The Last of Us Review

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An epic journey in the post-apocalyptic world.

The Last of Us gives us a typical, and familiar post-apocalyptic world that’s so popular in media these days.  The differences, however, are the characters.  The intriguing characters adds a different flavor to the already familiar settings, and allows us to be invested into the stories.  However, are the characters enough to call this game a “masterpiece?”

The game takes place 20 years after the initial outbreak of infected fungus.  The fungus will turn humans into violent, blood thirsty monsters.  You played as Joel, a middle-aged man who’s famous for his ruthless survivor skills.  Him and his partner- Tess take different odd jobs just so they can survive another day.

One day, a 14 year-old girl named Ellie is revealed to be immune to the fungus virus, and Joel’s job is to escort the girl from Boston all the way to Salt Lake City so people can make a cure out of Ellie.  It’s a long journey for them, and lot of dangers along the way both humans and infected alike.  They lost a lot on the journey as well, including Joel’s partner Tess.

The journey takes a whole year to complete, and they been through a lot of tragedies together.  The highlight of the journey is the bond these two shared, and this is especially difficult for Joel.  Joel’s daughter was shot by the government 20 years ago when everything first started, and she clearly shared similarities to Ellie.  He has been haunted by his daughter’s death ever since, and it’s not until Ellie that he finally opens up.

Ellie is the true star of the show.  While the story is a typical post-apocalyptic one, it’s Ellie that enriched the story.  She’s brave, funny and definitely a great help in situations.  It’s hard not to fall in love with her as you play the game.  She’s born after everything goes to shit, so during the journey she views the world with a sense of wonder and full of questions about the previous world.  You watch her learn, and you can’t help it but begins to care for her like a daughter.  She’s mature for her age and she’s reliable, but she’s still only a child after all.  There’re moments where she shows how scared she is with situations, and you can’t help it but just want to hold her and tell her that everything will be alright.

One thing that Ellie afraid of the most is the possibility that she’s not the cure people are looking for.  It puts doubts in her, and makes her wanting to turn away.   One of the strongest, and my favorite moment is when Ellie gets all excited when she sees a herd of giraffes passing through.  It’s a beautiful scene, and puts hopes into Ellie, allowing her to look forward to the possible future.

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The way Ellie interacts with her surroundings makes her very realistic.  She will constantly response to what she sees, and will response accordingly.  She also shows character developments throughout the game.  For example, at the beginning of the game, she doesn’t know how to whistle, and she’s struggling to learn.  Later in the game during a mission, I heard someone behind me whistle suddenly and I freak out!  I know that Ellie doesn’t know how to whistle, so I thought it was an enemy.  Turns out, Ellie just figured out how to whistle, and she can’t help it but to show off.  Ha ha, you can’t help it but fall in love with this kid.

The gameplay of the game can be a little repetitive.  While the game disguises itself as a survival horror game, but it’s actually a shooting game.  You have to constantly fight through enemies, but the rewarding part is you get to try different methods of killing them.   When fighting the more predictable human enemies, you can try sneaking them from behind, or shooting them straight in the face.  Trust me, you want to sneak up on them.  It’s really fun killing a whole room of enemies without them finding out you’re in the room with them.  However, you can’t get too creative while fighting infected enemies.  While the option to sneak up on infected enemies is there, it only works on the Runner Type.  You’re going to have a bad time trying to sneak up on Stalker, Clicker or Bloater.  Your safest bet is just to burn them to death with either Molotov or flamethrower.

Yep, a bad time
Yep, a bad time

By the way, I think the creepiest shit in the whole game is the Stalker.  They’re the second stage of the infection, and they’re the worst.  They hide in the dark, and won’t come out when they’re being look at.  However, the moment you turn around they will run up to you like a motherfucker.  It usually turns into a stall match when facing these creepy mofos, and I really, really hate them.

The game allows you to play as Ellie, and that’s pretty awesome.  However, there’s isn’t much different playing as Joel or Ellie, other than that Ellie couldn’t even craft items like Joel does.  In fact, it’s actually more difficult to play as Ellie.  The change is still appreciated though.

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The control can be buggy, and unresponsive at times.  There’re many awkward gameplay moments result of lack of response from the control.  Also, while I’m glad that enemies don’t take notice of your followers, it looks silly when your followers walk in front of the enemies like no one business, and the enemies don’t response to them.  It looks silly, and it takes away the realism and intensiveness.

The ending is….yep.  I don’t really like the ending, and it seems like a bad ending in one of those multiple endings games.  In fact, I really though I got the bad ending or something, and I have to look online to make sure.  I just don’t know about it, and I’m hoping a better one.

The multiplayer online is surprisingly really fun.  The game is typical shooting game takes place in various locations you played through in the story, and you use weapons you’re already familiar with in the original game.  You played as two fractions- Hunters of Fireflies.  You’re goal is to gather food and resources for your fractions, so you can survive another day.  You can even link the game to your Facebook profile, so when people join your fractions, the game will list your actual friends as they join your fractions.  Be careful though, sometimes when you didn’t perform to well in the game, the game will state that “your real friend died” due to the lack  of food and supplies you collected.  And that’s pretty sad.

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My only problem with the multiplayer is that it’s too detached from the story of The Last of Us, and I forgot what game I’m playing from time to time.  Maybe they should add a mode into the game that while player are busy killing each others, there will constantly be some Infected running around and interfering them.  Then again, there’s actually not a lot of Infected in the main game either, as the main threat is supposed to be the humans.

That’s so Walking Dead of them.  🙂

Before I end my review, I want to mention a character I like that exits the game to early- Tess.  She is a strong character that doesn’t need to be sexualized to be sexy.  She sacrificed herself for the greater good, and we will always remember her as one of the best characters in the game.

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In conclusion, The Last of Us gives us a great story and rich characters.  While the gameplay might be repetitive at times, the overall gamepaly is unique enough that you will overlook the repetitiveness.  The game might not be the “masterpiece” everyone claims it to be, but it’s definitely a very good game that everyone should give it a try.

Also, I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel.  There are just too many more stories you can tell between Joel and Ellie.

EDIT: The game deserves a way higher score than the original 8.8/10.  The game features great character, gamepaly and story.  Our original reason is because the gameplay can be quite repetitive, but in reality, it is me, the player, that makes the gameplay repetitive by not approaching the enemies differently.  Anyway, here’s a score the game really deserved, and be sure to check out our review on the newest DLC game: Left Behind.

9.8/10