Self-purchased. Reviewed on PS4.
I have innumerable memories with Sony’s majestic last-gen and current-gen consoles, either through YouTube or long dead-end conversations with my privileged aristocratic friends who owned the PS3s or PS4s, while my hands clutched the Dualshock controllers only during one-hour cafe sessions, which were remarkably rare.
Just to remind you, I haven’t played Factions MP, so there’s no mention of it in the review.
The first game I played on a console was God of War II (on a PlayStation 2) at one of my cousin’s. Having always played with my right hand holding a rodent and my left resting on my computer table, pushing keys fitted on a stretched-plastic plate, I controlled Kratos horrendously. Far worse than other gamers could have ever thought they would do. If Kratos were a real person, I’m pretty sure he’d have abandoned his quest, jumped off the walls in an attempt to escape the sufferings and torture that my innocent and unintentional fingers had inflicted on him. *Sigh* Poor God.
Fast forward to five years: I have my own PlayStation 4 (two weeks prior to this review), and the first game I ran, played and thoroughly enjoyed was The Last of Us Remastered. Uncertain if I was hooked to it because of my first personal experiences with the performing console or because the game deserves binge-play.
It’s funny how I’m an aspiring video game journalist and yet my review for a 2013 console-exclusive is going up 5 years later. Guess I wasn’t determined enough back then? Or maybe… I didn’t have money for the console, my parents would have kicked me out if I asked for one or I was just too naive to play Rise of Nations for weeks. Whatever may be the reason, I’m pumped to review The Last of Us, in 2018. But hey! The Last of Us Remastered completed its 4th Anniversary yesterday! So, here we go!
WHAT IS THE LAST OF US ABOUT?
You’re a full-time construction worker with loads of work and little to no time for yourself. You have a pretty 12-year old daughter who means the world to you. One night you go home late, have a chit-chat with your daughter when suddenly your ordinary life drifts towards an unexpected, unpaved road.
Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us is a game about life, love, humanness, violence, gore, survival and most importantly keeping yourself alive. The game starts as a slow-paced chapter in an ordinary person’s life but you know the protagonist never gets to be “ordinary”. Things are meant to go awry.
The Last of Us starts off with a dramatic and strong opening sequence, creating an exceptional impact on you that’ll leave you with no choice but sticking to it until the very end. Rangeable questions to be answered, a journey to be experienced and an unknowing bond of love, friendship and respect that develops with proceeding gameplay time.
Willingly enough, I’m not pointing out the “infected” or “zombies” as any core key point of the game, as The Last of Us is clearly not about those brainless and neck-thirsty doofuses. Naughty Dog has cleverly plotted the story around a post-apocalyptic and post-pandemic world, not to give you the horror of these dimwits, but to narrate a story that only gets stronger when plotted in such a way.
Further, into the game, you’ll meet Ellie, the one of a kind brave and revolting 14-year old who’ll act as your companion throughout the game. Often she can be ridiculous, but most certainly, you as Joel will develop a deep understanding and a close father-daughter (kind of) relationship with her. If you’re speculating she’s just an add-on to the game, you might have to give it a second thought. Ellie “exists” in the game, because she’s important. Rest, you’ll know when you get your hands on the game. At some point of the game, you’ll be playing as Ellie. So, get ready for some twists in the gameplay and plot. You can experience more of Ellie’s gameplay in The Last of Us’s only DLC, Left Behind.
The world of Last of Us is a survival saga, and I beg you not to relate its survival story with that of PUBG. Both are different genres with different gameplay elements and objectives. Please. Very often in the game, you’ll bash up some heavy-duty members of the survival group Fireflies, who’re basically survivors protecting themselves from the “humans-turned-dimwits”, and hunting down other humans in the process for goods and supplies.
If you follow the story closely, you’ll notice there are many more groups other than the Fireflies, (Hunters, Cannibals, Seraphite, Survivors, Bandits, Smugglers) with the same objective – survive. Although not all are mentioned, they’ll give you pretty hard times throughout the game.
LET ME REVIEW IT
PewDiePie and TheRadBrad. I must thank both of these amazing personalities (former, now weird and a skrattar du förlorar du champion) for whom I knew almost half of the game beforehand. I read Polygon’s review of The Last of Us which created a lot of controversies within the community. Then I watched the gameplay videos, the opening scene got me real bad, and I knew I had to play this game, at least once before I close my eyes. (trying to be poetic)
The opening scene created an involuntary impact that made me think, “this is going to be an interesting journey.” It doesn’t spoil the main story, so I guess you can deliberately watch it if you haven’t played the game already.
