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The Last of Us Review

I have been waiting for this game since I saw the first trailer during the 2011 MTV VGA’s:

Finally, the game is released and it in no way disappoints. Here are some of the highlights:

“The Last of Us” starts out in Austin, Tx as Joel and his daughter, Sarah, and his brother, Tommy, are trying to get to safety as the city and society starts to fall apart. Twenty years later, Joel is living in a quarantine zone in Boston with his business partner, Tess, when they get a tip that a former acquaintance they have unfinished business with is in the city. After taking care of business at the docks they run into the Boston leader of the insurgent group the Fireflies, who offers to give them double their stolen supplies if they do one job for her. That’s where your journey across the country with Ellie begins.

The graphics are amazing! Naughty Dog did a beyond excellent job on this game. This is a game where it is really hard to put into words how breathtakingly beautiful everything is; the people, the zombies, the crumbling cities, the dilapidated buildings.  Everything is gorgeous. The story is a whole other beast, Naughty Dog is known for crafting strong, engaging stories that keep gamers planted in their seats. From the relationship between Joel and Tess, to the budding parental relationship between Joel and Ellie, you just want to keep playing to see what happens next.

Gameplay is fantastic…and hard. I have died a lot because I am so used to not having to look around at everything else going on around me. I can usually focus on the one guy I want to get a headshot on, but not in “The Last of Us.” The enemies are constantly running around, hiding behind objects, flanking, or throwing Molotov cocktails,  It is pretty much a cluster f**k when you’re surrounded.

Even more so are encounters with the human enemies, hunters and looters,  They are very good shots, and you’ll be surprised by how quick some of these guys-especially the armored Hunters- can quickly get on top of you and knock your health down to nothing. Lining up a good shot can sometimes prove difficult, and that’s a good thing.  Unlike most other zombie games, ammo is in short supply. Conservation is key in “The Last of Us.”  You could run in guns blazing, but chances are that you will run out of ammo before you even take out 1/4 of the enemies in the area. So, if you would like to survive, your best option would be to use your brain.

The heightened hearing is pretty cool and comes in really handy when you’re trying to formulate and plan to avoid Clickers, Runners and Hunters, or just to see where they all are so you can run in guns blazing. Fun fact: you should avoid doing the latter. You can upgrade your hearing distance using the pills that you find.  You can also upgrade your health, crafting, speed, etc. using those pills.

Crafting is also pretty handy.  No need to look for crafting benches to make some weapons.  You can just do it on the fly. Until you upgrade your crafting speed it’s best to do it during lulls in the mayhem, because if you try to build a Molotov while dodging bullets you will probably end up dead.

I tend to find myself building shivs, mainly because I like to do silent kills just to keep the overt mayhem to a minimum whenever possible. Also, shivs come in handy when dealing with Clickers and opening locked doors.  What sucks, however, is that they are a one-use item; you need to keep building them to have them in your inventory or just find them laying around.  That is until you find some Training Manuals.

Training Manuals are super helpful and very scarce, but finding them allows for pretty cool upgrades: Molotov’s can have a bigger burn radius or shivs lasting two to three times longer. You may think that that isn’t a big deal, but you’ll change your mind when you have a Clicker on your ass and having that shiv means the difference between living and having to restart from your last checkpoint.

Final Verdict for The Last of Us:

5 out of 5