Hello gamers and welcome to the continuation of our countdown!
Struggling to Survive in the #34 spot…
Post-apocalyptic stories seem to have become mainstream recently, especially of the zombie flair, in most entertainment mediums. So it was with some hesitation I first played The Last of Us. Video games have a unique chance to pull a person into a world by having the player interact within it in ways novels, film, or most other forms are able. Putting a person in control (or even giving the illusion of control) can draw a person in, and The Last of Us does this exceptionally well.
The Last of Us begins going from a quiet night, to the beginning of the violent destruction of our civilization. It grabs your heartstrings almost from the first ten minutes, tying you to the main character, Joel with his attempt to get his family out of danger of some kind of zombie-like outbreak. It then takes you to the morning twenty years later. Civilization is surviving, but in small groups. Small towns run in a military, and Joel and his friend are smugglers of supplies in and out of the town. The next job becomes a bit more complicated when what they’re smuggling out of town turns out to be a young girl. Things go from bad to worse, and the great journey begins.
The journey you embark on is a struggle for supplies, means of travel, and basic survival in a landscape filled with fungal zombies that just want to eat you. Some are blind and rely on sound to hunt you, so stealth no longer just becomes about not being seen. Then there are the people. A few will help you, but most just want to loot your corpse to keep themselves alive a few days longer. The girl, Ellie, begins picking up skills to help you in the journey. Often times you have to rely on all the tools of stealth and weaponry you have at hand to survive.
I think the best part of The Last of Us, for myself at least, laid in the how real the world felt. Most buildings are fairly open, and can be moved through in ways you normally wouldn’t move through a building in another game. One early example is one skyscraper that has fallen slightly and is now leaning on another, causing all the floors to be slanted and obstacles to be unique. Plant life grows over nearly everything, around cars and through buildings, slowly breaking apart the world that was once made for people.
Something that separated Last of Us from other zombie games I’d played is that you begin to find out the zombie like infection is actually a fungus that infects human brains, and drives them to crazed behavior. This was something that confused many people, until you find out the fictional fungi is based on an actual fungus that does the same thing to various insects in rain forests. This little link to reality makes the Last of Us ‘undead’ a little more realistic by solving a lot of the issues with traditional zombies without relying on the supernatural.
To Be Remembered
Naughty Dogs nailed The Last of Us, in every way I look at video games in terms of success. It feels like they did exactly what they wanted to in terms of story and the feeling players got from the game. It’s only been a little over a year since it’s been released, and I think it’s safe to say it’ll become a classic for PlayStation. I can’t wait to play it through again on the Remastered edition. Five out of Five, if you’ve played The Last of Us, is what you know this game gets.