SigmaSD Reviews The Last of Us
The world completely turns upside down in mere hours. As you take control of Sara, you quickly start to see how everything quickly falls apart. From news reporters going down in flames, to a city bombarded, and finally having to see her own dad murder the next door neighbor. Something is definitely not right as you make you try to seek shelter whereever possible.
As you resume your role as Joel, you are forced to carry your daughter and escape the hell on Earth unleashed before you, escaping infected, dodging cars, and avoiding fires. It all seems to end when you meet up with a soldier; a sigh of relief escaping Joel as it seems help has finally arrived.
But things turn for the worst as he is given orders to eradicate anyone escaping from the city, in fear that they might be infected. Joel tries his best to save both of them, flinging his daughter down a ditch and throwing himself afterward, leaving everything to lady luck in hopes of coming out unscathed.
In the end he winds up victorious after having his brother save him just as he is about to get shot, though his joy is short lived. As he slowly scampers up towards his daughter, he realizes a bullet has pierced her, in which case he holds her body closer to him desparately trying to apply pressure to the wound and trying to reassure himself and her that everything will be alright. Sadly all he could do is slowly watch in agony as the life slowly slips away from her, feeling her full weight as she leaves, taking everything he ever had with her.
As the prologue finishes, you are given an explanation to what actually happens. A fungal virus emerges, causing damage to the brain which takes away their humanity and leaves a savage being in its place. It basically attacks the thinking or rational part of the brain and leaves only the motor part functioning. The fungus takes control in a mere two days, making the epidemic that much deadlier. The government struggles to keep the virus contained but starts to fail quickly, and revolts emerge, causing the formation of a rebel group called the Fireflies.
You take control of Joel again, only age has taken its toll considering its been 20 years since the outbreak. This introduces you to Tess, a survival companion of sorts and immediately takes you on a journey to get back some weapons from a conman. Such a simple task quickly changes course as you eventually meet the leader of the Fireflies named Marlene.
Marlene is obviously injured and is in need of help so she assigns you an escort task in return for the weapons and maybe a bit more if you happen to be succesful. It turns out she wants you to deliver a child, to which Joel is strongly opposed of. Tess slowly convinces Joel of the worthwhileness of the task and is forced to comply. What they end up realizing is that this is more than just a child and that their assignment is much more than they bargained for. It turns out she is infected and has not turned, making her humanities final hope to eradicate this disease once and for all.
Your small task has now transformed into a vital mission of survival, navigating the treacherous landscape of post apocalyptic USA in hopes of finding the people that may put a stop to the plague and bring society back into the world.
Gameplay: The Last of Us is a survival action/adventure game that pits you against the unpredictability of an inhospitable post apocalyptic environment. You are given a variety of enemies along with ways to cope with each. Though each decision has pros and cons.
For example, if you choose to go all out you will be able to quickly clear a room full of enemies and the rewards they drop might be significantly better, but this might make you take more damage than other decisions and you also run the risk of running out of supplies. Another approach you can chose is sneak attack in which you basically go behind enemies and take care of them stealthily. This takes up more time and can be challenging depending on the battleground but it reduces your chances of taking heavy damage and won't drain your inventory. The hardest approach but sometimes smarter is to completely avoid conflict. This requires you to stealthily avoid enemies, but you'll often have to sacrifice opening important doors containing vital loot and is the most time consuming. You will also find yourself constantly overstocked which might make the game slightly boring.
The variety of enemies keeps the game interesting, as certain tactics are more effective than others. Military opponents seem to mostly run and gun at you, while bandit groups incorporate both a run and gun along with a stealth approach. Then there are the infected which contain four groups. The first stage of the infected are easy as they tend to just stand there, but it gets dangerous as it reaches the runners, which like to run up and attack. Clickers take it up to a whole new level, forcing you to be quiet considering they use sound to "see". And finally you have the tank-like bloaters that make you wonder if you should really play this game offensively throughout.
There is also a crafting system that takes a while to get used to, but its the only way to make use of your supplies. Mixing and matching certain ingredients makes different weapons that you can use to strategize when you happen to fall in conflict. There isn't much to say about it because its pretty straight forward, but you could increase your crafting speed with upgrades.
Now upgrades are interesting but fairly easy to understand. There are three types of upgrades in The Last of Us, one being weapon upgrades, the other being character upgrades and the last one being training manuals.
Througout the world you will find pills or bottles of pills, which are basically used as points for character upgrades. Some updrades have two levels while others have three and choosing the right ones could drastically help your survival rate.
Weapon upgrades are a bit different. Instead of pills you use gears that you find lying around. But in order to access different levels of upgrades you need to find the appropriate number of tool kits. For example, level one upgrades require no tool kit, so most weapons will let you at least upgrade the first level of fire rate or reload speed, etc. After that first upgrade, most weapons will require one tool kit to let you upgrade that same category again, so if you upgraded fire rate already you need one tool kit to put your points on that same thing again. Depending on the weapon, you might need two or three tool kits to at least upgrade a category by one level (these weapons are usually the ones that deal more damage).
The thing that makes The Last of Us one of the best games of this year is the story and music. The score for this game is very well done and it fits the scenarios perfectly, making tear jerking moments much more effective (such as the prologue). The companions you meet along the way also help to spice up the story; it makes you see how other people were affected since the outbreak occured. Just talking to them helps you learn more about them and it also eases the tension after a fierce encounter. Whether its the supercautious crazy Bill to the overprotective Henry, you will always find a point in which you will laugh or come close to crying.
There are a lot of pros to this game, one being the amazing storyline. It feels like something everyone needs to experience at least once in their lifetime, like the reading of Hamlet or watching Steamboat Willie. I also liked how flexible it was when choosing my tactics against enemies. I could run and gun a little and then hide accross the map, confusing the enemies and making it easier to finish off stealthily. I also absolutely loved the musical score, and thats something I don't really pay much attention to when playing games. It was also fairly easy to get into and didn't require extensive manuals. Though it did feel a bit like an uncharted game at times.
If you feel bored and are in need of some fresh gameplay or just want to let your emotions run wild, this game is right for you.
With everything into account, I would give this game a 9.5 out of 10.
Let's face it, you will never look at mushrooms the same way again.