My blog has been on a bit of a hiatus due thanks in part to our recent homelessness situation combined with my tendonitis problem. We were living in a place without Internet for a few months while we sold our old home and purchased a new one so my only view into cyberspace was through my phone, which was less than optimal. During that time I wound up with Tendonitis of the wrist which progressed into Carpal Tunnel so I had to give up gaming, and unnecessary keyboarding for awhile. I’m finally starting to reengage in some of the activities I used to enjoy, although to a lesser degree.
I played The Last of Us while homeless and without Internet. Due to scenes of horrific violence I wasn’t able to play the game while my kids were awake so I had to wait until after they went to bed. My PS3 was stashed in the small bedroom my wife and I were sharing at her parents’ house which was distracting to her so I wasn’t able to get away with playing the game unless both of the kids were asleep and my wife chose to be elsewhere. Fortunately the Winter Olympics provided the perfect break. My wife is a big Olympics fan so she stayed up late each evening during the event and I was able to get some quality gaming time in.
I was very excited to play The Last of Us after seeing how many awards it received for game of the year. It seemed that every reviewer on earth was giving game of the year to either The Last of Us or Bioshock Infinite (and one weirdo who gave it to tLoZ : A Link Between Worlds) so I wanted to see how it stacked up.
The story was awful (in a good way). In response to a zombie outbreak all of the worst things imaginable happen and the vision that is presented of the future represents all the worst humanity has to offer. Not only are the zombies your enemies, but there are roving bands of survivors that will kill you for whatever you might be carrying, as well as various militia groups that have their own reasons for killing you. If I had one complaint about the story it is that it is too dark. There is no happiness or joy in this game. It could have used a bit more contrast in the plot to keep it from bogging down in constant depression.
The presentation of the game is absolutely fantastic. The opening sequence is simply one of the most brilliant scenes I’ve ever played through in a video game. I don’t want to spoil anything but I’ll give a suggestion – play it in the dark, and play it alone.
The game mostly plays like an Uncharted game, except the main character (Joel) does not have Nathan Drake’s jumping ability. He also can’t seem to take a bullet quite like Drake so the game play is a lot more focused on stealth than action. I’m not really into stealth games in general, but this one had a good balance between stealth and action so I didn’t have a problem with it. They do a good job making you feel like you’re in a supply constrained post-zombie-apocalypse world. You’re constantly scavenging ammo and supplies to create weapons or health kits. Each batch of enemies you face has to be handled with as few bullets as possible or further down the road you may not be able to defend yourself.
Your deaths in this game are far more gruesome than I was used to from Uncharted. That, combined with the constantly depressing plot made it hard to play for extended durations. I had to put myself into a ‘EMO’ frame of mind to properly enjoy the game – “It would make me happy to feel sad. I guess I’ll go play The Last of Us”.
Everything about the game is well done and high quality. Plot-wise I’d say it is still edged out by Bioshock Infinite, and in my opinion Bioshock is more fun to play but I completely understand anyone who prefers The Last of Us.
- Great Presentation
- High Quality Survival Horror Experience.
- I can’t imagine a more depressing plot.
Genre: Action / Adventure