#1 Edited by Yummylee (20571 posts) -

I've been playing The Last of Us since the moment I got home, for about 6 or 7 straight hours now it's been that engrossing. Suffice to say I'm a fan, and it's great to be back sharing the love for Naughty Dog after the depressingly disappointing Uncharted 3 campaign.

The gameplay for starters is significantly more involved and mechanical than anything found in the uncharted games. Your scarcity of ammunition truly makes every bullet count, and from how I've been playing it at least, it's almost more of a stealth game. I was surprised at how prevalent the infected are, though that's not necessarily a problem as they're presented well as a genuinely powerful threat and can be rather unnerving to deal with. Many a time has there been where I'll suddenly realise that I'm holding my breath as I slowly sneak up to one of those clickers...

Even the encounters with regular people can be incredibly intense at that, and the way it all dynamically plays out --such as Ellie calling out a guy who's almost spotted me to my right, or me getting sucker punched from behind while I'm trying to shoot his friend in front--definitely gives the combat a very kinetic feel.

There have been times where the game is clearly giving you the option to get the hell outta there as well, which helps create a great risk-v-reward scenario for whether it's worth braving the remaining mobs to then procure any additional stuff in the area.

Besides the combat, though, simply exploring environments, looting new ''skill augment pills..?'' and other bric a brac, and listening to Ellie gasp in awe at everything is, well, downright delightful. One of my favourite parts of the game thus far has been exploring the small town with the music store and the arcade machine.

Everything about how this game plays feels about as thematically appropriate as you could wish for. Patrick's ''anti-Uncharted'' abbreviation for this game fits perfectly I'd say. Joel's of course not nearly as agile or limber as someone like Nathan Drake, so every step he takes feels full of weight; Naughty Dog have done an exemplary job in animating a character who moves like he's actually spent 20 years living in a post-apocalyptic Hell. The way the reticule shakes when you aim is another neat effect and really forces you to pause between every shot and to appreciate every headshot you can nail off.

The story is pretty standard fair as of where I'm at. A lot of really predictable story beats thus far, but even still, the performances that carry it are fantastic. I guess it goes without saying, but even for how much I'm getting sick of hearing Troy Baker in every fucking thing, his work as Joel is undoubtedly some of the best voice work in video games. Ellie, Tess, and Bill also all have some standout performers bringing them to life at that -- especially Tess, who quickly became a favourite of mine. I would love if one of those upcoming DLC stories they're doing will centre around her in any case.

The soundtrack is minimalistic, but it works in the game's favour and only makes itself known when necessary to great effect. I should also add that this game's apparently pretty long too. As I said, I'm about 7 hours in and it still feels fairly early on; like I'm still only at the middle of the game at the latest. Not like that's a bad thing, because I've found the Last of Us to be so incredibly engaging so far across all of my time spent with it.

I've also given the MP a quick whirl too... I got slaughtered. It all seems surprisingly complex with a lot of variables and customisation to account for. Though it did appear like just rushing up to people and beating them down may be all you need to score a kill... Haven't played nearly enough to come to any solid conclusion with that, though; it's no doubt because I'm currently so bad at it that i'm an easy target to wail on with a 2x4.

You're pretty fragile in the MP, as you may expect, and it can be a little frustrating to get dropped in seconds -- sometimes without even managing to find out who you were killed by. Certainly looks like it has quite a learning curve to it, but it'll all hopefully pay off once you play enough to get over that hump. Though there's only the two modes, I can tell this could definitely grow into a fan favourite and could stay afloat as long as Uncharted 3's MP if they give it a similar degree of support.

So in short, The Last of Us has lived up to the hype! Now perhaps it's a bit too early to lavish such praise, but even from what I've played thus far, it's undoubtedly one of my favourite games of the year already. Though with that said, I should also note that I still haven't played BioShock Infinite yet. Discussions between the two are of course going to lead the way for a lot of GOTY debates this year I'm sure. Not only for the games themselves, but maybe even our favourite Troy Baker performance of the year as well...

Anywhoo, The Last of Us is great, and I hope it'll continue to be from here on. I'm to understand the game gets a little more action-y as it gets deeper in, so I'm curious to see how I'll respond to such scenarios. Now then, I've got a post-apocalypse to return to.

