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The Last of Us (PlayStation 3)

92
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.2
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

The Last of Us is a survival horror action adventure game. The story focuses on the two characters Joel and Ellie. The game starts in a contemporary, but post-apocalyptic version of Boston twenty years after the outbreak of the Cordyceps Brain Infection (CBI), an infection spread by a mushroom that turns anyone infected into zombie-like creatures in two days. The opening sequence is set during the outbreak and it has Joel escape the invaded city with the help of his brother Tommy. Twenty years later, civilization is almost entirely destroyed. Independent groups of survivors have organized themselves into military outfits that quarantine zones, hold curfew and distribute rations. Others are part of the resistance group the Fireflies, while Joel is a member of an independent group. Together with his friend Tess, he survives by smuggling goods in and out of the city. During a mission they get into contact with a Fireflies member who offers stolen weapons back if they escort the 14-year-old girl Ellie out of the city. After some events and revelations about Ellie's importance, Joel and Ellie end up together and their journey is documented in the course of a year and a few months, spread over five seasons.

The player controls Joel from a third-person perspective. Ellie can also be controlled by herself for some extensive parts in the later chapters. Similar to the developer's previous Uncharted games, gameplay combines action elements, exploration and puzzle-solving. Joel is however not as strong or acrobatic and he often needs to use ladders, planks and other items to climb and get around. Similarly, the survival horror theme with limited ammo and health makes him very vulnerable to attacks and a stealth approach is often more effective. Enemies include various five types of infected (Runners, Stalkers, Clickers, Bloaters and Spore Cadavers) each with their own characteristics, but also humans from the military groups and other survivors. There is a selection of close and long-ranged guns, along with melee weapons that can be modded, regular fist fighting, and items such as molotov cocktails, smoke bombs and nail bombs. Ammo is very limited and initially the reloading speed and firing rate are slow. Melee weapons can only be used a few times before they break down.

More can be achieved through stealth. Joel is able to duck and sneak around at various speeds, and he can activate a hearing sense that allows him to vaguely see and hear silhouettes through walls based on sounds. By sneaking up on an enemy, it can be taken out through strangling, a quick kill with a shiv or another type of takedown. Certain enemies are blind and only react to sound. As soon as Joel is detected, other enemies are warned and the player has to decide upon confrontation or breaking the line of sight by hiding for some time. During attacks or when being held there are often short quick time events to break free, but for some enemies a single hit is deadly right away. Further possibilities include sprinting, using a flash light in dark areas, and swimming. Joel can pick up bottles or bricks and throw them to distract enemies. Certain enemies can be stun by throwing at them directly. Cover is based on line of sight and is not performed through a separate action. It is achieved automatically by moving behind objections and Joel is not glued to his cover position, as both sound and line of sight entirely determine the cover's effectiveness.

Progress through the story and the environment is entirely linear, but there is some focus on exploration along with small optional areas. The city is almost entirely destroyed and the characters move through the debris and abandoned houses, but there are also parts where nature has taken back the environment and lush scenery outside the city. Next to Boston and the surrounding environment, the characters visit Pittsburgh, Colorado and Salt Lake City eventually. A large part of the exploration is needed to gather items. Various tools and items can be collected to craft them into items such as health kits, shivs, molotov cocktails, (smoke) bombs, modded melee weapons and more. Supply is limited, so the player has to choose between offensive and defensive means. At workbenches gears, bolts and other metals are used to improve the characteristics of weapons such as firing rate, reloading speed, weapon sway and ammo capacity. The full range of upgrades only becomes available when up to five levels of tool skills have been unlocked. Supplement pills collected along the way are used to improve the overall skills influencing maximum health, hearing capacity, crafting speed and more. Abilities can also be upgraded by locating training manuals. Ellie and other AI companions are controlled automatically and can never be detected or hurt by opponents, except for a few specific sequences. There is a lot of focus on conversations along the way, as well as the relationship between the characters. This is also furthered through various cut-scenes, both rendered and in-game.

