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This review is from: The Last Of Us (PS3) (Video Game)
It was very refreshing to play The Last of Us as it was so well made, so good looking and so realistic. There's a lot to praise about this game.
Most people know the story by now - you play as Joel, survivor in a future world where almost all human beings have been killed or turned into zombies by a strange infection. The humans that survive are 75 % criminals, 20% law enforcement, and 5% nice, normal people like you and me. Joel takes on a job, which is to escort a young girl named Ellie across the country, so the main game play is the two of you exploring destroyed cityscapes, towns, settlements and so on, while trying to avoid zombie monsters and aggressive gangsters.
Playing style is 3rd person, a bit like Uncharted to a large degree (unsurprisingly), and the gameplay goes something like this: Arrive at a new area, Explore new area looking for hidden items. Realise that a major part of the level or route is blocked by a big gang of monsters or outlaws. Work out how to get past them. Get past them. End with cut scene containing shocking violence or tear jerking sacrifice. Rinse and repeat. That sounds mean but if you look at things with hindsight, that really does sum up most of the game. However it is definitely FUN - in capitals! A lot of the levels can be traversed by relying on stealth, although you can fight your way through areas if you prefer but this is much harder. There are plenty of ways to experiment. Enemies react differently all the time and the tables can be turned very easily, one wrong move or being spotted can ruin 20 minutes of silent creeping and send you back to a checkpoint. Checkpoints are plentiful and invisible, but nearly always well placed.
Things vary slightly with a few surprises - sometimes the duo are separated and you play as Ellie. Towards the end of the game Ellie has a very gruesome encounter by herself and a solo boss fight, all of which is effective and nasty - this is a very violent game, and the 18 certificate is earned. Other variety comes from a bit of underwater swimming, a general item collection checklist, but basically the gameplay is very consistent. A special note must be added about the prologue - a short section played with Joel in a time set just BEFORE the infection changed the world forever. It's amazing, dramatic and very moving.
But mostly what I was hoping for - based on what Uncharted was like - and what the game absolutely does deliver, is the superior look of it. Breathtaking, is a word I would use in some cases. Scenery is simply stunning, Characters look real, They move like real people and the vocal acting is amazing. Ellie and Joel are so lifelike, you'd have to be made of stone not to feel something for them. Some of the areas are huge and where there are shops and houses that you can find a way into, there is simply so much to explore. The residential suburbs where a lot of the houses can be entered is a snooper's paradise! A lot of the time I just wanted to look at all the stuff that was on show. It must have taken a phenomenal amount of work to put all of this together, and I appreciate it.
I have no surprise criticisms to reveal. I enjoyed all of this game and only wish it had been longer. I think anyone who tries it will be similarly hooked.