Only as Naughty Dog can the story to The Last Of Us is gripping, emotionally attachable and keeps you on the edge of your seat in anticipation for what’s next in this amazing tale, Naughty Dog have exceed every expectation and obliterated all bench marks, setting a new standard not only for themselves but all triple A developers to follow.
Set twenty years from now. The Last of Us tells the tale of Joel and Ellie as they travel across The United States. Joel an adapted ruthless survivor must escort a young outspoken and headstrong teenage girl, Ellie across a plague infested United States. A human variation of the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis plague has decimated the population and nature has reclaimed the majority of the planet. Spanning the seasons, follow Joel and Ellie with their enduring struggle for survival against not only those infected with this catastrophic plague but also the desperate factions of human society that brings out the horrific nature in the human psyche in their attempt at survival.
The flow of the story is told perfectly, I found myself completely attached to the characters, empathetic to their unfortunate circumstances, praying for their survival, feeling the frights and suspense when they became under pressure and just genuinely hoping they do in fact survive. Naughty Dog have not only looked deeply into what makes their major characters tick but also gone in depth to their minor characters, truly proving that each individual on this post-apocalyptic earth is in fact an individual.
I, myself spent hours to what I only felt were minutes. This game is addictive and extremely difficult to put down. Naughty Dog deserves to be applauded for their story in The Last of Us, which wraps its self-up perfectly in the 16-18 hour campaign.
I knew this game would be beautiful but to the extent where I couldn’t fathom to leave the main menu until id taken in all the beauty sets a new level, expect the be doing a lot of slow panning (when you can and the game provides a few set opportunities to bask in the beauty) as you take in the amazingly detailed, realistic locations, from the now run down cities that serve basically as slums for the remnants of civilised society, open flowing rivers through a valley or small towns that nature has taken back.
Motion capture is perfect and never skips a beat it is almost as if each piece was filmed specifically for the purpose, this goes for both game play and cut scenes. Cut scenes are breath taking not only with highly detailed pieces but the emotion portrayed behind the voice acting is superb, absolutely superb!
Given the post-apocalyptic nature of the game, there is not a great deal of music to suit the setting but what little there is only adds to the atmosphere even more by plucking at your eardrums and building more tension. There is however, once scene with a strong musical element which exemplifies the amazing work Naughty Dog have done on the production, not only aesthetically but something as simple as just building character development between Joel and Elle. This game is incredibly real and takes no step back in getting in your face to emphasise the realism from the blood and gore to absolutely brutal deaths, all in the epic battle for survival.
The Last of Us is described as an action adventure, survival horror and the atmosphere Naughty Dog have created do just that and so much more. In this disastrous look into the future supplies and tools have become extremely scarce, scavenging what you can from the remains of household items or taking them from fallen victims to make tools for your survival against an intense world all looking to do the same. Enemies will play the role of humans and those infected. Humans are essentially the same as you, some struggling for survival and others taking full opportunity of the lack of rules and regulations. Infected come in various types pending their levels of infection, all providing challenges to overcome safely to survive. Some can be bludgeoned whilst getting caught by another variation can result in instant death.
Facing off against both enemy types will leave you on the edge of your seat, in one hand you can attempt to kill off all enemies with your scarce supply of ammunitions, explosive material and stealth or do you avoid confrontation completely trying to sneak past enemies without complications to save your supplies? One amazing ability survivors have is their listening skill is greatly increased, your listening will act as a sort of radar and if an enemy is making a noise through either talking or movement, you the player can locate their positions and react accordingly. There is plenty of waist high cover for shoot outs or cover to sneak past. Guns handle well and Naughty Dog have clearly taken a note from the Uncharted series in this aspect. The control scheme is nothing like you would usually find in a Naughty Dog game, much deeper which allows for listening, crafting and weapon selection.
Multiplayer features in The Last of Us, coming under the title “Factions” which clearly is says enough about the mission of multiplayer, you and three other team mates will fight against opposing factions, gathering supplies for your own personal faction, one lovely feature included is that each team member is given a personal goal, e.g. kill a number of guards, collect x amount of supplies. All that you’ve learnt in the campaign will prepare you perfectly for what lies ahead in factions using your arsenal of crafting, listening, stealth and gunfire. The pace is just as frantic and single player and once again your battle for survival has you on the edge of your seat. Although no infected has been included, odds are an appearance will be a certainty with the season pass downloadable content releases.
The Last of Us is a masterpiece, plain and simple. There was also a few Jak and Daxter references which is my favourite game series, to see these absolutely made my day. Gaming as of late has been gaining a lot more momentum as an art form and this entry from Naughty Dog is well and truly evidential proof toward the cause. The game features vivid designs of not only the environment but also the characters themselves. When you pair this with highly detailed amazing voice acting, extremely accurate motion capture, a gripping emotional story that pulls you in by your heart and takes you through every high and low that Joel and Ellie encounter during their struggle for survival. You get a challenging, varied, well-structured gameplay and an absolutely outstanding relationship that develops over the best part of a year. There is no doubt in my mind that this game will shake all competition for game of the year. It is a must buy and worth every cent.