Sunday, August 10, 2014

Not So Obscure Video Game Review - The Last Of Us

Well, I am nothing, if not able to learn from my mistakes. I am a big enough man to even admit them, sometimes. I didn't pay any attention to 'The Last of Us' back when it came out, but when the 'Remastered' version came out for PS4, I wanted to see what all of the fuss was about. Also, I somehow lumped this in with Travellers 'The Walking Dead' game, since they came out around the same time.

Well, this was a huge mistake! While I still think the hugely popular Walking Dead games are terrible, at least The Last Of Us has been redeemed in my mind.

The Last Of Us tells the story of Joel, a survivor of a Cordyceps outbreak that effects humans instead of ants. Go ahead and look up Cordyceps and come back, I'll wait. Terrifying, right? I think the real thing is actually scarier than how it's portrayed in the game! Joel is assigned, through a series of personal loss tropes, to get 14 year old Ellie to a band of survivor resistance called fireflies. Along the way, death, destruction, and comic books await!

  • Voice acting. An anime and video game voice acting fanatic like me lives for this sort of game. Honest to God, it has even better voice acting than Mass Effect. From Joel's old Texas right through down to the most minor of antagonists, the voice talent is real!
  • Tension. While most of the game runs on the rails you expect it to, you nevertheless manage to be terrified through the majority. Not jump scares, but actual fear of being caught by Clickers, the creepiest video game enemy since ME2's scions!
  • Crafting with a purpose. A lot of games have crafting mechanics that are either annoying at best, or completely pointless at worst. The crafting in 'Last of Us' reminds me of Skyrim, to an extent in that you WANT to do it to help yourself out, though it's more necessary than in Skyrim.
  • Linear. While this is mitigated to the open world 'feel' of the game, Last of Us really runs on a pretty narrow set of tracks. This causes major issues on replay, where unless you dramatically alter your playstyle, nothing different happens.
  • Nothing new under the sun. While honestly all games and movies are derivative to a certain extent, the 'Get the immune person to the lab' plot has been done before. A lot. I usually don't mind a bit of theme borrowing, but in this instance, the story is so similar to I am Legend that it annoys me a little.
  • PS exclusive. Yeah, not on other platforms. This is a meh issue to me, but historically, I don't buy PS exclusives. Xbox titles are usually where it's at for me. This might have been a reason I passed on this initially
Well, there you have it, folks. The Last of Us ended up being a pretty cool game, once I managed to get it untangled from the Walking Dead games in my head. 

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