Naughty Dog’s new post-apocalyptic survival horror adventure, exclusive to the PlayStation 3, “The Last of Us” is the company’s first real trek into darker territory, and pulls no punches as you struggle to survive in this dangerous new world.
You play as Joel, a man who has so far survived twenty years since “the horror” – a devastating fungal infection that is ravaging everything – was unleashed upon the world, and so our main character lives by doing various odd jobs in and out of the enclosed city.
Joel and his partner Tess have since fallen on even harder times and must survive his latest job while protecting a young girl named Ellie.
That is when things get tricky and the story in “The Last of Us” is paramount to the experience, so we will keep the information light as to not spoil even some of the smaller parts.
This story however is inherently all about the characters and their vulnerabilities as they endeavor to thrive in a complicated and dangerous post-technological world, but with zombies.
The introductory chapter is amazing, though, and not only is it one of the best we’ve played, but is easily one of this best in this or any gaming generation. When a game starts this strong, you know your in for a ride.
With gameplay inspired by Naughty Dog’s “Uncharted” series, but refined to a much higher degree, the cover and stealth mechanics are improved and the shooting system is fantastic.
This is no blockbuster action game, though; you will sparingly find ammo and you’re always on your toes in gun fights, worried about wasting your precious few bullets for fear of what else is out there lurking, waiting for you.
The crafting mechanic is also impressively well thought out, allowing you to collect bits and pieces as you travel the the ruins and giving you choices between survival or offense.
An example is crafting a medkit, which requires alcohol and rags.
You can create this since you need to heal, or you can use the materials and forgo the healing to make a group of enemies extra crispy with a molotov cocktail? With the same requirements needed, the decision is up to you, and this will obviously affect how you play the game.
You also have to be careful of people you meet. The bandits and hunters you come across will talk to one another, and if they hear the click, click, click of an empty chamber resonating from your gun barrel, they won’t pass up the opportunity to level you.