Naughty Dog developers have created many games across generations. Their first masterpiece was the beloved Crash the Bandicoot for the first Playstation. When Playstation 2 arrived, Naughty Dog didn't give up and created Jak and Daxter series (Technically Jak but who can't love that otter-weasel hybrid?). They didn't stop as they have created the gem that is Uncharted series for the current generation's Playstation 3. Now, they have released The Last of Us and if you think that they won't stop making such masterpieces then you are wrong.
The Last of Us is a survival-horror, and action-adventure video game that was set in a post apocalyptic United States thanks to a certain outbreak that happened twenty years before the game started. If you think it is just another "Raccoon City Incident" then it isn't really like that. Raccoon City Incident was thanks to a biochemical virus while in the Last of Us, it was unknown how the infection came to be but it was definitely related to fungi which we didn't see ever in video games.
You are playing as Joel, a broken man who lived to tell the story in the infected world ever since the outbreak started. He is the protagonist who you can tell from the first glance that he lost everything he cared about, and that is a fact. He met Tess and became partners with her thanks to their smuggling business in many places including Boston. They were just supposed to continue their shady business until they met Marlene who asked them to smuggle a young girl called Ellie, the main spotlight of the game, to the group called...you guessed it! The Fireflies. They accepted since Marlene offered them to get their weapons back if they succeeded...and they had no idea what they were supposed to expect in their journey.
No matter how simple this summary for the story tells you, it is much more than that but I can't say those points since they are spoilers. Trust me, even the prologue of the game is a spoiler.
I have loved Joel's character and his development throughout the game, and in the end, you will ask yourself if Joel was a good man or not. That's what I love about in this game, and that is everyone is covered in shades of grey, not black nor white. You can't find a saint and at the same time, you can't find a devil. Ever single character has his or her own beliefs, and conflicts. They are survivors after all, and they will do whatever it takes to survive. Joel, himself, is like that.
This is the fun part. Naughty Dog changed from the over the top action from the Uncharted series, and turned to stealth mechanics. If you ever played Uncharted series, you will feel at home but at the same time, you feel that it isn't the same. Confusing I know but it is a fact as I started playing the game.
The game has you focused on hiding behind the enemies' line of sight while trying to distract them with bottles or bricks to pass right through them like wet soap, or just kill them one by one quietly. There is also an element to explore the world to find supplies, which are scarce in the game so make sure to scrutinize every single detail of the level if you are planning to complete the game in the hardest difficulty.
The hand to hand combat has been revamped in this game too. If you are fighting an enemy up close and personal in a non-scripted event, feel free to do whatever you want with the poor sob. It isn't some kind of "quick time event" like in Uncharted series but ever more fluid and exciting. For example, if you are near a table as you kept giving jabs to a looter, you can crash his thick forehead right to the edge of that table as he got killed from the impact with blood all over the table. Violence is strong and bloody in this game.
If you ever thought that Naughty Dog won't improve the visuals in their games for the Playstation 3 ever since Uncharted 3's sand, then you are totally wrong. The visuals of this game are phenomenal as the Playstation 3 is nearing to its end for the current generation. The green trees, and overgrown grasses look beautiful with their natural color as the vegetation got overgrown in United States thanks to the infection. The characters look well detailed too as you look at Joel's beard until the enemies' corpses as they either got shot many times, or their limbs get splattered thanks to a nearby nail bomb. You would be surprised how Naughty Dog managed to make all of this possible in Sony's Playstation 3.
The soundtrack of this game was magnificent to hear as you explore in your journey, and the music changes once you are in a certain situation like if you are in a fight. The voice acting was well done too as Troy Baker (Joel) and Ashley Johnson (Ellie) made a great job portraying their respective characters, especially Troy as he managed to make Joel sound as a broken man because of his haunted past. Ashley did a good job too but I felt that she could have done better as Ellie. Don't get me wrong, I love Ellie's voice and character but she could have been much more. Maybe I am asking too much but I kind of felt like that towards her.
The sounds of this game from the footsteps of the nearby enemies until the "clicks" from the enemies known as the Clickers were just making you sit on the edge of your seat as you pray that they won't find your hiding spot. Listening Mode can help you escape but if you are playing on the Survivor mode, you have to depend on the quietest of the sounds, which is just satisfying if you succeeded.
I was surprised how fun the multiplayer portion was. It looks like Naughty Dog managed to make the MP portion not to be like Uncharted's MP. Sadly, it wasn't that captivating for me to get back and play it again. It was good and all but I found it...lacking for a bit there. I am sure that Naughty Dog could have done more than that so I hope that they keep updating and add new content like game modes so I can play the multiplayer portion again and not let my survivors die.
The game's story was extremely well written but you could complain that the ending was kind of abrupt but after some time, you will love it. The revamp for the combat system worked very well in this game. The music, voice acting, and the sounds were just incredible. Finally, the visuals were just phenomenal thanks to Naughty Dog's magic tricks with the Playstation 3. The only criticism I have was the multiplayer since it was kind of lacking but it is just a minor problem as I didn't find any bugs and glitches during my play through with the game.
I would say if you have, or planning to have a PS3, don't hesitate to buy The Last of Us. It is worth every single penny from your wallet as Naughty Dog deserves every single on of them. Just buy it and enjoy killing Clickers in your journey.