Last of Us is a survival horror, zombie shooter, action adventure game from my friends (I wish) at Naughty Dog. Naughty Dog was the same company that developed Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter, and the Uncharted series. (We aren’t going to talk about that last series…)
You play as Joel no-last-name. Starting the game, Joel loses his daughter in parallel to the zombie outbreak starting. Twenty years later, cities have become quarantine zones, people should never go outside, and the currency is now ration cards. (Really sucks to be them.)
Your friend, Tess, who you have been doing odd jobs with gets a job to take a girl, Ellie to the Fireflies lab, so you can get your guns back that were sold to them. The Fireflies are the group that is believed to have caused this whole outbreak but no one knows and it is never clearly figured out. You quickly figure out that Ellie has been bitten but is immune and you literally kill anyone stopping you from your goal, even when the goal changes.
You meet some interesting characters but don’t get too attached to them, because they will either leave you or get killed. You meet up with a black guy and his little brother later in the story and he ditches you – so you think – and he comes back only to have his little brother bitten and killed. He then kills himself right after. Bye, black people! All the story-important black people will die. Not kidding. The leader of the Fireflies is black and you kill her for non-racist reasons, mind you. Not saying that is racist. I am just pointing out facts. I am not going to throw the rest of the story at you because I know that these little tidbits are just gnawing you at and you want to buy this game immediately and not even finish reading this but there are some things I have to point out first.
If you are going to have a game that you advertise as perfect, it had better be that; perfect. It needs to be a shining example of a genre if it’s getting 5/5 and 10/10 ratings because, as advertised, you as the consumer, are expecting for it to equal the ratings that you have been hearing. It had better be the best thing ever since sliced bread and Pikachus. And sadly enough, Last of Us just wasn’t that. It wasn’t perfect.
I am not necessarily nitpicking at it but the game it itself was not perfect. There were plot holes in it just like any other game; the whole thing about where the actually outbreak started and who started it. There were graphical issues like with any other game; clipping through the cover and the guns perpetually reloading after you switched weapons. There were extremely long loading times. You deal with these loading times in the first boot up of the game, though you don’t see them until you boot up the game again. There was an issue with the first save and autosave and how I lost several hours of gameplay; an issue which was completely out of my control. Just under these things alone, it’s faulty to say that the game is perfect when it isn’t.
Also, the characters themselves are flawed – as they should be – but not under reasons of ‘this character has some backstory problems so he/she doesn’t seem perfect’ and more of ‘this character’s actions doesn’t make sense given what we know about him/her’. For example, the character Ellie is a fearless girl who can wants to pick a gun and kill people and zombies with Joel, the guy protecting her and trying to take her to the Fireflies and definitely not trying to use her as an escape for his daughter that died twenty years ago in the beginning of the outbreak. Nope. It’s the last thing on his mind.
There is the assumption that Ellie was born into the zombie – or infected – ridden world and is just used to how things are. She can just pick up a gun, or in this case, whine to Joel about not having a gun and use it better than he can! Every single time Joel headshots an enemy, Ellie will say, ”Damn!” or “Holy shit, Joel.” Or something like that and it does get old – like the plot.
I am just a little curious about how much longer we are going to be replaying zombies. Can we put zombies away? Like in a small little box in the attic that we only bring out when your parents want to bring out our old childhood past memories and then we can say, “Oh yeah, I remember ‘Last Of Us’. They killed zombies. And here’s another game where they killed zombies; Resident Evil. And then a movie where they killed zombies, ’28 Days Later’ or ’28 Weeks Later’” (whatever floats your boat, or finds your lost remote) It’s just really getting old. I don’t know any other way to say it. Going into the game, I knew that it was going to be about zombies. I knew we would be fighting the undead again. I am just tired of fighting them. I even pre-ordered the freaking game because of the ratings, thinking the game would be awesome. About that…
I played through and beat it on normal and it was a good solid game, not perfect. I will dare say it was a great game, not perfect. Graphically, it was very nice on the eyes and the realism hits you hard when you can’t just run into combat because you will get killed. A lot.
Last of Us is a good addition to the growing number of zombie shooters but that number is still growing and need to stop growing. It would be nice if we could make another type of something to kill now. Please.
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