Rating: M, Length: 15 hrs approx (New Game + Option)
Game play is key when playing a video game, but what if a game has both amazing game play and amazing story? Something that has the complete package of excellence. That my friends is a rare gem and only comes once and awhile in a consoles life. The Last of Us is the pinnacle of gaming and something that all other games will have to now look up to and try to strive to beat. If you need to know more, just read on…
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: 20 years after a pandemic has radically changed known civilization,
infected humans run wild and survivors are killing each other for food,
weapons – whatever they can get their hands on. Joel, a violent
survivor, is hired to smuggle a 14 year-old girl, Ellie, out of an
oppressive military quarantine zone, but what starts as a small job soon
transforms into a brutal journey across the U.S.
The Last of Us‘ story might seem very simple at first, but peel back the layers and you will have a multilayered story, with twists, turns and heart tugging moments. The main character of Joel is a hardened individual, who has been given a life sentence of pain, thanks to actions outside of his power. He is thrust into this world, where people are becoming infected with some sort of fungal virus and the only way to survive, is to not trust anyone you see and kill whatever may attack you, be it human or otherwise.
Joel is tasked with delivering a girl named Ellie, to a band of rebels named the Fireflies. The journey is long and full of terrifying encounters, coupled with severe heart tugging moments and sudden and shocking scenes, that will almost make you cry. This is a story that will have you thinking about it long after the credits role, especially thanks to an ending that leaves questions open about the actions one takes for another. It’s truly an amazing experience.
The biggest thing that makes this game so freaking amazing, would be the character Ellie. She’s by far one of the most real characters I’ve interacted with in a game. I felt like I needed to protect her and much like Joel, had her growing on me as the story progressed. Come the end, she was someone that I enjoyed so much, I would do anything to protect. Plus, the voice work by Ashley Johnson, was fantastic and brings the character to an unreal level of realism.
In fact, the entire cast of voice actors reaches a pinnacle of success, not usually seen in a video game. Each character is brought to life through the actors and they hit every single emotional note with such pizazz (big props goes to voice actor Troy Baker, who plays Joel). It’s a landmark moment, that is brought to an even higher level, when you throw in a beautiful soundtrack and sound work. Gunshots ring loud and the sounds of Clickers (a type of infected person, that will leave you terrified), will make your heart race. I don’t have a single negative thing to say about the sound in this game.
Sound isn’t the only thing to praise, as the graphics are above and beyond the level of completely mind blowing. If this is the end of this current gen, than what a way to go! Naughty Dog managed to max out the PS3 and really crank out some beautiful visuals, which range from abandoned cities, dark and dank tunnels and sewers, to suburbs overrun with the infected. Much like the sound, this is fan-freaking-tastic.
Look at me, I’ve been praising everything about the game and I haven’t even got to the game play portion of it. Fear not folks, this game plays superbly. Your character is controlled in the third person view. You are able to carry an unlimited number of weapons, but can only equip up to a max of two per type of weapon. For example, you can have two small pistols and two large weapons equipped to the fast load buttons (directional pad) and with a press of said button, you’re able to select your weapons. The directional pad will also allow you select health kits, Molotov cocktails, grenades or melee weapons. Thankfully, the melee weapon is not really necessary to equip, as you can press the square button and you’ll automatically switch to the melee weapon for a quick attack. It’s a well thought out system that works wonders.
You’ll also be able to pick up supplies, which can be used to upgrade weapons and other various beneficial options, such as health and your listening mode (a quick press of R2, will enable listening mode, which will highlight nearby enemies behind walls).
Besides the phenomenal 15 hour single player experience, you also have a multiplayer mode. Much like my other game reviews, I didn’t play much of multiplayer, besides a few quick rounds of Supply Raid mode. You select either Hunters or Fireflies, as your faction and work together as a team to gather supplies and take down the enemy. The other mode is called Survivors, which is a one life scenario, where if you die, you’re done. If you need to know more information about multiplayer, check out IGN’s The Last of Us Multiplayer Wiki. As for my opinion, it looks to be pretty fun and I think I’ll actually take some time to check it out.
The Last of Us is absolutely, positively a fantastic game and one that you shouldn’t miss out on. Hell, if you don’t own a PS3, you must go and buy one right now and pick up The Last of Us; yes, it’s that good. Seriously, there wasn’t a single thing wrong with this game. There was a few graphical glitches, but nothing that I felt was needed to point out. Really, the worst part about the game is the end credits, cause that meant the game was over.
Rating: 5/5 (+5 for being the most fantastic experience the PS3 has to offer.)