EDIT: Oh, if there is one thing I'm a little iffy on, it's Ellie's face... She just looks so weird. Her eyes are almost bordering on anime-big. And while i know it's a common practice to give sympathetic characters big, googly eyes like that, when you put Ellie next to everyone else in the game, she looks downright alien. The character itself is still great, though. Has a lot of attitude and her banter with Bill has been stellar; reminiscent of the dialogue from Uncharted even.

#2 Posted by jimmyfenix (3680 posts) -

I CANT WAIT TILL TOMORROW

#3 Posted by Bocam (3551 posts) -

The prologue is just great.

#4 Posted by Yummylee (20571 posts) -
@bocam said:

The prologue is just great.

Yes.

Kind of a predictable end, but it was still really effective and the very beginning where you're looking for Joel at home deals in the suspense like a pro.

#5 Edited by Colourful_Hippie (4281 posts) -

It felt weird dusting off the PS3 and having to hook it up and get it all updated and ready, but I'm sure as hell ready to play the game that is forcing me to acknowledge that I have consoles.

#6 Posted by mosespippy (3735 posts) -

This game is great, not this game's great. The game doesn't possess great.

#7 Posted by Chaser324 (5966 posts) -

I'm definitely looking forward to diving deep into this game tomorrow. I've managed to stay pretty unspoiled on the plot, so I'm looking forward to some surprises.

Moderator
#8 Edited by jimmyfenix (3680 posts) -

@yummylee: About Ellie originally her face was the EXACT same as ellen page who is in beyond two souls so they probably mushed up her face so it didnt look like her.

#9 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5750 posts) -

Glad I pre-ordered it.

Can't wait for tomorrow night.

#10 Posted by dreamtheateropeth (22 posts) -

The game is great but goddamn does it look dated.

I guess i'm just spoiled by my pc but the resolution and jaggyness of it really destroy the immersion for me.
I've also encountered several times when my companion just runs right infront of an enemy when they try to catch up with me.

#11 Posted by Voxus (282 posts) -

@yummylee Can you get a sense of how long the game is in total?

#12 Posted by Yummylee (20571 posts) -

This game is great, not this game's great. The game doesn't possess great.

Thanks, prof.

@yummylee: About Ellie originally her face was the EXACT same as ellen page who is in beyond two souls so they probably mushed up her face so it didnt look like her.

'Mushed up' would certainly be a pretty apt way to put it ;P. Nah, she doesn't look that bad, but again when put next to everyone else, she doesn't quite fit. Still, I can remember a lot of such comparisons as well (even going as far as for people to speculate that she was voicing the character), so your theory makes sense.

@0blivion said:

@yummylee Can you get a sense of how long the game is in total?

Judging by how much I've played already, it's definitely at least a healthy 12 hours. But with the way I've been playing (Hard mode; trying to be as stealthy as possible), I can imagine it could pile up to 16 hours even. Though I haven't completed it yet mind, but again it doesn't quite feel like I'm nearing the end or anything either, despite the 7 hours already invested.

#13 Posted by shivermetimbers (717 posts) -

There's one thing I wanna know: is it scary? Like do the environments invoke a sense of dread? Am I worrying for my life for what's around the corner as I have limited supplies? Or is this more a stealth action game with a horror paint job? How tough are the enemies compared to you? You mentioned that the encounters can get tense and satisfying. I guess I'm wondering if the lack of supplies creates dread or just forces you into stealth gameplay.

#14 Edited by Yummylee (20571 posts) -
@shivermetimbers said:

There's one thing I wanna know: is it scary? Like do the environments invoke a sense of dread? Am I worrying for my life for what's around the corner as I have limited supplies? Or is this more a stealth action game with a horror paint job? How tough are the enemies compared to you? You mentioned that the encounters can get tense and satisfying. I guess I'm wondering if the lack of supplies creates dread or just forces you into stealth gameplay.

