Review by DarknessXSeeker
"A masterpiece that will be remembered forever."
Spoiler free review
Note: The following is my opinion and should not be taken as fact.
When Naughty Dog first announced this game a lot of people, including myself, was skeptical about this game and wondered, could Naughty Dog pull it off? And now after all the waiting, all the hype, and all the sky high expectations for this game, it has finally arrived. And I can say for a fact that it absolutely does live up to the expectations, never in my life have I played a game this enticing and unforgettable. The Playstation 4 launches this holiday and Naughty Dog didn't just make the Playstation 3 go out with a bang, they're making it go out with an apocalyptic explosion. Now I know you may think I am exaggerating, but I'm not The Last of Us is really that good.
Being a spoiler free review I can't say much about the story. So I am going to say this as clear as possible, DO NOT spoil this game's story or you are doing yourself an injustice. Anyway, the game takes place 20 years after a fungus hits the United States and begins to infect the entire population. You play as Joel a hardcore survivor in this post apocalyptic world, who is tasked with getting Ellie, a 14 year old girl, across the country. On the journey Joel and Ellie encounters other survivors and not all of them are friendly, but they are all very likeable characters. And by the end of the story it leaves you thinking, could I do all of this just to survive?
If you have played Naughty Dog's Uncharted franchise you will probably be expecting Uncharted caliber graphics. But no, Naughty Dog pushed The Last of Us far beyond Uncharted's graphics. I have always said Uncharted had the best graphics of any PS3 series I have ever played. But The Last of Us has dethroned Uncharted, both the characters and environments look completely realistic in every way and is truly breath taking. Details that I find cool is small stuff, such as when Joel jumps in water his cloths will only be wet depending on how deep he got in the water.
Naughty Dog has always been known for their very creative and interesting characters, and The Last of Us delivers the most interesting ND characters and the best voice acting in the companies history.
Joel: A man who has been through hell and tries to forget the world he once knew. He is now willing to do anything to survive whether it be stealing or killing, Joel is willing to do it just to live one more day in this terrible world.
Ellie: A 14 year old girl who has grew up in this world, unlike Joel she has no idea what the world use to be like and can't imagine it being any different. It is for this reason Ellie is fascinated by things that you and I use every day, because she has never seen them before.
Tess: Joel's partner in crime, wherever Joel goes Tess goes. Her and Joel are known throughout the Quarantine Zone and feared by many because of how far they're willing to go to survive.
The music in this game is simple, yet fantastic. Gustavo Santaolalla composed the soundtrack for the game, some of the simple guitar music is played just by him, and he does a dang good job at it. The music in the game can differ depending on the situation, it can sound very sad, hopeless, exciting, and sometimes a little cheery. It definitely fits with the post apocalyptic setting in this game.
Let me start this off by saying The Last of Us is very different from Uncharted, it is a perfect mix of a Third-Person Shooter, Stealth, and Survival. However the game's violence is really brutal, though luckily there is an option to turn the gore off like I did, so if you don't enjoy the brutal violence you can turn most of it off.
As I am sure you know ammo is very scarce in this game, if you have 10 bullets you are extremely lucky. You have to try your best to not miss and make every single shot count. Joel can upgrade each weapon to make it hold more rounds, do more damage, or increase the reload speed. All of these upgrades can come in handy when you are forced into a gunfight.
There is also a crafting system in The Last of Us, now when I first heard of this I was expecting something as complicated as Final Fantasy's synthesizing. However thankfully it is not, it is as simple as finding a bottle of alcohol and a rag to make a medical kit and takes about 5 seconds to craft. Now you have to choose carefully, cause some items require the same materials. For example you can craft a shiv with scissors and binding or a nail bomb with scissors and explosives, or use Scissors and binding to make a stronger melee weapon. All the items are useful and you will find yourself crafting frequently throughout the game. Be warned the crafting system happens in real time, so if you want to craft a Molotov or a shiv you need to be away from enemies or be completely unnoticed or else you will get hurt. There are many areas to explore and scavenge, such as old abandoned homes, garages, work building and more, in them you can find supplies and notes left behind by the people that once lived and worked there.
There are two types of enemies you fight, humans and infected, the humans you fight could be armed with a gun or with a baseball bat, but no matter what they have you need to be careful. I know Joel is voiced by Troy Baker but don't be like Snow Villiers and "charge in guns blazing" or you will die very quickly. You can either shoot your enemies or stealth kill them. Both can be equally as difficult, but can be achieved with practice. However the Infected are on a different level, there are four types of Infected:
Runners: The first stage of infected and they live up to their name. Their eye sight is damaged but they can still see you and when they do they will run at you, Oh my God didn't see that coming, and try to bite your face or just simply beat you to death. When you are taking on one it is easy but in groups the Runners can be very deadly, so be careful trying to melee a group of Runners.
Stalkers: Stage two and my most hated form. The fungus has started to grow out of their head and they look more monster like then Runners do. And unlike the Runners, the Stalkers can sense you anywhere in the room so it is impossible to stealth kill a stalker. Like the Runners they will just run strait for you to try and bite you, but they are harder to kill, deal more damage, and are just fricken annoying.
Clickers: Stage three of the infected, the fungus has fully grown outside of their heads and they are now completely blind. I know you think that means they're easy to kill, but they're not. Like bats they use echo communication to see, meaning they can hear you a lot better then a Runner can, so you will have to be very quiet sneaking up on them. Clickers are an instant kill, if they catch you they will bite Joel's neck and you will have to restart. You can't punch a Clicker or you will die you need an upgraded melee weapon such as a plank of wood or a baseball bat to melee them, but even then you have to stun them to be on the safe side. Stealth killing a clicker is not easy you can't sneak up and choke them like a Runner, you need a Shiv to stealth kill them, however shivs also can open locked doors so you have to choose where and when you think your shiv will be the most useful.
Bloaters: The fourth and final stage of the infected, the fungus has now completely covered their entire body. Like Clickers they're blind but very, very hard to kill, they can toss Spore bombs at you which deal massive damage if you are caught in the blast. They are also one hit kills and if you don't like seeing a ton of gore like myself you need to not get caught by one of these, because the death scene is VERY gruesome. Because their body is covered in fungus they can take more bullets then other forms of infected, however because of this they are more vulnerable to fire so if you have any Molotov's then I suggest you use them on these things.
As stated before there is a perfect balance of gameplay in The Last of Us so it never feels like it's getting old. On all three of my playthroughs I have never got through an area exactly the same, because the enemies will be in different places most of the time or I could accidentally mess up and have to resort to different methods of surviving. During combat you have different choices to make, you might get spotted and have to use your guns or you could stealth kill them without be noticed. No matter what you choose you will have fun with the gameplay.
The Last of Us is a masterpiece and possibly the best game of this generation. It has outstanding voice acting, a very well told story, very likeable characters, and superb gameplay. Naughty Dog took a leap of faith making a new I.P. at the end of the PS3's life span, but in doing so they gave us the best game they have ever made and the best PS3 exclusive. If you own a Playstation 3 you need to get this game, I can promise you that you will not be disappointed with this game. So now that you know all of this why are you still reading this? Go buy this game now!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/24/13
Game Release: The Last of Us (US, 06/14/13)
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