GAME NAME: The Last of Us
DEVELOPER(S): Naughty Dog
PUBLISHER(S): Sony Computer Entertainment
PLATFORM(S): PlayStation 3
GENRE(S): Third Person, Action/Adventure, Survival Horror
RELEASE DATE(S): June 14, 2013
Throughout the years, Naughty Dog has released some of the most memorable franchises. From Crash Bandicoot to Uncharted, Naughty Dog has never failed to please their audiences. Now, with the PS4 right around the corner, Naughty Dog has given us one last great PS3 exclusive with The Last of Us. Filled with an emotional narrative, smooth gameplay, and stunning graphics, The Last of Us will leave you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.
After an infection strikes the United States, cities crumble, leaving many to fend for themselves. The story begins with Joel; a man fed up and worn out from his surrounding of a post-apocalyptic society. Joel lives in a quarantine zone in Boston. To get by, he makes a living as a smuggler with his partner, Tess. Together, they trade with survivors outside the city. Although you take control of Joel, you could make the argument that he is not the main focus of the story, but rather his teenage companion, Ellie.
Early in the story, Joel agrees to a deal in which he must transfer Ellie across the country to a militia group called the Fireflies. Although Joel seems resistant at first, Joel and Ellie grow closer together as the plot moves along. The interactions between them are tremendous, creating a dynamic relationship. As the story progressed, I cared about their relationship just as much as I did their adventure.
The gameplay is smooth. Unlike Uncharted, players cannot take all of the enemies on in shootouts to advance. Instead, players must use stealth and in some instances, run away from enemies. Moving quietly and using ammo sparingly is a must. Using bricks or bottles to stun enemies is your best bet to gain the advantage. Players then have the option to strangle enemies or stab them with a shiv. This gives the game a disturbing and eerie feel. There is one problem with the stealth aspect, however. No matter how undetected you go, or how slowly you move, enemies always migrate to your location. It increases the challenge, but is not a major problem and does not affect the overall game that much.
Graphically, The Last of Us is exceptional throughout. From outside environments, to cut scenes, to character models, The Last of Us provides a high sense of realism. One notable aspect is Ellie’s character design. Her flowing hair and facial expressions make her one of the best character models in a video game. This is mostly due to the fact that her motion capture was done by Ashley Johnson, the same actress who provided her voice.
The Last of Us is brilliant in every aspect. What you have here is the best kind of PS3 exclusive. Not only is it the best looking game, but it has also the most compelling storyline to date. With the PS3 near the end of its life, The Last of Us is definitely its swan song.