Scary? Nnnnnnnnnah, not really. The Clickers are definitely really creepy and whenever one would catch on to my presence, things start to get pretty damn messy as you're desperately running away for survival -- they'll kill you in one-hit if they catch you. But yes, when playing on Hard mode least, supplies are very limited all around. It's actually really unique in this day and age (least for this sort of action game), because it involves a lot of you (or.. me at least) sitting there thinking and planning out my strategies of how to proceed. Plus there's the crafting system as well, but as you expect, the materials necessary aren't exactly raining from the sky.

There's been one particular occasion where I only had enough stuff to make either a med-kit or a molotov. I had half health, but I decided on the molotov anyway. I came out the battle with a slither of health, but molotovs are destructive enough that it helped tip the scales in my favour a little. Of course if i had full health i could instead tried to engage in melee combat for a little longer, so there's a lot of decisions like that you have to make.

I've reached the point where I'm carrying a small armoury now--9mm pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, bow--but I never have that much ammo for any of 'em. plus with every new weapon you obtain, the larger degree of enemies the game begins to throw on your lap, so it's still balanced pretty well. Though yeah, there's perhaps a lot more sleuthing around than you may have expected. But again, if you're quiet enough, in some scenarios you can skip past the combat encounter entirely.

There's a lot of little things that manage to make such a big difference even still. Like how when you're crafting stuff or even healing yourself, that still counts as noise that enemies can hear, so you have to be extra careful when it comes to that stuff. And how you can only actually stealth kill a clicker with a shiv, which you can only find by crafting them yourself...

Now don't get me wrong, The last of Us isn't this impenetrable ultra-hardcore masochist game or anything, but compared to a lot of other AAA games out there, it's so incredibly refreshing. Even when you feel have you enough ammo to handle your own, Joel's accuracy and the kickback of your guns can still make it difficult to defend yourself when you're forced to start shooting wildly. Though there's actually a progression system for both your weapons and Joel's abilities, like lessening the wave of the reticule or increasing your pistol's fire-rate. I was... initially a little put-off by all that, but fortunately even with some upgrades unlocked, I still don't feel like an almighty badass who can rely on reflexes to get me through this game. And that is what's been so appealing about it all.

Back to your original question, though. Yeah, this is definitely more of a... thriller than it is a horror game. It has some of the elements of course, like the zombies, but you most likely won't be outright frightened while playing it. It may make you feel a little stressed out all the same, however :P

#15 Edited by Hunkulese (2527 posts) -

This game is great, not this game's great. The game doesn't possess great.

I hope English is your second language.

There's nothing worse than trying to correct someone on their grammar when they were right in the first place.

Apostrophes can be used for contractions. This game is great and this game's great mean the same thing in informal writing. It's the same thing as he's going to E3 or it's the same thing.

#16 Posted by DrDarkStryfe (998 posts) -

It took me 13 hours to beat it when I got it last week. I think it is safe to say that The Last of Us is the gold standard of games on the PS3. This is Naughty Dog's best game this generation.

#17 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (2596 posts) -

It felt weird dusting off the PS3 and having to hook it up and get it all updated and ready, but I'm sure as hell ready to play the game that is forcing me to acknowledge that I have consoles.

Just remember that when you put Last of Us in, you'll probably have to do another update. I always hate that feeling, the feeling of fuck why can't I play this game now.

#18 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4281 posts) -
#19 Posted by shivermetimbers (717 posts) -

@mosespippy said:

This game is great, not this game's great. The game doesn't possess great.

I hope English is your second language.

There's nothing worse than trying to correct someone on their grammar when they were right in the first place.

Apostrophes can be used for contractions. This game is great and this game's great mean the same thing in informal writing. It's the same thing as he's going to E3 or it's the same thing.

^^This.

@yummylee said:

Now don't get me wrong, The last of Us isn't this impenetrable ultra-hardcore masochist game or anything, but compared to a lot of other AAA games out there, it's so incredibly refreshing. Even when you feel have you enough ammo to handle your own, Joel's accuracy and the kickback of your guns can still make it difficult to defend yourself when you're forced to start shooting wildly. Though there's actually a progression system for both your weapons and Joel's abilities, like lessening the wave of the reticule or increasing your pistol's fire-rate. I was... initially a little put-off by all that, but fortunately even with some upgrades unlocked, I still don't feel like an almighty badass who can rely on reflexes to get me through this game. And that is what's been so appealing about it all.

