The Last Of Us: The Best Film Of The Year (That Wasn't Actually A Film)

The Last Of Us is not a film, but if it were a film, it's a safe bet it would have appeared in more than a few of Team Empire's Top 10 lists. On the surface, it's an action-adventure survival horror game about zombies, fungal spores and the unlikely duo of a jaded 40-odd-year-old apocalypse survivor called Joel and a 14-year-old orphan called Ellie. Dig a little deeper and it's one of the most emotionally-affecting stories of the year, an intensely cinematic tale of fear, survival and friendship.

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
xHeavYx1617d ago

TLOU was an amazing experience

Austin481617d ago

You got that right it is a masterpiece

irepbtown1617d ago

Would be awesome if videogames could get an Oscar. I'm sure some games can fall into a few of the already existing categories. Maybe even a new category.

Ju1617d ago

It is a masterpiece no doubt. But also a little overrated in my books. If we talk about "film like experience" this would go to Beyond Two Souls, which I personally think beat TLoU (not on the gameplay, but everything else).

Ju1617d ago

Looks like 1 out of 12 (or what ever disagrees I'm getting) has played Beyond Two Souls ;)

BitbyDeath1617d ago

@Ju, each to their own, I preferred TLoU's story.
Especially the intro, man that intro was perfection.

I tried to enjoy Beyond as I am a massive fan of Heavy Rain but the gameplay and story were just not as good as HR... at least IMO

specialguest1617d ago

I knew tlou was a great game and was going to be nothing but high quality, but once I finally got around to playing it, it was a true masterpiece. More than what I originally thought.

Bathyj1617d ago

Bitby, I played it 3 times in a row, and every time I did I had my mouth open at the prologue like I was playing it for the first time.

Ive never felt like that in a game before. If you didnt feel anything from that game your dead inside.

bjmartynhak1617d ago


Maybe the "Homeless" chapter. The others are not so amazing. But don't take me wrong, I enjoyed the game, it is just that it could have been better.

Silly Mammo1617d ago

As a father of two, I could definitely related to Joel. The ending of the Henry and Sam chapter completely gutted me. The whole story shook me and has stayed with me longer than any other video game has.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 1617d ago
GarrusVakarian1617d ago (Edited 1617d ago )

It was. But i really hate it when people say things like "On the surface, it's an action-adventure survival horror game about zombies" just makes the game sound so cheap and generic. They aren't "zombies", they are infected with a real-life parasitic fungi called Cordyceps. To call them "zombies" is an insult.

Cordyceps in action:

The cut scenes are so good in this game that i went back and watched them all again on YouTube ;p Never before have i seen such perfect mo cap and voice acting in a videogame.

iamnsuperman1617d ago (Edited 1617d ago )

It is easy to dumb down a plot and make it seem generic. For example Thomas was alone is just a side scrolling platformers with shapes (which it isn't), A Thousand Splendid Sons is just a book about two women struggling with a male orientated society (which it isn't as it is more than that), WALL-E is a film about a robort that has environment undertones (which isn't strictly true as it is much more than that)

The point I am making it is easy to say The last of us is a generic post apocalyptic zombie game. But that would be idiotic. That may be the general setting/context but the story goes far beyond that. The story is Joel and Ellie with their differing personalities and life experience (interacting in a natural subtle way). It was a step up, from what we have seen, in story telling in games (it was nice to see a game that didn't through themes and "level of maturity" in your face. The subtlety direction really worked). I can only think of one game that does it better which is Thomas was alone where it context made the story telling more powerful by its simplicity.

Adexus1617d ago

Watched them all on Youtube? I'm pretty sure you can re-watch them again in the extras menu if I remember correctly!

GarrusVakarian1617d ago


You're right, you can. But i was on my PC at the time and my PS3 wasn't even on so i thought it would just b easier to YouTube them ;)

scott1821617d ago (Edited 1617d ago )

The entire game is an absolute masterpiece. The story, the gameplay, the soundtrack. The game was instantly a classic when it came out, I was literally hoping it wouldn't end. But when it did it gave me a chance to try the multiplayer, which surprised me with how different it was, but so insanely enjoyable. Actually I ended up selling the game due to the multiplayer, it was a little too fun and addictive for me... Needed to get schoolwork done.

The tragedy is more people haven't played one of the greatest games of all time, I think the next one will easily get the attention it deserves thoughl

Irishguy951617d ago

Who ses that/ It's not 'on the surface'. It's the GAMEPLAY. The gameplay is against 'zombies'. Throwing pretty words on it doesn't change the fact that if you replaced the infected with other infected like zombies or Rage infected, the gameplay would stay the same.

