In the Last of Us, you are thrown into a world where morals no longer matter, food is scarce, and people are turned into monsters. Its and idea in games that has been used before, but no other game has been able to captivate the feel of a survival based game quite like this one has. First, let me talk about the story.
Story- You play as a man named Joel who lost someone near and dear to him when the outbreak started. 20 years later, he is paired up with a woman named Tess, a tough and independent type (the kind of woman that doesn't need a man) and you are tasked with finding and killing Robert who has just tried to get your buddy killed. Once you find Robert, you find out that he just sold the guns he was supposed to give you to the Fireflys (you'll find out more about them when you play) and now you must go and get them back. Then, out of nowhere you see Marlene: the leader of the Fireflys who agrees to give you your guns back if you smuggle something across the the country for her. To your surprise, that "thing" you have to smuggle is a 14 year old girl named Ellie who becomes your companion throughout the entire game. Ellie isn't too fond of Joel at first, but they later form a sort of father/daughter relationship and she becomes an awesome companion.
Gameplay- This is not your typical 3rd person shooter type of game. This is a game where you need to scavenge and save your bullets as a last resort. Sneaking is strongly encouraged in this game and for good reason. While bullets may seem like a rare sighting, there are other ways to take out baddies such as strangulation, steel pipes, and shivs. As far as traversal is concerned, there is a variety of things you must do in order to overcome the barriers that stand in your way; and you overcome these barriers in a rather fun matter.
This is a game that gets you wrapped up in a world that is as beautiful as it is deadly. It has a great story and solid gameplay. My verdict is 9/10.
Best game I have played in a long time. A lot of stuff has already been said in previous reviews. I just wanted to add that this game is movie like. One of the best opening sequences I have ever seen. I love game that get you invested in characters like movies and good shows do. I hope they develop this into a movie for the theaters one day. Can't recommend this enough. It is a must play.
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.