“The Last of US” review

Release date: June 14, 2013 (worldwide)
Platform(s): Playstation 3 (reviewed)/Playstation 4
Developer(s): Naughty Dog
Publisher(s): Sony Computer Entertaiment

The Last of Us is an action-adventure third person game, set in a post-apocalyptic America overrun by an infectious fungus that turned people into zombies, throughout the game players will be tasked with escorting Ellie, a teenage girl who may be the solution for the widespread infection.

The premise behind the game’s story is very standard for the post-appocalysis genre and over the course the game there won’t be any significant deviation from what the genre has offered in the last decade(s), while what it offers can be seem as generic the narrative is admitely well execute, it is not reinventing the wheel but it is making something very functional. For the most part story moves at relatively well pace, never lingering too long in one story beat and always adding enough lightier modd during its cooldown time between its more bleak and dark moments, making for a balanced experience.

The main gameplay loop involves resource management of various crafting material, ammunition, which will have an impact in the level of difficulty to clear the different encounters along the way. The game gives a generous enough amount of resources for players to feel safe to clear the current objective not enough to feel they power through the whole situation guns-blazing, making players switch between different tools and strategies to clear an encounter.

Levels as a whole are open enough, to allow players some extra manuavering to flank enemies for more advantageous situation, creating a more dynamic flow. 

Enemies are divided in two cateogries: infected and non-infected. The former comes in different variations but all of them work as your standard melee type enmies while the non-infected works as your range type enemies as most of them use guns. The gameplay is flexible enough to allow approaching them both stealthy (and saving resources) or taking a more agressive approach (but wasting precious resources), if there is one misopportunity is the fact there infected or non-infected encounters, you never fight both at the same time, which could have add some more flavour to the fights and making them more intense.

Visually The Last of Us is one of Playstation 3 finest looking games and also one of the most viserally brutal in its depiction of violence, it is not as gory as something like Mortal Kombat but it gets a similar reaction without going for the former extreme dismebreming of the body.

For people that don’t consume a lot of material from the post-apocalypsis genre they will find little issues with what The Last of Us story has to offer and the gameplay has enough hook for an engaging experience from beginning to end. If you are someone with a lot of experience with post-apocalypsis storytelling and survival type games then The Last of Us will leave indifferent.

If you are going to pick the game, you should go for its Playstation 4 re-release, as that version features crespier visuals but also the option at a higher frame-rate (60fps) and includes the games one and only DLC called Lef-Behind, featuring Ellie as main playable character.

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