|Game Name||The Last of Us Remastered|
|Release Date||August 1st 2014|
In the Amazon Prime day sale I managed to get a PlayStation 4 for a ridiculously low price, and being that I primarily game on the PC I’ve always missed the big name exclusives that come to console. The Last of Us was always one of the games that I wanted to play, and finally I had the chance to experience it.
The Last of Us follows the story of Joel and Ellie. Joel, one of the most manliest of men you’ll ever come across, and Ellie a teenage girl with a complex past and future. The world has been overrun by zombies and martial law is in place with army soldiers roaming the street in an attempt to restore order to the world. A rogue group of civilians named the Fireflies, a militia group also has a role in the world’s troubles too.
You play the game primarily as Joel, and about an hour into the game you encounter Ellie. You soon find out that Ellie is immune to the zombie infection, and you must escort her to the leader of the fireflies so that a cure to the plague that has overridden the world can be worked on. The journey that Joel and Ellie takes spans across a number of months, allowing for the story to be prolonged and give you the impression that travelling in this infested land is easier said than done. Without spoiling too much of the plot, Ellie and Joel experience plenty of turbulent times whether it be encountering other survivors of the infestation or hoards of zombies. The way in which all of the characters build relationships between themselves are nicely presented. The relationship between Joel and Ellie is the game’s key aspect, and you can really get infested in the bond the two have by the end of the game.
The end of the game left me wanting more from The Last of Us universe, and it almost leaves the end on a cliff hanger. Thankfully the sequel is in the works so now would be a good time to jump in as you won’t have as long to wait as those who played when it first released a few years ago.
The story can be compared to another zombie game, Telltale: The Walking Dead, but I felt The Last of Us was a much more in depth, complex and overall had more interesting plot.
Like I said, I primarily game on PC, so graphics are usually pretty important to me. The Last of Us Remastered ticked those boxes though, as it is an absolutely gorgeous game, with some very high quality textures. Facial expressions and animations were all spot on, and at times it felt super realistic whether it be in game sequences, or cut scenes.
I did find the game to be a little too dark at times. I found that some scenes were so dark that I couldn’t really see what was going on without needing to squint or get really close to the TV. It wasn’t until I realised I could turn up the brightness in the settings menu that this wasn’t a problem.
The game also runs smoothly at a steady 60 FPS with no other technical hitches throughout my time playing.
Voice acting in The Last of Us is extremely high quality. It’s like watching a movie at times, and the character’s animations really flow into the voice actors playing them. Troy Barker has an excellent performance as Joel, and Ashley Johnson plays Ellie, both very well known voice actors in the industry and it truly shows here.
Musically and the game’s sound effects both add to the already tense atmosphere created by the plot and character design. It’s clear that a lot of thought went into the timing of sound effects in order to create that added tension that really drills home the dire situation the characters find themselves in.
The game is played from a third person perspective, and whilst it is an action adventure game for the most part, there is also an element of survival aspects too. The world is on it’s last legs and you have to really scavenge around for weapons, ammo and supplies in order to survive in the wasteland. Zombies and soldiers don't tend to die in just one hit, so you really have to make your shots count, or even better, try and sneak past foes if possible.
The Last of Us has a simple crafting system too. From the spare parts and items that you find scattered around the world, you are able to craft them into useful items, such as medipacks, knives, and molotovs for example. You don’t have access to all of these craftable items from the start of the game, you either unlock them through story progress, or from finding the recipes in the world. You can also use other spare parts to improve your weapons such as increased clip sizes, reduced reload speeds, or more damage. I think if the crafting system had any more complex I would have just bounced off it, but because it was so easy to understand I was able to take full advantage of it.
Usually for any sort of game the involves aiming a gun, I gravitate straight to keyboard and mouse for that added accuracy. So my skills with aiming on a controller were almost nonexistent at this point. Thankfully the game has a snap aim function, I know, I know what an absolute nub using snap aim, but it allowed me to get used to aiming with an analogue stick and I was able to turn the feature off about half way through the game, as it doesn’t allow for pin point accuracy for getting head shots for example.
The early stages of the game were very challenging for me. Not only was I getting used to playing with a PS4 controller, but also dealing with large groups of enemies with almost no ammo to use was adding to the challenge. It wasn’t until about a third of the way through the game, was it that I became competent with the controls and different mechanics and ways in which I could navigate around groups of enemies.
The Last of Us also includes a couple of puzzles for you to solve too. None of them are insanely difficult which require you to look up solutions online, but just enough challenge to make you sit and think for a moment to asses the surroundings. Simple things such as being able to cross a river sometimes made me really think outside the box and lead to some obscure solutions which aren’t always the most obvious at first. There are a small amount of quick-time events to contend with but these are few and far between.
The game took me around fifteen hours to complete, I did feel like the game was ending at one point due to the events that took place, but to my surprises I was actually only around half way through the game. I was happy with the length of the game, it didn’t overstay it’s welcome and was the perfect length that left me wanting more, before it became repetitive.
Given this was my first game I played on PS4, it has certainly set the bar high, and it is by far one of the best games I have ever played, period. The high quality game play together with a compelling story that ticked all the boxes is well worth the full price for any action adventure fans.