The Last of Us, already people’s GoTY for 2013 and apparently to some one of the “greatest games they have ever played”. From all its praise from IGN, Destructoid, fellow bloggers and gamers due to the games “great” story and gameplay etc. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen anything to warrant the games high praise. I’ve beaten the game once through on Hard Mode and continuing for my trophy on Survivor+ and I just can’t find anything to lure me to continue. I’ll start with the things in the overall story that made this a very forgettable experience.
The gameplay in The Last of Us is very overrated. The game goes for a sense of realism, yet it passes likes to break its own rules. To start off being picky, your AI counterpart likes to talk like no one is around when there is a Clicker nearby, yet they cannot hear them. In addition, your AI will sometimes stand out in the open next to Infected or Hunters and everyone will act like there is nothing there or they are part of the team. With a game that has a motto of fight or sneak by, they sure do make you fight a lot of forced waves. In fact, you can sneak by enemies in a few sections but cannot interact with the locked door until all the enemies are taken care of. I thought the point of this game was to make wise decisions and know when not to fight, especially with your limited supplies. At least the zombies are nice on occasion and wait for you to bust a door open a few times with the square button.
While the zombies do have a scare factor only in the beginning of the game (until they basically become a habit) the Humans have to be the worst part. Besides the fact they are harder than most Infected, the game ignores rules they developed for zombies with them. Hunters or Fireflies apparently never see you strangle a man in dramatic fashion even if he is about 5 feet away, so in turn a guy just flailing his arms in your peripherals is just normal. Then the worst part is even if you silent kill a guy, the chances of you getting his bullets from whatever gun he has are close to zero percent. That baffles me, considering he would shoot you if detected but if you silent kill him you cannot get a bullet off him.
My favorite has to be the “limited supplies” in the game. Since the world is in decay for the last 20 years, you expect supplies to be low, which they are…in theory. As the game progresses you will find hundreds upon hundreds bandages, alcohol, nails, etc to make your daily items of Molotov’s, Shiv’s, Smoke bombs etc. So don’t ever worry about not having three med-packs, because I had abundances I could have ran a clinic. Despite ALL these extra items lying around, you could never find a bullet when need be unless you killed enemies with your gun, which you do not want to waste!
I do admit the game does provide a good tension atmosphere, making you want to avoid confrontation at all costs, but that does not warrant its short comings and breaking of its own rules. Multiplayer is great in every way except the 84 matches achievement…seriously if you loes your population you have to redo everything which is a bit ridiculous.
To start off the biggest thing people talk about is the story of the game. To tell you the truth it was very cliche until it’s let-down ending. The story has Joel, a man who hates the world for taking what he loves and not trusting anyone, becoming slowly attached to this girl (Ellie) who was just originally just a package for the Fireflies. Throughout the course of the single-player you run into other humans (Hunters) or fellow AI’s who all but should know that in this type of game if you team up with the main character you’re gonna die. Most characters reach a similar death in which they get infected by some fight after everything seems good, leaving you once again alone.
The most egregious thing The Last of Us does though is the ending. The ending is not only a big-slap in the face to the player, but in turn basically nulls the beginning of the game and Tess’ death. Originally Ellie is a package to reach a drop-off point, but when you find out the Fireflies at the drop-off point are dead and that Ellie cannot “turn” (jargon for turning into a zombie) Tess’ reveals she was bitten and that she really believes that what Ellie has can change and save the world. Joel reluctantly agrees, as that was his only purpose for doing this! They could have gone back to Boston or he could have dropped off Ellie to another Firefly, but he did this because he believed in Tess who believed Ellie could change that horrible world they live in.
Now while I know that the motto in the horrible run-down world is to never trust anyone, every where you go is basically shoot first ask never. In turn how do Hunters even group up when it is kill everyone you see? Fireflies seem almost like a rumor until the very end, and how does Marlene beat you all the way to Salt Lake City? If you were going to recover, Joel could have went back to Boston and dropped Ellie off to Marlene, who somehow must be a better fighter than Joel to get through what you went through.
The Last of My Gripes
To end this The Last of Us rant is definitely the environment and graphics aspect of the game. The game really is a step down from Uncharted 3 graphics wise, and its blurry backgrounds in some the darker areas really hinder it. It does not stray from most post-apocalyptic settings we have seen in movies, in fact it does nothing different except possibly make it cleaner than it should be.
While I didn’t mind my playthrough during the game, the entire time I felt the game did not have an appealing factor to lure me back into playing. With Uncharted I wanted to continue on, learn the story, explore the worlds shown to me, while in The Last of Us I was constantly checking when I hit the next checkpoint so I can turn off the game. As “real” as some people like to believe this game is, with Joel carrying more than enough guns on his own (in Left 4 Dead you can’t even carry that many) I don’t think I will ever see what people saw in this game. It’s alright exclusive but a total step down from Naughty Dog.