The Last Of Us (2013)

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I know, it’s been awhile. Though, I don’t imagine many of you even notice. That being said, I actually haven’t been doing a ton of movie watching in the last bit. I recently picked up a PS4 and have been immersed in The Last of Us: Remastered. I know I don’t typically review games, but this time I just had to make an exception. I’m sure, by now, many of you have heard about this game and are probably wondering if it lives up to it’s hype and praise. Here’s my thoughts on The Last Of Us: Remastered.

Let’s start off by saying that, yes, this game lives up to it’s rave reviews. I had my concerns about it, as I tend to whenever something gets A++++ marks from everyone, but from the first sequence of the game I was in for the ride. Now, the game IS 2 years old, but with the Remastered release for PS4, I really don’t want to go and spoil it for anyone. There is the possibility that this review will contain some light spoilers though, so do keep that in mind.

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I’m not a video game blogger, or expert, and so obviously my knowledge for the technical side of gaming is not exactly top-notch, so when I talk about the game play, it’s really just an opinion as far as my personal experience. I found the gameplay pretty great, the controls felt pretty smooth, and everything served to give you a sense of panic when you were trying to fight clickers at close range with a hunting rifle. It all seemed to build the tension and, for me anyways, added to my anxiety throughout the game. I really didn’t have any issues with how the game felt to play, there were a couple of really minor glitches along the way, but nothing that even registered as a negative.

The opening of the game sets the tone beautifully for what you’re in store for. It’s tense, chaotic, and downright heartbreaking. A pretty clear omen of what you’re in store for, and a huge part of that is the characters in the game. The voice acting is top-notch. Troy Baker (who is apparently in every video game ever) is fantastic as Joel, and Ashley Johnson (NOT Ellen page as I was told by 5 different people) does a remarkable job as the voice of Ellie. The two characters are engaging, complicated and their relationship is absolutely fantastic. There are some great characters throughout the game, all with great voice actors, and it really made a huge difference to the overall experience of the game to have characters that you actually care about. I haven’t felt the same level of connection to game characters ever.

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In terms of the aesthetic appeal of the game, it’s quite simple: The Last of Us is fucking GORGEOUS. I didn’t play it on PS3, so I really can’t speak to the comparison between the two, and I don’t really care. My experience with the Remastered version of the game was incredible. The game sets this really harsh and dark tone, and so many of the locations you go to are dark that when you finally emerge into the light, the forest, I found myself actually feeling something. The joy and excitement about coming out of the darkness was so new to me as video games go. It added so much to the immersion that during one particular scene involving giraffes, I felt actual excitement at computer generated animals, that on it’s own speaks volumes.

The emotional moments in this game are part of the reason I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone, The Last of Us does such a great job of pulling you into the situations that Joel and Ellie find themselves in, both together and individually. You really feel for these characters all the way through and it makes such a huge difference to play a game like this. I’ve just started the “Left Behind” storyline that came with the Remastered version of the game, and while I haven’t finished it, I can say with confidence that it is just as strong and really adds some interesting elements to the story.

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Over all, The Last of Us was definitely a console-seller for me, after I had already purchased the console. I really loved this game, and I can’t recommend enough that you get out and get it. Either go and buy yourself a PS4 or go get it for PS3. Again, I realize that I’m late to the party on this one, but there’s no way that I’m the only one. Over all, it left me feeling emotionally drained at the end, and I have a feeling I’m going to need to play through again.

RATING: *****

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