Author Topic: [Video Game] The Last of Us (PS3)  (Read 1336 times)

MiniVanMan

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[Video Game] The Last of Us (PS3)
« on: June 17, 2013, 10:31:49 PM »
Oh boy, I don't even know where to begin with this one. I guess I'll start by saying that I'm not discussing story at all. Not at all. Usually I'll openly talk about a game, spoilers and all, just with a warning... but I don't think anyone out there should have it spoiled for them. I will say this, though; the game consistently throws curve balls and just when you think you know what to expect, an arm materializes from the screen, grabs your head, rips it off your body and puts it back on backward. Go play the game, experience the story for yourself, and let it TELL you a story. You're not likely to find a game with such adult (not sexual) and dark themes as The Last of Us anywhere among this generation. Even Telltale's excellent The Walking Dead game, with it's fantastic story and emotional impact, simply doesn't hold a candle to the bigger picture that TLOU paints.

Graphics:
It's a PS3 Naughty Dog game, was there any question that they would be fantastic? Vistas are gorgeous, sometimes stunningly realistic. Character animation is absolutely top notch. Son of a bitch, I really want to describe certain little one-off animations that blew me away but to do so would spoil the story. Ugh... anyway... There were a few graphical hitches on my play through, such as the camera clipping into objects and rendering the backgrounds as a completely blank white slate and some texture pop-in here and there.

The first main part of the game that takes place in Boston seems to have fairly muddy textures and rather bland level design compared to the brilliance of the rest of the game... but maybe that was intentional? I don't see that as likely.. the game WAS delayed and the Boston segment feels a tad rushed, so perhaps it was originally set in the area the Marathon Bombing took place and they decided to change it before the game's release? I don't know.. all I can say is that you shouldn't let the poor textures of the Boston chapter fool you - the game is gorgeous.

Sound:
Incredible. All of the sounds. The guns sound loud and powerful (and like REAL guns!), the voice acting is simply unrivaled, the music is beautiful in every way, and the infected... oh the infected... Let me just say that sound is a crucial part of game play when engaging enemies, especially certain types of infected. Both the sounds they emit and the sounds you're trying desperately NOT to - it's all so masterfully done that you simply can't help but forget that you're playing a video game at times.

Game play:
This ain't Uncharted. There are lots of little moments that most certainly feel borrowed from Uncharted, but you're absolutely NOT climbing all over stuff with super-human finger grip here. Joel (that's you) can't even jump on command. He can climb up reasonably sized objects, but that's it.

The combat is... have I used the words excellent or incredible already? It's so fluid and organic that everything just feels RIGHT. There is a cover system in play here, but here's how it works: You crouch down, and you move behind an object. TA-DA! You're in cover! Joel even leans up against the object or places his hand on it, just to let you know that he understands your intentions. To leave that cover? Just walk away. In any direction. Not just left or right, but forward, or backward. Or hop over the object with a quick button press. Popping out of cover to cap a human enemy is no easy task - they're smart enough to train their sights on your location and just wait for you to stick your head out.

And they're VERY good at flanking you and flushing you out. The AI is mind-bogglingly good, always throwing curve balls into the fight. Early game play videos suggest that the game was extremely scripted - such as an enemy waiting on the other side of a door way for you to run through, then grab you and engage in a button-mashing power battle. Scripted, right? No. That happens sometimes when an enemy knows right where you are, but has opted NOT to attack you head on, and instead way for his buddies to drive you to his location. I fell for it enough times to learn to check my corners a lot better.

There is one AI hitch that I noticed, and it's impossible not to - your AI companions are pretty much invisible to AI enemies during anything but a scripted battle event. Meaning, if you're sneaking around, your cohort is going to be sneaking around with you, and sometimes they'll cross RIGHT in front of an AI baddie, but the bad guy will simply not notice them.

I understand that Naughty Dog probably conceded that players would rather have this as opposed to AI companions constantly getting you into trouble by fucking up, but it's still pretty funny and a bit tough to swallow at times. It's nothing I can't live with, just worth noting that they MUST have made a conscious decision to allow this because it's so plainly obvious.

What ND learned with Uncharted is that players get tired of fighting the same type of enemy, wave after wave, for hours on end. Having both human enemies as well as varying types of infected enemies mixed throughout the game fixes this problem entirely. You never really know what's coming up next, and no battle seems to last too long - there is a SET number of enemies that, most of the time, you're able to bypass if you're sneaky enough, but even when you're forced to fight them the battles tend to not last too terribly long.

There's so much else to say but it goes into spoiler territory so I'll sum it up - gameplay: FANTASTIC.

Story: The story is as well written as you'd expect. This could be adapted to a motion picture simply by converting the game play portions to scripted scenes and filming real people acting it out, and it would be Oscar material. You think you've heard this story before, but it merely draws inspiration from other sources and expands on it in truly interesting and exciting ways.

If I may spoil one thing, just to give an example of how excellent the writing in this game... I'll spoil something that's NOT related to the main story in any way, but instead is something you might even miss on your play through depending on how thorough you are and scavenging.

(click to show/hide)

What else is there to say?

It's not a survival horror game, though it has some elements of a survival horror game such as item crafting (which works very well).

It's more of an action/adventure game with an extremely dark theme and story, bordering on horror. Whatever it is, it MUST be played and experienced.

Oh, and there's no fucking regenerative health. That alone makes it game of the year, IMO.

10/10

dotCom

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Re: [Video Game] The Last of Us (PS3)
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2013, 07:31:32 AM »
I LITERALLY just spoke to someone about this game less than 2 hours ago. I will have to show him this review, holy shit.


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Meatywand

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Re: [Video Game] The Last of Us (PS3)
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2013, 09:16:31 AM »
Dude it looks so good, almost makes me want to buy a PS3 just for this game. I was talking to a co-worker about it the other day and he has it and was about 2 hours in and said he loved it.
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MiniVanMan

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Re: [Video Game] The Last of Us (PS3)
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2013, 10:59:19 AM »
It's important to note that it's not necessarily a ground breaking game... It just excels at everything it does and when you look at the game as a whole you can't help but be impressed.