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Zero Punctuation - The Last of Us

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews The Last of Us.

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christian hour1985d ago

Yahtzee normally has a fairly good eye for story and loves to moan about poorly developed characters, so naturally I've been looking forward to his review of the Last of Us since it launched.

Honestly I'm shocked; I was expecting him to pick apart the rambling friendly AI that love to sniff enemy butts, but for him to completely miss the point of Joel and Ellies story... I wasnt expecting that.

Joel wasnt a good guy, we're shown that several times throughout the game, and by the end of it, he's still not a good guy. The game makes it very clear that these are people surviving, and joel is no betetr than the hunters, or Davids group or the fireflies.

I dunno how Yahtzee managed to miss that, he's usually fairly on the ball with this stuff.

toxic-inferno1985d ago (Edited 1985d ago )

I don't think he missed it. I think he just didn't find the ending particularly satisfying, and that's fine.

I love this kind of ending, where the resolution is ambiguous, but I realise other people don't like it.

Don't confuse dislike with misunderstanding.

christian hour1985d ago

Have you played any of yahtzee's old Point and Click games? Or do you regularly read Extra Punctuation?

The guy likes a good story that doesn't spoon feed you too much, he likes ambiguous endings, that's why I was so surprised by the review.

I'm aware he's entitled to his opinion, I was just saying it surprised me how little he understood the characters, not the ending but the characters themselves, otherwise he wouldnt have called joel a good guy who murders a bunch between cutscenes.

The gameplay made sense in the universe but he didnt seem to think so, and again that surprised me.

I thought I knew our boy yahtzee, in fact everythign else he ripped into I expected and looked forward to hearing him joke about :)

Blacklash931985d ago (Edited 1985d ago )

But a lot of the things he says don't make sense or ignore important details.

- He says the characters were unsympathetic because of their killcount, not even mentioning that they did it in self-defense (and can actually skip many encounters) and how they and their relationship ends up paying a price for their actions near the end. Joel didn't feel like he got off with no strings attatched in the end, I'll tell you that. Ellie also had to go through hell as a consequence of a prior event in the story.
- Says the bandit areas are overpopulated, when it's explained they used to be densely-populated, government-controlled communities gone bad. The bandit count is a far cry from Uncharted regardless.
- He criticizes the game for the zombies and doesn't even acknowledge that doing a new spin on them is at least better than the NotLD kind. You judge a setting for what it is, not what you wish it was.
- Misses the point that weapons meant to disorient and distract enemies are supposed to be for stealth and to go back into hiding when spotted. Not every player will find themsevles with adequate supplies for every encounter and some just prefer stealth. The only weapon that kills undetected is the bow.
- Criticizes the Clickers for the very thing that makes them compelling enemies and hazards.
- Says Ellie is never in danger so doesn't constitute as a part of the gameplay, when she actually does help you out in combat and can be killed by enemies resulting in a Game Over.

So yeah I just don't think he "gets" it. He's perfectly entitled to his opinion, but I think his outlooks on gameplay and story simply didn't line up with the game. It sounds like he was expecting Uncharted with zombies and that's exactly what he chose to see.

DragonKnight1985d ago

Did we watch a different video?

@christian hour: "I'm aware he's entitled to his opinion, I was just saying it surprised me how little he understood the characters, not the ending but the characters themselves, otherwise he wouldnt have called joel a good guy who murders a bunch between cutscenes."

I believe he was being sarcastic, which is why he kept on about how much "murdering" Joel did.

@Backlash93: "- He says the characters were unsympathetic because of their killcount, not even mentioning that they did it in self-defense"

I don't think he cares about why they did it, but about how they acted. He was likely focusing on the fact that, for a game that was supposed to be all about compelling story and characters, killing seemed completely natural and only explained by "hey, it's a survival game."

"- Says the bandit areas are overpopulated, when it's explained they used to be densely-populated, government-controlled communities gone bad. The bandit count is a far cry from Uncharted regardless."

His problem with this is that humanity is supposed to be on the brink of extinction and yet bandits are everywhere. It's a convenient device for gameplay, but to him it's a poor reflection of the the theme of the story.

"- He criticizes the game for the zombies and doesn't even acknowledge that doing a new spin on them is at least better than the NotLD kind. You judge a setting for what it is, not what you wish it was."

I don't even understand why you brought this up. He's criticizing the use of zombies again. It doesn't matter that they are a "different kind of zombie" they're still zombies and that's his problem. It's like having an Aliens game, and then a game with aliens exactly like the xenomorphs only with a different name.

