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The Last of Us Review

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9.8
User Score
9.5
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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

There are some stories that transcend their medium. The kind of stories that make you feel compelled to tell and cause others to sit down and listen. The Last of Us is one of those stories. Within of hour of starting this game you will go through the entire roller coaster of emotions and just when you thought you did everything right the game decides to show you that in the face of adversity reality turns out to be a lot different than fairy tales.

First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to a video game. Believe me when I say The Last of Us greets you with a firm handshake, looks you straight in the eye, and then slaps you across the face. The game’s greatest tool in doing so is the spectacular graphics. To think that Naughty Dog was able to accomplish on the PS3 makes you wonder what the possibilities will be on the next generation of consoles. Not many games can pull off the amount of cut scene time in The Last of Us, but Naughty Dog’s graphics helps us forget that we just watched 5 minutes of cinematic and only used the controller twice.

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When you are playing The Last of Us just remember to look at everything. The cityscapes in the background, the mountain tops in the distance, they’re all there to gawk at throughout the game. What you might forget is that same power to create beauty is used to create some truly malicious violence. Whether you’re obliterating a crazed enemy in the face with a brick or having your head ripped in two by an infected monstrosity you won’t miss a single visceral detail. Another fine detail that gamers should notice is the amount of work Naughty Dog put into the blood physics and pooling effects. Enemies left bleeding on the ground will leave more blood over time and injuries sustained by characters get messier as time passes. Needless to say it’s both eerie and amazing.

As for the gameplay of The Last of Us I think it would be prudent to say that you control what type of experience you will get out of the game. The game sets you up with all the tools you need to choose your own play style. While some may be more effective than others you always have a choice in how you beat an area. Most of the time the game is about staying low to the ground and as quiet as possible all the while you are stealthily separating and destroying your enemies. I’ll admit most of the time I found myself taking out only a few of the bad guys before being spotted and I often found myself running scared into a corner. But if you have the patience and the vision you can clear a room without anyone knowing any better. Another option instead of a run and gun style is the run and run style. If the extent of your creativity lies in throwing a homemade smoke bomb at your opponents face and making a break for the exit then you can actually do that. This is where I say that if there is any negative to talk about with The Last of Us is that after facing countless enemies and unyielding odds the gameplay can almost become repetitive. Some of your same tricks you learned in the start of the game can still be used towards the end. That’s not the direct fault of Naughty Dog because they make available to you more tools and tactics and leave it to you on how to use them. One of the more satisfying parts of the game seats you atop a sniper perch watching both infected and humans run towards you as you pick them off one by one. It’s an intense moment and each feels so redeeming. It’s moments like these that I wish were more than just scattered through the game.

The other big component of the game is managing your resources. The same materials you can use to make a health kit could also be used instead to make a Molotov. So do you want to burn your aggressors extra crispy or keep yourself stitched up and ready for anything. These are the kind of choices you have to make on the fly in the game. The same materials to make yourself a nail bomb could also be that smoke grenade to get you out of a sticky situation. It’s because of these limited resources that it really pays off to go exploring every chance you get. Open locked doors and check dark alleys but be careful, you won’t always find light at the end of the tunnel.

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Lastly, and while it may not need saying, the best facet of The Last of Us is the engaging story. I’m talking about one of those two thumbs up, 5 stars, Oscar, Emmy, Game of the Year type of stories. From beginning to end The Last of Us demands you sit on the edge of your seat as you do your best to hold back the water works. It’s not often in a game that I feel these strong connections to characters and if I do it’s usually by the end of a trilogy of games.  The writers of The Last of Us didn’t need 3 games to make you feel this attached and emotionally invested. I found myself at times hoping for the game to end in the back of my mind, if only for the slight chance that the characters could find some sort of peace or stability. Just be sure to not let you guard down though because every time you think you found that safe house, or that night’s rest someone out there in this cruel world is just waiting to snatch it from you. The suspense is palpable at times and for some you may even find yourself having to take a break just to remind yourself that it’s all just a game. The main characters Joel and Ellie are so unique and relatable. Plus unlike many games today, their personalities, traits, and attitudes evolve and change as the story goes on. Watching this process happen over the course of the game is one of the most enlightening moments in video games today.

To sum it up simply, The Last of Us is the pinnacle of the PS3 gaming experience. It’s a must buy and I might even go so far as to say it makes for a reasonable excuse to go find yourself a PS3 just to play this game. I can understand why this game was one of the most anticipated of the year and why many reviewers gave it a perfect score. Honestly however, I don’t think any game can be perfect but I think The Last of Us is about as close as it can get.

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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
The Last of Us Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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Kayla Stalnaker


Kayla is a hardcore gamer looking to find her place in this industry that she loves. If you were to run into her online it would probably be in any number of shooters on consoles but your most likely to see her on her favorite game, Gears of War. When she isn't chainsawing Locust aggressors she enjoys reading, watching Sci-Fi Tv shows, and watching sports.

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