The lights are on
The Last of Us is an amazing game. The graphics and sound are top notch. The
gameplay, is fast and fun, yet methodical and dangerous. The story is dark and
violent, with a few good twists and turns.
The Last of Us may be the
best looking PS3 game I have ever played. The lighting and textures are superb,
and water affects and physics are believable. All character models, from the protagonist's,
to random enemy C, are very well done, and are extremely detailed. The only
graphical issues I can gripe about are some strange instances where, if you
stand in the right spots the whole world disappears, (but I haven't noticed any
more of these problems after the first update) and issues where blood pools
look like water until you walk up to them.
Sound: There isn't much to say about the sound other than it is fantastic. The only
problem with the sound was, on my fifth playthrough (yeah I really like this
game) during a couple of cut scene's the sound got quieter or cut out completely.
Gameplay: The best thing about The Last of Us is a tie
between the gameplay and the story. You have third person stealth games, and
third person shooters, TLoU is neither.
It is more like a hybrid between the two, if you try to go through
stealthy you will tear you're hair out trying to get through some areas. If you
go through guns blazing you will never have any ammo and will be killed quite
quickly in some areas. When you get to each new situation you have to analyze
the area and figure out what you are going to do, paying close attention to
your supplies and ammo, as well as the enemies you will be facing. But don't
think this is Hitman style trial and error; Joel is quite capable of defending
himself. The combat is very different than any other game I've played. The aiming
is slow and precise, a lot like RE4, however unlike that game, Joel does not
control like a tank, and you can move and shoot. Like most games no matter how
good you are, eventually you will get shot. When you do, Joel actually reels
back and often falls to the ground, and the same goes for the enemies. One of
the most useful weapons in the game is Joel's fists, and melee weapons. When you're
low on ammo nothing beats, beating your enemies with a 2x4 tricked out with
nails and scissors.
As a lover of stealth games, I am always worried that hybrid games like
this will make stealth completely useless or tediously boring. Thankfully that
is not the case with this game, stealth is not only possible, but sometimes imperative,
especially when playing on survivor mode where having two bullets is like Christmas.
Story: The story in The Last of Us is not a new story, two people trying to
survive in a harsh and unforgiving world, has been done before. But what makes
the story truly wonderful, is the characters. The writing, and the subtle
nuances in the actors performances really make you care about these people. The
first time you meet Ellie she pulls a knife on Joel, and they couldn't be more disappointed
about their partnership, but after a while they start to warm up to each other.
The only real issue I have with the story is that during development they
talked about how the human enemies were just like Joel, people just trying to
survive. In the first few hours this was true, you fight smugglers and thugs
who can be overheard talking about how much they hate that they have to perform
a crappy protection job. And it really makes you feel like a jackass that you
have to strangle, shoot, and stab these family man type guys. The issue is, as
the game goes on, you start to encounter enemies whose motivations either aren't
clear, or are so evil that you feel like it's a public service to kill them.
Multiplayer: When I heard The Last of Us would have
a multiplayer component, a sense of fear and dread came over me. Coming off of
great games with abysmal multiplayer, like Far Cry3, and Tomb Raider I was
worried Naughty Dog would disappoint with a shoe horned attempt at multiplayer,
I couldn't have been more wrong. The reason the multiplayer is so great, is
that it takes everything that is great about the gameplay and puts it in 4 on 4
online matches. It also brings that fear of death you get from the story. When
you start the game you choose between two factions, once you make your choice
you receive a small clan of people, the goal is to grow that group and keep
them alive for twelve weeks (each match is a day). If you do poorly in a match
you won't get enough supplies to keep your people alive and healthy. There are
only two modes, Supply Raid, and Survivor. Supply Raid is your basic Team Deathmatch
with a twist, every enemy you kill will give you supplies that you can use to
keep your people alive. Survivor is basically the same thing, except you only
get one life.
Closing Comments: The Last of Us is an expertly crafted masterpiece,
if you like third person shooters, or action games, or have a pulse, you should
definitely play this game.
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