The Last of Us: Replaying the Game Nearly Four Years Later

Naughty Dog Marathon Part 5 of 5 Leading Up to Release of The Last of Us Part II

Never has humankind’s greatest attributes felt so deserted as they do in the post-apocalyptic and unapologetically dramatic nightmare that is The Last of Us. It took a father’s reconnection with a daughter-like figure and a beautiful posy of giraffes to make the heinous world as Naughty Dog has so expertly depicted it, feel worth living in. Sure, the actions Joel commits in order to gain a second chance at a life of fatherhood are truly blurred when it comes to morality play, but it’s at the cost of what this film extensively puts you through emotionally. It’s hard not to root for Joel as he makes amends and protects such a likable, potential-driven persona, that being the trash-talking teen with a sailor’s mouth, Ellie. Yet, it seems as if the game constantly wants to remind you that in a platform that infuses corrupt governments, zombies, murderers, cannibals, pedophiles, massacres, and, again, Joel’s questionable decisions into the mix, there will always be that hint of serenity in the relationships we choose to have, despite what the barbaric circumstances of our awaiting society may tell otherwise. 

I’m no video game connoisseur, sure, but as far as I can tell, the gameplay in The Last of Us is still close to faultless. It’s got the kind of crusty grit us gamers wish to see in more survival-based games; something that truly makes us feel as if we could be at the hands of death in any given moment; not a program that caters to our delight in winning stingily unfathomable battles that approach you with gallons of ammo and whacky weaponries. The Last of Us offers you a fairly limited amount of resources, unparalleled to Naughty Dog’s Uncharted games, and that’s all for enhancing the realism of it. The forced intellect you must apply in deciding what to craft, or how to approach a sneak attack, or even what resources you should save or immediately build to achieve a victory in a specific battle are qualities that The Last of Us features unlike many others of its genre. 

There are a great deal of combat moments in the game that are probably going to stick to people like a sort of “first-world” version of PTSD. From the out of the blue gunfight massacre with Alone and Forsaken by Hank Williams playing in the background which concludes with an exhausted Joel (ALMOST) exclaiming the title of the game in the most badass way possible: “I think that’s the last of them,” to the intense, inky, sewage-type setting battles with the difficult to defeat “Clickers.” There are furthermore acres of tough moral decisions that the game compels you to call when it comes to who you kill and who you don’t, which is acceptable evil at its finest; haha! Besides maybe some repetitious puzzle duties such as finding boards to help Ellie travel across water, cause Joel just can’t teach her to swim over the course of a near year, I don’t have any qualms when it comes to the life-like immersion this game puts you in. 

There are a few abrupt sequences in the plot that could’ve transitioned more coherently and logistically, but yeah, there’s not a whole lot of faults to be had with The Last of Us even on my second playing. This is not only revolutionary in gameplay values, but it’s also storytelling done best in video gaming thus far. Take that with a grain of salt though, because, you know, I’m the movie dweeb, not the gamer dweeb. Nonetheless, to me, The Last of Us is the kind of commercial material that’s going to convert the many naysayers out there who’re against video games into seeing this type of art as something worth calling historically “exquisite.” 

Part II… Sigh, don’t let us down. 

Verdict: A

“The Last of Us” is now available to play on Playstation 3 and 4.

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