The lights are on
To say that this game is good is a gross understatement. I will start
by saying I will try and keep this spoiler-free whenever possible, but
this game is so damn good I may not be able to help but give little plot
details away, so read away if you like.
I had been following The
Last of Us (TLOU) since it was first announced and thought it would be
interesting to see how Naughty Dog ventured into new territory away from
Uncharted. I must say, as is apparent by the unanimous praise for the
game, the result is nothing short of a masterpiece and I will say in my
own opinion, the most important game this generation. Now that is a bold
statement, especially coming a year after what could also be considered
the most important game, Journey. What Journey did was epic on so many
levels, the multiplayer aspect of traveling with an unknown companion,
the music (my god, the music...), the simplicity and haunting of not
knowing how your journey would end. However, TLOU took a game, a
survival game, a horror game, an action game, and gave what has become
the most human face to it I have ever seen in my 30 years of gaming. And
to be honest it is pretty scary how realistic that face is. I can only
hope to give this game justice in my simple review and hope that people
realize the importance of what this game has done for me, and I believe
I usually start with story, however in this instance I have to save that aspect for the end. So I will start with:
10/10. Not necessarily for the control scheme alone, which is perfectly
fine as it is, but the management of supplies (or lack there of),
crafting, ammunition, etc that you must constantly be on the look out
for. This incorporation of inventory management and gameplay makes TLOU
feel so much more unique than any other game I have played. Although you
can get away with ample supplies on easier levels, when playing through
on Survivor Mode you must truly scape and scrounge whatever you can to
survive. No free-shooting or anything of that nature. The QTE are the
best I've experienced and are not tacked on or made to just feel like an
'interactive movie.' When I'm smashing on a button to save my ass I
feel it has a purpose. That purpose being, "I DON'T WANNA DIE!" and you
bet I'm going to kill that guy who tried to choke me out. Again, as
close to trying to live in the post-apocalyptic world as you would want
Graphics: 10/10. Some incredibly rendered CG movie that
give the most subtle and realistic facial expressions and emotions in
any game. Although next-gen systems and companies like Quantic Dream are
no doubt going to make emotions in games seem lifelike, the impact that
TLOU does have with their faces, voices, emotions is haunting and
realistic beyond measure. I find myself re-watching the cinematics and
enjoying what has become The Last of Us movie of sorts.
11/10. Other than the story, the best aspect of the game. Like Journey
before, TLOU gives a soundtrack worthy of any award (including the
Grammy, which I feel Journey should have won!) The only downside I could
see people having with the music is that the songs are somewhat
'recycled' with different vibes or instruments to go with different
scenarios. However, there is no doubt that this music will carry with
you when you hear it. I fortunately preordered and received the Sights
and Sounds pack and have been enjoying the soundtrack everyday. And not
to short change the in-game sound by any means, the voice acting is
beyond excellent. Better than most movies, I am hard-pressed to say it
is the best voice acting I have ever heard. And last, but not least, the
sound of steel pipe crushing face...yummy. In-game sound is spot on and
very realistic. Nothing else much to be said.
No doubt the single most driving aspect of the game and for good reason.
TLOU gives us characters that you start to care for on so many levels.
You see the relationship grow between Ellie and Joel as their ordeal
grows and you become so attached that anytime you feel you're going to
die, you need to restart so you can save your best friend...that kind of
bond. Again, mere words do not do this game justice but you really can
relate to the characters and you genuinely want them to live.
Story: No rating needed. Like that characters, the story is something
beyond the game. You see from the beginning the origins of this plague
and how it affected Joel and then how Ellie gets mixed up in it. Being
as she was born after the plague you know she doesn't understand Joel at
first and what he has been through, but scenes like the ranch scenario,
then the horse ride back, the steakhouse scene, the hospital. All these
things come together in such a way that you can't help but feel so
moved by the decisions the people had to make and the consequences they
carried for all the people around them. The fact that this game can make
you feel like that (and the fact that it is a game) says something to
how potent and effective the writers were in making this game.
note, the steakhouse scene: I will say as father of a young girl, the
ordeal that Ellie went through there was incredibly emotional and I
would not be surprised if some dads were brought to tears by it if they
had put their own girl in Ellie's place (though of course they won't
admit it). Again, story and character driven plot and games always trump
big budget explosions and frivolous gimmicks and tacked on multiplayer.
Well, that about does it for me. I will end by saying I hope
this game gets all the recognition it deserves. Wins every award and
changes peoples lives. It certainly did mine. If you haven't played
it,do it, go buy it, buy the soundtrack. You will not be disappointed.
That's about it, thanks for reading.
Is there such thing as 11/10? By the way, awesome review!