This game takes place in America 20 years after a deadly fungal infection. Many those who did not survive become the Infected, with different types, such as Runner, Clickers, and Stalkers. Joel is a smuggler, and often works with Tess. After his pursuit of his enemy Robert, he encountered Marlene, the leader of Fireflies She made a deal with both Joel and Tess, and they have to deliver a girl by the name of Ellie to the a group of Fireflies. Little did he know that his journey with Ellie will be even longer than he thought of.
The story is very interesting, like The Walking Dead: The Game's story. Survival theme is extremely prevalent in the game, with both emotional and major character interactions between Joel, Ellie and other NPCs. Many of the supporting characters in the game that I actually sympathise of, and I thought of how the outcomes in the game would be different if Joel and Ellie took different actions throughout the story.
Characters are very interesting, with good developments that do not make them feel left out despite short appearances. My favourite characters in the game would be Joel, Ellie, Henry, Sam, Tess, Tommy, and David because they have very relatable personalities that we can relate to if we are in the same situation as theirs.
1) Singleplayer Section
This game is a mix of survival, adventure and third person shooter. The progression is simple as you need to move forward in the game by fighting your enemies, clear some puzzles, and travel around dangerous areas. If you get stuck somewhere, the game will give you a hint as to where do you need to go next. You also need to work together with your A.I. teammates to get through most levels. You may also use Listening Mode to detect where the enemies are in the game. However, it will be disabled if you play the game again in Survivor mode, unlocked by completing the game once.
Combat controls is generally simple. You can bash enemies with melee attack combo with the Square button. with your bare hands or picked up melee weapons You may also stealth takedown enemies when they are unaware using the same button when grabbing them as human shields. Beware that enemies will break off your hold if you used the enemy as human shield for too long. Many of the weapons you have to procure yourself, especially firearms and improvised weapons.
There are two types of enemies, which are human enemies and Infected enemies. Human enemies are more coordinated, will always attempt to flank you as much as possible, as well as using powerful weapons like a Hunting Rifle, Machete or Molotovs. Infected enemies are slightly more unpredictable, where they can detect you easily if you walk or run too fast. Regular Infected like Runners will not be much of threat, but powerful Infected like Clickers or Bloaters can be a problem since they can one hit kill you easily. In most times when fighting them, using powerful firearms like shotgun or molotovs prove effective against them. However, you need to take consideration of your supplies as well.
When encountering them, you can always try to avoid them by getting past the area stealthily or killing off the enemies in the area stealthily. Again, you should take consideration of your supplies before planning to do either a full assault or full stealth takedowns as supplies are rare in the game.
An interesting feature in this game is the Crafting feature. You need to craft your own sets of explosives, health kits, improvised shivs, or upgraded melee weapon. To do so, you need to have certain amounts of supplies. For example, to craft a Shiv, you need a binding and a scissors. Depending on what difficulty that you are playing, harder difficulties will give lesser amounts of ammo and supplies. Be advised that crafting is done in real-time, so you may get yourself attacked if you do it an area with hostile enemies.
Killing enemies will sometime drop ammo or supplies, but do not be too hopeful that they will drop items. Instead, keep searching at any areas that have no enemies for supplies as much as possible. You may also upgrade Joel's stats with supplements such as increased health or faster health kit usage. Supplements are scattered throughout the game and must be found actively.
One thing players should know that the game will teach you on how to improvise and saving supplies. For instance, shivs can also be used to open certain locked doors that has lots of supplies instead of killing enemies with it. Players have to be efficient in doing so, especially when you are playing harder difficulty modes. You may also upgrade your weapons at work benches to improve their effectiveness. However, they can only be upgraded when you have enough Parts. Parts can be found at many of the game's locations.
If you have run out of supplies when encountering human enemies or Infected enemies, there are still other ways to get through. You can get past them quietly, or use tools such as bricks or bottles to distract them or to kill them. Bricks or bottles are useful for attacking or distracting for both human and Infected enemies, and they can be easily throughout the game. Always pick them in case you are having supplies shortage.
