With the PS4 announced at E3 to be released later this year, the last dash to the end of a brilliant seven years of gaming sent game developers into haywire. Originally planned to be released in late December of 2012, The Last Of Us was refined and worked on for an extra 6 months, giving the game a release date of June the 14th. A PS3 exclusive and from the studio that brought Uncharted to your consoles, Naughty Dog has again peaked game play and story standards, throwing The Last Of Us past many gaming milestones.
Set sometime around 2033, The Last Of Us is a post-apocalyptic thriller revolving around Joel and his attempt to safely cart Ellie to safety with the Fireflies. The character driven story gives many hat tips to Uncharted in the sense that is primarily focused on the story and building a sense of compassion for the characters survival and endearment. If you have played any of the Uncharted series, leave your expectations in Arabia and open your eyes to a stunning, story driven, brilliantly composed masterpiece that The Last Of Us is.
Although it features apocalyptic zombies; the story involves them, it is not about them – which is a new refresher for this very clichéd genre.
The gameplay is fluent and easy to understand, though much of the first part of the game is finding white dots and pressing triangle; it does redeem itself in the end. Ammunition is extremely scarce and depending on what level of difficulty you start the game, your chances of finding ammo lower as gameplay gets harder. In setting this kind of fighting style, Naughty Dog has created a near-true survival type of game play; crafting, scavenging and mastering skills is about learning how to survive in a world turned against you.
The most prominent feature of The Last Of Us is essentially the characters and the environment. As a post-apocalyptic art fanatic myself, there is something so strikingly beautiful about seeing nature reclaim the world it once owned. Being immersed within the fallen buildings, apartments overgrown with trees and a university turned-wasteland; you can tell the developers spent countless hours on perfecting scenery and the interactivity of environments. The characters of Joel and Ellie, respectively voiced and motion-captured by Troy Baker (Bio Shock Infinite) and Ashley Johnson, are the elements that make The Last Of Us stand out amongst the influx of average gaming.
It’s the little things that make a difference, such as side comments between Ellie and Joel about what civilisation was like before the pandemic, or a torn 2013 senior school prom area. The Last Of Us creates a believable and exciting environment, with an estimated time for completion of 12 hours respectively; longer if you look around and scavenge for artefacts such as comic books and upgrades to Joel’s combat system.
Rating: You won’t be turning your PS3 off until you finish it 9.5/10