Tom Plays: The Last of Us – Remastered (PS4)

So, yeah, I’m late to the party when it comes to giving ‘The Last Of Us’ credit for being so incredibly awesome. Allow me to rectify that with my next blog post focusing on what I thought about the game and all those kind of things. 

SPOILERS aplenty. Y’all been warned.

Let’s get to it…

In my search for more varied video gaming (as opposed to the boring, repetitive sports games I had been subjecting myself to on the Xbox One), I picked up a Playstation 4 to find more actual games to play – one such game I had never played before was ‘The Last of Us’, so I took the opportunity of it being available in a ‘remastered’ format.

Naughty Dog. A company I’m very fond of given their creation of, what I consider to be, the best platformer game ever in the Crash Bandicoot series (yes, I’m kinda hyped about the remaster of that as well.) before that went to shit. Not forgetting the Jak and Daxter games they made on the PS2, also very good platformer games. They’re also behind the very successful ‘Uncharted’ series of games which, yes, I will also get round to playing eventually…boy, I missed a load of really good games being stuck on the Xbox family of consoles these past few years.

With that being the case, I completely missed out on playing the game first time round – so the fact it is a remaster means nothing to me, I came into the game fresh and unaware of anything that happened in the game. Sure it looks so pretty but, again, even the PS3 game looked as though it was punching well above its weight given the capabilities of the console it came out on.

Apparently the game also runs at 60 fps and 1080p HD. Whatever that means. I can rarely tell the difference…perhaps my television isn’t high-tech enough. Just numbers to this guy. I will say it looks phenomenal graphically though. (Having looked at comparison videos to the PS3 version, I can see a bit of a difference.)

Nevertheless, onto The Last of Us.

Recipient of hundreds upon hundreds of awards – including, as is emblazoned on the box, over 200 Game of the Year Awards – and considered by many to be one of the greatest video games ever made.

All I seemed to see online was lots and lots of hype surrounded the game. So it was either going to be a massive disappointment or up there with the best games I’ve ever played, there wouldn’t be an in between.

Happy to say that it was comfortably in the latter category. Seriously, seriously awesome game.

I was hooked from the get-go and loved near-enough every moment of the time I spent playing it. Slightly disappointed that I didn’t get too many trophies from my play through but I’m not sure this game warrants a second playthrough given its linear storyline and objectives throughout?

Not that that is a bad thing. Far from it – not every game has to allow you to tell your own story and I’m fine with that. Sometimes you have to just play the story as the writer intended all along, certainly doesn’t make a game less enjoyable.

Unless it’s a terrible story.

So, The Last of Us starts off with a gut punch in the game’s opening sequence – sure, I wasn’t expecting that character to be in it that much given she isn’t the main female protagonist. But, still, man…what a heartbreaking way to kick things off.

Bloody love that opening segment of the game though. Just highlights the kind of chaos you would naturally associate when something apocalyptic happened – at least how I think it might pan out IRL. Hopefully never get to find this out.

There’s another moment in the game much later that completely caught me off guard, involving the deaths of other people. Not quite as shocking but still shocking in a way. Just as I was starting to like them as well. Fuck sake, Naughty Dog.

Characters, namely the two main ones in the game – Joel and Ellie – are perhaps my favourite part of the game. You get to follow the pair traversing across various parts of the USA and, over time, see the relationship between the two become a lot more closer as they begin to realise they’re in this together.

There are parts of the dialogue where Joel comes across as a complete dick – like saying Ellie isn’t like his daughter? Well, yeah, she’s still alive…oh… #burn. Aside from that, Joel turns out to be an alright guy through the game – when he’s not acting all cold and bitter, that is.

On the other hand, Ellie is such a magnificent character. Games need more female protagonists (see Life is Strange, absolutely love that game) and I’m very happy that we will get to see her again in TLOU: Part 2, whenever that sees the light of day. She develops throughout the game, becoming more fearless and helpful in certain segments of the game – thankfully she isn’t just a bystander.

Though that does mean you often have to protect her from the infected. By any means necessary.

That’s where another of my favourite things comes in; this game is absolutely brutal. Not in the bad way. But as in it’s so bloody, so gory. Brutal. Whether you’re shooting the heads off of enemies or just smashing their heads against the environment, it’s brutal. Definitely not one for the kiddies to play.

Another thing I really liked in The Last of Us was the soundtrack. Not sure who was behind it but the acoustic sounds really meshed well in the environment and helped to heighten tensions when necessary. Haunting even. Just added another layer to what was a fantastic experience.

Before I move onto the negative aspects of the game, I need to give some love to the add-on ‘Left Behind’ that is included in the remastered version. Originally a DLC for the PS3 release, it follows Ellie both before and during the events of The Last of Us – allowing an insight into what it was like beforehand and also how she survives minus Joel during one part of the game.

Usually add-ons are pointless but this was far from pointless. Showing what it would be like for younger people in a post-apocalyptic world, not knowing what was happening and what was going to happen to them in the future. It’s a great addition to the story and has such a heart-breaking ending.

Haven’t really spoken much about the story. It’s a positive, I guess. Easy to follow, not exactly confusing and seems as though you’re never too far away from some kind of action. At times it is non-stop, which is good if you like that sort of thing. I was kept interested throughout so it was definitely doing something right.

I’ve got a few negatives towards the game.

Well, I say negatives. They’re just very picky observations that I perhaps didn’t like.

Hard to be negative about something so good.

My main negative with the game was all the stealthy bits in it. I know it’s fully understandable that, in a post-apocalyptic setting as TLOU, there isn’t the ammo available to go in “all guns blazing” like it’s some COD-like shoot-’em-up, but I am really not that much of a fan of ‘stealth’ games. I have zero patience to wait for the best moment to kill off someone.

In fact, the lack of supplies in the game is both a positive and a negative. With the world having ended, supplies of things are bound to be limited – so you’re left to scrounge around for bits and pieces. All well and good but when you’re on the verge of death and have no alcohol to make a first aid kit, you’re pretty much fucked. That’ll teach me for making so many molotov cocktails.

I also dislike those bloody ‘Clickers’ that populate the game. Bastard things got really annoying in certain parts, unless you have a molotov cocktail/flamethrower to hand. Crispy.

Aside from that those slight negatives, The Last of Us is an incredible game and fully deserving of all the awards it got at time of release. If I had have played it back then, I’d have given it some kind of award as well…and I bet Naughty Dog would have held that award in much higher regard than any other they received. Probably.

Preaching to the converted I’m sure but, damn, if you haven’t played TLOU yet. You probably should.

Unless you can’t, then that’s your loss.

T.

 

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