” Panic spread worldwide after a leaked report from the World Health Organization showed the latest Vaccination test had failed”.
The Last Of Us is many things. It’s a survival- horror adventure game with a lot of heart. Just mentioning it here is emotional enough, to remember what a masterpiece of a game this truly is, which goes beyond your standard action gaming.
The Story : An outbreak of a mutant fungus known as Cordyceps has infected people into some form of zombie- mushroom and mutants with progressed infection. The story starts In the suburbs of Texas, Joel ( Troy Baker) lives with his daughter Sarah. Upon a break in from their crazed neighbour, the pair along with his brother Tommy flee the area as they try to get past the crowed and frantic city, dodging the ravenous passer by who try to attack them.
Twenty years into the game, most of civilization has been wiped out and turned the population into cannabilistic mutants. Those who are still exsisting, barely cease to with ration cards that trade as fast as pokemon and there’s a curfew authorised by the goverment under strict regultions. Ofcourse there’s always room to get your hands on some black market gear too, just try not to turn your back on them. When they close all the checkpoints, you best go the sneaky way around.
A slightly aged Joel is seen to be now accompanied by a woman named Tess, a balsy woman who ” has come this far..let’s just finisb this”. Together the pair search for Robert- an arm’s dealer who has kissed the wrong ass by selling their weapons to the Fireflies- A rebellious militia who are fighting amongest the authorities which makes Tess a whole lot angrier and that’s just when she’s not hormonal. She’s a woman who follows after her own guns.
After having a ‘friendly chat’ over some broken bones with Robert, the leader of the Fireflies- Marlene emerges quite wounded who has their guns and some trouble of her own, as she needs something smuggled out of the city, and is willingly to make a deal with the pair, willing to ” double what Robert sold me. There’s a crew of Fireflies that’ll meet you at the Capitol building”.
Enter Eliie, a charismatic fouteen year old that becomes their cargo mission to be transported. She’s quite the rarity these days. Who knows maybe she’s some big cheifs daughter but whoever she is, i can tell you she’s quite special and this is where the real adventure starts.
The (main) Characters :
Much of the game play is played in third person which I love as you get to see the character’s movements as they venture through the beautiful enviroment. Playing as Joel who is a man that has ” struggled a long time survin..and no matter what..you keep finding something to fight for”, you get to use different firearms in the form of a shotgun, pistol, a bow, a crowbar and the good old fashioned punch. Certain weapons can then be upgraded by your choice.
Not only are you in an apocalyptic world, you need to avoid soilders- the military with their heavy duty guns. Stealth is a big part in the game and it’s very useful in areas where it’s overrun with infected and clickers (the blind mutants who you do not want to get too personal with) and the hostile solders with their machinery. Sneaking up to them is handy, as is your ‘listening mode’, as you get to strangle them into ‘lights out’.
You can scavenge for certain items such as alcohol, medicine pills, bricks and bottles to craft health kits and Molotov cocktails which are best used in groups of infected and when places are unavoidable. Ellie acts as your artificial intelligence and others you meet along the way who help you out (not partiparticularly well but they manage) and you can also play as her further down the game which is an intense Winter segment to behold.
I cannot stress how beautiful this game truly is. It isn’t your typical shooting mode game with some special effects. The females in the game are neither sexualized which is refreshing to watch as it is easier to relate and feel compasion for them when things are not as sterotypically cliche. All the characters can be praised for their powerful depiction of being morally conflicted and morally flawed which adds to feeling some realistic sympathy for them. It’s like a touching movie with some of the most beautiful soundtracks, (which i have now added to my own playlist) I’ve come across in a video game put together by Gustavo Santaolalla.
This game has alot to offer in its unique style and emotions that made me tear up in certain scenes. All the characters are drawn to make you feel attached to them and the realsitic touches just exceed expectations within such a game. They are so well thought -out, and as the creative director Neil Druckmann invisons it, the coming of age for Ellie who has never seen much of the outside world and tries to adapt to spending time with Joel much like a father figure she never had, in such a chaotic world and learning from each other of how far they are willing to go for the sake of mankind.
The characters also adapt and change in their heart and mind as they are flawed in an artistic way, because like the dystopian Mad Max series, sometimes you have to become ‘shitty people’ in order to survive. There is so much to express here but something that is truly worth watching for yourself even if you aren’t a gamer at heart, because it is a stunning game at best and one I never anticipated to adore.
The cutscenes are by far beautiful but the constant dialogue as you make your way through areas is so strong and impacts your soul more than you’ll know. It’s funny at times, scary as hell and tragic at best as sacrifices need to be made, but most of all it moves you in such a way that movies usually can. what starts off as ” bullshit i’m not going with him”, becomes an unlikely bond between Joel and Ellie with the blood, sweat and tears they endure. It’s a game that has made an impression on me not for the last time.
Credits: Developer – by Naughty Dog
writer : Neil Druckmann
Voice Actors : Troy Baker, Ashley Johnson, Hana Hayes, Jeffrey Pierce, Annie Wersching, and others
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Designer: Jacob Minkoff
Artist: Erick Pangilinan and Nate Wells
Composer : Gustavo Santaolalla
Platform: Playstation 3, Remastered on Playstation 4