fight, if you get close to these interactive environments then you will finish off the enemy with a sick final blow. One for example had Joel grabbing the bloodied up enemy by the hair, and smashed his face in to one of these like rocks, and trust me even I could feel that one.
I would feel like this review had a big gap if I didn’t talk about the sound, above I talked about the brutally realism of melee attacks well these wouldn’t have worked at all if we didn’t have the impressive sound to go with it. Every hit sounds even more brutal than the last. Then you have the well placed music in the background that helps build up an intense atmosphere or sometimes cleverly not having any music, and leave it to the sounds of nature to build the tension like the loud bang of thunder, bright flashes of lightning or simply just the eerie drops of rain on a cold dark night. Voice acting is just on another level, not many games have voice acting even close to this. Joel/Ellie’s voice actors do a perfect job with their characters. Joel/Ellie sound believable, and with that help create the brilliant relationship between the two.
The Final Verdict
The Last Of Us is defiantly one of the best PS3 exclusives out there, Naughty Dog managed to show the gaming world that they can release over solid non Uncharted games for the PS3. I loved how well the violence is added to this, it just feels so real and brutal at the same time. Along with the realism you have the amazing voice work and character model detail, with some of the best graphics for the PS3. Although the game has a slow start it really starts to pick up half way through the game when the Joel/Ellie relationship really starts to get going but to be honest the few slow hours ended up being worth it for the rest of this great game. Make sure you don’t leave this game off your “To buy” lists.
+Great opening prologue
+Joel and Ellie’s characters are done perfectly
+Solid gameplay/Brutally realistic combat
+Some of the best voice acting I’ve heard
-Slow for quite a while