Review: Last of Us

Welcome to “Solstice Satisfaction in Review” or SS in Review for short. This is going to be my first review of any kind – video game, restaurant, music album – so go easy on me if it’s not up to the standard of IGN or anything. The first item to be Solstified…

The Last of Us, exclusive to Playstation 3Β (SPOILER FREE!)

The Last of Us follows the adventures of Joel and Ellie.

The Last of Us follows the shenanigans of Joel and Ellie. (SOURCE: Forbes.com)

The Last of Us is a post-apocalyptic horror video game which details the adventures of Joel and Ellie, although the post-apocalypse in this game is very different to that of, say, the Resident Evil series.

The gameplay in this is simple enough for the casual gamer to pick up (such as me) pretty quickly but still not too simple for the intense gamers to be bored with. One of the main elements of the games action sequences is the choice of stealth vs. all-guns-blazing. In most of the action sequences, you have the choice of either sneaking around the enemies or barge in and gun them down with your array of weaponry. It adds a realistic element to the game when in a situation where your ammunition is limited, sometimes it’s best to avoid any confrontation when left with one bullet in a revolver and about 10 enemies waiting ahead of you.

The game in total will take hours for even the most expert gamer to complete and with even more special features like multiplayer awaiting (that I have yet to touch), it will undoubtedly entertain for ages.

What I found to be one of the most interesting parts about the gameplay was the special attention to small details. For example, in most video games, if you are playing a stealth mission, and you see a discarded newspaper on the floor, you wouldn’t think twice of it. In this game, however, you step on that newspaper and the papers will ruffle, therefore alerting the enemies of your location and breaking your stealth objective. I made this mistake several times unfortunately.

The graphics are high on the scale with, again, special attention to small details, like the greying hair in Joel’s beard or the worry you see in Ellie’s eyes sometimes. The visuals are almost realistic and it sucks you into the adventure of the game, making it feel real to the player. The views and scenery are absolutely breathtaking and so surreal – unless of course you are in a dark, underground area. The only nitpicks I can even remotely think of are the graphics and movement of Ellie’s hair but, let’s be frank, no video game designer wants to take 10 years of their life animating every single strand of hair.

The storyline in itself was captivating, so much that I found myself putting off finishing my college assignments so I could continue playing the game. Right from the get go, the intensity of the storyline grabs the player and it makes you wanting more, with several twists, turns and OMG! moments planting themselves throughout the game which elicited a fair few “Oh no you di-int”‘s from me. There were also several scares in the game which actually kept my heart racing which admittedly doesn’t happen a lot anymore these days.

The main feature of the game’s storyline that I found myself drawn to the most was the relationship between Joel and Ellie. I am an absolute gore lover with a special affection for the undead so it’d be weird for people like me to specifically comment on a sentimental part of the game like a relationship between two characters but it was without a doubt the most captivating element of Last of Us. Period. Without giving too much away, Joel and Ellie started off with a hesitant yet still friendly relationship which eventually developed into a sweet, father-daughter-like relationship whose bond was so noticeably strong that I could literally feel it. The moments where Joe would call Ellie “baby girl” specifically got me and I may or may not have shed a tear over that nickname. I actually forged a personal connection with both of the characters and that just goes to show you how excellent this game is.

Solst-o-meter
Gameplay: 9.0/10
Graphics: 9.2/10
Storyline: 9.6/10
Overall Experience: 9.8/10

All the hype behind this game is celestial for a reason – this game is the greatest video game I have played in quite some time, and one of the greatest video games I’ve played in my 20 year life… if you minus the first few years because babies don’t exactly play video games. Every aspect of the game was captivating in some way and while absolutely nothing is perfect, Last of Us was damn sure close to being so. If I fall into a funk after finishing a video game’s main storyline, then I know it was just that damn good. It is certainly a MUST have for current PS3 owners and definitely a reason for others to purchase a PS3 to specifically play this game.

I have to go cry some more now knowing that I’ve finished the game.

– by Noah La’ulu

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