Most zombie stories have their own twists and plot elements that make the infected different from one another.

28 days later/Left 4 dead -> Rage Virus

LoU -> Cordyceps(probably one of the most inventive ways)

The walking dead -> No one knows, there is a world wide condition that makes full fledged rise from the dead zombies

Resident evil -> Genetically produced virus which has various affects on living beings, one of which is Dead zombies

Half live 2 -> Aliens attached to their head

All story elements. The fact is the result is the same in all of these stories. You have a horde of 'infected' which try to bite and kill you. Not being able to accept that the last of us cordyceps infected serve the same purpose as zombies or any of the above is just pathetic. You can't accept ND didn't do something amazing in that area. Btw, Half life 2's infected were still alive just like TloU infected. So where 28 days later and Left 4 dead.

It's your own fault for associating 'zombies' with cheap and generic. Stop just seeing Zombies as a buzzword and start seeing all the possible variations for video games they produce. The last of us didn't do anything special with the infected. Don't pretend they did.

GarrusVakarian1617d ago (Edited 1617d ago )


I have no idea what you are talking about. Did you miss the " "? I was quoting the article......i don't even.....

"The last of us didn't do anything special with the infected. Don't pretend they did."

So we get game after game of generic zombies...and then ND do something different and decide to actually include some real world science to the game to make it a little more authentic and believable....and that's not special to you? Lol whatever buddy.

Salooh1617d ago (Edited 1617d ago )

The AI of the infected is much more better then zombies. (I was gonna say smarter XD ) . Infected didn't feel like zombies. They were different. They are scary not like the zombies we are used to . And like what others said they have a reasonable background story with real informations not like zombies.

So yes , Naughty Dog did something new even with the infected. The game wasn't about the infected. The danger came from humans more then them. Other zombie games didn't do that.

MidnytRain1617d ago (Edited 1617d ago )

There was hardly any science in this game; not any more than other apocalypse games.

goldwyncq1617d ago (Edited 1617d ago )

So by that logic, Left 4 Dead is not a zombie game either since those "zombies" you fight throughout the game are just infected with a virus.

Like it or not, the "infected" in TLOU behave and act like zombies, so you can't seriously blame anyone who calls it a zombie game.

scott1821617d ago (Edited 1617d ago )


Actually, typically zombies are infected by a virus, that is generally the back story to most zombie movies and games.

Mushroom spores in nature hatch out of insect skulls and kill them, ND used that as a new meathod to create a "zombie". These spores go through different life cycles in a human brain in the last of us, starting out mild, and becoming very extreme and eventually hatching out.

I would say it is very unique, and a nice change from the usual zombie story. So you can't blame people annoyed by the generalization of "Zombie game".

Irishguy951617d ago

Real life science? Are you ****ing serious? Cordyceps would produce zombie like fungus heads. Wow. It is no more scientific than producing a virus that makes the person become filled with murderous rage. ND took a real life fungus, and turned it into an unrealistic yet creative concept. However, it was not creative in the vein that the enemies simply acts like generic zombies. They are for all intents and purposes, zombies that look different.

Game after game of generic zombies -> The last of us fits RIGHT IN THERE. Again, most 'infected' games use different types of zombies. Resident evil has ****ing parasites launching out their zombies. Yet again, all I see are undeserving comments towards ND's creativity. Look, they made a great game. To some Game of the generation. But stop giving them praise in areas the don't deserve. It's a nice story concept and one of the better 'infected' concepts. But gameplay wise it adds nothing at all.

As for humans?

Dead Rising
Resident evil series
Dead island
Day Z

Yet again praising ND where they don't deserve it. Other survivors as the threat is Not new whatsoever. Not in gaming and certainly not in story telling. Bringing someone elses concepts into gaming is not creative in any shape or form.

Again, ND are good with execution, gameplay, story telling(not the plot or story itself) and graphics. They don't do 'original'. Not since the Ps3. We still have people claiming the Uncharted series is completely original. When the story is as generic as they come. ND deserve their praise. But they don't deserve this type of praise, they are one of the best devs in the industry. But **** knows they play it safe and don't try anything new anymore with regards to story. Gameplay wise too, some of you guys act as if 'survival games' are something only ND does.

Again -> ND do games well. But they don't do anything that hasn't been done before. They just tend to make great games of already achieved concepts.

