The Last of Us is a third-person action game by Naughty Dog, known for series such as Uncharted, Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter. The game takes place in the post-apocalyptic United States. It's distinguishable thanks to its cinematic nature, strong emphasis on the story and characters, as well as by being one of the highest-rated PlayStation exclusives.
The Last of Us Remastered
In 2014, an updated edition of the game was released on the PS4, bearing the subtitle Remastered. It features many improvements compared to the original title. The PS4 version runs in 1080p and 60 frames per second, resulting in an overall smoother experience. A few cosmetic improvements have been added, such as the LED on the DualShock 4 controller changing color to reflect our health. Textures and shadows have also been improved. A completely new addition is the photo mode, letting the player easily capture any events and moments they wish. This edition also comes with all DLC, including the warmly received story expansion Left Behind.
TLoU is set in 2033, twenty years after the fall of civilization. Humanity has been decimated by a pandemic of the cordyceps fungus. Though it usually only preys on insects, a strain of the fungus mutated and began attacking humans, causing a contagious and incurable brain disease. The infected slowly turn into aggressive, bloodthirsty beasts, their only purpose being to spread the infection further. Most of Earth's population died or was infected in the first months of the pandemic. The government collapsed, and so the USA was taken over by the military, ruthlessly quenching all resistance. Survivors now live in quarantine zones and are forbidden from leaving. The greatest threat to this status quo is a resistance group known as the Fireflies. They oppose the military control and are desperately trying to create a vaccine against the fungus.
The game's main protagonist is Joel, a weary smuggler in his fifties. During the pandemic's outbreak he experienced a personal tragedy that changed him forever. The Fireflies one day hire him for an important job. They want him to escort an orphaned teenager named Ellie to the other side of the country. It soon turns out the girl is immune to cordyceps. Together, Joel and Ellie embark on a long journey through the post-apocalyptic United States.
The gameplay in The Last of Us is shown from the third-person perspective. The game can be divided into two main layers - exploration and combat. During the former our objective is to explore various locations, scavenge for resources, solve simple puzzles and listen to conversations between Joel and Ellie, observing the relationship they're building. We'll visit suburban houses, sewers and bandit-controlled cities. Once in a while we encounter puzzles, most often involving creating a way forward: Ellie can't swim, so Joel needs to guide her to the other side of each encountered body of water.
While exploring, the player must be perceptive, looking into every nook and cranny. The maps are filled with resources and collectibles. Thanks to the crafting system, the player can create useful items out of gathered materials. For example, metal and duct tape can be turned into shivs, which can instantly kill an enemy. Alcohol and rags can be combined into a first aid kit or a Molotov cocktail. Ammunition, unfortunately, is uncraftable, needing to be scavenged or looted off enemy corpses. Joel can also find supplements and survival manuals. Supplements can be used to enhance his abilities. Manuals, on the other hand, improve items - for example, they can increase your shivs' durability.
All these resources come in handy when encountering infected or hostile survivors. The combat system heavily emphasizes stealth. The enemy AI is advanced and adds to the sense of realism. Opponents use cover, try to flank the player and get more aggressive if we run out of ammo. Joel has access to the so-called listening mode, letting the player see enemy silhouettes through walls. He can also throw bottles and bricks to daze or distract them. When attacking an enemy unaware of our presence we can slowly choke him to death or use a shiv for an instant kill. This means the player has many options during combat.
Other than humans, Joel also has to face several types of infected. Runners are fast and attack in large groups. Their attacks are very weak, however, so they can be easily dispatched with your bare hands. Stalkers hide in the shadows and ambush you. Clickers are very strong, can kill Joel with a single hit and are immune to strangling. They're blind and locate humans via echolocation, so it's best to either avoid them, shank them, kill them with a melee weapon or with a firearm. The most dangerous infected by far are Bloaters. They are extremely durable, can throw acidic spores and even approaching one results in instant death. Each encounter with a Bloater nearly always costs the player all their resources.
The visuals of TLoU are top-notch. The level designs, character models and objects are all extremely detailed. The use of motion capture allows for realistic motion and facial animations. The atmospheric soundtrack composed by Gustavo Santaolalla is also very impressive. The actors' performances were critically acclaimed as well, the main characters being portrayed by Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson.
In addition to a twelve chapter-long campaign, the game includes extensive competitive multiplayer. The multiplayer heavily emphasizes stealth and ambushing enemies. There are three modes to choose from: Supply Raid, Survivors and Interrogation. Each of these is always in the 4v4 format.
Supply Raid is a typical team deathmatch. Each team has a pool of twenty lives, which decreases each time a player dies. The team that successfully eliminates all the enemies wins the match. Survivors is, on the other hand, more tactical. Dead players are revived only at the beginning of the next round. Victory requires eliminating all enemies in four rounds total. The final mode is Interrogation. Unlike in previous modes, each player has unlimited lives. Both teams have a hidden lockbox which they can't let the other team open. To learn the location of the enemy lockbox, players must ambush enemies and interrogate them. The team that completes enough interrogation and opens the enemy lockbox first wins.
Last updated on 04 January 2016
Game mode: single / multiplayer Multiplayer mode: Internet Player counter: 1-8
User score: 8,6 / 10 based on 11181 votes.
Pre-release expectations: 9.2 / 10 based on 1179 votes.
PEGI rating The Last of Us: Remastered