Following a viral outbreak, you find yourself in control of the main character Joel. 20 years later he’s a hardened smuggler one of the few survivors in a military quarantine zone. Not exactly the most upstanding citizen of this “new world”, but sometimes you just got to kill to survive when there are lack of resources everywhere. He ends up smuggling an interesting package, a girl named Ellie. Even though this is developed by the fine folks at Naughty Dog, don’t expect as many epic gun battles like in Uncharted. You’ll be spending lots of time avoiding conflict, hiding, sneaking around and if all else fails shooting your way across the wasteland of what is left of America. Naughty Dog just set the bar higher for action/adventure games, read on as we review The Last of Us for PlayStation 3.
The Last of Us Video PlayStation 3 Review:
Click on through to read the rest of the text review…
The story itself is extremely well written, I don’t want to spoil any of it for you gamers so let’s just say there times where you think you know what will happen next only to get blindsided by a change in the story. The game is also quite long, this no typical “9 hour” game like most triple A titles are …no way you’ll finish this in one sitting and I’ll just leave it at that.
There are lots of buttons, and I mean every single one is used on the PlayStation 3 controller. For the first hour, you’ll be fiddling around quite a bit figuring out how to make shiv’s to stab enemies you sneak up on, medical kits, upgrade your melee weapons and even upgrade your guns themselves. Strangely enough your flashlight never runs out of batteries, so no need to look for batteries, must be a crank model or solar. There are tons of weapons to choose from, but remember this game is stealth. Your enhanced listening skill is a sort of radar which shows you where nearby humans or infected are. Running into a room without listening first will get you killed instantly and you’ll be doing it around every corner.
The music in the game is well placed, it usually warns of danger around the corner or calmer when you are in the clear to walk around and find supplies. There were only one or two times where there was no warning music and I ran into a room and quickly got overwhelmed (sneaky aren’t we Naughty Dog?).
Graphics in the game are hard to describe in a text review, this is why you should be watching the video review at the top of this page as well. The graphics are simply amazing; you’ll encounter wide open spaces to cramped alleyways and downtown skyscrapers. The grass moves in the wind, paper will blow by you and pretty much everything looks dilapidated as it should after 20 years of neglect. You’ll enter abandoned homes and notice half packed suitcases, or looted pantries, turn around corner you’ll see untouched family photos, tv’s and computers. You’ll enter a childs room and see toys that were left behind, it really gives an eerie feeling that the world really went to crap real fast and will leave a lasting impression even when you turn off the game. There are many violent moments in the game, after all the world is lawless…but then again there are moments when Ellie will point out she’s never seen a forest before or the beautiful sunset over a mountain…you’ll actually just stop and not want to push forward on your controller because around that corner could be more enemies or infected.
As I said before, strategy and stealth is an important factor in the game. You have limited supplies, running into a room of infected is just plain stupid. Soon you’ll learn there are different typed of infected, some can see, some can’t. Clickers for example can’t hear, they click and use it similar to a bat to detect you. So you can easily let one walk by you if you aren’t making noise walking. A seeing infected requires a different strategy, you’ll need to sneak up behind it without it seeing you and taking it out with that homemade shiv you just made from the stuff you took from that house moments ago.
The human AI seems a little weak sometimes, I’ve launched a brick at a human only to have him stop looking for me 1 minute later, I’ve even ARROWED an enemy in the gut from 5 feet away and the guy just walked off for no apparent reason instead of chasing me down. There are other times that I swear the human AI has eyes like a hawk, I’ll be at least 30 feet away inside a house and yet the enemy spotted me and sounded the alarm to the other people nearby and they open fire on me.
For gamers who hate to puzzle solve, there are only some minor ones to deal with here. Such as moving objects to climb onto, placing ladders (which seem to be everywhere in this world) to cross over gaps or even starting up generators to lift up gates. No back tracking that will drive you nuts and make you wander on end in the level.
You can turn on auto aiming in the game; frankly I enjoyed it much better with the auto aiming off for most of the game. There was one part where without the auto aim, it was impossible to kill all the infected, you’ll know when you get to that part. After turning on the auto aim, I noticed that only head shots would get me through that section, it was impossible unless you are a sniper by night in the real world.
Multiplayer might sound a little odd in such a massive single player game such as The Last of Us, but it works. It’s a 4 on 4 death match of sorts, each “match” is a day in the life of this “world” where the virus has turned most people into infected, where supplies are limited and frankly it’s every man for himself. You can choose various factions from the game, but it doesn’t really matter. Your group of people need to survive, you also need to gather food and supplies in some matches for “non combat” people in your little society you are trying to rebuild. When the match starts you hunt down the other people in the online match and the winner gets extra supplies for the “next day”. There are also infected coming at you and even random events such as non combat people getting sick. It’s quite a twist as each match is a day, a week and so forth and is saved for the next match.
The game really your mind into this “what if scenario”, you think about what would YOU do if this happened in the world we live in? We argue over petty things in the world, when everything could change in a flash. Ellie grounds Joel so much in the game with her little comments of the world, even humming when things are quiet will tug at your heart strings. Very few videogames will make you care enough about the person in your care; as the relationship grows you’ll actually SWING the camera around just to make sure Ellie is still behind you and safe, that just proves how well made The Last of Us is and why it’s a must own for the PlayStation 3.