BADGP Reviews: The Last of Us

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The Last of Us (Sony, Naughty Dog)

Released: June 14, 2013

September 30, 2013

Alex Linna & Zach Buzan

Review: A Harrowing, Dark, Emotional Masterpiece

It seems like every year there is yet another video game being published that is set in a post apocalyptic world. Many of these games include a first person shooter and have a Mad Max quality around them. The Last of Us breaks that tradition giving the audience a new feel in this type of genre: survival/horror crossed with a third-person cover-based shooter. The game focuses on two main characters, Joel and Ellie, and their journey across the country. The narrative hits notes that may seem very familiar, but Naughty Dog uses a great voice cast, interesting gameplay and a creepy soundtrack to tie everything into one great experience. (Zach)

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Gameplay

The Last of Us’ gameplay mixes stealth with third-person shooter action. The player also manages an inventory of items that are found along the way. The player has difficult choices to make throughout the game. Whether to conserve ammo and supplies by sneaking around enemies, or to go all in guns blazing and fist throwing; the choice is all up to the player.  The games weaponry ranges from a bow and arrow to a flamethrower. Whether the player is firing a pistol or protecting Ellie with a shotgun, every gun feels and sounds great. The player can also create other weapons by crafting items in the inventory such as shivs, Molotov, health packs and IEDs. (Zach)

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The game begins with quick-time events… ugh.  But it surely makes up for it with some serious emotional resonance very early on in the game.  Early on in The Last of Us, it breaks one of my pet peeves in that the game forces the player to wait on a non-playable character in order to advance the story.  Waiting is generally a terrible design choice.  This is also why I am not fond of the entire genre of third-person cover-based shooters, it forces the player to wait when I do not feel it is necessary or, more importantly, fun.  I also found it immensely strange that in a game about survival that not all bodies are lootable.  In a game that if I had to describe in one word would be: desperate, the absence of actually survival tactics was jarring.  There is a fair amount of extreme ladder placing action and raft retrieval that wears on a little bit too long.  At times, objectives may be unclear and this kills pacing.  The hotel section in The Last of Us is extremely reminiscent of Ubisoft’s I Am Alive.  Despite all these minor complaints, The Last of Us is a must-play due to its unique blend of gameplay and the outstanding journey it takes the player on.  (Alex)

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Audio/Visual

Graphically, Naughty Dog has done it again by crafting a beautiful post pandemic world. The Last of Us contains a variety of settings and not just desert or broken buildings. Naughty Dog also did a fantastic job at creating lifelike characters. The game does a great job of capturing characters’ emotions and body language, whether it is choking someone out or trying to whistle. (Zach)

The Last of Us is absolutely beautiful at times and many of the scenes are extremely impressive.  The zombie/infected design is top-notch and almost believable and that makes them terrifying.  I did, however, run into numerous glitches and technical problems.  The AI was poor in places and would get stuck in the environment. I got stuck and fell through the environment several times.  I did run into a nearly game-breaking glitch where I could not see how much health I had.  I played this way for nearly four hours and it eventually “turned-back on.”  (Alex)

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Concluding on The Last of Us

With great voice acting, interesting game play and beautiful graphics this game will be a great addition to anyone’s library.  (Zach)

The Last of Us, as I previously stated, is a must-play.  This high quality of a game does not come around often.  The Last of Us was sort of risk for Naughty Dog, when they could have simply pumped out another unnecessary Uncharted game.  It feels like a response to themselves and their Uncharted games.  Uncharted is a colorful Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider rip starring a happy-go-lucky mass murderer, and The Last of Us is a raw and brutal tale of a much smaller scale, but it comes across as much more personal and heartfelt… more real.  It is this incredible sense of sincerity that makes The Last of Us so hard not to like and be impressed by.  Its characters are authentic, their motives murky and unclear, and their experience is crushing and is one of the most genuine the medium has to offer.  I ran into a lot of issues with The Last of Us, but none of them matter when compared to the experience as a whole.  Go play this brilliant, dark masterpiece. (Alex)

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Zach: 9.6 out of 10            Alex: 8.9 out of 10            BAD: 9.3

Image Credits:

http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130620173236/thelastofus/images/f/f3/50950.jpg

http://www.cinemablend.com/images/gallery/s56276/Last_Of_Us_13701172911614.jpg

http://www.gamepur.com/files/imagepicker/6/the-last-of-us-concept-art-5.jpg

http://i1-games.softpedia-static.com/screenshots/The-Last-of-Us-E3-2012-Gameplay-Trailer_3.jpg

http://i1-news.softpedia-static.com/images/news2/The-Last-of-Us-Gets-New-Screenshots-17.jpg?1360076872

http://i1-news.softpedia-static.com/images/news2/The-Last-of-Us-Gets-New-Screenshots-2.jpg?1360076872

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