Naughty Dog’s successes with videogames have far outweighed many other developers of the decade. From the original hit Crash Bandicoot to it’s Uncharted series, Naughty Dog has always been on point. It’s newest game, The Last of Us, has far outdone many of the games in the survival horror genre. And though this game is not perfect, it is clearly a game that knows what its about, set in a post-apocalyptic world, the thrills and characters met there are one of a kind with a unique spin in place. But I’m sure you’re tired hearing my personal praise for the Last of Us and want to get to the core of the game, so without further ado let’s jump right into The Last of Us review.
The game’s story is one that generally we have heard or seen before. The world has gone to hell because of an international outbreak. People are quarantined and frankly because of this, and a continuing shortage of food, some inhabitants resort to more drastic ways of living via kill or be killed. If you’ve seen shows like The Walking Dead or seen movies like I Am Legend then this won’t seem necessarily new to you. Even the environment seems to take a note from I Am Legend, with buildings in cities wrapped in plants and foliage. However, while the game may take from some previous installments of the related post-apocalyptic survival story, the game comes with its own twist to enemies and other events that come into play.
The story of The Last of Us is simple. Joel, a rough and aged man, is tasked into bringing a young and feisty young girl named Ellie to a group of people who believe that she is the cure to the infection going around. While the general plot is simple enough, it’s the stories in between that make the game. Traversing across the US, Joel and Ellie run into encounters that test their skills and character. What’s most intriguing about these situations is Â how the charcters handle them. When not dealing with the infected, the character Ellie Â knows nothing outside the world that she lives in. Pastime sports are even unknown to her due to the outbreak around her time. Over the game though Joel and Ellie’s relationship strengthens to a very realistic and likable tone. Although the plot has its high points its ending comes off kind of flat. However even though it seemed a bit simple to me it wasn’t horrible to say the least. Overall it was the journey of the game that really left a mark on me.
The dialogue exchanged between the characters of the game are phenomenal. You get a sense that each person has its own share of hardships. Even certain enemies are handled with a certain degree of pity. It can be moody sometimes but that is justified by the state of things they are in. The environments are also spectacular from ruined concrete jungles to the rugged wilderness, the game never ceases to shine. The world these characters live in is believable and the events surrounding the characters stories reflect that as well. The multiplayer modes like Uncharted are well utilized as well but you’ll probably spend most of your cherished time over its story mode. There are some problems with the AI. They will routinely get in enemies way when you are supposed to be in stealth. Enemies won’t notice the AI right in front of them (literally face to face) but will notice you if you come out of your hiding spot. This pulls you out of the world of The Last of Us very quickly. If the sections in this game were limited then I may have been able to let that slide, but since stealth encompasses over half of the gameplay, it is important to have the AI on key to hiding from enemies well when they are around.
Overall though despite its simplistic story and AI, The Last of Us is a real triumph in gaming history and another trophy of greatness onto Naughty Dog’s wall. While it may not have so much the charm and wit of the Uncharted series, this game is set in a genre of its own and thus reflects that genre in all its decrepit scenarios and moody dialogue. Though its not a perfect game, it is a game that comes closer more than any other -like games before it.
Final Score: 9.4/10