The Last of Us is nothing short of incredible.
Over the course of a year there are many works of digital media created (such as games, films etc) but one which has really grabbed alot of attention this year is The last of us. It is truely a testament to what can be achieved within the video games industry when they get a strong team behind them. The writers have done an incredible job of creating a deep story that surpasses many big budget blockbuster films drawing you in to Joel and Ellie’s journey. In alot of ways I wish the Walking Dead franchise was able to capture the same sort of atmosphere in their game based on the TV series. The Last of Us opens with the breakout of the infection as Joel tries to get out to safety with his family giving you a bit of the backstory for Joel and who he is as a character setting the scene for how the world changed in a night, jumping forward twenty years from that night is when the story really begins.
As far as games go its quite gory in that it isn’t so ridiculous that its added for comedic effect but in places is quite dark, during my playthrough I have been stabbed, stomped on, had my throat ripped out and my face blown off. The pace of The Last of Us is generally quite slow but very tense throughout with the main action broken up by small sections that help tell the story further and set the scene of how the characters sit within the world Naughty Dog have created. I think these help further set the atmosphere as its not always immediately obvious how much danger you as the player are in until its too late.
I can’t go too much into the story itself without giving away parts ot the plot but they make a big point throughout the game of emphasising how the characters interact with one another. To summarise the plot its a tale of how Joel is entrusted to take Ellie across Americain search of a group of survivors called the Fireflies. The story as a whole was very well executed although I personally think the ending wasn’t to my personal taste. The voice acting from all the cast is to a very high standard from start to finish as they do an excellent job of conveying a whole host of emotions throughout the action and dialogue is very well thought out making the characters very believeable (if not somewhat creepy in some cases). Even during the action sequences the interactions between the characters makes you feel that they wouldn’t survive alone as you help each other traverse obstacles and (on more than a few occassions) they help you in combat. This depth really helps you engage with the characters on a level where you care whether they survive or not.
The only downside to the game in my opinion is that it came so late in the PS3’s lifetime cycle as its really sets the bar as to what (given the right resources) the current generation of consoles are really capable of. Overall, this is definitely one of those games that stands shoulders above the rest. I would highly recommend this to anyone who owns a PS3.