Everyone always boast about being prepared for either a zombie or infected apocalypse scenario. The confidence is inspiring, but no one can truly know their reaction when it finally happens. Take Joel for example who is just a normal single parent trying to enjoy his evening with his daughter, until disaster strikes and the world goes into a panic. At this point you do what normal people would do, try to contact friends/family, get the essentials and try to drive to safety. That is a well thought out plan, until the random situations start to occur, because you can’t predict what other people might do. This is the latest game from Naughty Dog, who brought us the Uncharted series and now is tackling the survivor horror genre with The Last Of Us, exclusive to the PlayStation 3.
It is now 20 years later and the outbreak has spread throughout the world and now you must live your life day by day either trading or smuggling goods to survive. The world is militia run where people get checked on a daily to see if they are infected. Any indication of said infection will be terminated immediately, by any means necessary. To think that Joel’s problems were only dealing with infected people and those that stole their merchandise, but now he is dealing with transporting a 14 year old girl named Ellie to a militia group known as the Fireflies. The reason behind that will remain a mystery since this is my spoiler free review.
This is your typical third person game, but with some extra features to help you survive. There are two different ways you can tackle each area filled with enemies. There is the highly recommended stealth approach, which will take a lot of patients and planning to know which path your enemy takes. To help with that you will have the ability to hear through walls and floors, by holding the R2 button Joel will utilize sonar ability. It will grant you a silhouette of nearby adversaries and the paths they are taking in said area. Once you have the drop on your enemy a push of the triangle button and either hit it a second time for a loud kill or hit square to choke them out. Depending on if you have a shiv available will determine the kill, otherwise Joel will use some super human strength to cave in their heads. Ammo is very scarce in the game, so use bullets only if necessary, because spraying and praying will get you know where in this title. If you are swarmed by enemy infected especially clickers who go by sound, always have a brick or bottle around to handle them problem. If you end up taking them head on, the only way is with a melee weapon, because it is a one hit kill if they get their hands on you. To perform a stealth kill, just have a shiv handy at all times.
I don’t care where you are in the game, but you better be searching for tools and other items, because crafting is part of your survival. Almost everything and anything can be improved or enhanced to help you deal with the infected world and even Joel will gain enhancements when you fine pills and other things. I am actually having more fun using an upgraded two by four with nails or the led pipe with shivs taped on it. Later on you can craft Molotov cocktails, bombs with shrapnel and of course gun holsters. Eventually you will gain a bow, which seems to be standard issue in video games now, but frankly I will never turn down something that gives you a silent kill.
The characters themselves make the whole game look as if an interacting movie is playing or a television drama. I could see this as something to come on TNT or AMC in the near future. The visuals of the environments and the interactive objects to get to other ventures is smooth. The vegetation and even the underwater scenario’s I had to deal with her not that bad all. However as a horror game, it does have it jump at you points, but it is not at all as scary as people expected it to be. That is not a bad thing; it is just well balanced as an infected video game title.
Since Naughty Dog had a big success with the mutli-player in Uncharted, it was added to the Last Of Us, but with a twist. The MP will feature the same mechanics as the regular campaign, but there is no infected to deal with, however I had hope they would have implemented some sort of infected A.I to deal with while having player versus player. That was just my wishful thinking at work. The first thing you do is pick a faction and once that is done you have a certain amount of survivors which act as your level. Depending on how well you tackle on the objectives and your own personal missions, will determine who will survive, as well as grant you new survivors. The multi-player will also feature a weekly system which will grant you other abilities for your weapons. The more you play and the more you salvage the more you have a chance of keeping people alive. The cool thing that was added to this feature is linking your Facebook account which gives each of those survivors in your camp your friend names and faces. Yes Naughty Dog did that to you to catch feelings for people that you actually know, so all of your friends are under your care and honestly they eat too damn much. So far no one has gotten sick in my camp, but all I know is I already lost a comrade and Crissy…I am sorry girl, you died picking berries. This feature reminds me of a mix between Oregon Trail and 3rd person shooter had a baby and made this multi-player.
Here is where I feel things are overly hyped or bad. As I talked to one of my admins on the kumakreations.com/facebook fanpage on certain things that should of been added or does not make any sense. The fact that Joel has taken down many military groups’ baffles me as in why not take their weaponry or armored gear? it would make sense to strip them of their automatic rifles and spare ammo or hell grenades so I would not have to craft them. What the hell is up with Tess confronting a runner which did not see her flashing her light in its face, but when I turn mine off and tried to sneak pass, it freaking saw me. Honestly the A.I is not all that smart either and I was told by my buddy John that Naughty Dog recommended players to use hard or above difficulty to get the true feel of the game. I killed two military officers and one walked pass their body not alerting anyone else to the area nor made indication of caution. I proceeded to choke him out to, but I have to agree with my other admin Lightbridge, maybe I am just too good at these games now.
In the end The Last of Us Campaign and Multi-player go together like a cool tall glass of Sunkist on a nice summer day. In other words it is a BUY and for many great reasons. It has a reach and pure story-line, has nothing to do with zombies (do not start they are infected big difference!), the voice acting is great, the environments are captivating and the multi-player actually put in an, “I care” system of keeping your camp alive. There is a lot of re-play value to be had with a true + system to return to the game with everything you unlock and play it over like a boss. It is an escort title, but it is not as annoying too much where I don’t have to worry too much, but the clunky situations of her hugging up on me phasing through the 3D modeling is a bit of a downer. The game is slightly overly hyped, but having a great time. This is a great exclusive to the PlayStation 3 console and I hope you check it out. This concludes our review and I thank you all again for stopping by; you can pick up The Last of Us in our Amazon Store Kuma’sAmazonStore/TheLastOfUs. Please check back for more as this summer of gaming kicks off. Stay frosty gamers.
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Rated: M – Mature
Genre: Action-adventure, survival horror
Players: 1 single, 2-8 network
HD required: 50mb
Kuma Kreations Rating: 5 out of 5