That's very good to hear. It seems from reading Patrick's review and your first impressions, playing it on hard is the way to go.

I guess I have to admit, while it's refreshing as hell to hear that the game can get stressful and tactics are important, I kinda wish the game were more...frightening. From what I can deduce you're put into arenas of sorts where you know there are enemies around. It would've been interesting if they put you into more open ended areas where you have the feeling of being hunted. The player would have to use sensory tactics to find the enemy. It seems they have the systems in place for that kind of game, but they didn't go that route. It's fine, really, I'm sure the game is going to be great. I just can't help from being disappointed cause I really want that kind of game with a AAA budget.

#20 Posted by Solh0und (1680 posts) -

I can't play my copy until 7PM tomorrow. Fuuuuuuuuuuu--- Work!

#21 Posted by TangoUp (309 posts) -

This game is great, not this game's great. The game doesn't possess great.

Tis funy. Becuz your rong.

#22 Edited by I_Stay_Puft (2596 posts) -

@i_stay_puft: A system update or an actual game update?

Just mentioning my experience when putting in a brand new game into my ps3 and then having to wait 15-20 minutes for an update, patch, or installing the game directly to my harddrive.

#23 Posted by burgavo (73 posts) -

Just played the intro/prologue HOLY SH#T

#24 Posted by JouselDelka (967 posts) -

I'm sorry but I haven't read the wall of text, I will do that soon.

But in the meantime can you tell me how much the game depends on gameplay tools and designs that allow unique actions by the player? In other words, Uncharted 2 is one of my all time favorite games, but I would classify it in the "scripted sequences and linear, stellar presentation" category, as opposed to games such as DX Human Revolution and Far Cry 3, that focus more on giving me an abundance of tools and freedom of choice and movement, which allow me to string together unique gameplay scenarios and blow my own mind.

So is this in the vein of Uncharted 2, meaning going down one dictated road that is nonetheless amazing and memorable, or more freedom for the player to create the events and sequences rather than enjoy ones that are pre-set for him?

#25 Edited by dropabombonit (1474 posts) -

I have to agree with @yummylee about how great this game is. I got it yesterday and I was only going to play for a couple of hours but ended up playing the game to the halfway point (my save file says 50% complete). Like Patrick said in his review this is definitely the anti Uncharted so there is a learning curve to how the systems work but I felt after a few hours it all clicked. Can't wait to get back in and play more

#26 Posted by jimmyfenix (3680 posts) -

THAT PROLOGUE WAS FUCKING AWESOME

#27 Posted by nutta27 (192 posts) -

I love Joel's Southern Drawl. Amazing Voice acting.

#28 Edited by Yummylee (20571 posts) -

Just completed the game, and My God... I can barely even articulate the emotions i went through during the credits. This is one of these games where I'm left with a sadness not by the story (though the story is of course pretty grimdark), but because the game's over. I had gotten so attached to Joel and Ellie across the game, after playing what felt like a 15 hour long campaign, that witnessing it all come to close was kinda upsetting. Still held up across the game as some of the greatest voice-acting across all of gaming too, and I have to reiterate that Troy Baker's performance in particular is outstanding. Plus, there's a really great Nolan North role in here that blew me away; I didn't even know it was him until the credits rolled.

Also, because of that dumb save bug I haven't... actually completed it yet. I got the trophies, but I didn't unlock the higher difficulty nor the option to buy the unlocked bonuses, either. That kinda sucks, but ah well. I'll probably want to give this another run anyway.

#29 Posted by Fredchuckdave (4479 posts) -

@yummylee: "Well fuck you too, Frank. Fuckin idiot"

#30 Posted by Ghostiet (5153 posts) -

@yummylee: "Well fuck you too, Frank. Fuckin idiot"

That must've been a beautiful relationship, those two spiteful assholes.

#31 Posted by Sykdom (24 posts) -

I've actually found this game to be completely underwhelming and don't understand the hype. The story isn't anything special, the AI is awful and so is most of the gameplay. The voice acting and dialogue is very well done though and so is the atmosphere.

