The multiplayer for The Last of Us contains a flaw so shocking that there is no way it could be an oversight which demands that its a cruel hubristic choice by the designers.
Any player of on-line gaming knows they are subject to many challenges like connectivity, exploiters, and dysfunctional match making. And when faced with these problems, a gamer can simply choose to play at a later time.
In the multilayer of TLOU, there is a mini-game of sorts where a virtual clan of survivors grows or shrinks with your in game performance. Its an interesting way to hand out small perks and in this is the fun killing design choice from Naughty Dog.
If you clan reaches zero population, you loose you unlockables and have to start from the beginning.
Zero population can come through many ways but the most capricious are extermination events where if you dont kill X with Y weapons over three games, your clan can be wiped out.
If you are playing a game and stop for ANY reason, that counts as a session. If your connection times out--too bad that counts. Dropped in with players of a wildly different skill level--too bad that counts. Tormented by seeing the same map three times in a row--too bad that counts. Accidentally press a wrong button--too bad that counts.
Getting killed and farmed by someone exploiting terrain and boosting: Too Bad. That Counts.
And now all your unlocks are gone and your trophy progress is reset.
Its not fun. Its takes player progress away from the gamer and rewards not skillful game play but rather random chance.
The campaign of TLOU set in a very dangerous and challenging word works because of its intelligently designed and generous check point system. They can make a game so filled with danger because the player is never punished by endless replays.
The mulitplayer completely rejects this and kills the fun and entertainment of the one thing that gives games replay value once the story is ended.
I have tried to find another word to describe this game besides “masterpiece” or “perfection” to keep you from passing over this review as just one more drop in the bucket of praise for Naughty Dog, but really that is the only way to describe it; The Last of Us is and will always be a masterpiece.
The game begins twenty years after a super-plague has destroyed civilization as we know it. Humanity, now forced to hide inside military controlled quarantine zones, is a pale shadow of its former might. This is where we are introduced to Joel, an aging man with the weight of many regrets and personal demons on his shoulders. He along with his partner Tess are smugglers within the quarantine zone, inside life moves from day to day, with the one goal being survival, but when a gun smuggling job goes south, Joel is forced to smuggle something else out of the city, a young girl named Ellie. What follows is one of the most emotionally haunting games of this generation. In my case this game resonated with me from beginning to end. This game is perfect.
All of the praise for The Last of Us goes to Naughty Dog. This is the same company that worked on the Uncharted trilogy, The Jak and Daxter series and Crash Bandicoot as well; so I knew that The Last of Us would be good, but I did not expect it to be that good. This game should be used as the benchmark for the entire gaming industry to follow by.
Every console has that special game that transcends past our expectations. They are the games that make us laugh, weep, and cry out in anger without any regard for how far our voice carries or whom it might disturb. The 360 has Halo 3, the Wii has Twilight Princess, but the Playstation 3 has the Last of Us. It is a monument to gaming, Naughty Dog’s magnus opus, Sony’s standard in battle, and a prize that all gamers no matter where their loyalties lie deserve. So, if you are looking for what is rightfully yours then you needn't look any further. The Last of Us is here.