I was a little sceptical when the premise for The Last Of Us was to set itself in one of those post-apocalyptic situations, here as a result of a pandemic, leaving the environment full of zombies running around and wanting to eat your brain… but then I played it. And it was wonderful.
Civilisation is going to hell in a handcart when the game begins and both you, Joel, and your daughter Sarah have to escape your home with the help of Uncle Tommy, who drives you away at speed. Fast forward 20 years on and the population has been decimated. On the plus side, not only is there no form of government to hassle us and pretend that we’re all in it together, but you have a girlfriend, too: Tess.
But there’s no time for jiggery pokery right away because food is scarce and you never know where your next meal is coming from. Weapons are also a priority if you want to surive, and a friend of yours can supply guns aplenty, but she’ll only give you some if you smuggle something secret out of the city. However, going out of the city is certain suicide, what with all the weird creatures out there.
The secret package? A 14-year-old girl called Ellie and you go off trying to get from A to B with her, with Tess following soon after.
The Last Of Us Clip 1 – Stealth takedowns (720p HD)
As shown in the gaming footage uploaded, The Last Of Us has outstanding visuals, not only for the locations you pass through, but also on the facial expressions as your characters move about, with action that plays out fluid and gorgeous. Even at the start when you’re in a car, I love the way you can turn Sarah round to view all around the car, causing her to turn as you move the joypad controls.
Audio-wise, mostly this is one for the ambient crowd, but with action and baddies filling out the directional DTS sound appropriately, this is an aural treat. Also, I could listen to the menu music all day. Soft and soothing, and sounding like many of the guitar greats as they sit strumming away on a hot summer’s day.
The path you take is fairly linear, but that’s not really an issue here because of the way it plays out. Also, it gets round ‘locked door’ syndrome, i.e. too many inaccessible items along the way, by making them all shops which are secured with gates, or similar inaccessible building areas. I was also a little worried at first, as it kept taking over with CGI – like the recent Tomb Raider did – and another issue with telling you which buttons to press for certain segments, like Resident Evil 6 but Naughty Dog have struck gold by managing not to make either aspect appear to dominate the proceedings, and makes it feel natural.
Unfortunately, the limitations of my review copy means I’m not allowed to put full walkthroughs of this game online – as well as none of the CGI sequences – but I rarely do walkthroughs of games without clearly defined levels anyway. By that, I mean that this game takes you straight through from start to finish. There’s a kind of junction for the start of a new section, but there’s no defined level numbers and names, and that would rather destroy the atmosphere of this sort of game anyway.
The Last Of Us Clip 2 – Punch-ups (720p HD)
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.