Game Review: The Last of Us

photo courtesy of psu.com
photo courtesy of psu.com

The Last of Us is another one of Naughty Dog’s great hits. Made by Naughty Dog, the same creators of the Uncharted series, The Last of Us has received universal critical acclaim for it’s writing, voice acting, sound design, level design, and art direction. Some consider it the most significant title of the seventh generation video game era.

The Last of Us takes place in a post-apocalyptic United States, after a deadly fungal spore infection spreads across the globe, wiping out the vast majority people. The spores warp it’s hosts into deadly predators that can kill with a single bite.  The remnant of the world’s population has been reduced to either struggling survivors or ravenous, infected mutants known as “Clickers”.

Concept art of some Clickers. photo courtesy of psu.com
Concept art of some Clickers.
photo courtesy of psu.com
photo courtesy of gameluv.com
Joel facing off a Clicker.
photo courtesy of gameluv.com

The story follows Joel, a survivor of the fungal pandemic that devastated civilization, and Ellie, a fourteen year old girl who grew up in this post-apocalyptic world.  Joel is hired to take Ellie across America to a hidden resistance camp.  Near the start of the game, Joel finds that Ellie is naturally immune to the fungal infection and the resistance group plans to use her to find a cure.  Throughout the campaign, Joel and Ellie develop a father-daughter relationship and share many heartfelt moments.

Game-play consists of puzzle-solving sequences and both open area and stealth combat.  While there is not a large selection of weapons, the weapons are varied, each with its own benefits.  The game uses a unique stealth combat system based on sound.  Certain types of enemies will be blind while possessing an acute sense of hearing.  Throwing bricks and bottles, firing a gun, and running can all attract and distract enemy.  For players who dislike the stealthy approach one can always go guns blazing, but ammo and supplies can quickly deplete and can be scarce on the higher difficulty settings.

The game’s story is well paced throughout the game.  There are many memorable scenes in the game.  One of the most memorable scenes was when Joel and Ellie find a herd of giraffes.  Though the game is set in a post-apocalyptic United States, the world and environment portrays not a sad and depressing atmosphere, but a optimistic world that is slowly regrowing.

photo courtesy of psu.com
Joel and Ellie meeting a giraffe.
photo courtesy of psu.com

For those who enjoy playing against other gamers, The Last of Us offers a fun multi-player experience.  Players join one of two sides: the resistance, called Fireflies, or the bandits, called Hunters (the factions are nearly irrelevant to gameplay). From there, there are two game modes, Survivor and Supply Raids.  In Survivor, everyone spawns with one life as two teams of five players fight it out.  Supply Raid is similar except for the fact that each team shares a set amount of re-spawns. While the multi-player is not as amazing as the single player experience, it is a fun addition to the game.

The Last of Us is an amazing game that is a must have for Ps3 owners.

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