The Last of Us is Naughty Dogs’ PS3 masterpiece that is already being referenced as the Ocarina of Time for this console (spoiler free review).
In The Last of Us, America is overrun by the Infected as fifty-something Texan Joel and 14 year-old Ellie (a dead ringer for Ellen Page) travel abandoned cities.
We’ve all experienced stories similar to this: survivors outrunning zombies to keep the last strands of humanity thriving. Where The Last of Us changes up the formula is in its deep player immersion, tight linear plot, and extreme emotional despairing.
Before you read any further to see if this game is worth your time, know this: you will never emotionally recover from some scenes in this game. The levels that the human beings reach in The Last of Us are beyond incredible. And the worst part is, you feel not only responsible, but also justified for many of these horrible actions.
The build up to large plot points is extremely well crafted. Hidden foreshadowing and nuanced character building makes revelations and confrontations all the more rewarding and breathtaking.
(Warning: video contains mild language and violence.)
Gameplay never gets stale, which is saying a lot for a third-person shooter. This is attributed to the limited ammo and crafting supplies in-fight aspects. Furthermore, every kill has consequence, directly bleeding gameplay into important plot elements.
There are a lot of options of weapons to fight the Infected off with. Matter of fact, there are so many tools at Joel’s arsenal that you’ll find yourself personalizing what you prefer to use.
In The Last of Us, most scenes are performed with brilliant voice acting. The small exception to this was the role of Tess, whose voice actor overplayed her “dominant jaded female leader” side.
A few final words of advice: Don’t go into this game expecting zombie troupes. Don’t play this game if you are prone to emotional distress. Do play this game, unless you want to miss out on one of the most narratively effective video games this reviewer has ever played.
If you have any doubts whether you’d like The Last of Us, ask yourself if you’d be okay with missing out on the swan song and crown jewel of the PS3.