I've been meaning to start game reviews for a while now, but having never reviewed one have continuously kept putting it off. I have however finally decided to start with a game that I played recently and loved, The Last of Us. Having already played Naughty Dogs Uncharted series I was much looking forward to the game, and wasn't disappointed.
In a post-apocalyptic America Joel gets tasked with taking a young girl named Ellie (who is immune to a infection that has turned people into zombies) to the Fireflies.
This was a phenomenal game, and easily one of the best that I've ever played, if not the best. I'd already had extremely high hopes for the game for a long time before it's release, as Naughty Dog had already done a brilliant job with the three Uncharted games that they made. They more than surpassed them high hopes though, and it'll take something really special to top that as my favourite game of this year, as although there's still Batman: Arkham Origins, and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag coming out, with Grand Theft Auto V having just been released, they'll need to be much better than their respective predecessors to surpass this game, and I can confidently say that Naughty Dog has yet another marvellous franchise on their hands.
This game would have a brilliant story to it, as although it wasn't the best thing about the game, it was very exciting, and dramatic. It also was very well paced, having amazing twists, and turns which prevented the game from lagging, or becoming dull. It also was a relatively unique story as although there's nothing new about a zombie apocalypse, the way they went about it was slightly different, not being your usual zombie game which is filled with nothing but gore. The story also had some very deep, and emotional points to it, as the tone was quite different at the end than it was at the start. I also loved how the story managed to keep me as a player hooked, as I'd want to continue playing just to find out what happens next, and although that can drag you into the game a little too much, that is far from a bad thing.
The thing I loved most about this game however was the characters, as Naughty Dog have continued to show how well they can create, and develop characters, as just as all the characters were great in the Uncharted games, all the characters from The Last of Us are amazing, and extremely interesting. The main two characters of the game are a young girl named Ellie, who's immune to the infection, and Joel who is tasked with taking her to the Fireflies. Both these characters are brilliant individually, but it's the building relationship between these two throughout the game that makes them as fantastic, as there is a lot of emotions, and changing of attitudes throughout. The other characters that appear throughout the game, such as Tess, Marlene, Henry and Sam, Tommy, and David were all extremely interesting, being outstanding side characters, but it was easily Ellie and Joel that stole this game.
|A Building Relationship|
This is a third-person game with the character taking control of Joel throughout most of the game, only controlling Ellie for a brief time. You are however not on your own all the time, as Ellie will help whenever she can, also being able to defend herself pretty well, though she can still die. The combat is a mixture of melee fighting, and gun fighting, with it being advisable to go into cover during a gun fight. You also have to quietly work your way around zombies as to avoid unnecessary complications. Overall I enjoyed the gameplay in this game as it was very versatile, being a mixture of stealth, and action shooter. I also loved how the game would have a mixture of zombie, and human opponents, not sticking to one or the other for too long a period. I also really enjoyed the crafting of tools, and how this allows a bit of strategy to be utilised, as you don't want to miss/waste materials, or use it unwisely.
Now besides all the amazing feats that The Last of Us has, it also is visually stunning, having phenomenal graphic. Now although I always enjoy good graphics, I can live without them, as although I would be upset if it had ridiculously poor graphics I would be happy enough with fantastic gameplay, and a brilliant story. This game however doesn't seem to want to do anything by halves, as already adding brilliant characters, the outstanding graphics are what make this game simply phenomenal. The designing of the zombies were also brilliant, as I loved all the different types, and how grotesque they were. I also loved how much like a couple of the Uncharted games that The Last of Us would also show some realism, as footprints wouldn't disappear, nor would wounds, or other changes throughout, which was another nice addition.
This was easily one of the best games that I've played in recent years, and it'll take a lot of effort to beat it as the best game of the year. Having brilliant graphics, gameplay, characters, and story, this was truly the full package, not doing anything in half measures. It was also very suspenseful, and dramatic, being more emotional than scary (though it has it's moments). I couldn't recommend this highly enough, as it's a must play game that will be remembered for decades.