"- Misses the point that weapons meant to disorient and distract enemies are supposed to be for stealth and to go back into hiding when spotted. Not every player will find themsevles with adequate supplies for every encounter and some just prefer stealth. The only weapon that kills undetected is the bow."

He didn't miss the point, he just found them useless when you can simply kill the enemy instead of distracting them. This point though is about personal preference. I don't think Yahtzee likes stealth.

"- Criticizes the Clickers for the very thing that makes them compelling enemies and hazards."

If the Clickers are the zombies with the instakill move, why wouldn't anyone criticize that? Enemies that can instakill are lame. When enemies like that are in a situation, it's the developers telling you that you don't have a certain type of control. There is something you HAVE to do or else you'll die, even if you're thinking to yourself "why should I do that when it's easier to just do this?"

"- Says Ellie is never in danger so doesn't constitute as a part of the gameplay, when she actually does help you out in combat and can be killed by enemies resulting in a Game Over."

So she can help you and can be killed, but his problem is that she's essentially invisible otherwise. For him it brings up the question of "why bother having Ellie" if there isn't a sense of actually needing to protect her. That's why he brought up Resident Evil and the fact that you can tell the person you're protecting to go and hide somewhere. For him, that would make more sense then simply having Ellie there and only in danger when you put her in danger.

christian hour1985d ago (Edited 1985d ago )

I'd just like to point out one thing.

Zombies cannot be zombies unless brought back from the dead. The popularisation of George A Romeros zombie has given a lot of people the impression that "If its human but mindless and eats other humans, its a zombie".

The infected in the last of us never died, the fungus requires a living host, its essentially a parasite. I wouldnt mind people complaingin about another "parasite" game, we do get those from time to time, hell even resi went the parasite route eventually with Los Plagas (sp?)

Same with 28 days later, rage virus, not zombies.

Undead = Zombie.

Calling it another zombie game just gives me the impression you use zombie to generalise anything that may resemble what you already know and lump it in with it.

Now if you would argue that it was just another 'Monster' game, that generalization works there, you can now lump them together in that group ;)

As for the ellie AI it was never a deal breaker for me.

I understand how limited current consoles are and have used that mantra to overlook a lot of jarring thigns in video game AI the last few years.

There was only so much "tasks" an AI character can handle at once and remember on todays consoles, and with a game with mini-sandbox encounters where any second things can change dramatically, its very hard to get an ai to react and not get spotted.

So the easiest thing to do other than having everyone else hide and become useless in encounters, was to not punish the player for limitations in technology by making them invisible as long as you stay hidden.

Of course it was the thing I was looking forward to hearing Yahtzee rip in to the most, my sides still hurt from the butt sniffing comment he made haha.

Blacklash931984d ago (Edited 1984d ago )

@ DragonKnight

-Killing is natural for Joel, or did you miss his backstory? There's no reason to feel bad for 95% of the deaths they inflict, as the people they faced would have done even worse. A big reason he racks on Uncharted for that is because Drake is pit against mercs of other ethnic groups, just listen to his U3 review.

- Humanity is on the brink of extinction. Ever notice how there's big, unnotable gaps between the chapters? The chapters take place where excitiing things happen on their journey. You're facing full-blown communities and reducing the world to being inhabited by tons of remote stragglers after 20 years would be even more unrealistic; few people are going to be alive outside of structured and defended areas. The survival and intensity of a brutal, hostile environment fits the themes of the game perfectly well.

- Big difference. Xenomorphs are supposed to be distinct creatures while zombies have been in stories and lore for thousands of years. It's very hard to legitly rip off a concept of zombies. TLoU is what it is with the setting and criticizing it because you wish it was completely something else is nonsense and in no way to properly judge it. What matters is that they make compelling foes and contribute to the setting in a sensible way.

- Then that's his problem and not something to reprimand the game for. Stealth is very useful with TLoU, especially with the smoke bombs that give you a quick escape.

- Nope, it's adding to the tension and the intensity of the encounters with them. Honsetly they aren't fast and you can fight them in a variety of ways (double for stealth), you just need to realize you're walking on thin ice when confronting them. You have way more options fighting enemies than Bioshock Infinite (which he actually praised its gameplay over this). It makes the Clickers distinctive and much more memorable to fight. Hell, you're allowed an optional upgrade early on that will save you from their grip at the cost of resources (also killing them), so what's the issue?

- *She throws bottles and bricks to open up enemies to attack.
*Gets a gun and draws the attention of enemies, able to kill them in a few shots.
*Warns you of flanking and incoming attacks out of your sight.
*Can be grabbed by enemies and killed after a few seconds, resulting in a game over.
*Distracts enemies when you craft in the middle of a fight.
*Frequently involved in light puzzles and platforming which require you find a way to allow her to cross gaps.

