I am being hunting down like a dog. I have one Molotov cocktail, and a few rounds left of my hunting rifle. I am running out of supplies with no help in sight. I hid behind a few boxes from my attackers and I see two guards coming up in front of me. I ready my Molotov and as they enter the burn radius, I throw the Molotov, and I watch them as they scream in burning agony. Then, I see another guard, so I got my hunting rifle ready and shot him in the head, killing him instantly. This three-kill streak was over and done in less than ten seconds, and I thought how mean that was. It was downright cruel in a way, but in the world of The Last of Us, this is normal.
The Last of Us is Naughty Dog’s newest masterpiece where you play as a smuggler named Joel. It has been twenty years since an outbreak nearly wiped away all of humanity, and it is up to you to smuggle a little girl named Ellie across country. The danger is always nearby, either by infected or the hunters something is always out to get you. While the events that play out is nothing new, The Last of Us, like the Uncharted series, takes something we know and spin it in a way we haven't seen before. It can get cliché at times, but Naughty Dog somehow makes them better. From the heartbreaking opening to the downer ending, Naughty Dog has made one of the best stories told in this generation of consoles. It is right up there with Alan Wake, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and even Uncharted 2.
the ambush sequences is one of gamings greatest moments
The slow-paced story does not matter much if the gameplay is terrible. Thankfully, Naughty Dog has gone their way to insure that you are having a great time with The Last of Us. Much like the story, the gameplay is slow and methodical. A battle against hunters in an abandon bookstore can last a good while. Sneaking around and taking people out one by one. It is refreshing to know that the gun is for emergencies only. Most games today have the gun as an extension of themselves, but for The Last of Us, it is a tool to survive. There are scenes in the game that was there because it is a Video Game, and does not add much. These moments are random and spread throughout the game. Most of them work in the within the world, while some does not.
You will play as Joel in The Last of Us, but the real star of the game is Ashley Johnson as Ellie. Ellie will stand tall alongside Alyx Vance and Elizabeth as one of the most helpful AI partner in games. If she sees you in danger, she will either throw a brick or stab someone in the back. This gives you time to counter attack and finish the attacker off. Depending on how you dispose of your enemies, Ellie will always have something to say. Sometimes she will repeat herself, and other times she will not. The more violent your actions, the more shocked she is. Ellie is a real flesh out character that most live action movies barely touch. This is helped by a world-class script and phenomenal acting which includes Troy Baker as Joel and Anne Wersching as Tess.
Ellie WILL hate the things you do
As the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One is looming near, we will look at The Last of Us at awe. Compare this game to an early PlayStation 3 game and it is tenfold. From Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune to The Last of Us, no other developer has maxed out the power of the PlayStation 3. Each facial expression has meaning and each object has weight. If Naughty Dog can push this hard to develop for machine, there is no telling what they have next for their PlayStation 4 debut.
The one thing that will make players question whether or not to continue is the level of violence The Last of Us has. Make no mistake this is a brutal game. Each infected you kill, each hunter you gun down. They all have different feelings behind them. Killing an infected feels different from killing a hunter. There is weight there that no game has. You can sneak past the hunters, but most of the time, you have no choice. Torture, rape, and suicide plays a role in this dark, dark tale and once you think it cannot get any darker, it does. Naughty Dog should be applauded for taking such a big risk on making a mature story that does not hold the players hands, and cover their eyes in the cruel world they created. We NEED games like this. To add to the 15 hour story, there are unlockables and a new game plus mode to keep you coming back. Great games like Tomb Raider, Uncharted 3, and Bioshock Infinite does not have replay value and they are crippled because of it. The Last of Us gives us costumes for Ellie and Joel, production art, and an interesting, if slightly flawed, multiplayer to let us keep you coming back. Nothing says awesome than having Ellie where a Jak and Daxter shirt covered in blood. This is a game that should not be missed.
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