Friday, April 10, 2015

'The Last of Us' Could Have Been an Even Better Game.

So I finally managed to finish The Last of Us - and for the most part I really enjoyed playing it on my playstation 4. It is probably one of the best games that I have ever played. It had almost everything that I could have asked for as a player.

At the same time, as good as the game was, I think it could have been an even better game. There were parts that were somewhat inconsistent - parts that got me to wonder whether certain moments made sense in the game's universe.

Nevertheless, The Last of Us has many great things going for it - and perhaps the best thing about it are its main characters, Joel and Ellie. They are genuinely relatable, which is rather rare when it comes to games in general.

This is probably the reason that game has been that big of a success. It is a survival adventure game - so it's crucial that you care about the characters. Otherwise there wouldn't be much point in playing the game through.

The story of 'The Last of Us' is basically about these two characters. The male character - the main character - Joel, is the one that the player starts with.  He's a man who has lost his purpose in life after he lost his family during the virus outbreak.

Ellie, the female character, on the other hand, is much more optimistic about life. Even though she too apparently has gone through a lot, she thinks that not everything is lost. At the very least, there's this organization called Firefly somewhere that she needs to find.

What makes Ellie so crucial to the story is that she's a person who got infected, but for some reason didn't die or even get any symptoms from the virus. There's a specific reason for her to find other survivors and to perhaps find a cure.

So these two go for a rollercoaster ride. Before they reach their final destination, both have to survive difficult situations - which leads to the body count getting pretty high. You need to kill a lot of people, ranging from the infected to other bad guys.

What makes this ordeal and game play so challenging, is that you don't have unlimited amount of ammunition at your disposal. What makes it worse is that your melee weapons won't last long either. So you need to be smart, otherwise you won't survive.

The first half of The Last of Us is a lot about getting out of the city. In my opinion the game gets much better when it reaches its second half. This is when you start to invest in the characters. Joel finally starts to like Ellie and figures out he has responsibilities towards her.

Very likely the best part of the game is the final third, that has the majority of the story beats. This is also when you get to play as Ellie, which I think is something that most people wanted to happen at some point in the game.

When it comes to the ending, it's about making hard decisions and dealing with them. I found that the ending was really emotional. I'm really glad that they didn't water it down, which is something that might happen to the movie version of this game.

In any case, what were the things that I had reservations about? I'm not sure what others thought, but there were some rather obvious ones. Like for example that vignette with those black characters happened too early in the story. It was also way too dramatic.

The other complaint that I have is that there were a couple of moments in the story where there was just too much action - killing - without any good reason. Especially when it came to the 'safe haven' parts, that I otherwise liked very much.

During these phases I had thoughts like "this was supposed to be a safe place, what are these enemies doing here and where did they come from?". Also, right after when Ellie 'disappears', there's really no reason why there should be any enemies out there at the farm.

But I guess those flaws are not really that important, even though I'm confident the game would have been even better had they polished the script a bit more. Perhaps they should have had a bit more confidence in their story.

Yet, as a whole, 'The Last of Us' was pretty awesome, and I'm already feeling a bit sad that I'm now done with the story mode. The game in my opinion lived up the hype and was well worth getting for my Playstation 4. 

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