Review by AnalyticalGamer
Story: The Last of Us is a zombie survival type game. Now, given games such as Resident Evil or the recent The Walking Dead, I normally expected a bland story with undeveloped characters. Boy oh boy, was I wrong. Not only does The Last of Us deliver a grand story, more importantly, it hands some seriously good character development. In the Last of Us, people are becoming infected with the fungus Cordyceps, which controls their brain. I like the writer's attention to realism here, as Cordyceps is an actual fungus that takes over the brains of insects and other small animals. In the game, a mutant strand has formed to control humans. The Last of Us deals with a story of an unlikely duo: Joel; a middle aged survivor of the zombies, and Ellie; a 14 year old girl. As both journey across the country, they grow as characters and survive and endure. What intrigues me the most is the character development of Ellie, whose personality changes according to certain events. Without spoiling anything, the story is absolutely great, with several plot twists along the way. However, the beginning is a little slow, but the story does pick up fast. The last thing I'd like to mention is the atmosphere of the game, which is absolutely spectacular. Some areas are frightening, while others make you feel a sense of isolation. All in all, a great story with a bit of pacing issues and superb character development. The Last of Us takes what is an overused, cliche, and dying genre and turns into a masterful plot with excellent characters. Two thumbs up in the story category. 9/10
Gameplay: The Last of Us focuses on surviving and enduring together with Ellie. Survival in this game is carried out excellently. You can collect supplies such as binding, blades, alcohol, and rags to use for crafting knives or Molotov solutions. Also, you can obtain pills to upgrade Joel's stats, and gears to upgrade his weapons. Combat is different from most zombie survival games, as you don't have bagfuls of ammo to unload on things. The Last of Us severely limits your ammo and requires you to rely on stealth in several parts of the game to advance in the game. Other times, you can shoot using a wide variety of weapons. However, I do have some minor gripes. The swimming controls in this game feel awkward and thoughtless, making swimming unpleasant. Luckily, hardly any swimming is involved. 9/10
Graphics: The Last of Us looks absolutely stunning; my eyes jumped for joy in several places. The in-game graphics looks extremely nice, and there is a great attention to detail. The FMVs come across as even more impressive, with once scene where a rabbit is in the forest absolutely stunning me into complete awe. The Last of Us is a fantastic looking game, but does have some minor graphical errors where objects will disappear. It's not particularly disrupting, as it only happened a few times, but it's still an issue. 9/10
Sound/Music: The voice acting in The Last of Us is marvelous, being some of the best I've heard on the PS3. Each person sounds unique and has a befitting voice. Sound effects are all really great, and sound wonderful. The soundtrack in The Last of Us isn't very large, but what is there sounds great. The title screen track's guitar sounds lonely and isolated, befitting to the tone of the game. All in all, The Last of Us has very good sound. 9/10
Replay Value: The Last of Us has alright replay value. There are 143 treasures to collect, which include comics, wanted posters, and notes from people to their family. As mentioned above, you can also upgrade Joel with pills and weapons with gears. The game has a New Game+ Feature, which carries over data from your original play. There are also a lot of trophies to collect, which is great. Overall, alright replay value. 5/10
Overall: The Last of Us is an absolutely spectacular game. It has an extremely engaging story with surprisingly good character development that I just relish in. Seriously, the attention to detail and plot are extremely well written. The gameplay mechanics of survival mixed with conserving resources and using stealth is executed perfectly. The voice acting is superb, and the little bit of soundtrack that is there sounds utterly fantastic. The graphics are mindblowingly good, with the FMVs looking nearly real. The game has a good amount of replay value for any player, young or old. Overall, The Last of Us is one of the best games of 2013 so far, hands down. For me, The Last of Us is definitely a contender for Game of the Year. I recommend that you go buy it, play it, and enjoy to the absolute maximum what wonders this game has to offer.
Final Score: 8.6/10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/08/13
Game Release: The Last of Us (US, 06/14/13)
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