Multiplayer is called Factions with matches for up to eight players simultaneously. At the beginning the player chooses between the Hunters of Fireflies factions with a custom character. The initial faction selection cannot be reversed until the clan has been defeated or the multiplayer story has been completed. The story consists of a light narrative that frames the various encounters, as the aim is to help a clan grow and survive. Players are organized in clans, but these can also be populated with friends' names through a Facebook connection. While playing various status updates about the members are shown, as they are sent out to fight, locate supplies etc. Multiplayer progresses by one day at a time by playing matches in one of the two game modes: Supply Raid and Survivors. Both are team death match variations, with a finite pool of 20 team respawns in the former and one life per round in the latter. Just like the single-player, the focus is mostly on stealth and gathering supplies to craft. Ammo is also limited and the Listen mode from the single-player is available, but only for a short duration and as a specific perk. Crafted items can be used in-game or can be saved to further the clan's status in the larger frame as supplies act as a currency. Sometimes there are specific objectives such as a set number of kills to have the clan grow. Characters can be customized, there is a perk system with survival skills and an overall experience system, and clans can be populated with AI-controlled characters. Character classes consist of Assault, Sniper, Support and Stealth, and a custom one can also be created.

Screenshots

The Last of Us PlayStation 3 Main menu.
The Last of Us PlayStation 3 Silent take-down.
The Last of Us PlayStation 3 Keeping the infested at bay.
The Last of Us PlayStation 3 Clickers only use aural senses, so you can use stealth to sneak up on them.

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User Reviews

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The Press Says

Eurogamer.fr Jun 05, 2013 10 out of 10 100
Common Sense Media 2013 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Game Informer Magazine Jun 05, 2013 9.5 out of 10 95
Peliplaneetta.net Jun 14, 2013 92 out of 100 92
NowGamer Jun 05, 2013 8.5 out of 10 85
Game Critics Jun 22, 2013 8 out of 10 80
Factornews Jun 19, 2013 8 out of 10 80
Riot Pixels Jun 19, 2013 78 out of 100 78
Polygon Jun 05, 2013 7.5 out of 10 75
Quarter to Three Jun 12, 2013 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60

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Trivia

Awards

  • Destructoid
    • 2013 - Game of the Year
    • 2013 - Community Choice
    • 2013 - Best Console Exclusive
  • DICE Awards
    • 2013 - Game of the Year
    • 2013 - Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction
    • 2013 - Outstanding Innovation in Gaming
    • 2013 - Adventure Game of the Year
    • 2013 - Outstanding Achievement in Visual Engineering
    • 2013 - Outstanding Achievement in Story
    • 2013 - Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design
    • 2013 - Outstanding Character Performance (Ashley Johnson as Ellie)
    • 2013 - Outstanding Achievement in Animation
    • 2013 - Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction
  • GameSpot
    • 2013 - PS3 Game of the Year
  • GameTrailers
    • 2013 - Game of the Year
    • 2013 - Best Story
    • 2013 - Best Third Person Shooter
    • 2013 - Best PlayStation Exclusive
  • Golden Joysticks Awards
    • 2013 - Best Newcomer
    • 2013 - Best Storytelling
    • 2013 - Studio of the Year (Naughty Dog)
  • IGN
    • 2013 - Game of the Year
    • 2013 - Best Overall Action-Adventure Game
    • 2013 - Best Overall Graphics - Technology
    • 2013 - Best Overall Sound
    • 2013 - PS3 Game of the Year
    • 2013 - Best PS3 Action-Adventure Game
    • 2013 - Best PS3 Multiplayer Game
    • 2013 - Best PS3 Graphics
    • 2013 - Best PS3 Sound
    • 2013 - Best PS3 Story
  • Spike VGX
    • 2013 - Studio of the Year (Naughty Dog)
    • 2013 - Best PlayStation Game
    • 2013 - Best Voice Actor (Troy Baker as Joel)
    • 2013 - Best Voice Actress (Ashley Johnson as Ellie)




Related Web Sites

Sciere (233885) added The Last of Us (PlayStation 3) on Jun 15, 2013