Review by BigReed

"The Last of Us excels at everything but being fun to play"

The Good:
Engaging set pieces, fantastic and gripping opening, interesting story, different take on “zombie apocalypse”, beautiful scenery and graphics, good job on the character models

The Bad:
The core gameplay is not fun, focuses too much on the story and characters, sections of character control feel like filler, linear, cover system and sneaking are not fully refined, online pass

The Last of Us is an exclusive title for the Playstation 3 from the creative minds behind the Uncharted series. Like Uncharted, The Last of Us has made a huge impact on the gaming industry, both on the business and journalistic sides. While The Last of Us offers a moving story and interesting characters, it falls short where it matters most. Video games are at a cross roads right now. With every new console generation, games become bigger and better looking, and certain developers are out to place video games up there with the likes of films. The biggest difference between the two however is that video games absolutely need to be fun to play. Gameplay should come before every other element in a games design. The Last of Us, sadly is not very fun to play. All of the sneaking, shooting, throwing, fighting, and progressions feels like filler until you reach the next interesting section. The Last of Us is an important title for this generation of gaming, but only fans of Naughty Dogs past outings will be pleased with the end result.

Naughty Dog over this generation has found their own unique way in crafting stories and character interactions. The Last of Us is no different. From the start menu, you begin to feel a darkness coming from the game. Quiet, dark, and sad. Without saying a single word or seeing any of the characters, Naughty Dog is clearly crafting the mood of the game. The Last of Us has one of the most gripping openings I have ever experienced within a video game. With little information, you began learning about the infected, their minds taken over by the spores of a fungus, and all hell is breaking loose.

Then, the gameplay is fully introduced. For me personally, this is where the game began to be less of a video game, and more of a movie. With movies, the sole focus is on being entertaining to watch. With video games, there must be fun gameplay so the player wants to continue to watch and experience the story. From the plank grabbing, to hoisting your partner up constantly, the game begins to lose what fun it had. Each section felt like I was trudging through mud. On the other side was more interesting story and character engagement, but I had to “hurt” to get to it. Like I stated above however, fans of the Uncharted series will find familiar gameplay here. This time in The Last of Us however, it's much more refined, but still feels forced.

Recommendation: Consider it

The Last of Us is an important game for the ps3 and for the video game industry. Storytelling and character development are reaching a point where they are as engaging as a novel or movie, but video games must be fun to play as well. If you are a fan of the Uncharted games, then try The Last of Us out. If not, try to play it first before you purchase it.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 06/25/13

Game Release: The Last of Us (US, 06/14/13)


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