To begin The Last Of Us has one of the most gut wrenching beginnings in any video game i have ever played. The scene where Joel is saying “Don’t do this to me” and hugs the soulless corpse of his daughter Sarah is one of the most emotionally charged scenes in a video game. And even though this scene always brings me to tears it also sets up for what’s to come in the game ahead.
The Last Of Us tells the story of Joel who loses his daughter Sarah when the Zombie Apocalypse begins. After this you get Joel 20 years later living in a makeshift town with the military guarding it. Joel makes a living by making shifty deals and smuggling gear like weapons with his partner Tess. It’s one of these deals that actually sets them upon their crazy journey. They go after the guy who was supposed to get them their guns and find out that actually he sold them to a revolutionary militia group called the Fireflies. However lucky for you, the leader, Marlene, needs you to do something for her, and that is, smuggle a girl out of the city, and this is where you meet your other main character, Ellie. It turns out that Ellie is infected but hasn’t turned for 3 weeks, that means she is the key to finding a vaccine and Joel and Tess are charged with the mission of getting her to the fireflies outside of the city so they can make the vaccine, but not everything seems to go their way.
Very early in the game when Joel and Ellie start heading off together you get a sense that Joel has shut up all his feelings inside and just wants to do this job, and get it over with. You also get a sense that Ellie is a strong girl who has had to grow up a lot earlier than she should have. I must say that I loved the way Naughty Dog did a lot of the story within the gameplay. Where there are a lot of conversation points that you can go to and you get little bits of who they are.
As you move along you have to be methodical in your thinking, making sure you’re not making too much noise and wondering whether it’s really worth going into certain rooms and doors and houses. Even when you know where all the Zombies are you have to be smart in what order you take them out because if you’re too loud or too close when you kill one, they will be on you in a flash. It all adds to the suspense in not wanting to set them all off, I love it! Not to mention that half the time you are in very poorly lit areas which again only adds to the suspense. Like in one level where you have to go through a certain door but the power is off so you can’t open the door and all the lights are out. So you have to turn the generator on which is in another room, however the generator is really loud so when you turn it on all zombies sprint towards you and you have to make your way back to the door without dying. Definitely had my heart racing.
Plus I love investigating new areas so loved the fact that as you go through the game you are always fighting the urge to investigate new areas because you may find some much needed resources or gear to upgrade your weapons or you may just find more zombies. Problem is you need to explore to find the gear to upgrade your weapons otherwise down the track things become a lot more difficult.
The different types of zombies also tell you how much trouble you’re going to have, Runners are your simple and weakest zombies, Stalkers are next, Clickers are third and the most dangerous are bloaters and they take a lot to kill. The benefit though is that you have multiple slots for weapons such as handguns, revolvers, rifles, shotgun, and even a bow (which is very good at killing silently). So it’s a great idea to find out what weapon is best to use against each zombie and use them accordingly.
All of this mixed with the same sort of gameplay you get in the uncharted games makes one awesome and in depth zombie apocalypse game. Now I have to be honest here though, it wasn’t the graphics or the gameplay that drew me into this game, it was the story. I loved all of the cutscenes, every single one felt meaningful and for a purpose, you could really see the relationship growing between Joel and Ellie developing as you went along. Every single time I kept playing because I needed to know what happened next.
This game has gone down as possibly one of my favourite games of all time, I laughed, I cried, I enjoyed the gameplay and I was hooked for the whole story and i’m sure you will be too.
Review by Dillon Vander Putten