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My thoughts on The Last of Us

Content of the article: "My thoughts on The Last of Us"

This last Christmas I finally got my hands on The Last of Us for the PS3. I had only ever played a little bit of it before, back in 2014 or so, but couldn't really get into the game because it was at a friend's house and all, so now I gave it a proper shot and beat it by new year's.

So first of all, the presentation is really good in this game. Naughty Dog really outdone themselves on how good this game looks for a PS3 title, not really because of gRaPhIx but because the art is very well done. Places really do look like they've been lived in, abandoned in a hurry and then looted by strangers. Nature is overtaking cities and buildings everywhere. Little details, like how characters get wet just up to how deep they went in the water are really cool to see, especially on a 7th gen system. Sadly, that's where most of my praise for the game ends.

The gameplay itself is a sort of "AAA survival horror", which means that you're very heavily assisted on everything you do. Remember running out of bullets in Resident Evil? Well, that will never happen in this game, because despite the focus on searching for crafting ingredients, your AI companions can always fart out a medikit or some ammo for you. While I understand this happens so players won't get frustrated, it feels patronizing some times, especially when you're trying to preserve your resources because, y'know, it's supposed to be a survival game. This wasn't mitigated by playing on Hard either. Supposedly it's even harder on higher difficulties, but none of those were available at the beginning. This is not to say that the game is bad. It's just a little too easy for my tastes.

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Another thing I noticed is how wonky the sound is in this game. There's a "see enemies through walls" button, which I avoided using as much as possible because it just cheapened the experience, but then I tried relying on sound and it was all over the place. Nothing wrong with quality itself; that's pretty good, and it's cool how the sound seems to echo and bounce around in different areas. It's just that, when playing with headphones, no matter what setting I used (and the game provides a few), it never really felt right. Most games seem to get this right somewhat effortlessly; I remember Fallout 3 being really good at it, so it was kinda shocking when TLoU let me down regarding this.

Finally, the supposed crown jewel of the game: the story. I won't get into spoilers, but I found the whole thing very… basic? I mean, it's a story you've seen a thousand times, about how two people get paired against their will and kinda loathe each other, but then start to become friends and depend on each other yadda yadda. I remember guessing the end of the story to a friend a few years ago and, while he didn't admit it at the time, it turns out that I got it right, because it's really predictable. Again, it's not bad per se, but just a bit overdone. I wonder if the sequel tries to break new ground.

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I couldn't play the online modes because the servers have gone down, nor try the Grounded difficulty because somehow the DLC has vanished from the store and nobody seems to talk about it? Like, it's The Last of Us DLC, not some third party abandoned title. Very weird. Anyway, the game has some story DLC that tells more of Ellie's backstory, which I've started but got bored of midway through. It's otherwise a fun game. Far from bad, but undeserving of all the praise it seems to get, in my opinion.


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