Updated: May 14, 2020
Clicks are echoing in the darkness and through the walls lays a continual struggle for your and humanities survival. A glimmer of hope stands next to you, carrying what may be humanities last chance at normality. You don’t know what it is she has, and you don’t know why you should even try to win this race as you witness the state of humanity through just 20 years of contamination. You push forth regardless, reluctantly surviving city to city, room to room, finding the same shit, the same scum capitalising off tragedy in every place. Wearing different faces but profiting through the same means; extortion. Months pass and you are still running this race and it’s too late to give up. You’ve come too far to be part of the last of us.
Naughty Dogs post-apocalyptic adventure masterpiece takes gamers on the journey of a life time. It’s depiction of humanities’ descent is scarily accurate, with scientific plausibility emanating within its reasoning. It does not rely on the jump out scares or the scary looking villains for making it horrifying, but rather the thoughts of ‘what if’ in your head as you sneak through the hallways of abandoned homes, hearing the clicks of the infected echoing through the cracks of the broken walls surrounding you. Don’t be put off by the horror elements of this game though, the fear you feel while playing is not like that of a horror film or roller-coaster, its fear is completely emotional, raw with a hint of ambition. The Last of Us world feels so realistic and so well constructed that it’s scarily relatable.
Taking its gameplay approach from what worked so brilliantly about the Uncharted series, The Last of Us takes the ruins of Eldorado and places them in the heart of America. While its influence is obviously the success of Uncharted, you’d be forgiven in thinking that this Naughty Dog creation is merely a remade the cult classic, with the addition of timely popular zombies, but it's much more than that. The feeling The Last of Us gives you feels somewhat new and pure. It’s more about strategy than gun power, while positioning the player in a more ambition than puzzle solving world. You’ll continually find yourself in situations where you think you’re not good enough to pull off the challenge but quickly find yourself in the mist of it doing pretty well. It enforces this mentality of ‘go for it’ and makes the player give everything they have to every situation they're confronted with.
The art of The Last of Us is simply beautiful. From its’ beautiful landscapes of the decaying broken cities, to its crippling attention to detail in every home and even every room you enter. Each bedroom feels so fresh and is always different from the last one. You can feel the personality of the families whom could have lived in these places from the small details in the gaps. From the poster on the kids bedroom walls, to the quilt covers, the experience the art gives you makes you feel guilty for taking supplies from the draws of these home. Everything from the beginning of game makes you feel the pure sense of abandonment, the feeling of tragedy and torn apart homes and lives, and the art guides the gamer there even before any form of narrative is achieved.
The Last of Us has only one downfall. Its holds you in for hours and hours, but when you leave, it doesn’t call you back. The game still has immense replay value with all its art; secret and alternative ways to complete every challenge, but when it comes down to committing yourself to what will be a 10 hour game session, it makes it hard to find the time. I know you can’t blame a game for being that good that you become afraid to play it in fear of getting completely engulfed in it but it seems to lack the call back the Uncharted series had. There are about three points moments in the game where you feel you can safely say goodbye and hello again the next day, but other than that, you are simply joining up after you resume a save, mid-adventure.
The Last of Us is an absolute masterpiece that every gamer should play. Its entire build will leave you wanting more even after 30 hours of game play, perfecting the levels and finding the most effective and productive way to complete everything the narrative throws at you. Its art is beautiful, its voice acting spot on, and its narrative and composition, masterful.
Story: The gripping tale of humanities last hope told so perfectly, so beautifully, and so hauntingly. The tale of the Last of Us will leave you on the edge of your sofa.
Voice Acting: Clearly the best in the business worked to make this one perfect. The voices work so well with the personalities of the characters in the narrative.
Gameplay: Countless things to say here. First, they took what was great about uncharted and put it perfectly in apocalypse game. Horror with gripping story, the gameplay is so nearly perfect that you become who you think you’re playing.
Characters: You will fall in love with Joel and Ellie. The character development is incredibly indeph that nothing throughout the entire game seems out of character at any moment. PERFECT.