Anyone who followed me in June knows my first playthrough of The Last of Us made me clamor about how it wasn’t only GOTY, 10/10, best PS3 game ever but even one of the best games ever. Anyone who followed me after that thinks I’m making this up as I’ve been pretty much as far away from that as possible in recent months. I think the thing that honestly ruined it for me was if you said anything bad about it 20 people who still think how I thought will run after you with praise. I decided to play it again recently in order to actually see if it was as good as I remember or if I was blinded by the hype. Keep in mind I will be spoiling the game as it has been out for over six months so anyone who cares should have played it already. Let’s get started.
The Last of Us has a few different ways to play. Either you can sneak around all the enemies, you can use stealth to take them all out or be all trigger happy and do it that way. The main problem is ammo is rare (as the world has basically been dead for 20 years) so likely killing everyone with a gun (which if you shoot once have fun doing to rest without a gun) will not be the best option. The Last of Us has 5 enemy types. Your fellow humans which can be, Survivors, Hunters, Military and Firefly. The humans really only very in the type of weapons and items they use against you and the style of dialogue which is why I only consider them them to be one style. The Infected on the other hand, have 4 different types that are all quite different. The 1st stage and most common are Runners. These guys often resemble humans with lumps and blood all over their skin. They are more sensitive to light and only use melee but are similar to humans in combat. The second stage are Stalkers. These guys barley look different from Runners but hide behind walls and grab you. They are the least used and most people’s least favourite to fight. Third stage are the Clickers, which have been infected long enough for fungus to cover their eyes. To allow them to see they use a sonar similar to bats as the game puts it but all they can “see” are walls. If they really had sonar they would know where you are no matter how quiet you were. You also can’t melee them without being really quiet and with a weapon but even that is hard. Finally the last stage is Bloater. These guys barley resemble humans anymore and just getting close to them is an instant kill. If you have a Molotov and the flamethrower they are still fairly easy to take out though.
The crafting system is quite big in The Last of Us. Basically you find items around the world such as rags, alcohol, sugar, explosives, etc. Using these you can craft items such as Health Kits, Shivs, Smoke Bombs and upgrade your melee weapon. You can also find supplements which will help you upgrade Joel and parts which you can use to upgrade guns. Tools can also be found which will open up more upgrades for your gun. All of this and using the items happens in real time so if you are low on health you’ll need to run somewhere to make and use a health kit. I also liked being able to switch your guns around at any point instead of just any time you get to an end of a mission or something like shooters seem to be moving towards.
The game is split into 4 chapters titled after the 4 seasons with each area being modeled such as winter having snow, fall having orange and red trees, etc. You start in the summer season and it by far the longest. Honestly I felt it was far to drawn out as well. It had way more areas then any other season and besides winter, where it is basically 2 long areas, I think they were the longest. I had a lot of “kill every enemy” or try to sneak around them sections with very few “rest areas” I feel Fall and Spring got the best balance of the chapters. There was also a lot that happened in summer compared to rest and none of it I really enjoyed. Bill’s Town was ok but I think that’s because I liked seeing old towns and what they now looked like and all the others had a lot of fighting (such as Pittsburgh, and the second half of Salt Lake City) which I wouldn’t mind if we didn’t have a huge ammo restriction. I’d say Fall had my favourite areas to explore
Now for things I didn’t like. The shooting controls weren’t the best. I know people say it isn’t a shooter but I expect a game many consider GOTY to be near perfect which this was not. Something else I hate were the “clear out this area before you can move on” places. There were often way too many enemies to do all in stealth or some such as the hotel when Ellie gets the sniper are required for you to get her to shoot at least once (she won’t she if you’re not). For a game that I need to conserve my ammo these come up quite a bit which I find annoying. One last thing is when humans drop no ammo. Yeah I get the not a lot thing but they have an unlimited supply (same with your partners) I wish there was some counter you couldn’t see that was randomly generated on how much ammo they have. If you kill them without them shooting any you get all their ammo and it goes down until they have none left. Same with Ellie. It just feels weird only having 5 shots when the enemies all have unlimited but its hard to think of any way around this. I also wish Ellie ended up dying in the end. I think Joel still should have stopped the operation but maybe he pulled her off at a fatal point or one of the doctors shoots her or something.
Even when I was on my hate of it I couldn’t deny the graphics are amazing. I’m pretty sure the game only runs at 720p but still looks incredible. Nothing is jittery, everything looks natural, I didn’t notice any frame drops cut-scenes all looked nice and fluent. However at points it seemed gameplay was designed to fit into the cut-scenes which was kinda awkward. I’d have to say though, The Last of Us is one of the most visually impressive games on the PS3.
This is a hard category for me. I do like the games sound track but I feel music isn’t played enough. Sure it kinda helps the mood but I think if they made some really soft tracks in place of the nothing it would improve. The music that is there is very good and I never noticed sound dsync at any point either which is good. The sound is extremely good but I just feel there isn’t enough of it.
The Last of Us was a really good game. Although I haven’t been persuaded back to it being a perfect game I will say it was a great experience. I felt summer dragged a little, the story did have a few problems, shooting issues and the phenomenal sound track being thrown in the back hurt it but the crafting system was good, graphics were great, the humor was up there, story was still decent and the Autumn chapter helped pull it back up. Overall I’d say The Last of Us is an enjoyable experience and you definitely should play the game at least once.