I placed the controller on the coffee table and I have never felt so relieved to finish a game. Not relieved because I couldn't wait for it be finished, but relieved having completed a journey. I just finished The Last of Us, Naughty Dog’s newest addition to the Playstation library, and in my opinion, a triumph in storytelling.
The Last of Us tells the story of Joel, a survivor willing to do what it takes to make it to the next day. These decisions can sometimes be questionable but such is the way of the world to which he was forced to adapt to. More importantly than Joel, this story is about Ellie and her relationship with Joel and one that unfolds and develops in such fluidity that I was often astounded how much I cared about pixels. I've had my fair share of tears, laughter, and terror over the 20 hour campaign the likes of which I've never experienced and I wouldn't have it any other way.
From a gameplay perspective, there were definitely some hiccups. Friendly AI are often not held to the same restrictions as the player like being seen by the enemy and it is extremely easy to find yourself utterly lost in the world. Not like, “wow this is so pretty I’m going to look around,” but more of a “where the hell am I going” kind of way. Often times I would get lost because I started looking at the beautiful environments and detailed world that Naughty Dog has created and lose track of what I was supposed to be doing next. Do these mishaps detract from the story or the overall acceptable controls and gameplay mechanics? This answer is an astounding absolutely not. This game is a must buy and there won’t be an experience like this presented in such a well-developed world for a long time.
When Naughty Dog announced the arrival of a multiplayer mode for The Last of Us, I cringed and asked myself, "What is the point and how can they translate the despair of Joel's journey?" Factions is nothing like what’s available on the market to date. For all of those looking for a Call of Duty experience, this is not for you. Being as silent as possible for as long as possible is an important factor in both modes of play and teamwork (yes, teamwork) is your main way of survival. If you go down, having a team player there to assist is not only important, but essential.
The Last of Us is a must-buy game and one that will be held above many other forms of entertainment to come. It's a rarity when we are treated to such an experience and one that should not be passed over by any fan of video games or story driven narrative.