The Last Of Us – Review
Follow Genre: Survival Horror
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: Playstation 3

The Last Of Us – Review

Site Score
9.3
Good: Storyline, graphics, gameplay, almost everything
Bad: Some raw textures and some small annoyances in the multiplayer
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

The last of us. Everyone waited for this game so badly. Expectations for this game were incredibly high and Naughty Dog made it itself pretty though to meet these expectations by hyping the game pretty hard. After completing the game and playing the multiplayer for a few days, we can only conclude: Naughty Dog had a valid reason to hype this game.

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Story
The game starts on the birthday night of Joel, a single father living with his daughter Sarah. Sarah surprises Joel with a nice birthday gift and falls asleep after some chatting. A few hours later, she wakes up and notices that her dad is gone. She wanders around the house looking for him, when he suddenly stumbles into the house. Several humans who got infected by a certain virus are chasing after him. Joel looks for his gun, shoots the infected people down and takes Sarah into the car to escape the city from these zombie-like creatures. Escaping by car didn’t seem like the best idea, since the city turned into a total chaos. In this chaos, Sarah gets shot by a soldier and dies in Joel’s arms.

Twenty years later, most of the civilization got infected. People who survived the infection, started to form small gangs or live in heavily-guarded quarantine zones. Joel is living in one of those quarantine zones together with his friend Tess. They are hunting down Robert, a gangster who has stolen a bunch of weapons from them. Right before killing him, Robert reveals that he traded the weapons to the Fireflies, a rebel group fighting against the authorities governing the quarantine zones. After looking for these Fireflies, they meet the leader of the Fireflies. She promises them double their stolen goods in return for smuggling Ellie, a 14-years old girl with a mouth full of f-words, to Fireflies hiding outside the quarantine zone.

That’s where your journey starts. Explaining even more of the story would spoil too much, but we can assure you that the storyline stays brilliant from start to end.

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Graphics
The Last of us is one of the most beautiful games on Playstation 3 and probably about the best the console can handle. Naughty Dog clearly pushes the console to its limit. Naughty Dog promised players “Every part you’ll play, will be completely different”. This quote turns out to be pretty accurate. Not only the gameplay is pretty varying, also the environments differ a lot. You’ll travel through empty cities, green forests accompanied by a beautiful river, snowy valleys or dark buildings full of scary enemies. All of them are incredibly detailed and they create a great atmosphere.

Character models already look pretty good in-game, but they look amazing during the cutscenes. Especially the facial expressions. They express fear, loneliness and confusion so well as if you were watching a real movie. Graphics aren’t the most important part of a game, but this time they really add a great value to the realism of the storyline.

The only small minor worth to mention is the effect of water. When you swim or run through the water, the textures are a bit raw and could have been done a bit better. But if that’s the only minor, we can’t complain right?

Sound
The Last of Us has some great soundtracks during the cutscenes and some of the relaxer parts of the game, but the sound effects deserve the biggest attention. Infected enemies make such a creepy noises, that you barely dare to bypass them. You’ll get goosebumps of the sound that enemies produce when they attack and bite you.

Also voice acting of Joel, Ellie and all other characters you meet in the game are brilliant. These help the player to imagine himself even more into the amazing story.

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Gameplay
The last of us isn’t a game where you can just run around, shooting everything you see. This game takes you back to the real survival horror genre where ammo is sparse and auto-regeneration of health does not exist. Sneaking past enemies is mostly the best option to save your ammo for situations where you have no other choice then to take them out.

On your path you won’t only find some extra ammo, you’ll also find several items which you can use to craft smoke bombs, molotov cocktails, healing kits, etc… You’ll have to decide the items you create depending on your playstyle and/or situation, since some of these items are used in multiple recipes.

To reach the end of the game, you’ll have to adapt your playstyle regularly, since the AI of enemies is brilliant. Most of the infected enemies wander around areas and warn others when they’ve spotted you, resulting in a ton of enemies chasing your ass. You might try to figure out a path so they won’t spot you, but an other option is to sneak their backs and throttle their throat for a silence takeout. Other enemies, like Clickers, are blind but respond even harder on noises. Walking by them slowly is pretty much the best option, but an other option is to pickup a brick or a bottle and throw it somewhere to distract them and create a safe path for yourself.

