I have to be honest, The Last of Us took me out of my gaming comfort zone, and if the game hadn’t have been made by the developer of one of my favourite gaming series (Uncharted) and hadn’t have been remastered on the PS4 during the summer drought, this game would have simply passed me by.
First of all, zombie game, survival horror games, scary games, stealth games, are all very low on my radar, as I’ve never really felt the love for them, and I’m a big girl when it comes to jump scares. Same with stealthy games, they’ve never really been my bag, as I’m normally a run and gun kind of guy, or sit somewhere is safety and snipe from a distance. I’m not sure what it was about the The Last of Us that drew me in, as even though it had a lot of the above genres rolled in, I made it through to the end. I think it was a lot to do with the way Naughty Dog tell a story, as within the first five minutes, I’d already bonded with the main character (Joel) and may have shed a tear.
I think it’s spoiler free to point out, that the game is set after a virus outbreak which has turned the majority of the earth’s population into flesh eating zombie, however this happened many years ago in the past, and the remaining population is simply living with it. As Joel, you set off on a mission of a lifetime, and it’s one amazing roller-coaster ride. Alone the way, you will meet various friends, enemies, companions, and it’s a very interesting portrayal of how humanity attempts to survive after a world ending virus spreads.
The game looks and plays pretty much like the Uncharted games, in which you mainly control Joel via a third person camera view. I guess one major difference between the two series is the limited amount of …well, everything, making you think about every bullet fired, every arrow shot, and every footstep taken. This game is a survival horror game, so resources are limited, only on vary rare occasions did I have a full clip of any gun I was carrying, and this for me was something very new and interesting. I’m used to stocking up on ammo in a game, shooting thinks until they stop shooting back, restock, and carry on. With this, a single shot would attract enemies to you, so found myself spending the majority of the game crouched down trying not to make a noise. The Last of Us forced me to do something I always do in games, but I’m rarely rewarded for, and that’s search everywhere. If there was a waypoint marking to the left, I would run right to see what was, if there was a door that could it opened, I opened it, essentially if an item looked like it could contain other items, I was investigating it. This paid off well for me, as I ended the game fully stocked making the last chapter of the game a breeze.
So, weapons. You had the run of the mill pistols, shotguns, sawn off shotgun, flamethrowers, however with this being a survival horror you could you can also cobble together a few handier weapons/supplied out of household goods you’ll find on your travels. These being the likes of a smoke grenade, molotov cocktail, nail bombs, shiv, and first aid packs. What interesting is, all the items can be built from only a limited amount of supplies, so even crafting you have to carefully consider what you may use in the next section of the game, as making the wrong choice could find yourself very dead. In addition to the household supplies, you would also find parts laying around, these could eventually be used on a crafting bench to upgrade your weapons. Even though I looked everywhere, I probably only fully upgraded one of my weapons, the others at best had a few minor modifications. As well as the standard weapons, there were loads of bricks and bottle kicking around, which could be used as a one shot melee weapon or a way of distracting enemies so you could get in a stealth kill.
In addition to the above, there were a few other collectables, these being comic books, notes, and pendants. As I spend the game looking everywhere, I took time to read all the notes I picked up, be these written or audio logs, all of which really enriched the story. It’s worth pointing out that this game makes you really work for your trophies, I believe I completed the game with only three trophies bagged, two for finishing the game (easy/normal) and one for crafting each of the craftable items.
This game has really changed my opinion about zombie/survival horror/stealth games, and I found I really enjoyed them, and look to pick up a lot more in the future. If you’ve not yet played this on the PS3 or PS4, stop what you are doing, aquire a copy, and enjoy.
Approx Time taken to beat – 16 hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:5/5]
Games TrailerTags: Approx Time, Games Trailer, Naughty Dog, PS3