Naughty Dog has done it again. I just finished playing The Last of Us on PS3 and I am blown away. Late start, life, and responsibility kept getting in the way but I’m so happy I continued to come back. Seriously once I started playing, I don’t think I had a choice. The story line was amazing.
A fungal infects humans and spreads. Twenty years after the outbreak civilization has dramatically changed. Infected humans are everywhere and survivors turn and kill one another for food, weapons, or whatever they can get there hands on. Joel, a survivor is hired to help Ellie, a fourteen year old girl, travel across country. They meet few people that help along the way but what they face is a dark, brutal journey of infected, renegades, and cannibals.
Without spoilers I will tell you the first 10 minutes of the game will most likely have you in tears. I know I was fighting them back. For the rest of the game the characters and their relationships are developed gradually and with such care that it really helped me feel for them and keep playing. I have to complement Naughty Dog on writing dialog, especially between Joel and Ellie. They share real and touching moments that got me deeply invested. It also lead to some suspenseful scenes. This is not the standard, shoot through everyone, game. You are encouraged to sneak around your enemy. The sneak option left me on the edge of my seat with moments where I forgot I could breath while playing these scenes. (Yeah, I’m one of those type of players.) I just kept saying, “Someone’s going to die”.
One of the hard parts for me was the scene I played Joel, hanging upside down while waves of enemies come at you. I did have trouble with the shooting in this scene and some others. But I’m not always a good shot in any game (Not an expert gamer.) so I really liked the sneak option. It is a kill or be killed sort of world. The violence and killing Joel commits seems like a man who has been doing this job too long. I was shocked by the ending. Warning: SPOILERS. For those who plan to play and/or haven’t finished and are reading this, stop reading here if you don’t want to know the ending. I don’t think I can be vague anymore.
Okay. So, I was expecting a dismal end for one or both of the characters. At the end, some of the things Joel does is just hard to watch. But I understand his state of mind. No longer transporting a package, he is more like a father and he will do anything to protect Ellie. And Ellie trusts and believes everything Joel says because look at all they’ve been through together. Does she know? I don’t think so. I believe Ellie would die to cure humanity and Joel knows. That’s why Joel lies. I was not disappointed. I liked it.
Wow this almost sounded like a review. That wasn’t my intention. I just finished the game and I needed to get all this out.