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

Avatar image for riostarwind

The highlight of The Last Of Us is the gritty narrative and is aided by a focus on improvisation in combat

No Caption Provided

After being such a big fan of Naughty Dog's latest work it’s surprising that it took me four years to finally visit the post apocalyptic wasteland full of mushroom zombies. Looking back 2013 me was all about nonstop action instead of trying to scavenge my way through many horrible situations. A lot like the first scene of the game where we get introduced to our main protagonist Joel. Who quickly goes from trying to save his daughter Sarah to mourning her death. From here we go 20 years into the future where our “hero” has taken a job to escort Ellie to a firefly camp. She is immune to the virus that has ravaged the world and she might be the last hope to restore what was lost. From this point 4 seasons will pass and each one a new tale of survival will be told. By the time the credits rolled I didn’t know what emotion I should be feeling since it really does leave you feeling emotionally drained. Take that in the best possible way since the story is really good.

Taking your time to see what you will need deal with before each encounter is required. Going in guns blazing is never the answer.
Taking your time to see what you will need deal with before each encounter is required. Going in guns blazing is never the answer.

Meanwhile the gameplay has a solid foundation that keeps it from getting boring in the 14 hours it takes to finish this. The core of the game is a mix of stealth and improvisation. Not always having access to all the tools thanks to how limited ammo is forces the forces the player to try different tactics. Plus sneaking past everyone is never my forte ending with just about every enemy dying before I left each area. I ended up using melee combat a lot even if it just consisted of me hitting square or triangle a bunch. Whenever the fight made me use guns to whittle down the enemy numbers I never felt accurate enough to be effective. Sure it fits the setting but I would have liked the gunplay to be less realistic. But it did force me to use thrown weapons and traps more which is something I never tend to use effectively. Yet it became a cornerstone of my offence whenever I had the supplies to craft bombs.

Guns can be upgraded to make them more effective. Joel can buff up his stats too if you find enough upgrade items scattered around the world.
Guns can be upgraded to make them more effective. Joel can buff up his stats too if you find enough upgrade items scattered around the world.

Crafting stuff is a simple system that relies on scavenging the landscape to have extra supplies for the next encounter. It can make the game feel like survival horror when you're stuck in a situation with low supplies. Six different generic crafting items can be obtained and used to make a small assortment of items. Consisting of a health kit and few different types of thrown weapons like a nail bomb. Although it may not sound like much they are all useful for dealing with humans and the infected. With either type of enemy sound is their weakness. A well placed brick or nail bomb can distract quite a few foes. Allowing the player to sneak by without a crazy firefight.

Other than the main narrative mode this game does indeed have a multiplayer mode called factions. Bringing the same gameplay into a multiplayer setting. As I already noted I didn’t quite like the gunplay before and it certainly isn’t something I want to do in a multiplayer setting. With the few matches I did check out I just ended up dying a lot. Which isn’t to surprising since anyone still playing this now has to be pretty good at it. The additional meta game of running a group of survivors that requires you to do different tasks during encounters is a neat idea. If I wanted to keep playing this mode that part is good hook to keep players coming back.

So now we come to the most obvious conclusion to this review. This is a amazing video game narrative that tells of a dark journey through a bleak world. Very few games live up to this level of storytelling. At the same time the gameplay is a bit lacking in the shooting stuff department. . Yet the rest of the gameplay is fine with solid stealth options and a simple melee system. Add on scavenging for craftable items and you’ve got a fun yet stressful video game. So to sum things up this is a game worth playing if you haven’t played it yet.

Bonus Quickie Review: Left Behind DLC

Who doesn't like puns?
Who doesn't like puns?

Showing off how Ellie gets bitten was a neat idea for a side story. If shooting guys was more of what you wanted then this doesn’t have much of that. Instead you get a scene where our heroines read a bunch of dumb puns while walking around an abandoned mall. It does have one of the most dramatic fight setups in the non flashback sections of the DLC too. Overall a solid side story that should be played if you liked The Last Of Us.

Other reviews for The Last of Us (PlayStation 3)

    The Last of Us is an amazing achievement and one that shows that Naughty Dog has the ability to adapt with aplomb. 0

    (Note: I only played through the single-player so the review is solely focused on that.)Not too many games come with higher expectations nowadays. Naughty Dogs’ flagship PS3 series Uncharted has garnered critical and commercial praise across the board. With that series mainly focusing on Indiana Jones-like thrills, one would not be totally wrong in thinking that The Last of Us was just Uncharted with zombies. Luckily for us, it’s far more than that. The Last of Us brings true terror and a weigh...

    5 out of 7 found this review helpful.

    The Last of Us: Left Behind Review 0

    I think it is easy to say that The Last of Us was the best game of the year. After winning so many awards for the game, Naughty Dog is in a streak again. It must have been difficult to match what we come to expect for the first ever story DLC for Naughty Dog. Story has always been the bread and butter for Naughty Dog and this time they have proven why they are some of the best developers around. The Last of Us: Left Behind is the culmination of Naughty Dog’s work for The Last of Us. Left B...

    2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.