I absolutely loved The Last of Us. The act of taking out the infected while trying to survive another day in the apocalypse was tense and engaging. The story of Ellie and Joel’s journey was incredible, and kept me going during the occasional times where the game drags. Unfortunately, the game’s final sequence squandered a lot of my goodwill for the game.
I understand what Naughty Dog was going for, but that just makes it more frustrating. The idea of Joel fighting his way through the hospital to save Ellie is okay, but the gameplay just dissolves into being a third-person shooter where you shoot a bunch of dudes. The Last of Us is not at its best as a shooter. The sheer number of people you kill during the last hour also goes against what the game is really about, and makes their deaths less meaningful.
And after you shoot everybody comes my least favorite part of the game. Again, I understand, and in someways appreciate, what Naughty Dog was trying to do here. In an age where choice in games has become almost mandatory, I kinda like a game ardently saying that you have no choice in the ending. Joel destroys possibly the last chance of creating an antidote for the virus. Joel is his own character, not yours. But my problem is that they do give you control. You have to pull the trigger on those doctors. It gives you the illusion of choice where there is none. As the player, I really did not want to pull the trigger for Joel, since I didn’t have any input into his decision in the first place. Joel’s decision was clearly not mine. The Last of Us is an excellent game, but like many games before it, it struggles with the final chapter.