The Last of Us
Beware: This game is addicting.
Right off the bat, the eerily high production value of The Last Of Us is absolutely awe-inspiring. The music, sound effects, and graphics would be mind-blowing enough, but the story itself latches onto you like a ravenous clicker and doesn’t let go (you should actually play the game to find out what a “clicker” is). And with seamless gameplay that is almost a little TOO real, I daresay this is the most perfect “zombie-esque” game in existence.
I say “zombie-esque” because The Last Of Us is not your typical run-of-the-mill zombie game. I first began playing it on the PS3 between seasons of The Walking Dead, expecting it to fill some post-apocalyptic emptiness I was experiencing at the time. Well, The Last Of Us made me forget all about The Walking Dead (which is hard, because I love that show). It also made me forget about all life outside of the game, and shamed me for even assuming that it was on any level of “fairly predictable zombie apocalypse”. It is SO much more.
For the most part, you play the game as Joel, a survivor with a tragic past. The gameplay is positively brutal, no matter which way you slice it (pun intended), and you get to choose whether you settle your altercations quietly or with guns blazing. Of course, I tried to resolve more than enough “infected” run-ins with guns blazing, but I was often humbled by my foolishness so I settled in to learn the ways of stealthy Joel. And I enjoyed every second of it.
The game forces you to be resourceful. Every instance of combat will leave you scrambling for more health and ammunition and keep you wondering how the hell you’re going to make it to the next chapter. I remember my first huge in-game screw-up when I had stealthily disposed of several rooms full of clickers, but when I went to take care of the very last clicker of the level, I accidentally threw a Molotov Cocktail instead (auuughh)... and poor Joel was almost instantaneously devoured by all who heard the explosion. Oh, the rage! It's safe to say I became a little less careless after that.
I had the most “Oh SH*T” moments of any game I’ve ever played within the first few hours of playing this game, and not surprisingly I snagged The Last Of Us: Remastered for PS4 the very second it was released.
This game is certainly not for the faint of heart or for anyone who can’t stand the sight of digital blood, obviously. But if you haven’t played it yet, regardless of who you are, YOU ARE MISSING OUT. Period.
The Last of Us has set a very high standard for the future of gaming. You’ve raised the bar, Naughty Dog. Keep the masterpieces coming.
- Emily Rose Morrison