Game Review: The Last of Us
As there is an overpopulation of the human race, a plague will be made by the earth in order to counteract the overpopulation; however, the plague doesn't necessarily need to make the human race die out, but instead change into feral beings that can no longer reproduce and feel the need to feast upon other humans. Basically, a natural creation of zombies with a story driven gameplay. If this backstory is enough to get you interested, then The Last of Us is definitely the game for you.
As with every zombie story, there is a lot of complications and a huge lack of understanding that comes from it; however, this game actually explains the reasoning behind the zombies quite well and even though the overall general story is mediocre at best, the more detailed interactions between all the characters is where the enjoyment of the game takes place. I will try to explain the story in my own words with the least amount of spoilers as possible.
The human population has gotten out of hand, there are over seven billion people now on the Earth all fighting for resources. The fighting has destroyed portions of the earth and therefore the plants on the earth want to fight back. The plants create a spore that once it is inhaled by humans attaches itself to the host's brain and spine leaving the host reverting back to its original instinct by wanting to feast.
It has been twenty years since the spore has been created and the world has been thrown into chaos. No sense of government still exist nationally, but instead, as localized dictatorships in order to preserve the last remaining human life. The player plays as Joel as he tries to live within this dictatorship governed Boston as a smuggler of weapons. He is on his way to obtain a shipment with his friend, Tess, as the Fireflys, a rebellious group, attacks the governed Boston area.
Along the way, Joel learns that the shipment was given to someone else and that they must seek out the new person that the shipment was given to, but not far because it was a member of the Fireflys that the shipment was given to. Once confronting the member of the Fireflys about the shipment, they agree to hand over the shipment if Joel and his friend, Tess, would smuggle a girl, Ellie, who seems to be immune to the spore outside of the governed area, to the capital building only a few blocks away.
The overall general story of the game is to escort an immune person from one place to the next which is a repeat from a ton of zombie flicks that have been created over the last couple decades.
The game is a survival horror game that plays as a third person cover shooter. Having control over two different characters at different points in the game should introduce a new style of gameplay, but there is not much of a difference between the gameplay of the two different characters. The struggle of the game is keeping a surplus of resources in order to create needed items such as health kits, shivs, and helpful confrontation items. There is a lack of ammo within the game, which aids the survival aspect of the game. With each confrontation except for a handful, there is always the option to use stealth and silent takedowns to take down the enemies instead of going guns blazing into battle. With this added option, the actions of the player can help or hinder them later on in the game because they may lack certain items to access extra areas of the game.
Visually the game is stunning to behold either on the PS3, the console the game was originally released on, or the PS4, where the remastered version is. I played both versions but completed the game on the PS4. When playing on both, the game was visually stunning on both consoles. The remastered version does have an upgrade in the overall graphics because the PS4 has more computing power than the PS3 does; however, playing on the PS3 version does not mean that the graphics are bad, actually the opposite. I am comparing the different versions of the game with other games for that system respectively.
The Good Parts
Interactions between the Established Characters
Throughout the campaign of the game, there are interactions between Joel and Ellie as they travel between areas. Most of the interactions are created through small chats while standing around or trying to figure out the best way to traverse through the harsh environments. These interactions tell more of the thought process and social abilities between the two characters, while also introducing the humor between the two.
Other interactions are through cutscenes in which the main characters will be discussing or forcing emotions out of each other. These interactions can be quite emotionally heavy and sometimes lead me sitting in my seat crying because I could feel their pain, even though they are fictional characters. Each character is understandable and perfectly portrayed through their voice and motion capture actors. They are also relatable because each one has experienced lost in one way or another, the same as most players of the game.
The Bad Parts
The Story Seemed Short (but I know it wasn't)
Even though someone can speed run through the game entirely within a couple of hours, it took me four multiple hour sessions in order to get from the beginning of the game to the end and also complete the story-driven DLC Left Behind. I know that the game is longer than it seems, but the fluidity of the story and the need to know what happens next kept me playing the game longer than I meant to and had me beat the game in just four days when previously games could take me anywhere from one week to multiple months to complete.
On the other hand, no other game has really captivated me within an intriguing story line and a desire to know what happens next. Therefore, the main story of the game felt much shorter than it really was because I was so involved in it, the concept of time had vanished completely from my mind.
Even though the game feels short, and it is difficult to explain the story of the game without giving away spoilers, I believe that this game is worth playing by every gamer out there. It has a very intriguing story and redesign of the concept of modern zombies. Nevertheless, even though the game does have an intriguing story line and a new concept of modern zombies, it does have a very general story of getting an immune person from one place to the next in order to eventually be studied upon so a cure can be made. This leads to giving the game a 9/10 instead of a complete 10/10 because of the general story. The game is challenging, no matter what difficulty the player is on because of enemies that can one-hit kill; however, even though enemies can one-hit kill, they are also very easy to get around, once the player has made the connection between the illness and the settings around them.