Yeah she's not part of the gameplay at all... except when she is. The only weakness with the friendly AI is stealth really, and at least even then they aren't intrusive. He also was never this harsh with Elizabeth in Infinite, who participated much less as an AI partner in combat.

I find his logic with all this flawed. Again, he's perfectly in his right to think whatever he wants, but I don't think he's in the right perspective to enjoy the game. He's usually got something up his ass about ND for being ND, so it's not surprising.

Some games just aren't for everyone. I like Yahtzee and I can at least usually see where's he's coming from, but not for this. TLoU has a few flaws surely, but I don't agree on his points here.

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Delive1985d ago

Anyone else notice the 360 controller at the 4:12 mark? I didn't get that.

CrossingEden1985d ago

inb4 the last of us apologists come here and try to say that yahtzee is wrong about the characters and the story cause there's no such thing a legitimate criticism

Blacklash931985d ago (Edited 1985d ago )

Yeah! Everyone who disagrees with criticisms is automatically fanboy apologist! It's totally different when criticisms are bombarded by actual fanboys. -_-

But this is N4G, mostly consisting of the double-standards of idiotic fanboys. Who am I to judge?

Blacklash931985d ago (Edited 1985d ago )

Okay, perhaps that was a little harsh at the end.

But these "inb4haters" and "inb4fanboys" comments making rash generalizations and discouraging discussion are complete are drivel. They only serve to spark arguments.

Not everyone who disagrees with praises is a hater. Not everyone who disagrees with criticisms is an apologist. What's the point of mocking people in a prediction, anyway?

InTheLab1985d ago

I don't think anyone's coming in to defend the Last of Us as it really doesn't need defending at this point.

Prior to launch, I was expecting the game to get killed for it's difficulty and subject matter. I actually thought more people would walk away from it feeling like Yahtzee did but as it turns out, very few were turned off by one shot kills and slow gameplay.

The one thing that does bother me with his review is the same thing that always bothers me. He clearly played this thing on easy and still found a way to die repeatedly.

More and more, it's becoming obvious that Yahtzee burns through these games just to pump out these videos that, quite frankly, are getting tired. It's seems like the only good reviews from him are of terrible games...

CrossingEden1985d ago

oh ho ho no, dude, the comments for the video on the site are people raging, i had to buy pop corn, and see, you're subconsciously creating a scenario that didn't happen, yahtzee didn't rush through the game, or play it on easy mode, you have absolutely no basis for that, he has said multiple times that he plays games on the normal setting, and no he doesn't rush through games, and no, he doesn't only give good reviews to terrible games, wtf,
-half life 2
-bioshock
-shadow of the colossus
-silent hill 2
all great games that yahtzee praised

InTheLab1985d ago

No...I mean the only time his reviews are good (good as in entertaining) are the bad games.

And I don't buy that he spends enough time with these games. He has Zero Punctuation, Extra Punctuation, that poetry garbage with Sterling, and that's just what he does on Escapist. He also says it takes at least 3 days to make a ZP which doesn't leave a ton of time to really get into a game.

CrossingEden1985d ago

-game reviewers get copies of game before anyone else
-his reviews are entertaining regardless of the game, sounds like you don't like having your favorite games judged

InTheLab1985d ago

Nah...not really the case. Been watching since he was on Youtube and it's just getting old. The fact that he doesn't like a Naughty Dog game is not surprising, and if you watch him enough, you know what I mean.

Also, you just got on me for creating a scenario, so I find it interesting that you're basically implying that I'm butthurt over his review...when I just told you his reviews are s*** unless the game is terrible.

The fact that you have conversations with you and your own opinion is probably why you lose a bubble a day...

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Kinger89381985d ago

I only watch this chaps reviews for a laugh, hes great :)

If you enjoyed the game then dont worry about the review, he tends to dislike alot of thinga about games i like but it usually makes sense after the thought

Toon_Link1985d ago

I seriously just beat the game 20 min. ago and I have to say I loved the ending. In no way was the ending what I'd expect to happen and the whole thing left me feeling uneasy which is great considering the game almost always made me feel stressed, anxious, bumbed out or sometimes scared. I have to give Naughty Dog credit for truly making me care about Joel and Ellie. I really hope the rumblings about DLC are true I'd love to see what happened after the credits or during the points in the story where they skipped into new seasons.

My iPad wont let me watch the video or I'd actually comment on it but I guess I just had to say something about the game.

Lumbo1985d ago

Haha, snarky as always ^_^

I don't agree with his take on The Last of Us, but i liked the review for itself. At least he always goes all the way in his videos. No pulled punches, no excuses.

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