I finally got round to playing The Last of Us. I know, I know, I’m REALLY late to the party with this one but I’ve been a little apprehensive about playing it.
I’m not good with horror games, especially ones that involve zombies. I get panicky and frustrated and distressed when I play them and I have such a nervous disposition I can’t stand being made to jump.
But, I faced my fear and picked it up from Game for like £15. I have to admit though, as much as I enjoyed the game it did give me nightmares (I suffer from this recurring zombie dream where I am trapped and have to fend them off and only experience it when I’m stressed or something similar has triggered it. So…that was fun.)
Knowing The Last of Us was created by Naughty Dog, reassured me that the game play would be smooth and enjoyable, I’m a big fan of the Uncharted games and find those great fun to play and the game didn’t disappoint. Plus, Joel is basically a silver fox version of Nate Drake, with the voice of Booker Dewitt.
I did get a little frustrated in places because there is a lot of sneaking involved in some areas (I thought I’d be clever and conserve ammo and health by creeping round) but I found that you do get spotted by enemies when you really shouldn’t i.e. when you haven’t moved for about 10 seconds and suddenly they start running at you.
The Clickers were the most terrifying element of the game, blind but with a heightened sense of hearing, you have to move really slowly around them to get away and if they do detect you they quickly pounce – and you watch a pleasant death scene where either Joel or Ellie have their throat ripped out. The armoured clickers are the worst, if they get hold of Joel they literally rip his head apart.
The game was scary, but was actually more so when you weren’t being attacked. You’re creeping around, listening to the infected making horrible noises, while trying to be quiet and unseen. That’s the most nerve racking element to the game.
The Last of Us looked incredible, with amazing graphics in the cut scenes and even throughout the game play. The environments were interesting, diverse and fun to explore.
Story line wise I enjoyed it, it’s a classic survival game with plenty of character relationship building, plus the usual ‘we have one chance to save the world’ sort of deal, which at times was a little predictable. Joel is basically smuggling Ellie across the country to reach a lab where a rebel group of survivors live.
The game is actually set 20 years after the ‘zombie’ infection took hold, which is essentially a fungal disease released into the air as spores and also spread through bites, which makes those infected incredibly violent and dangerous. Society is obviously broken in this dystopian future, with armed forces enforcing curfews and rations to keep some sort of order, while the rebel group (the Fireflies) opposes them.
I thought there might have been more of a decision making element to game, where your actions have consequences and change the timeline but everything was steered like a normal story orientated game.
The characters were really fun to follow, Joel is the classic disgruntled survivor while Ellie is the tough kid, who is really looking for some reassurance that she is wanted in the world. Joel’s back story is the usual one, filled with tragedy, which you witness at the start of the game, while we aren’t really sure about Ellie’s. We do know she was born after the infection and while we find out a little more at the end of the game you do wish you had seen some of it in a flashback or discussed further.
Overall, I really enjoyed the Last of Us – even if it did trigger a nightmare – and I think in a few months time I’ll play through it again. Now, I’m moving onto Skyrim, a completely different style of game and another one that I’m really late playing.
What did you think to The Last of Us? I definitely agree with all the hype that surrounded it when it first came out. I’m excited that a sequel is potentially in the works, I’m hoping for an older Ellie and for the truth to come out about what really happened in the Firefly lab.
*All images click through to their original source, if they are not mine.