From the onset, The Last of Us sets out to weave a tale of survival and struggle. It accomplishes this in every way, but Naughty Dog’s unflinching devotion to this ideal results in something unfamiliar. The emotion is real, as are the characters residing in its universe, but you never feel really good playing it. Perhaps we aren't supposed to. We relate and sympathize with The Last of Us’ plight, but do we want to return?
I suppose that is the point and nowhere is this single-minded focus more clear than the finale, which is shockingly human in its flaws and, as a testament, almost made me sick. Never wavering from its theme is the highest compliment to be paid here, but after all we went through together, don’t we deserve more? In the end, The Last of Us may leave the player suffering as much as the in-game world has, but maybe that’s the point.