Developer: Naughty Dog | Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Writer: Neil Druckmann | Composer: Gustavo Santaolalla
Platform: Playstation 3 | Players: Single(online multiplayer)
SPOILERS abound in this review. If you haven’t completed this game then stop reading now.
The United States(possibly the world) is in ruins after an infection via spores run rampant infecting humankind. The Last of Us focuses on the struggle of the survivors to fight back against it and hope for a cure. Boston is one of the few quarantined areas still function and as such the military set strict curfews and dispose of anyone believed to be infected.
The Fireflies, a group of bandits , believe they have found a cure. Humanity’s salvation rests on the shoulder of a fourteen year old orphan girl and Joel, a hardened survivor. Born after the infection had wrecked most of civilization, Ellie was infected but it never progressed. Saved from being turned into one of the monstrosities, Ellie must be ushered into safety in hopes a cure can be created.
“I've struggled a long time with survivin'…”- Joel
This game is about Joel and Ellie’s struggle to survive an the developer did an excellent job of putting us in their world; letting us experience what they had to endure. Joel has lost everything most important to him strived to forget the past and live only to survive , but then Ellie is thrust into his path. Throughout the early parts of the game he cannot wait to deliver her and be on his way, but soon they develop a bond that is unbreakable.
The world is detailed and a fabulous wreck and is meant to be explored. After clearing an area of hostiles I found myself searching every nook and crevice. The animations and voice acting are phenomenal and help with immersion. The gameplay mechanics are as smooth as ever and offer a mix of stealth and gunplay. Joel has the ability to crouch down and listen for his foes which shows their location(similar to Arkham Asylum). This mechanic comes in handy when dealing with human foes especially.
The recent infected will run at you in a frenzy while the Clickers are blind and only track you via sound. There are also hulking beasts called Bloaters and these are the worst of the infected and can be quiet the pain early on. Joel can get a variety of weapons and upgrade them by salvaging parts throughout his journey. One aspect I like is the fact you can’t fully upgrade Joel in one playthough thus allowing the use of a new game + mode where Joel’s abilities and upgrades are carried over.
I will not spoil the ending, but I will say this; It’s spectacular in every way.
Around the net, I’ve read gamers talk about how Joel is the bad guy of the game, but I think he did what most people would do in his situation. He’s not a super hero trying to to save mankind; he’s a broken man enduring and surviving as long as he can.
If you have beaten the game, answer the poll and post in the comments your opinion of the game, Joel, or anything else related to the game.