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Posted June 24, 2013 by Robert Birmingham in Most Recent
 
 

The Last of Us Review

TheLastOfUsJoelEllieArtwork
TheLastOfUsJoelEllieArtwork

The Last of Us Review

The Last of Us is among the greatest games I’ve ever played.  Period.  As a matter of fact, one could make the argument that it’s the greatest game ever made.  It’s that amazing, it’s that incredible.  Naught Dog has truly outdone themselves once again, creating a work that transcends the boundaries of what a video is and supposed to be.  From start to finish, The Last of Us has you on the edge of your seat, wondering what’s going to happen next as you sneak and fight your way through hordes of infected and heartless looters.

The two primary characters are Joel and Ellie.  Joel is a man in his mid 40′s or so, while Ellie is just 14.  Having been contracted with the mission of transporting Ellie on an important mission, Joel must do whatever it takes to keep her safe and avoid the numerous hazards that are around every corner.  The character models in this game are brilliant, particularly the facial expressions.  Going further, the overall visuals are absolutely stunning.  The lighting effects and shadows are breathtaking.  The water effects are remarkable, especially the rain effects on windows.  There are times that you’ll be blown away by the graphics in this game, as they surpass anything seen on PS3 (or 360 for that matter) by a wide margin.

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From the very start, The Last of Us feels more like a movie or TV show than it does a video game.  Indeed, when playing the intro, I felt that playing the game was secondary.  There were times when the game would break away from telling the story that I had to remind myself to actually play the game.  The fact that the game is crafted so well makes this blend that much better.  Minute after suspenseful-filled minute, The Last of Us draws you in and doesn’t let go.  If you’re not hooked after you play the intro, you might as well stop playing video games and pick up a book.  Or get into gardening.

The gameplay mechanics in The Last of Us are about as fine-tuned as you’ll find on the current consoles.  The player has the two basic strategies of sneaking / stealth or guns-a-blazing.  Going Rambo style isn’t the best idea, though, considering how limited the ammo and supplies are in this game.  If you have 10 bullets, you’re thrilled.  For that reason, sneaking up behind enemies and choking them out or shanking them is the preferred strategy.  Taking out enemies in this manner also shows the gruesome details that Naughty Dog has gone at lengths to showcase.  As you strangle an enemy, he flails and struggles, desperately clawing and grasping at Joel to save his fleeting life.

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Another thing that I really enjoyed about the game was learning about the history of random survivors through notes and diaries.  I found myself scouring all of the areas to find these short entries, curious to learn about what had happened or was about to happen to these poor souls.  This sort of immersion is hard to convey in a video game, but is just another area where Naughty Dog not only excels, but passes with flying colors.

There is also a multiplayer component in The Last of Us, and it’s actually quite deep.  Taking what the Uncharted series did well from a MP perspective, The Last of Us goes beyond that and adds some new features and functionality.  The MP mode is called “Factions,” and involves aligning yourself with either the Hunters or Fireflies.  As your group wins matches and complete objectives, your faction will rise or fall in power.  There are two different game types, Supply Raid and Survivors.  One surprising omission, however, is the lack of an infected game mode.  More than likely, however, DLC will address this issue.

The Last of Us is the best game to come out this year, and among the greatest games ever made.  It’ll almost certainly win every major Game of the Year award this year, and you owe it to yourself to play this game as soon as possible.

Review – 10 / 10 – True gem.

+ Incredible story.

+ Amazing characters.

+ Best graphics on PS3.

+ Excellent music.

+ Greatest game ever on PS3.

Robert Birmingham is Editor-in-chief at flydrs.com