ShwankyShpanky1617d ago (Edited 1617d ago )

I've got the TLOU platinum trophy.

For all intents and purposes, they're zombies.

noun \ˈzäm-bē\
2 a : a person held to resemble the so-called walking dead;

3. One who looks or behaves like an automaton.

2. Informal. a. a person whose behavior or responses are wooden, listless, or seemingly rote; automaton.

And no, "zombies" are not "typically" infected by a virus. By the strictest definition, a zombie is a corpse reanimated by supernatural forces. And in TLOU, the cordyceps doesn't cause infected to move to higher ground for optimal spore dispersal, which is the case with the real fungus; it's just used as an excuse to make them act like... well... crazy zombies.

Ju1617d ago

Oh please, are you seriously debating who came up with the better "fake science what defines a zombie"? Reality check: There is no science behind Zombies other than science fiction, and this you can shape into any form you like.

GarrusVakarian1617d ago (Edited 1617d ago )


"simply acts like generic zombies. They are for all intents and purposes, zombies that look different. "

Oh, i wasn't aware the standard zombie had sonar-like capabilities in the form of high pitched clicking noises.....that's news to me. Have you even played the game or done any research on it?

"Real life science? Are you ****ing serious? Cordyceps would produce zombie like fungus heads. Wow."

You can argue all you want but they took real life science (cordyceps) and applied it in their game.....i said nothing about how realistic or true to science the end result became.....but its BASED off real science. If you actually watched the video it does produce fungi growing out of the ant's head lol, so IF it was to mutate and be a compatible infection with humans it makes sense to assume that it would do to us what it did to that ant in the video.

All i was saying is that instead of just having zombies, ND actually made a little effort to make it a bit different and base it off a real thing something real to add to the experience. They could have just been zombies with no explanation WHY they are zombies or any backstory at all......

"Game after game of generic zombies -> The last of us fits RIGHT IN THERE. "

Wrong on so many levels. Since when is effort to make something different generic? They could have just said "**** it, we will just call them zombies and we won't explain HOW they are zombies or WHY they are zombies"....but they didn't. But it's clear you are just a ND and TLOU hater, it's ok i understand there have to be hipsters.


You REALLY need to learn how to read.

"There is no science behind Zombies other than science fiction"

1) I wasn't talking about zombies.

2) Cordyceps is a real-life fungi.....real-life not saying the game is realistic, im just saying they BASED it off real life science.

The fact you called a real life fungi "fake science" is laughable.

scott1821617d ago


Not talking about the definition of a zombie, I was talking about what most movies and games use as the back story.


" They just tend to make great games of already achieved concepts."

Tell me a new concept for a big budget game used in the past 8 years...It's obvious you don't like the attention being given to TLoU for some strange reason.

Ju1617d ago

@Lukas_Japonicus, no, just no. There is as much science in this as in Star Trek. Yeah, maybe some formulas, steered and shaken and added some spice and voila, people turned into plants. No, there is no science behind such a thing. No matter how you paint the cattle.

DigitalRaptor1617d ago (Edited 1617d ago )

@ irishguy

I'm just going to try and end this ridiculous argument right here, because it's completely missing the point, and introducing tons of misinformation about what the game is about.

There is more HUMAN interaction in The Last of Us than with the infected or "zombies" if you insist. It's a tale about the human condition and a father/daughter blossoming relationship. We were told about this months before the game even came out and it happens to be correct. The Cordyceps is a backdrop that is pretty damn inventive for the medium, but the ending of the game and the message it drives home is more about the concept of humanity, than the Cordyceps itself.

Like Lukas_Japonicus said, the sonar capabilities of these "zombies" is unique to "zombie" games. The multi-stage variations of the zombies is not as generic as I think you believe it is, and at least attempts to be explainable by science.

GarrusVakarian1617d ago (Edited 1617d ago )

What makes me laugh is that im saying "ND used real life science (cordyceps) to base their infected around in TLOU".......but people are reading it as:

"TLOU infected are realistic, the used real life science (cordyceps) to accurately guess what a human would look/behave like when infected by the cordyceps fungi, clickers are real life science". Lol.

You have people like Ju and irishguy who only read sentences how they want to read them and completely miss what im trying to say. No matter how much Naughty Dog skewed, twisted or changed the cordyceps fungi to fit into their's still taken and based off a real life fungi.

I'll break it down into toddler terms:

Cordyceps = real life science

TLOU infected = Fiction based off non fiction.

