Imagine what it would be like to have everything you ever knew gone, to live in a world overrun by savage creatures looking to get their hands on anything they can. No, I’m not talking about Black Friday shopping; I’m talking about The Last of Us.
The Last of Us is a survival horror game by Naughty Dog. The introduction of our main character, Joel, ends dramatically followed by a twenty-year time skip to a post-apocalyptic United States where zombie-like creatures, known as the “infected,” overrun the population.
As we catch up with Joel, we learn he has become hardened by this new world. Taking to smuggling drugs and weapons through quarantine zones, he becomes burdened with the task of smuggling a rather odd item to a resistance group across the country known as the “fireflies”: a 14-year-old girl, Ellie. Seems simple enough, right? Smuggle a 14-year-old to a drop off point and get your payment. Wrong! So wrong! So dead wrong! Do you not even know how wrong you are? Joel discovers the reason (unrelated to pedophilia) why Ellie is so important to the Fireflies, but I won’t ruin it for you. Go play the game; this article will still be here when you get back.
As the game progresses, the “infected” are no longer Joel and Ellie’s main concern, but rather hostile humans they encounter on their journey. I know what you guys are wondering, “Elliott, bro, can’t you just shoot your way through everyone with all of the ammunition laying around like in Uncharted?” Sadly, you can’t. The Last of Us has a Silent Hill type of feel to it, where ammunition and supplies are difficult to find and scavenging every corner of a room for a few bullets can make the difference in your survival. This feature enhances, the overall “survival” feel of the game because it allows the player to experience what it would be like to journey through a world gone to hell.
Since ammunition is not easy to find in this game, it is best to save your bullets whenever you can and approach enemies with stealth. Since I am not what one would consider a “patient” gamer, stealth is usually my last resort. This usually happens after I keep dying while trying to shoot my way past enemies and realize I’m not doing something right. Low ammunition or not, stealth is NEVER a go-to strategy for me. However, I soon realized stealth was a necessity and grudgingly adopted it.
The Last of Us has received high praise as a game overall, and rightfully so. My best friend and I played this game through and we were both amazed at how visually stunning this game is. Every run-down town truly felt as if it had been rummaged through for every last supply and every nature scene is breathtaking. I’m not a nature lover by any means, but I was left speechless at how the visuals in this game made this countryside look and feel real.
I highly recommend playing this game with someone who has a different playing style as you. My friend is a stealthy person and will go through every inch of a room to make sure he has everything he can possibly find, whereas I will go into a room and if I don’t find anything after one search, I will move on. You can only imagine how I wanted to absolutely kill him for taking forever to get through a room. Our difference in playing styles did however make the game more interesting because we learned how each of us would react in this type of apocalyptic circumstance. Clearly though, I would be dead before I could even blink an eye.
Not being the biggest fan of Uncharted, when I found out Naughty Dog would be releasing The Last of Us, I was not too keen on playing it. But, after I heard so many good things about it from friends, I had to see what all of the fuss was about. Boy was I wrong! The Last of Us is not only a game with tremendous gameplay and stunning visuals, but it has a story like no other which is brought to life by top-notch voice acting and motion capturing. I had to force myself to stop playing each night because I was so absorbed in the story. Once you start playing this game, you won’t be able to stop, as it is a journey everyone should take.