The Last Of Us Review
Following the three successful Uncharted titles that Naughty Dog delivered this generation, they’re up for a final task on the PlayStation 3 before moving on to next-gen. With the Last of Us being their project following the hit Uncharted 3 a couple of years ago, expectations are high but a lot of fans have a lot faith to the developer due to the games they’ve released before. Promising a game that that will deliver a perfect storyline, varied gameplay, and cinematic cutscenes, will Naughty Dog’s latest The Last Of Us project will be something a lot of people will love this time? Will it surpass the epitome of greatness of the Uncharted titles?
Let’s find out and kick off the HOTs and NOTs.
From all of Naughty Dog’s work, The Last of Us is one game that has a perfect storyline. It has a mix of everything; drama, action, hope, suspense and thriller. With all those mixed together, it creates something magical that draws a lot of people in. Without spoiling any of the story, the game takes place in a post apocalyptic world where a fungus known as cordyceps have spread all throughout the United States. With the survivors trying to survive the aftermath of the epidemic crisis, we find Joel and Ellie. In the Last of Us, we follow the story of both characters as they work together and survive the dangerous post-pandemic world. With people who are infected by the fungus, both characters will fight for their survival with the help of several people that will accompany them in this grand survival horror game.
Prepare to be impressed from start to finish with the game’s stunning presentation. The game uses sounds (or lack of sound) to not only make the game world more believable but to create tension, suspense and amplify the action. Banging metallic wheelie bins against a wall and walking across different surfaces have the correct noises associated with them; it isn’t just a standard walking or knocking noise. It is this attention to detail, that even includes muffling voices from different rooms, which makes The Last of Us that one step above other games on the market.
To match the sounds are the impeccable graphical presentation. Ripping clear and murky water, perfect reflections from mirrors and dirty windows with rain visibly running down them. These are just a few of the small details in the visual presentation that gamers are treated to. To go one step further, the animations add another a layer of realism into the game. When characters are near walls or crouched behind cover they will lean onto it or use a hand to balance on it. Even the idle animations like the characters scratching their head add up to produce a complete presentation bundle; one that other titles should strive to equal.
Comparing Naughty Dog’s work this generation from their three Uncharted titles, the visual quality have vastly improved in the Last of Us. The textures are top notch, the character models depicts realism and the environment feels like a breathing world. Every inch you look in the world of the Last Of Us is simply phenomenal and when watching a cutscene, it feels more that you’re watching a real movie with live people. As for voice overs, they are are once again believable, making the game feels so much real. The emotions that you see in the face will immediately get the character’s attention and the way they convey lines are simply great.
The intriguing plot line, with a slow steady development, creates a story that should not be spoiled. Players are treated to character relationships which grow and form in front of them. It is because of this that players themselves feel like they are bonding with the characters along their journey. Having a connection this strong with the characters turns even the smallest of possible incidents into a meaningful panic ridden situation.
From Ellie, Joel, Tess and to the other characters that you will meet in the game, all have their own tragic story to tell and just learning the hardships they faced will surely captivate everyone’s emotion. From the beginning all the way through the end, you will see a bond between Ellie and Joel develop. These are the kind of things that perfectly shape a great storyline that a lot of people will appreciate.
Linear Level Design Done Right
Checking every drawer, cupboard and side room may sound like a waste time, but as well as being almost a necessity, it builds on the feeling of survival at all costs. The game also rewards those who do search levels. If you don’t search often, it is possible to miss small sections of dialogue and much needed supplies, ranging from the upgrade pills to craft materials and health kits. The game constantly gives the player a reason to venture even slightly off the straight path set in front of them. This in conjunction with there often being multiple paths through areas means the game rarely feels linear at all, despite an overarching get from A to B set up.
A Real World
Normally, saying a game has a living breathing world is a complement. However, it feels like it would almost be an insult to The Last of Us. The world feels inhabited and populated but instead of being full of life it is full of reminders of the lack of human life. Upon walking outside, players get a sense that this is what the world would become after an outbreak. There are no perfectly mown lawns here for players to see. The world is grimy and overgrown, breaking down and losing the battle against nature. This complements the setting and sets the mood for the entire game.