The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 13
There's a moment well into the game, after Joel and Ellie have been already through so much. A short quiet moment with only a few words, and music playing to break the silence. Yet it's one of my favorite moments in the game. Even after the game gave me control back, I didn't want to move. We've all been blown away by huge set piece moments in games like Call of Duty, and Uncharted, but this was the first time I'd seen a game handle a slower, more emotional moment with such style, and grace.
The Last of Us takes place 20 years after a sudden outbreak of fungus began infecting, and twisting people into zombie-like monsters. What little of civilization remains is mainly small groups of survivors living in heavily-policed quarantine zones. Life inside these zones seems far from pleasant. But as you quickly learn, what lurks outside the gates is much worse. The game's story centers around Joel, a middle aged smuggler, and Ellie, a 14 year old girl, and their journey across the harsh conditions of post post-apocalyptic America.
It's a grim world
Throughout this journey, you'll encounter lots of infected, and human enemies. The gameplay centered around these encounters is always tense. Infected enemies range from runners, to clickers. Runners are people who have recently been infected. They're fast, aggressive, and waste no time attacking you when spotted. Clickers are people who have been infected for awhile, which eventually blinds them. They make a bone chilling clicking sound to see, and are always terrifying to deal with. Because supplies are extremely limited, its best to sneak around enemies as often as possible. Though that's rarely easy.
The slightest sound will alert a clicker, and when it grabs you, you're dead. As if that wasn't bad enough, there are often runners around, and they have no problem spotting you. Quietly sneaking past infected can turn to all out chaos with one wrong step, and knowing that is what keeps every encounter tense. Human enemies aren't quite as aggressive, but they also aren't any easier to deal with. As they're much smarter, and react to your every move. Pull out a gun, and they'll take cover, hide, and they'll search for you. You're almost always outnumbered, and outgunned. So you'll have to carefully plan out how to approach each encounter. Though it's possible to survive if you mess up, it'll definitely take more supplies to do so.
While the gameplay is certainly excellent, the narrative is the real star. It pulls you into this bleak world, and really makes you care about it's characters. Time and time again, it left my jaw on the floor. One particular cut scene had me anxiously tapping my fingers and feet, before jumping out of my seat. While many others caught me off guard, and pulled me in even further. The story The Last of Us tells is my favorite in gaming. And the excellent score by Gustavo Santaolalla fits every moment so perfectly, I couldn't imagine the game without it. While I would love to go into more detail about just how amazing the story is, that would be difficult to do without getting into spoiler territory.
I cannot overstate how great this game is
All in all, The Last of Us is a truly amazing game that had me on the edge of my seat throughout the lengthy adventure. Naughty Dog has never disappointed me, but they really created something special this time. Most people are calling it Playstation 3's best exclusive. I'll go a step further and call it my favorite game of all time.