The story is decent. I won’t call it “one of the best in video game history”, but it plays around the characters and the scenes pretty well. But what reflects and makes the game shine more is its gameplay mechanics, the bonding between different characters and the precipitous love between Joel and Ellie that gets strong with time.
Cutscenes play an important role in The Last of Us Remastered. Most of the time, if you are attentive throughout these uncontrollable gameplay scenes, you can develop a deep understanding about the game’s setting, the past, about what’s going on and why the game exists. Yup. They reveal a lot, only if you’re attentive. I wasn’t, so I had to dig around uncountable Wikia pages to find the missing gaps and put the pieces together. Top 5 signs you’re a good game reviewer… moving on.
Being my first 16-hour gameplay session with the Dualshock 4, the gameplay felt pretty jarred. But after a few dozen deaths, I knew what I had to do. One thing that I like about these PlayStation 4 games is that they show you which button to press, every single time. Even in God of War, when you’re climbing a rock or boosting up Atreus, the game knows you’re an idiot and helps you press the Triangle button.
So to remember buttons wasn’t difficult. What was difficult, were those freaking Clickers and Runners. I still didn’t have problems splitting the Runners’ heads into pieces, but the Clickers… oh God. No matter which gun you use, how brutal you are, these goddamn immortal species of waste just won’t die. You must think I’m exaggerating the Clickers, but trust me. If you’ve played the game, you must know the pain of killing even one of them. And if you haven’t played the game yet, you’re sure to hate these doofuses right from the beginning.
The stealth is pretty comforting. You get the zombie-sense that helps you detect where the knuckleheads are and find ways to distract or run away from ’em. The puzzles are good. But in some parts, I felt Naughty Dog should have added some more flexibility into the game. A puzzle must offer different solutions and not just one the developers thought would be cool. I ain’t criticising the puzzles, but pointing out what could have been done.
One thing I liked about handling guns was the reload system. You reload guns just the way you’d do in real life. For revolvers, you do insert the bullets one by one and not all at once. Maybe I like tiny details and this was oddly satisfying to me. Further in the game, by collecting parts and necessary goods, you’ll be able to upgrade your weapons, weapon-holding capacity, reload speed, fire-rate and much more. So you should prepare yourself for a “collecting time” period during every mission so as to not miss any important stuff lying around the ground, locked inside a drawer or just kept in a shelf you passed by a minute ago.
Of all that I wrote, the ending makes this game stand out of other horror/survival games out there. The ending can be titled as “one of the finest” in video game history. It doesn’t end with ever… oops.
Unlike other games of the same genre, The Last of Us doesn’t end in an EPIC way. There are no explosions, no dramatic music and no end to the sufferings of the people and their loved ones. You don’t play as a hero or a villain, but someone who truly cares and loves another human being.
Ellie is infected, but the infection doesn’t take over her body as she’s immune. She wanted to reach out to the Fireflies and help them find a cure for mankind. However, after deadly conflicts and witnessing the ways Ellie was being exploited by the Fireflies members for their own benefits, in the end, Joel lies to Ellie about the Fireflies and the cure to the disease, not because he wanted to stay out of all that was happening, but because he wanted Ellie to live.
Ellie, however, knew Joel was lying. She asked him to swear his words, and Joel, out of pure selflessness, looked straight into her eyes and swore what he claimed.
“Ok”, Ellie sighed.
WHAT IT LACKS
The Last of Us is a true masterpiece, however, like every other game, it fails in some aspects. First thing first, the gameplay feels repetitive, especially the combat scenes. There’s a lack of variety which can be felt even more in higher difficulties. As I mentioned, killing the Clickers is a nutcracking job. And in higher difficulties, there’s no other option than going the “silent/stealth” way. No matter you got a big gun, the nitwits just won’t die.
Speaking of variety, the human/nitwit enemies in the game have pretty much the exact same skins from the beginning to the end. Other than that, I felt the story could have been more clutching and compelling.
Also, the game has some amazing AI glitches. Sometimes Ellie jumps right in front of the enemies but no matter how close she gets, she’s undetected. Those moments have been absolutely funny and bizarre. Somehow or the other, the enemies seem just to spot “you” and not her which will make you go insane.
MY FINAL IMPRESSION
The Last of Us was a great experience for me. Straight from the gameplay to the loving relationship between Joel and Ellie, the game makes you “feel” a journey. Even when PlayStation games are more interactive movies than games(Ishan I heard you), The Last of Us offers a fair amount of gameplay, puzzle-solving and space to connect with the characters.
The Last of Us Remastered costs ₹1,499.00 on Amazon.
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