Thursday, June 12, 2014

My review of The Last of Us

It is never easy to get do a video game rveiew and keep it non-spoiliery. Especially when the game is such a story based game like The Last of Us. There will be a few, but mostly minor ones.

Here I go.

First of all, the game was gorgeous. I mean it really looked great on the ps3. I can only imagine how good it will look on the ps4, but there was so much detail put into it and it just paid off.

The Story I was hooked from the get go. The “prologue” really sent the tone of the game and hit you in the mouth from the get go. It is rare to have a game really surprise me that early on. The writers deserve a lot of credit for how they handled it.

Still the game is about Joel and Ellie. It is a simple as that.

An older Joel is rugged, paranoid, and more than a little jaded. He spent twenty years finding a way to survive in a world that that became increasingly hard to endure. Yet, he made due by being smart and understanding the way the world was. You had to look out for you.

And then he met Ellie.

At first glance she was just a kid that annoyed him. A complication in his life that he did not really ask for, or wanted. But the interaction they had throughout the game was amazing. Little snippets of conversation they had where they go to know each other.

Then much larger things that drew them together. There were so many little moments in this. Just bit of conversation they started to have with each other. You could see them slowly growing into a dynamic and I kept wondering if one or both would die.

It was an amazingly well written story, and one that I kept wanting them to push more and more and more. There is emotion, and shock, and characters die. There is fear and sadness and a lot of other things. It may be one of best written games I have ever seen.

I am not even touching on the ending here. No way.

The gameplay prior to playing this, I beat Uncharted and Uncharted 2, along with Tomb Raider. With those games you are swashbuckling heroes and you spend a majority of the games just killing anyone that gets in your way. There is nothing wrong with this, but this is NOT that kind of game. Even if it took me a moment to realize it.

Don’t get me wrong, you can play this game like that. Guns blazing and all that. But you will die. A LOT. Hell at the beginning if the clicker’s grab you…you are just dead. No fighting, just game over. Joel is NOT Nathan Drake or Lara Croft.  It isn’t that he isn’t capable, but he is more of a survivor, than a fighter. Although he can fight.

So, you sneak, and avoid if possible. And lord do you spend time looking around everywhere for items that you can get to upgrade your character, equipment, and ammo. There is something awesome about wandering around with nothing but a flashlight and trying to sneak past/kill creatures that just want you dead.

I died so many times, but it rarely felt frustrating. I do wish the bow mechanic was better as I did not like the aiming component of it. I spent so much time trying to sneak up on the creatures/soldiers and trying to kill them quietly. This did not always work and I spent a lot of other time running for my life.
So, this happened.

You even played as Ellie for a bit and that part of the game was much different as she is a 14 year old girl versus previously playing as a 40 year old man. It was a nice contrast as she could not do some of the same things physically that Joel could do. But it was damn cool.

Overall. Where does this rate in my favorite games of all time? Damn high. May have even been higher if someone had not ruined the ending for me. I still loved the ending, but it took a bit of the emotional aspect of it as I knew what would happen. Still, it was a beautiful game with fun gameplay and a damn good story with two characters you grow to care about.  A few twists, and a few deaths, make it an emotional journey as well. 

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