Every few years, a game comes out that changes the industry as we know it. These games introduce us to new ways to experience our favorite past time. These games are also very, very rare. The Last of Us is one of those games and is like no other. Developer Naughty Dog has created a masterpiece that takes gaming to new heights. Everything about The Last of Us shines despite its dark and gloomy setting. The game features a level of action and violence that few other games contain, but simply calling it an action game does not even come close to doing this incredible title justice. The Last of Us combines both brutal combat and cautious stealth with an engaging and immersive story to create an experience that will be remembered for years to come.
A Breathe of Fresh Air
The Last of Us is one of the most unique games ever made. In some ways, The Last of Us deserves to be in its own genre. The game centers completely around survival and takes a very realistic approach to combat. Unlike nearly every other game on the market, The Last of Us does not have regenerative health. This forces players to approach the game in a different way. Ammo is also scarce throughout the game. Mindlessly firing bullets will only make you an easy target. Every combat situation could end in death. This leads to many intense situations.
While many games today consist of non-stop action, The Last of Us goes in a different direction. The game is meant to be played slowly and carefully. Rashly rushing through an area will almost always result in failure. Instead, it is best to opt for stealth whenever possible. To survive, the game allows players to use a huge variety of means. Players can use a wide assortment of weapons including guns, a hunting bow, and crafted weapons. Objects found in the game can be crafted to make new kinds of weapons. This leads to both tough decisions and creativity in killing. There are almost always going to be several different ways to take out an enemy. The player has to decide which way is best for each situation. When you consider the scarcity of ammo, this can be a very hard choice. These kinds of choices define The Last of Us.
The gameplay rarely focuses on simply killing someone (or something) else. Nearly every person in the game can be killed, but the focus remains on survival. Killing a person is one way of surviving, but you can frequently slip past. The Last of Us does not demand that you kill. It only demands that you survive.
An Unforgettable Journey
The Last of Us takes players on an adventure that will stick with them long after the credits roll. It creates an incredibly immersive experience by perfectly blending gameplay with story. Players are forced to make many tough decisions and commit many inhumane acts in the name of survival. Players also will die numerous times due to the games high difficulty. These aspects of the game create a connection between the player and the main characters, Joel and Ellie.
The player experiences the same hardships and struggles that the characters face and understands the characters better because of them. This causes the players to have an immediate emotional attachment to the characters. The characters spring to life due to the superb voice acting. Troy Baker and Tara Strong have outstanding performances as Joel and Ellie. The great voice acting adds to the game’s environment, too. This deep level of immersion makes the game’s defining moments particularly memorable. Also, the excellent soundtrack perfectly suits the game. The eerie soundtrack turns memorable moments into unforgettable moments.
Naughty Dog has created a powerful story full of twists and turns. The Last of Us is a tale that can be hard to swallow at times. The story bears little resemblance to the uplifting vibe of Naughty Dog’s most famous franchise, Uncharted. The Last of Us is not about finding the treasure, saving the princess, or even good triumphing over evil. Instead, the game is about how far people will go to survive. The lines of morality are often crossed and players will have to ask themselves if the end really does justify the means. How far should a person go for the sake of survival? The Last of Us is not meant to be played and forgotten, but to be experienced and pondered.
The Last of Us is arguably the best-looking game of this console generation. The environments are filled with rich, luscious colors and the textures are all meticulously detailed. The end of the world has lead to the overgrowth of nature. As man has perished, nature has prospered. The character models are phenomenal as well. The incredibly realistic graphics add to the narrative’s depth. It is easy to get attached to a character and harder to kill another when the characters look so realistic.
Although The Last of Us contains no crippling flaws, there are some slight problems in the game. Although enemy AI tends to be excellent, human enemies will sometimes fail to notice their fallen counterparts. Enemies will also specifically go after you (Joel) more than any other character on screen. Sometimes enemies will completely ignore the other characters just to get to Joel. Although this by no means breaks the game, it does negatively affect the immersion at times.
The Last of Us isn’t just one of the best games of this generation, it’s one of the best games ever made. It goes into territories that scare most games away. Instead of giving gamers a light-hearted joy ride, The Last of Us takes players into the darkest depths of humanity. The ride down there is far from easy, but The Last of Us makes it more than worth it. Each and every feature of the game compliments the others in a way that makes this title stand out among other great games. To put it simply, The Last of Us is absolutely brilliant. Years from now, when people are looking back at gaming’s greatest moments, The Last of Us will remain as one of the best experiences gaming has to offer.