lifesabeachh's The Last of Us (PlayStation 3) review

Terrific atmosphere in an overall boring, and somewhat buggy, game

On the exterior, The Last of Us couldn't be more different from Naughty Dog's other successful franchise, Uncharted. Unfortunately, their differences are only skin deep. While the emphasis on The Last of Us is a stealth-based fighting approach, it doesn't have the sound mechanics that other franchises such as Hitman, Splinter Cell, and Metal Gear Solid have had the time to perfect. Instead, Naughty Dog have simply littered the game world with chest-high cover, arranged in highly noticeable paths, that don't require much thinking on the player's part. Moreover, the game doesn't flow organically--the player simply goes from set-piece to set-piece, much like Uncharted (only slightly less subdued).

The AI, which has been praised since the game's first gameplay demo was shown, is terrific some times, and highly ineffective at others. You'll often find Ellie completely in sight of an enemy, only for them to disregard her. Other times, you'll have silently taken an enemy down, only to find out that enemies on different floors and at opposite ends of the building have somehow been alerted. When it does work, however, enemies flank you using alternative routes and keep the fighting challenging--if not slightly unfair.\

Performance-wise, The Last of Us keeps glitches to a minimum, though some dead/unconscious enemies have flailed around unprovoked. Graphically, the game is beautiful, though some textures are really muddy and look really out of place (notably, televisions). Also, there's a strange 'sheen' to lots of textures.

As aforementioned, The Last of Us is a great story with some of the best voice acting I've ever heard in a game. And while the relationship between Joel and Ellie doesn't live up to the standard set by Telltale's The Walking Dead, you get a real sense of responsibility and emotion. It's easy to give this game a stellar review based solely on this, but it simply doesn't make up for what it ostensibly a mediocre gaming experience wrapped up in a terrific story.

While I've only dabbled in multiplayer, what I have played so far has been really terrific. It plays very strategically, and relies on teamwork and critical thinking more than runnin' and gunnin'.

1 Comments
Posted by Beb

The review pretty much sums up my feelings on the game as well. I think the story was well done, but was underwhelmed by the gameplay.

Don't be fooled by people saying this is an 'anti-Uncharted'...This game is basically Uncharted with the adventure and huge setpieces replaced with grimdarkness and stealth sections. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not what I was looking for.

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