"Based off" are the key words.

ravinash1617d ago

All these people who keep arguing about if they are zombies or not have missed the point that ND were trying to do.
Their just a vehicle for the story. The primary entertainment value is in the story and it is brilliantly written with a much more mature focus than a lot of games we see at the moment and is what people are really crying out for.
The mechanics of the game aren’t that new, basically uncharted with a more stealth approach. But it is enjoyable and the difficulty makes it more so.

It's basically saying your mature and we're not going to insult your intelligence. We'll crate a hard game so you will have to figure it out how to get through it and we'll reward you with a story you'll want to follow about characters that you will care about.

+ Show (16) more repliesLast reply 1617d ago
Walker1617d ago

Naughty Dog are the best developers in the industry right now !

CrossingEden1617d ago

No they're not. Ubisoft is because they are the ones making the most new ips and most innovative experiences and aren't just releasing exclusives.

majiebeast1617d ago (Edited 1617d ago )

Learn the difference between a publisher and a developer.

frostypants1617d ago (Edited 1617d ago )

Exclusivity has nothing to do with anything. Also, what innovative experience has Ubisoft released recently? Basing your opinion on unreleased games is kind of ridiculous.

Ju1617d ago

Really? I would think AC4 is pretty epic. Sea warefare which has never done before in their latest games. The Division, awesome. Watchdogs, Far Cry 3. I guess Ubi is quite underrated. One of the major publishers which actually does new IPs. What did EA bring out lately, or Activision - other than publishing Bungies Destiny (they got lucky there).

Naughty Dog has the best tech on the PS3, their work is unprecedented within the ICE group, and I love all their games, but I am quite disappointed they are not on the PS4 - or aren't bringing anything new to the platform any time soon. I'm looking forward to the next gen Uncharted, but we've played those games before. I have a little bit the feeling the missed the next gen boat.

Why o why1617d ago

C'mon guys..... take sony out of the equation and crossing would agree. ---- Thou shall not laud anything sony ever.----CE

The characters and their development made the world more believable. They must of spent a lot of time and effort on the writing and level design. When games are turning more into movies, the story becomes that much more important. NaughtyDog took another step towards achieving the perfect balance. It may be hard for them to best tlou in that regards.

DCfan1617d ago

Never go full retard.

MidnytRain1617d ago (Edited 1617d ago )


Ubisoft has their own developers.

jebabcock1617d ago (Edited 1617d ago )

Ac4 is acceptable innovation and far cry 3 is but uc4 isnt when we don't know what it even contains.... smells like a double standard to me....

Personally what drew me to the ps4 was the hope for more UC and TLOU and the potential for more New ips like The Order. Sony has consistently produced alot of titles that I loved playing.

As far as ND specifically, they have just started expanding their dev staff to handle more concurrent ips. Getting good talent that meshes together doesn't happen overnight. I would rather see them produce the gems they have then rush crap to the market to cash in on their name. Personally I haven't been disappointed yet. I love the stories their games tell and how they tie them into the gameplay.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 1617d ago
majiebeast1617d ago ShowReplies(1)
GamersHeaven1617d ago

Love this game nearly perfect on every level.

FPSRUSSIA1617d ago

Game of these generation cant wait for the DLC to be released.

ltachiUchiha1617d ago (Edited 1617d ago )

I think video games like TLOU, Uncharted & many others is where movies will be heading. I would rather play the movie out & make my own decisions then just watch a movie play out as the director wanted it too. Games are just more awesome & u can tell a whole story through that one game besides cutting so many things out to fit the 2 hour movie.

Edit: On Topic though, TLOU deserves it. Such an EPIC game. Congratz Naughty Dog.

georgenancy1617d ago

This game is a masterpiece especially the winter season ;for me was the best part of the game.Loved playing as Ellie.You really had to exercise caution with when playing as her because of lack of weapons and skills and her vulnerability

DoctorJones1617d ago

Yeah I love that section of the game, especially in survivor mode, was really tense in places.

I'm not an overly sentimental person but in the next season after Ellie has been through all that, and she's really quiet and Joel is trying to cheer her up, I felt genuinely really sorry for her. She'd been through a lot by that point and it had obviously taken its toll on her.

It's a testament to the game and the people that made it that they can get people to be moved by it like that.

Really great game.

frostypants1617d ago

Agreed...that whole section of the game was amazing and completely unforeseen. One of the best mid-game gameplay twists in a long time.