2) Multiplayer Section
You may also play the game's online multiplayer mode. When you first start the multiplayer mode, you will need to choose a faction. Choosing either one will work fine, and you need to survive for 12 in-game weeks with your clan members. Your clan members will drop or grow depending on how many supplies you obtain while playing the online matches. One in-game day is equivalent to one online match. Meaning that if you complete or quit an online match, the game in-game day will still progress. However, quitting matches will result your clan members to get hungry and sick, and ultimately dying if you skipped too many matches. If all of the clan members are dead, you need to restart the Faction journey again.
Supplies are obtained by converting Parts collected from the matches or by picking Supplies dropped by the enemies that you killed. Before the match starts, you may choose your custom loadouts of weapons and skills, or pick the preset loadouts. You will gain more new Survival skills and weapons as you progress.
Matches are conducted similarly to regular third person shooter matches with one big difference. You will have to procure your own supplies and craft them for battles, such as Bombs, Molotovs, and upgraded melee weapon. The online matches is much more slower paced, and you need to think ahead when you should use your weapons or not. Ammo and supplies can be found at supply boxes in the match. Skills will play important roles as they can help you fight off enemies easily or survive much longer. Some skills will also help you to get more Parts easily, allowing you to get more Supplies.
Combat is similar to the singleplayer mode, where you can use firearms to kill off enemies from afar or use melee weapons like upgraded melee weapon. You may revive your teammates, execute enemies, and others.
There are three online matches, which are Supply Raid, Survivor, and Interrogation. Supply Raid is a standard deathmatch online match, with a limited number of lives for players to revive. Survivor is an online match with where the team must win four best rounds. In this type of match, killed players will not revived until the start of the next round. Interrogation match plays a bit like 'defend your area' match, where you need to find and interrogate some enemy online players and locate a toolbox to defend against.
As you progress in your chosen Faction's journey, you will encounter random events that will allow you to increase or decrease the number of clan members. To do so, you need to complete a mission that you may choose to complete it, such as getting a number of kills with Molotovs. Failure to do so may or may not adversely affect your clan members.
This game has both great singleplayer and multiplayer modes. The only problems I had with the gameplay are the slightly overpowered allies A.I. Enemies will not detect your allies when you are getting through sections by stealth, even though your ally run directly in front of the enemy. However, they still can be killed if they are grabbed by the enemies if you do not save them. One other thing is the lack of creative puzzles while progressing in the game.
This game has amazing graphics. Great looking characters, awesome animations, nice cutscenes, and so on. The Infected look amazing despite it's simple designs, such as the Clickers and Bloated.
There are few visual glitches I encountered in the game, but not gamebreaking enough to hamper the players' experience of playing this game.
The voice acting is simply amazing. Great performances by all actors including minor NPC voice actors, such as Troy Baker as Joel and Ashley Johnson as Ellie. I was pleasantly surprised by another popular voice actor in the game, who voiced a different character than usual. However, I will not spoil it.
Although the music is sparsely used in important game sections and scenes, I felt that it is humble enough to entice regular listeners to listen to the acoustic guitars playings, ambiance music, and others.
You can play the game again in New Game Plus mode in harder difficulty modes, or attempt to collect every collectibles in the game. Try out the online multiplayer mode as it is pretty interesting and unique compared to other games' multiplayer modes.
This is one of the best games that I have ever played. Despite it's simple gameplay, it is very well-implemented that provides both balance and challenge to players due to the survival nature of the game. This game also has great story, likable characters, awesome graphics, and high replay value. Any PS3 fans who like to try out a survival adventure game should try this out despite some issues. If not, get the upcoming PS4 version as it has all of the DLCs and the main game itself.
Final Score: 38/40 or 9.5/10.0
Pros and Cons
- Emotional and great story.
- Open ended stories that require players to imagine.
- Likable and relatable characters.
- Simple but great gameplay.
- Provides good in-game survival experience.
- Great combat.
- Good stealth controls.
- Provides good challenge in harder difficulty modes.
- Encourages improvisation during combat.
- Creative and good online multiplayer mode.
- Amazing graphics.
- Top voice performance by all actors.
- Simple yet effective soundtrack.
- Good replay value.
- Some dumb A.I. programming for allies and enemies.
- Overpowered A.I. allies at most times.
- Lack variety of puzzles.
- Soundtrack is an acquired taste.
- Some minor visual glitches during singleplayer mode and multiplayer mode.