The Last of Us is an action-adventure survival horror video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment exclusively for the PlayStation 3. It was officially revealed on December 10, 2011 during the Spike TV Video Game Awards and released worldwide on June 14, 2013. It will be released in Japan on June 20, 2013.The player takes control of Joel (voiced by Troy Baker), who is trekking across a post-apocalyptic United States in 2033, in order to escort the young Ellie (voiced by Ashley Johnson) to a friendly resistance group. The players defend themselves against zombie-like humans, as well as hostile humans, employing the use of firearms and stealth, aided by capabilities such as a visual representation of sound in order to listen for locations of enemies. The player can also craft weapons or medical items by combining items found in the world.The Last of Us received critical acclaim, receiving perfect scores from many publications. Reviewers praised multiple aspects of the game, including its choice-enabling gameplay, realistic action, emotional depth, sound design and environments. Several publications have declared the game a masterpiece, and a significant title of the seventh console generation.
Now this game, this game is friggin great. I started playing it yesterday, and I just couldn't put the damn thing down all day. It has a compelling nature, immersive/believable gameplay, likable/relatable characters, a great variety of weapons with many improvements offered, and challenging gameplay that can be unforgiving at times.
I've been playing on normal difficulty, and I've still died my fair share of times. Often, it's a better idea to take the enemy out one by one while unnoticed, but sometimes sneaking past the enemy is simply the best option. You'll be outnumbered a majority of the time, so expect some tough ultimatums.
From as far as I've made it in the game, I've seen 3 zombie variants, and a variety of human enemies with a variety of weaponry.
Your first zombie variant is the Runner. You've seen them already if you've played a zombie game like Left 4 Dead. These guys roam the area in a daze until they've heard a sound or seen something they want to rip limb from limb. Once one of them has spotted you, you've got 2 choices, fight or run like the devil was chasing you. Sometimes the next variant of zombie will be mixed in with the bunch and that is not very good for you at all. These guys are still pretty easy to take care of. Anything will work on them, so they really just serve as an annoyance and as an alarm system for the more unpleasant variant.
Up next we've got the Clickers. These creepy SOBs are missing the top half of their heads and instead support a huge fungal growth. After being infected for a number of years, a Runner will change into one of these. Clickers are completely blind, so they navigate around by making clicking noises as a sort of sonar. They have a heightened sense of hearing and are even able to hear you while you're crouched if you move too fast. Clickers are extremely dangerous due to the fact that their bite is an instant kill. Until you gain a specific skill, making physical contact with a Clicker is a death sentence. Often they'll mix in with a group of runners which unintentionally acts as a shield that allows them to approach you. I've died many times just because one of these slipped through while I was preoccupied with a runner. To make things worse, Clickers can't be killed by punches or strangling. If you want to melee a Clicker, you'll need a melee weapon, and you'll need a shank if you want to stealth kill one.
The last variant is the Bloater. Bloaters develop from Clickers after many, many years. They are rare. In fact, I've only encountered 3, one of which required sneaking by rather than fighting. Bloaters move slow, but they throw spore pods and they can take a lot of damage. I honestly have no idea how melee combat with a Bloater is like since it seemed painfully obvious that a close encounter would result in my death.
The humans you'll fight are no less dangerous than the zombies. They use a variety of weapons and some even wear body armor. Many of them will carry molotovs which are a huge nuisance since the shooting is cover based. Getting shot even once is a huge consequence. Your character doesn't madly soak up bullets, no, when he's shot he actually stumbles backwards, stunned for a moment. You'll learn quickly that a gung ho strategy is not the way to approach things. The humans are capable of adapting to combat situations thanks to Naughty Dog's AI system, "Balance of Power". They'll take cover when they see you, call for help when they need it, and they'll charge if you're out of ammo or are distracted by another enemy. I've died from as many human encounters as I have from Clicker encounters.
There are 8 different guns that I've seen. 4 different side arms and 4 different long weapons. Out of the side arms there are: pistol, revolver, sawed off, magnum. Out of the long guns there are: carbine, shotgun, bow and arrow, flamethrower. All the guns are upgradeable, and you're guns are supported by melee weapons and some makeshift weapons. Melee weapons all break after a certain number of uses depending on the weapon. You can fashion molotovs, nail bombs, and smoke bombs from materials you find while scavenging.
The player is upgradeable as well. You'll use pills as a sort of currency to spend on self-upgrades. the upgrades range from something as simple as increased health to giving the player the opportunity to shank a Clicker before being bitten. The latter being one of the most useful abilities in the game though Your supply of shanks is not infinite.
I have only 1 complaint with the game. In order to make the game completely in the player's control, enemies will not notice allied npc's until they notice the player. This is convenient, but it's also VERY immersion breaking. I was shown a message that said that Clickers have acute hearing that will allow them to hear me even if I was crouched, but then a few hours later, one of my ally npc's goes running by one of them and even touches them. If he had run through a field of Clickers, naked while waving his arms wildly and screaming the list of elements on the periodic table, he'd still never be seen. I take a few friggin steps too fast while crouched and their all over me. There was also a time when I was just below 2 enemy humans. If I climbed up they'd spot me in a second, but my entire friggin group of 3 people nonchalantly climbs up the ledge right into the enemies line of site, and they didn't notice a thing.
Bandit 1: "Boy Ted, it's sure nice being a disposable npc."
Bandit 2: "You got that right Greg."
*the group climbs up the ledge*
Bandit 2: "Hmm, Greg, isn't there something a little.... off about that ladge?"
Bandit 1: "What do you mean Greg?"
Bandit 2: "Well, I feel like something's off about those lumps of the ledge. Were they there before? They kind of look like people..."
Bandit 1: "Nah, I'm sure it's nothing. Lighten up, man."
Bandit 2: "Yeah, I guess you're right."
*Joel climbs up*
Bandit 1: "OH MY GOD!? TED, IT'S A MIDDLE AGED WHITE MAN!"
Bandit 2: "Quick! Shoot him! Wait, the lumps? Those aren't lumps! It's a black man, a little black boy, and a little white girl!"
Bandit 1: "How could we have been so blind!?"
Overall, this game is fantastic. Survival Horror has been an endangered genre in the mainstream for some time. It's good to see this game. It's a good step in the right direction. I have only a few gripes, but they are insignificant.
My final verdict for the campaign is a 9.5/10.
I have yet to play the multiplayer, but I can highly recommend the game just for its single player.
Now, discuss the game as you would, but as always, SPOILERS MUST BE IN A SPOILER BOX!
Update: I've finished the game now. It has a great and human ending. There is also a 9th gun that you get at the very end. It's an Assault Rifle.
Edited by ViolentAnemia, 16 June 2013 - 03:36 PM.