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Somber Reviews - The Last of Us (Game)

Updated on April 28, 2014

Game: The Last of Us

First released in Japan on June 20, 2013, The Last of Us is an adventure game with survival horror elements. Developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, this game found an avid following on the PlayStation 3. The Last of Us is critically acclaimed all over the world, and it should be.

It sets new heights and precedents for games everywhere. The voice acting and soundtrack is awe inspiring, and that says nothing about the absolutely breathtaking level design. As a seventh generation game of the videogame era, it's narrative sets it apart, and on top of that, The Last of Us received a game of the year award in 2013.

Since the game has been so well received, it has been announced that towards the end of 2014, the game will be released on the PlayStation 4 under the title The Last of Us Remastered.

It should also be noted that there is plenty of fun DLC (downloadable content) for the game, one of the most noteworthy being the DLC titled "Left Behind", that details what happens to Ellie before the game begins.

Joel and Ellie, a screen capture taken from the game. The world around them is vibrant, and beautiful.
Joel and Ellie, a screen capture taken from the game. The world around them is vibrant, and beautiful.

The Plot

The player controls Joel, a survivor from the cataclysmic aftermath caused by mutated Cordyceps. An outbreak struck, causing these parasitic creatures to infect humans. Joel reluctantly agrees to take care of a girl by the name of Ellie, escorting the wayward teen across the United States to find the Fireflies, a rebel group that acts on their own whims.

Since it's believed that Ellie can help to stop the outbreak of the zombie-like creatures once and for all, Joel must do everything in his power to make sure she arrives safely.

Another great image of the environment,
Another great image of the environment,

Game Play

This game utilizes a few key mechanics. The combat system, for prime example, revolves around taking cover behind objects and saving ammunition. Sometimes, there's high pressure gunfights, and melee combat isn't uncommon either.

For most of the game, the player controls Joel, though Ellie does become playable for a short time later in the game, and for the DLC content mentioned above. Other companions are controlled by the AI, and that's completely fine, they usually act accordingly, or at least get out of the way.

To defeat enemies, players can use weapons such as guns and bows to attack at range. Sometimes, the player can also pick up objects in the area, like a baseball bat and modify it to make a stronger weapon. It should be noted that since this game has some quite a bit of stealth involved, it's better to ration your materials carefully.

A strong hint to utilize early, and often is to make note of your surroundings. Throwing objects, like bottles or bricks, can avert enemies. Another nifty little detail, is that weapons can be upgraded using collectable parts at workbench. You can upgrade Joel's attributes by swallowing bottles of pills, and collecting medical plants.

Over all, these little individual things, make for fun, innovative gameplay, that can keep a person busy for hours.

Somber Reviews

I enjoy survival horror games, and I have always found myself drawn to them. This game isn't exactly geared to instill fear, but rather, to tell a post apocalyptic story. They do it well, and have no qualms about tattering on the edge, often it's what your mind ponders about after you play, that sticks with you the most.

the voice acting is superb and the visuals catch your breath. It isn't just a dark and dreary world, there's lush places where animals are thriving. The most astounding thing is they've brought a possibly reality to the table.

This could happen.

Cordyceps are a real type of fungus. It's true, I'm not kidding! A few of them are parasitic and they do attach themselves to living organisms. When you think about that, and what that actually means, a whole new depth is born. It's that kind of mental game, that makes The Last of Us so downright captivating.

So, onward to the caveats.

The game is long, and very immersive, but, it also tells a story. Many times while interacting with your environment, you'll trigger a vocal cue, and the characters will sometimes share lengthy exchanges, and sometimes it can be confusing. If you aren't careful, you could cut one of those discussions off, and miss important character narration.

On another note, the learning curve is actually a strong one, and casual gamers, like myself, will find a challenge. Some people may even find it too challenging, depending on their skill as a gamer. The controls can sometimes be a little awkward, but it isn't too bad.

Lastly, there are some places in the game that might be considered trigger worthy. They're harsh, and unforgiving, and they might not appeal to everyone. Since this game is rated M by the ESRB, it's not intended for young games and parents of children should steer clear of buying this, if it's for your child.

You might like this game if:

  • If you like games rated M by the ESRB.
  • If you like action games, or survival horror games.
  • If you want to play in an immersive environment.
  • If you like deep, thought provoking stories about post apocalypses
  • If you like games that utilize a cover system, and a character upgrade system.

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Final Verdict

This is a solid game, and it's no wonder why so many magazines and gaming networks choose to put The Last of Us on the top of the charts. It's fun, it's unnerving, it's action packed, there are even times when you'll be left speechless...frankly put, it deserves every once of praise that it receives.

It is a great series, and the DLC only makes it better. With talk about a second game coming out, I've got to admit, I'm excited about it.

As with all of my reviews, based on a score of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest possible score, and ten being the highest, I will give this series a solid 9. If you like M rated survival horror games, and action games, you'll like this.


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    • Ilan XD profile image

      Raziel Reaper 3 years ago from Israel

      A bloody brilliant game, though it has its problems with the AI, both friendly and hostile. Undoubtly one of the best games of the PS3/360/Wii era (7th gen).