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It's a week late due to other pressing issues, but it's here nonetheless... an article pretty much setup to discuss the game that's been on the lips of gamers and spread across the forums of most major gaming sites recently. Well, if you've played the game read on, but if you haven't...you might want to get the heck out if you don't want the game spoiled like a pack of 100 year old eggs. In simple terms: Obvious spoilers are obviously ahead.
First up: Naughty Dog knocked the game out of the ballpark. Let's just get that out of the way. The Last of Us was the perfect swan song for the PlayStation 3 and now I'm excited to see what they have for us coming up on the PS4. But that's beside the point... the point is, The Last of Us was a great game for a number of reasons and spawned tons of discussions due to a story that wasn't easily predictable and characters you didn't always see coming a mile away.
So how did you all feel about playing as Joel? There were some articles floating around lambasting Naughty Dog's decision to have you play Joel throughout most of the game instead of Ellie. However, I do have to say that when Joel was practically dead throughout the fall and Ellie had to put on the pants of badassery, it totally changed the tone of the game and it felt really fresh for a while and scary because you had to approach situations differently and more cautiously.
I think the switch to Ellie two-thirds into the game helped relieve some of the slow areas that muddled the gameplay throughout the middle, mostly when Joel and Ellie were trying to get through the bandit territory, which seemed like it was stretched out just a little long. Still, being hunted by that Humvee really made up for some of the extended Half-Life-esque navigation when they were trying to get to the bridge. Also, the addition of Sam and Henry near the end of the bandit camp really added to the tension.
Speaking of Sam and Henry, how do you think they were handled? I thought it was brilliant having a younger group of brothers still very much attached to each other and having that as the only impetus for them to keep surviving. While there was some discussion over how Henry decided to do what he did to himself, I think it fit with the explosive emotions that can sometimes run through people who are no longer thinking rationally after making such a devastating decision.
Someone mentioned that maybe the game should have centered around a group for the majority of the time instead of it being just Joel and Ellie, but I think the surrogate-father and daughter duo worked out well for the most part, especially considering that at times the human AI was really struggling to keep pace. If there was one actual design flaw I would say that the human opposition was sometimes a little stupid when there were multiple people on the player's side. I'm guessing it was memory limitations juggling to keep all the AI relevant, which is to be expected.
However, I do think that the vegetable zombie AI was superb and the segments with the infected were executed with near perfection. The vegetable zombies were a higher class of zombie; they weren't the zombies we deserved but the zombies we needed. What did you think of them?
If there was one thing you would have changed about the game, what would it have been? I would have liked it if Tess had stuck around just a bit longer, as it felt as if she was taken out a bit too soon and she offered a nice counter-balance to Joel's more subdued personality.
Overall, I thought the twists sprinkled throughout the game were great. The introduction of David and the subtle hints at cannibalism was both intriguing and frightening with the images of mutilated bodies briefly shown. And what about that villain-esque move Joel pulled at the end with the Fireflies? How morally divisive was it that he robbed humanity of a cure? In fact, did it change your view of Joel when he did what he did to save Ellie? So what are your thoughts and how would you rate the game?
The Last of Us
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