Saturday, July 27, 2013

My Take on: The Last of Us

This is not a review but a reaction post...wait, does that make it a review?
So, this is my take on Naughty Dog's The Last of Us.
Let's rewind back to a year ago where I was attending San Diego Comic Con. I was walking around the Exhibit Hall with two of my best buddies from school when they stopped to chat with two strangers that we bumped into.

It ended up being Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley. If you don't know who they are, you might get confused as you read further. (I don't mind you googling them either.)

An hour later we hurried to the room where they were going to release the game play of their upcoming game The Last of Us. Now, mind you, I'm not really into console games but my shoulders were heavy with unnecessary loot and I needed to rest my legs. Next thing I knew, I was sitting on the third row, wide-eyed and anxious at the game play of a game and company I barely knew about.

WHOA, was all I could muster after. From the strong characters, game play and graphics it was undoubtedly going to be one of the most anticipated game of 2013. I promised myself I HAD to have it.

Fast forward to this year I finally bought the game two weeks after it released. I finished the game about a week later. I clocked in at just shy of 24 hours, probably due to the fact that I would just crouch in an area for literally 10 mins, thinking about the best way to stealth myself around. I mean hey, I never left an area without killing everyone, literally EVERYONE.

This was probably my first game that I was so proud of finishing by myself. Around my friends I am a notorious "Game Teaser" where I pick up a game and never finish. But something about the TLOU captured my every moment.

The graphics alone were enough of a distraction to keep me going. I found myself admiring decaying buildings, foggy reflections and the subtle light that would creep in a barricaded window. By the time I was wandering with Ellie, I found their character clash to be irresistible. With Joel's cold, brutish demeanor to Ellie's innocent, blunt courage it was hard to distinguish how these two could work together. 

The hardships and endurance each character had to face could resemble what a person would have to overcome if it were in real life. With an ignorant outlook on how games are just pure 'point and shoot' products, I was blown away by the complexity of it all.
I love the fact that I was so connected with each character. I would catch myself repeatedly cursing under my breath as if a Clicker ten feet away could hear me. I remember physically kicking the air when I was riding away on a horse while a hunter strapped himself to my side. And although I knew Ellie was just an A.I., my heart would always do a back flip every time she decides to hide right next to an enemy. Aforementioned, Ellie is a supporting (AI) character and she depended on you to survive. But I'm not gonna lie, there was so many times that I did something reckless because I knew she had my back.

If my opinion mattered, I would give this game a 10/10. This is coming from someone who rarely plays console games, better yet, finishes them. From graphics, character development and just brilliant storytelling, this is without a doubt, one of the best games I have ever played.

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