The Last Of Us Review: Naugthy Dog Made A Masterpiece!

Gunplay is incrediby tight and fun and somewhat reminiscent of the Uncharted series and the varied arsenal is upgradeable via collectible parts scattered throughout each area. Firearm mechanics, however, is where the similarities to Naughty Dog’s previous IP ends.

This is not Uncharted

Some gamers worried The Last of Us would be a re-skinned stab at reinventing Drake and Sully, but there are no over-the-top jump mechanics or goofy one-liners found here. And in case you aren’t convinced, try running into a roomful of infected with guns blazing and see how long you survive. In other words, less patient gamers may have a tough time with the methodical stealth sections found throughout the game, but those who can be patient will find it is immensely satisfying to clear a roomful of foes without so much as a single one noticing you were there.

Adding to the strategical aspects is the ability to craft support items like shivs, Molotov cocktails, nail bombs, and first-aid kits. These items serve to deepen tactical/strategical encounters. Is that lousy bandit hiding behind cover? Throw over a Molotov and set him on fire! Everything happens in real time, though, so you’ll need to take cover or wait for a lull in the action before you set to crafting items. In other words, make sure you stock up on what you need before heading into the fray.

The talent

Voice acting in the last of us is the best since Andy Serkis killed it in Enslaved. The talent here is thanks to actors like Troy Baker (Joel), Ashley Johnson (Ellie), and the iconic Nolan North (in a decidedly different role than his star-making turn as Nathan Drake). Baker especially shines as Joel. There is true emotional depth as he transforms from an angry loner to loving father type.

It is through these stellar performances that The Last of Us surpasses traditional gaming and breaches cinematic quality.

The Last of Us Review

Despite the current transition into next-gen consoles, Naughty Dog has pushed the PS3′s graphical quality to the very limits to produce one of the best — if not the best — looking game currently available. The Last of Us is gorgeous and more detailed than just about anything you’ve seen. Each area seems larger than the last, and gameplay hours begin to skyrocket should you choose to explore. Curious gamers will find plenty of reasons to be thorough in the form of hidden parts caches and ammo drops. Seriously, nerds, there’s a ton of value here.

The Multiplayer

With only two modes (Supply Raid and Survivors), The Last of Us‘ multiplayer options may seem lacking, but both are tied into a meta-game/stripped-down story in which you recruit and care for a clan of fellow survivors. Gamers who link to their Facebook account will even be able to induct their real-life friends into their clan, and between matches you’ll be given updates as to the general health of your buddies. It’s pretty funny to see messages like, “So-and So is considering eating the cat.” You’ll be given mini-objectives and challenges to keep your clan fed and healthy, such as collecting a certain number of supplies or spotting or executing a certain number of enemies within a set number of matches.

This extra layer provides more incentive to perform well and deepens the overall experience, even if the “story” found within the multiplayer suite isn’t exactly fleshed-out.

Ammo is in limited supply at the beginning of each match, which does wonders for the bleak tone of the post-outbreak setting. Don’t worry, though, as you can scavenge ammo from supply drops, defeated enemies, or via the mid-match store. One-use boosters can also be earned and applied for anything from extra speed to ammo and more.

The Last of Us Review

Whereas players can respawn in Supply Raid, Survivors provides no respawning and is more suited for hardcore gamers. Either way, The Last of Us’ online capabilities are incredibly fun and addictive.

The Bad

If you read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, played Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead: The Game or experienced countless other post-apocalyptic films, books, or games, The Last of Us can feel a bit tired from a setting aspect. We have seen the end of the world represented in so many ways so many times before that it’s easy to suffer from apocalypse fatigue. And no matter how much Naughty Dog would like for the infected to seem like victims of a viral outbreak, they are, for all intents and purposes, zombies. Zombies are everywhere these days, man…everywhere. Besides, the truly exceptional content comes in the encounters with survivors and the strained or new relationships between the “good guys.”

The Last of Us Review

The Verdict [rating:4.5]

The Last of Us is just about the best game the PS3 has to offer and a brilliant experience for anyone looking for exciting single player and/or robust multiplayer. If video games are slowly becoming interactive films, this is the closest any title has come to blurring those lines. With relatable characters, an intelligent and well-planned story, and some of the best mechanics of the current generation, this will be the game to beat once year-end “Best Of 2013″ lists start popping up. Sony has once again proven to be the publisher to beat in terms of console exclusives, and you have no right to call yourself a gamer if you don’t pick this up immediately.

Source: Spiffycats | Alex de Vore


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