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garganroo avatar 6:50 AM on 07.04.2013  (server time)
The First of Many (TLoU fan art)

It's the obligatory Last of Us joke fan art! I don't know if this idea is original (didn't bother googling for it), but it's the first thing that came to mind* after finishing the game.

Or maybe Mario's already immune? 
Anyway, enough with the jokes. Onto my quick reaction.

The Last of Us is an exhausting game to play. I can only play 2-3 hours tops and then I put down the controller and take a sigh of relief. The last time I felt something like this was playing Resident Evil 3 more than a decade ago. It's the constant dread that's exhausting. Strangely enough, whenever I see a bunch of hunters roaming about, I kinda feel relieved -- they're easier targets for Joel. 

But let's talk about Ellie, specifically her AI. When I was reading some of the reviews before release, they're always talking about how dynamic the AI was and how NPCs are never a problem to you -- well that's because they're freaking invisible! Too many times have I witnessed Ellie or Tess crawling in front of an enemy and they just ignore them. Especially that Bill dude with his shoes specially made to make stomping noise with each step. That is not AI -- that's a design shortcut.  It's downright laughable. 

I was also missing the kind of vulnerability that ICO did with the girl. I'm not asking for a useless damsel in distress, but sometimes I kind of forget where Ellie is -- sometimes I don't even care 'cause she's rarely in danger. She can practically walk straight to the hospital without Joel's help. Well, if only she can swim. From what I remember there's this "Help!" indicator whenever your partner AI is in danger; I think it's a missed design opportunity -- how many times did your heart stop whenever Yorda's taken away by those dark creatures? I was hoping for more of that in TLoU. Maybe it's more pronounced in Survivor difficulty?

If I sound like I hate the game, let it be clear that I don't. I think that this is Sony's and Naughty Dog's finest moment and one heck of a swan song for the PS3 (I'm not expecting much from Quantic Dream's Beyond: Two Souls). The way they ended the game broke the long tradition of a happy or sad conclusion and instead went on the vague/uneasy route. It's brave, it makes sense, and it explains the game title. The Last of Us indeed.

PS. I didn't even use the last weapon unlocked in the final chapter. That was way overkill, IMO. Also, hooray for wall hugging without pressing a button!

*Pixel art in comic strip are taken from Google images results. Everything else is mine. :)

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