Arguably one of the greatest games on the PlayStation Console, “The Last of Us” doesn’t fail to disappoint the core of gamers that a lot of people are now becoming. The game is from Naughty Dog, the same company that provided children of the past with Crash Bandicoot on the earlier PlayStation 1 console and another epic game on the next-gen consoles called Uncharted.
“The Last of Us” brings the player in a post-apocalyptic setting in the suburbs of Austin, Texas. For the most part, the player controls the protagonist of the game, Joel. Joel is a survivor of the Cordyceps infection which wipes out 60% of the human population. Before moving any further, this article contains a lot of spoilers for those who haven’t played the game.
In the first phase of the game, the player takes control of Sarah, the daughter of the game’s protagonist, Joel. Through the eyes and movements of Sarah, we see how blind we are of the things to come. The game lets you walk through the house on your own and allows you to examine tidbits of information that relate to Joel, Sarah, and their family.
Players will feel an instant attachment to Sarah, who is slowly making her way to various rooms around the house. Eventually, the game begins to unravel itself, causing the player to fully realize how blind they are of what’s yet to come. In the climax of the first part, the player sees the news and a conveniently placed explosion just outside the house.
Unravelling the Horror
The horror elements of the game finally make sense as the player tries to run down the kitchen and open a door for a surprise: Joel comes in and warns you not to stay close to the door, and for a good reason. Everything happens so fast, with most players getting caught off guard. Eventually, our characters make it to their vehicle and meet Tommy, Joel’s brother, and Sarah’s uncle, and drive towards safety.
The player will eventually be one with the characters in the game because they will get confused and scared, as evidenced by Sarah always freaking out and asking questions to Joel and Tommy. The game’s first setting is surreal, with fires and accidents happening at almost every turn. Traffic eventually turns into a roadblock and warrants the player to travel by foot, to witness every explosion and a glimpse on one of the game’s antagonists: The Infected.
The Sadness begins
Sadly, the real game starts when Sarah dies. Joel then wakes up from a dream all realizing that it was a flashback of the past events. The player sees the world where there are constant searches for signs of infection and harassment. The harsh reality is brought to the player first hand as they get to witness an extermination team rounding up “possibly infected” civilians and publicly executing them should they resist.
In the early parts of the game, the players meet Ellie, a young and brash kid who Joel needs to transport to a far away place. Another attachment to the characters by players start when the father-daughter type of relationship of Ellie and Joel develop. In what was meant to be a one-off project for Joel, turns into a fully-fledged mission to keep Ellie safe at all costs.
Adventure and Environment
The Last of Us takes the player to different locations within this post-apocalyptic world, from torn down cities, to log town cabins, to a ski resort, and a hospital building, the game never fails to amaze players of the lush scenery that’s available. The gameplay follows a narrative and is linear which means, that you can’t go back to previous locations. Appreciation of nature is evident due to foliage, vegetation, and even animals from zoos and other places start to take back the big cities and towns.
Getting the Gameplay
The Last of Us is a survival horror game which requires the player to survive obstacles, dangerous NPCs or Non-Player characters, and the environment itself. What sets the game from other survival horror game like Resident Evil and Silent Hill, is the limited amount of items available within.
This scarcity forces the player to play stealthily with less damage and conflict, or risk a confrontation with much stronger opponents. The game takes a large part of realism as ammunition and crafting items are hard to find. The intelligence of enemy A.I. is also impressive as players who are prone to running too fast can get their attention quite quickly. Some A.I even call for help if they get too injured to fight.
The Fans Want More
Truly a gem amongst many releases, fans of the “The Last of Us” clamored for more of the story. A lot of people praised the game for its narrative, gameplay, and pacing. More people, however, complained that the story and the game itself is concise, prompting Naughty Dog to re-release a remastered version of the game on PS4 consoles.
The game had improved visuals, gameplay, and a several downloadable contents made available. However, the clamoring for more intensified as fans continued pushing for more of the game. A few years later after the release of “The Last of Us: Remastered,” Naughty Dog finally gave in and presented a trailer for the game’s sequel, aptly titled as “The Last of Us 2.”
What to Expect from the Sequel
The trailer reveals Ellie, now 19-years old and full of scars and tattoos playing the guitar. Joel confronts a visibly angry Ellie. Stopping to notice the place, Joel hears Ellie say “I’m gonna find and kill every last one of them.”
For gamers who religiously follow the game, the “Them” that Ellie blurts out in the trailer, refers to The Fireflies. The Fireflies are a group of mercenaries who deceive Joel and attempt to dissect Ellie in the first game, in a bid to find a cure for the Cordyceps Infection.
The Last of Us truly is a revolutionary game that a lot of people will find fun to play and experience. The graphics from the game are remarkable and breathtaking. Coupled with challenging A.I. and scarce resources, the Last of Us brings an exhilarating experience for new players and veterans of the survival horror genre.
It’s no reason that the clamor of having a sequel is great. Fortunately, Naughty Studios who is responsible for creating one of the best games on the PlayStation listened to the legions of fans who want more of the adventures of Ellie and Joel. Sites such as gamersdigest.org and others will certainly keep tabs on when “The Last of Us 2” will be coming out.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.