#32 Edited by Fredchuckdave (4479 posts) -

@ghostiet: Well, ultimately Joel's the biggest asshole for giving him the note in the first place. Bill DLC confirmed?

#33 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (4440 posts) -

This is my comment from another TLOU thread.

First off let me say I love the game, but like even the best of games, there have been a few flaws. I've had a few immersion breaking moments which involve the Ai. Whenever I found myself stealthing past a set of clickers or Humans, Elly will make herself occasionally conspicuous. She's run right in front of enemies that should've otherwise seen her and also made herself audibly known around enemies that could've easily heard her. Just like in Bisohock Infinite it doesn't outright bother me, but it is a small gripe that breaks the immersion slightly. These types of instances involving AI are bound to happen and I'm easily able to forgive it.

Maybe it's because of all the next gen games I've seen this E3, but I find some of the environmental visuals a little underwhelming. The characters look absolutely fantastic though and the lightings pretty good too, but I have found some of the vistas to be a little static in their presentation. The voice acting is top notch and I've found the story so far to be pretty good as well. The few complaints I've voiced are by no means a knock to the game's overall quality. The Last of Us seems like a wonderful swan song to the Ps3. Oh yeah, That prolouge is Fantastic!

#34 Posted by phrosnite (3517 posts) -

Great 8-8.5

4/5

#35 Posted by leftie68 (214 posts) -

I will admit the Prologue was awesome, however, the game from that point took a while to get going. However, after that first dark shopping center area with the 5 or 6 clickers, I was hooked. I usually hate stealth games, but man, the design of those enemies and how intimidating they are is first rate. I could not put down the controller after that part in the game.

#36 Edited by Fredchuckdave (4479 posts) -

The multiplayer is also awesome (though I've only played Survivors so far); it's almost exclusively about map knowledge and teamwork which are by far the most interesting and challenging aspects of any FPS. Though there is still some skill involved in shooting a runner in the back with a bow shot that arcs around your teammate.

#37 Posted by jimmy_p (278 posts) -

Story feels like a "Children of Men" type deal after you meet the girl.

#38 Posted by Humanity (7948 posts) -

I was going to make a "how do you like it so far" thread but might as well post it here.

Gotta say I am a bit underwhelmed thus far. I am maybe 2-3 hours in, met up with Ellie and we've gone through a bunch of parts in the rain (not to give off any spoilers). The game seems to rely on stealth a whole bunch and to be honest I don't think the stealth is that great. There were multiple instances where I've been crouching behind a box only to get spotted because I was apparently too far out. Unlike the new Tomb Raider the dynamic sticky cover doesn't feel that great to me. I really wish there was a lean out button - unless there is and I missed it?

As for the story part I'm interested. I really want to see where Joel and Ellie's relationship will go and I'm sure he's going to have some mental breakdown halfway through the game. Funny enough, maybe because we've had so many post apocalyptic games this generation already I don't really care about the virus and ruined cities overgrown with vegetation don't make much impact on me.

So it feels thus far like an average shooter and slightly below average stealth game with some interesting mechanics but nothing that blows other games out of the water. I'm curious to see if by the end of the story I will have though this was the Citizen Kane of video games because I didn't care much for the gameplay aspect of BioShock Infinite but as the credits started to roll I was really impressed by the entire experience.

#39 Posted by jimmyfenix (3680 posts) -

The multiplayer is awesome plus i wrote my feelings in a blog so check it out.

#40 Posted by Seppli (9740 posts) -

Just ended my latest session at the 89% mark. The game really hits its stride from *Fall* onward. The nature stuff resonates with me. Love it.

#41 Posted by OllyOxenFree (4969 posts) -

@jimmy_p said:

Story feels like a "Children of Men" type deal after you meet the girl.

Ahh so that's what I was thinking! Alfonso Cuaron all up in this piece.

#42 Posted by Kazzenn (114 posts) -

Maybe it's because I suck but I feel like even on normal I barely have any bullets or melee weapons with me.

The multiplayer surprisingly has some interesting things going on that I wasn't expecting, I'll definitely play it more than I originally intended.