Fall 2013GamesLifestyle and Culture

PS3 Recap: The Last of Us

by: Oliver Layco

You could probably see this one coming from a mile away, but the last game on my meaningful PS3 games has to be The Last of Us (and yes I was planning on saving it for the end for that purpose). Naughy Dog makes an appearance again and for good reason. They’ve treated a story based game the exact way that I would expect from a video game. They’ve again crafted a beautiful story filled with moral dilemmas and a gorgeous world to boot. The story follows Joel and Ellie as they make their way across an abandoned United States in hopes for a cure. Along the way, they encounter the infection in forms of zombies named Clickers. Occasionally, and actually quite frequently, they encounter the more fearful humans along the way. This is the one game that I’ve ever played that’s made me tear up within the first 15 minutes. If you strip down the story to its core, it’s nothing really special; but the way they incorporate different elements makes it probably the most memorable story told of this past generation that I’ve played. As for the world that we get to traverse, it is done exactly like their real life counter parts. From the streets of Boston all the way to the mountains of Salt Lake City, they are all beautifully done and evoke the right emotion. None of this could be done without the sound. I’ll start with the obvious and say the voice acting here was exceptional. Troy Baker appears to be everywhere, yet he can change his voice on a whim to bring his character to life. He adds a grizzled personality and really brings to life what happened to Joel. As for his counter-part in Ashley Johnson, I still find it surprising that a 30 year old actress can voice a 14 year old girl. She certainly holds her own when given the chance. I’m also looking forward to the DLC that will be released soon that looks like it will be centered around her. All the other characters they meet along the way also contribute a fair amount where they fit right into the story. A nice little surprise is also the inclusion of Nolan North of Uncharted fame as one of the characters. This all being said, I suppose I should go into what makes it a game. The gameplay here is a standard third person shooter with some welcome additions. For basic game mechanics, it’s just the basic run, crouch, go behind cover; not much you can really change there besides making it precise and they did that. I’ll admit there were times where aiming and movement felt a little off, but that could have been on my part. The one addition I liked was a echolocation type of ability. Basically, a player can sense where other characters are in a level as long as they’re making sound. This really helps out when you’re deciding whether to attack or try to sneak by as much as possible. One other aspect I liked was the in game menu screen. Since players had to craft items or heal in real time, it added another level of tension to the gameplay. As for the online, it’s actually enjoyable and was probably one of the longer ones I stuck around with for awhile. It was different and had a mini story that made it more appealing for me. One mode that was missing since last I played was a zombie mode. Players have been clamoring for a mode where the Clickers enter the stages at random times and a team would now have two enemies to battle. I could keep going on and on and mention other parts like survival mode and other parts, but I already did that in my full review here! So if you haven’t picked up The Last of Us, there’s this thing called Christmas coming up and you should definitely put this on your list! And with that, the PlayStation 4 is among us. It seems like this last generation went by in a flash and I was barely there for it. However, a new Uncharted has already been announced in the works for the PS4 so when that day comes, I shall be ready.

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