Developer: Naughty Dog
What they say: Abandoned cities reclaimed by nature. A population decimated by a modern plague. Survivors are killing each other for food, weapons; whatever they can get their hands on. Joel, a brutal survivor, and Ellie, a young teenage girl who’s braver and wiser beyond her years, must work together if they hope to survive their journey across the US.
What I say: If any developer in Sonys stable has a reputation for greatness, and pre-release hype, it’s Naughty Dog. From Crash Bandicoot to Jak and Daxter to Uncharted, everything they release is well loved by the Sony faithful. The Last of Us generated a lot of interest up until it’s release. With a new concept can the crew at Naughty Dog strike gold once again?
To start let’s state the obvious, The Last of Us was an amazing game. But there were some things about the game that drove me insane! The loading times were pretty long. When you first start the game, and I don’t mean when you play for the first time, I mean anytime you start the game don’t expect to play it for a good couple of minutes. Then the camera angles, sigh. In most games the camera angle would go along with the main characters movement to locate it in the center. In the Last of Us it would semi move at some point then at other times it would do just fine. Now let’s say someone comes into the room to talk to you, you are at a part that it seems like nothing going to get you and look away from the screen for just a second and – BOOM!- infected monster is chewing at your throat or someone just shot you. There was nothing around! THAT WASN’T FUNNY! To top all of this off, there was a scene that lost sound! If you didn’t have subtitles you were screwed! For a game with this much hype and anticipation it’s sad that this many problems got through even after patches.
The storyline is very good detailing the fall of humanity after an infection wipes out most of what we know. There are pretty adult themes here and the relationship between Joel and Ellis feels “real” and suitably complicated. The game, which is the first to feel like true survival in a long time, is full of tense moments that will keep you on your toes. But to counteract this there are touching character moments as well. This finely struck balance makes each section really stand out and is a welcome change from most game storytelling.
The controls were easy to get the hang of. It was fairly simple mainly because they show you what the controls were in the prologue and so on. The graphics were amazing, better than most I have seen in games recently. But it seemed as if they were a little better during the cut scenes than game play. But at this point that’s pretty standard.
There is a multiplayer mode available called Factions. There are two modes, Supply Raid and Survivors. The multiplayer is online only…no splitscreen. The different modes are fun, but it seem one was better realized. That was where you had to collect supplies to keep your people alive and what not. It normally went smoothly, but it would lag a bit from time to time. But back to the, “surprise attacks” moment that was talking about, they were the same here. You would look away for a mere second and you were dead. DEAD!
Overall, it was a great game. The plot was great and it really drove the subject matter home. I enjoyed it, ignoring the few problems it had. It was fun to play, and it wasn’t one of the games you sit there after awhile you play and ask yourself, “Is this over yet?!” I would gladly pay full price for this and that is a lot coming from me. You’ll most likely not find a better game than this during 2013 and this makes a fitting game to make to transition between PS3 and the upcoming PS4.