Wandering the hallways of an abandoned apartment, you’re in desperate need of supplies. You approach a turn at the end of the hallway but hesitate unsure what could be waiting around the corner. Crouching down at the edge of the wall and holding your breath, you can hear a “click-click-click” several yards away. Clickers. Their blindness gives you the advantage but being too loud will alarm them and possibly end your life with one violently gruesome chomp to the neck. You look around the corner and spy five clickers: two standing and three devouring a bloody mess of a person. You check your weapons. Three shotgun shells, five pistol bullets, two arrows, and a Molotov. You grab your bow and arrow and pull back on the strings, aiming at the nearest standing Clicker. One miss of the arrow could alert all the Clickers and put your entire plan at risk. With the release of the strings, the arrow sails through the air and penetrates its head, letting out a satisfying crunch. You then take out your Molotov and aim it toward the pile of feasting Clickers. The Molotov is lit, thrown, and smashed directly in the middle of the pack. The commotion attracts the other standing Clicker and all four burn, releasing their final “clicks”. “All in a day’s work,” you say as you wipe your hands on your shirt. You continue walking down the hallway, cautiously stepping over the bodies and avoiding the fire. Suddenly out of the darkness emerge two Runners, sprinting toward you and screeching loudly with their blood-stained mouths. You whip out your pistol right in time and shoot one straight through the head. The other one knocks you off your feet and bangs your head back into the wall. As you try to refocus on the stalking Runner in front of you, you manage to grab your shotgun and load in a shell. The Runner grabs your face with its rotten fingers but you lay your shotgun upon its skull and with one push of the trigger… BAM! You can feel the hand go limp. Then you look at its face. Blood stained on the wall behind it, the head is completely blown off and then the rest of the body slumps onto you. Shoving the dead Runner onto the ground, you bring yourself back to your feet and once again continue down the hallway. As you pick up some much needed supplies, you realize that you’re lucky. This encounter was nothing compared the many worse things out there in the apocalypse and you’re lucky to survive any of them. This is The Last of Us.


Above is a sort of situation that you would encounter in The Last of Us. Just as it sounds, the gameplay is very intense and requires you to be very strategic when attacking. Not only the combat but the game overall excels in everything. The story is very brutal and shocking and leaves you shaking near the end, the voice acting is excellent, the graphics are some of the best on PlayStation, and above all the game offers a large amount of beauty in the apocalypse along as brutal violence.


The gameplay works very well and controlling Joel is quite easy. The gun controls work very much like Uncharted and do very well in telling you how much ammo you have left. The sort of weapons that you can use are Molotov’s, bombs, and smoke bombs that aren’t overly complicated to use and allow for different strategies in combat. Many people were skeptic when hearing about having Ellie running along with them the entire game like an escort mission. Truthfully, Ellie almost never gets in the way of the action and never really needs to be protected. You also never have to worry about leaving her too far behind because she always catches up. Another large component of the game is the crafting and upgrade systems. Throughout the journey Joel collects supplies like scissors, water, tape, and such to craft his weapons. To craft you have to click the Select button and it pulls up a menu with all the supplies you collected. By choosing what weapon you want and holding down X you can use your supplies to create the weapon. You have to be wise about when, where, and how you craft though because you have limited supplies and it takes time. The upgrade systems are also important. You have an upgrade system for Joel and one for your weapons. By collecting pills and gears, you can upgrade Joel’s skills like amount of health, crafting speed, etc. and for weapons you can upgrade clip sizes, fire rates, etc. As for the AI; it works mainly well. The infected AI works fine but for the human enemies it can be easy to sneak around them where a normal human can probably see. They mostly spot you when you are directly in front of them and slightly to the side. Usually the AI isn’t a large problem or interferes too much in the gameplay.


When you’re not fighting you’re probably exploring or solving puzzles in the environment. The places you go to during the story are literally jaw-dropping and give off a sort of beauty. The environments never repeat or are used over but you are able to explore different places all the time. Whether you’re in a deserted city, snowy mountains, or a forest, The Last of Us provides many different places to explore. Sometimes in able to advance in an area you have to complete puzzles by interacting with environment. Some examples are like when you must carry Ellie across water by finding a board due to her lack of swimming, find a dumpster or ladder in order to climb up something, and occasional find a keycard to open a door. None of the puzzles are too hard or difficult but provide more ways to interact with the game.


Lastly, The Last of Us includes an online mode that is a fine addition to the game. Very similar to Uncharted online gameplay, it is a 3rd person versus mode that challenges the teams to collecting supplies scattered throughout the map and avoiding each other. I myself have not played too much of the online mode but the bits I’ve played were enjoyable.


The Last of Us is certainly not a game to be missed among the buzz of the next-gen consoles. The story of Joel and Ellie is shocking and gruesome and even makes you question humanity itself. Seeing the characters struggle to survive gives off a sort of sadness and makes you have sympathy for them. Buried among all of that is a beautiful apocalypse that you will want to survive to see unto the end.