You won’t only encounter infected enemies during your journey. You’ll also meet other gangs of humans who try to defend their territory and try to kill you for your food and weapons. Once one of them finds you, he’ll warn the other members. You still have a chance to save yourself though by running away out of sight and hiding behind an object. Gang members will spread out and search the area where they’ve lastly spotted you.
To help you find a safe path past the several enemies, you’ll also have the ability to use Listen Mode. When this Listen Mode is activated, silhouettes of enemies, which are close enough and make enough noise, will become visible, even when they are standing behind a wall. This allows you to strategically determine your path in advance.

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Besides looking for strategies to pass enemies, you’ll also have to complete puzzles. Nothing special here though. Mostly you’ll have to look for a ladder to cross gaps, find a wooden pallet to help Ellie crossing a river (Ellie isn’t able to swim) or give Ellie a hand to reach a higher platform. These puzzles aren’t really original, but they give you a short break to take a breathe from the stressing sneaking parts.

Ellie isn’t only helpful during the puzzles, she also proves herself as a good co-op partner. She always stays very close to you, but she’ll never run in your way. A nice and sweet detail here is how Joel pulls Ellie close to him to protect her when they’re hiding behind an object. Ellie is especially helpful during fights. When you’re in trouble, she’ll throw a brick or bottle to the enemy to stun them for a little while, making you able to escape or take out the enemy. Also during some of the bossbattles, she comes a little closer to give you some extra ammo.

The only minor in The Last of Us’s gameplay, is that the AI can’t keep up its high standard at all times. Sometimes you are struggling with an enemy right next to an other enemy, while the other enemy doesn’t even respond. Other times you are crouching very slowly to avoid Clickers from hearing you, while Ellie starts a sprint right behind you, taking not even the slightest attention of the Clickers. Luckily these bugs don’t occur very often.

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Multiplayer
At the start of the multiplayer, you’ll have to choose a faction. Your objective is to grow a clan as large as possible and keep it alive for 12 weeks (or 84 online games). Failing in doing so, will take you back to week1, day 1. Multiplayer consists out of two modes: Supply Raid and Survivors. Both modes are variations of Team Deathmatch. In Supply Raid, teams have a finite amount of respawns, up to 20 respawns for the whole team. In Survivors, multiple rounds are played while there are no respawns during each round.

Just like singleplayer, you’ll be able to craft items, use listen mode (which is, contrary to singleplayer, not unlimited to use) and heal yourself or teammates. One of the key elements to win the game, is to stay together and work as a team. You’ll have to play very patient to avoid enemies spotting you on the map. Every sprint or shot you perform, might give the other team an opportunity to surround you more easily, since you’ll show up on the enemies radar.

Each action you perform grants you supplements which are necessary to grow your clan. The bigger your clan gets, the more supplements you need to keep them healthy. It doesn’t really matter if you win or lose a game, but if you weren’t able to gather enough supplements during a game, your clanmembers will start to get hungry or sick and eventually die later on. On top of that, there are several events over the 12 weeks. During these events, you’ll have 3 days (or 3 games) to reach a certain goal (e.g. killing a certain amount of enemies, reviving a certain amount of teammember, etc…). Some of these events help you to enlarge your clan, by giving you extra clanmembers for succeeding your goal. Other times you’ll have to reach the goal so save as many clanmembers as possible from dying. Failing such an event badly, might even result in losing your whole clan.

This total package makes the multiplayer almost as good as singleplayer. Only matchmaking could’ve been done a little better, since the levels of teammembers are pretty unbalanced now and then. It’s also pretty annoying when you’re trying to succeed your objective for an event, while getting teamed up with some very “heroic” teammembers who run off alone all the time and waste a lot of respawns. This way it sometimes becomes extremely hard to reach your goal.

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Conclusion
The last of us became one of the greatest games of this year so far. An amazing storyline, beautiful graphics and a challenging game experience. After going through the singleplayer, there’s still a great multiplayer left which plays completely different then the many Call of Duty clones we’ve received the last years. If you own a Playstation 3, you should be ashamed to not have this game in your collection yet.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
The Last Of Us - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

1 Comment

  1. 3rd-strike.com | The Last of Us: Remastered – Review
    August 21, 2014, 12:57 am

    […] Last of Us, you can read our review here, made its appearance on Playstation 4 as The Last of Us: Remastered. One of PS3′s best games […]

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