The Last Of Us
The Last Of Us doesn’t really tell us why or how the end came, just that it did, and whilst the story is an entirely different beast to Cormac McCarthy’s book (and film) The Road, the incessant danger, hopelessness and the journey to protect a child all echo McCarthy’s brilliant and bleak outlook on the end of humanity.
And it’s the story that drives Naughty Dog’s Playstation exclusive The Last of Us more than anything else. An extremely linear game with some choice based situations and plenty of nerve racking set pieces, The Last Of Us is a visual feast that haunts you for a long time after you’ve put the controller down. Naughty Dog’s brilliantly original take on the zombie genre, puts humanities brink in the hands of some disease carrying spores that turns it’s victims into ravenous flesh eating monsters, over time. Unlike zombies however, these monsters cannot see and often give their presence away by their clicking sound.
But don’t think this makes them easy prey, because after your first encounter, just hearing the clicking sound will make a deathly cold fear run up your spine, stopping you in your tracks as you desperately look for a dark corner to hide in.
Playing the character of Joel, 20 years after the pandemic hit, and after loosing everyone close to you, your existence is just that, day to day, trying to do enough just to make it to the next. But when you get asked to help transport a young girl – Ellie – across the remains of the United States, you reluctantly agree, and the real adventure, and story, begins.
Trust between the two of you develops slowly and the addition of having someone dependent on you helps ramp up the emotional attachment to the game, but more than that, it just works so beautifully, both as a game and a narrative.
I don’t want to say too much more, as I run the risk of spoiling a story that deserves to be experienced rather than read about. But one thing I will say, is that The Last Of Us is one of a few games that the PS3 will be remembered for. In fact I’d go as far as to say it will be one of the games that this current generation of consoles is remembered for.
It’s that good.
Rating: R18 Violence and Horror.