Finally completed it! Now I can read all those plot line spoilers I've seen online. In that note, no mention of the story here, other than it was the most genuinely absorbing I've ever experienced in this medium, and is NOT SUITABLE FOR KIDS.
Gameplay is slow, which I found frustrating at first, but a relief near the end. It's built on the Uncharted engine, and while stealth plays its part, it is not as big a factor as some reviews suggest, and ultimately you need to pretty much kill everything to progress. On that, the realism takes a necessary but jarring bump, as after killing everyone in a room, no-one from the next room comes in to see what's happening. In a game where sound is a key weapon, that did stand out to me.
Puzzles aren't really a factor in the game, save for a couple of semi-clever "where does this ladder go?" moments. You should never be stumped on that front for more than a couple of minutes.
Battles have a nice jumpy cadence to them, to induce some scary moments when a (instant kill) bloater remains and you are down to the last couple of bullets. I really found myself fighting to stay alive, not least due to the fact that some of the latter battles can be 15-20 mins long, and you don't want to have to repeat them too often.
Also, this is a fairly long game. I've no idea how people seemingly finished it in one sitting. Took 20h 39m for me to complete on normal, according to the game clock (which you'll find in the Options menu). You will definitely be happy when that trophy pops up, which may well be the only trophy you collect (at least first time through). I can only assume this was intentional to add to the bleakness of the mission, but trophies are very hard to come by mid-game (I only got one!).
I didn't try multiplayer, but this game doesn't need it (and I really wish they wouldn't put this into every game).
Overall, I'm giving this an A+. 10/10 implies perfection, which is not possible, this is close enough for me.
posted by mhartsoe7 (KERNERSVILLE, NC) Jul 2, 2013
Member since Jul 2013
This is without a doubt one of the best games that I have ever played. First, the story: this is probably the best-written game I've come across, and the story will leave you breathless. It draws real emotion out of you like very few games can, and I literally found myself on the verge of tears at several points. The world is a hopeless one, an infection-ravaged U.S. that's left humanity in shambles. You play as Joel, a grizzled smuggler who has lost everything and doesn't care much for anything or anyone. You are tasked with smuggling a girl out of the city, named Ellie, who is seemingly the only human immune to the infection. The story spans roughly one in-game year, and every second of it is spent frantically trying to survive. This is not a standard third-person shooter where the formula is take cover, kill bad guys, rinse and repeat. Ammo is a priceless rarity, and you will thank God for every single bullet you find on the ground or scavenge from the dead, as it may take you one step farther from certain death. I can count on one hand the number of times throughout the entire game when I had a full pistol clip. The only way to survive is by thinking quickly and tactically on your feet, being able to make the best use of your extremely limited resources. A group of five enemies is searching for you? Draw one off from the group with a series of distractions then put a shiv in his throat. Lure his buddies into one area and quickly use some rags and alcohol to create a molotov you can use to eliminate the rest of them. The action is intense and frightening, and you will never feel comfortable or powerful. The violence here is more brutal and disturbing than any other game I've played. It's not gratuitous; the game never revels in bloodshed, and neither will you. I dreaded every confrontation, and sought to avoid combat as much as possible. This game will leave you reeling. A must-play for those with the stomach for it.
The Last of Us uses a third-person perspective and players take control of Joel, while Ellie is controlled by the AI for the majority of the game, although the player switches control in the later sections of the game. The game involves gun fighting, melee combat, and a cover system with no preset cover locations, only crouching near objects and navigating normally. The player fights off the Infected—former humans infected by a mutated strain of the cordyceps fungus—and the Survivors—humans that are not infected, but are hostile towards Joel and Ellie. A new gameplay mechanic is a feature the developers call "dynamic stealth", meaning that there are many different types of strategies and techniques that the player can use at any given time as they approach a new situation, to which enemies will react differently.
Naughty Dog has developed an AI system called Balance of Power