A great game becomes even greater for the next gen
I am aware that my fellow writers Chris Henry and Ben Denny here at GameLuster have already played and reviewed the brilliant game that is the Last of Us (both the main game and the extra content). If interested you can find the original The Last of Us review here, and you can read the Last of Us Left Behind review here..
Though this may be the case I believe it is my turn to bring you my opinions on the game and how else to do it then with the brand new remastered version of the game on the Playstation 4. I will let you know before this that I am talking about the game as a whole and not just this version of the game. I know what you are most likely thinking - why should I care about the Playstation 4 version of the game when I have already played the Playstation 3 version and still own it? Is the game worth playing again on the new console? The answer to that is yes.
The story of The Last of us is a story of love and loss in a world thrown to the brink of chaos because of creatures known as the infected. This threat has made the world dangerous and has crumbled society right down to its core. Fear and evil are truly the only things that characterize this tale and the story of desperation is literally noticeable through the Last of Us. You play as Joel, who gets tasked with helping smuggle a young girl out of the city of Boston and transport her to a group known as the Fireflies. At the start of the game this seems like an easy task but things happen and the journey becomes a challenge that ties together the destinies of Joel and this young girl Ellie. These two characters that draw you into the game, as we see them struggle through their awkward relationship and go on a cross country journey. They work together to prove there is hope for a dystopian society.
The world of the Last of Us is certainly not a peaceful one. This is evident from the moment you first start properly playing, but it gets even more real as you continue to make your way through this world. You see struggles and things that truly make you think about yourself and how you would react in these characters' situations. The world is no place for a kind heart and it is kill or be killed. For some this may be a turn off but it is in these themes that the Last of Us shines as it forces you to face your morality and carefully consider how far you are truly willing to go. This mainly comes down to a sense of responsibility you are tasked with caring for Ellie. Naughty Dog has finely crafted this idea of these two characters and their growing bond as the games main premise to urge us on even when things get tough.
It is rare that you find a game that is as deep and involved as the Last of Us. The world pushes you forward deeper into its problems and its chaos, presenting you with only a bit of happiness presented by the two characters. There were a few moments that filled me with joy but just seeing how dark and sad this world is kept me engaged, even when everything seemed lost and hopeless. The Last of Us is an easy game to lose yourself in because of the story and how cleverly the world has been constructed.
The game play surrounding the game is a constant reminder of how brutal this world is and how tough it can be to survive and ties in masterfully with the story to show how bad things have gotten. The game literally positions you to survive going through the harsh terrains of the world and trying your best to make it through everything that is thrown at you, this comes in the form of bandits or psychopath's as I prefer to call them, and the infected. The world is littered with a good variety of each to make your journey hard and make things seem more hopeless but the key is to survive and it must be done in a variety of ways.
The world is a harsh place and so surviving is really about keeping yourself safe and finding supplies anywhere possible. A good portion of the survival comes from scavenging and finding these supplies in order to keep you alive for you next fight, and because of this all kinds of supplies can be found to keep you alive, often these items found also can be used for creating other items to help better improve your chances of survival. For me traveling everywhere possible was one of the most important things for my survival, searching around within every building and searching every corner for items often allowed me to find the supplies necessary to craft first aid kits and also melee weapon upgrades.
The main issue that is found while scavenging for supplies is ammo for weapons is scarce, this isn't an issue with the game itself in fact this is part of the world, and shows just how troublesome the world is when the supplies that would be key to survival in a number of situations are so scarce. It is because of this that the game tasks you with being clever and carefully considering how you plan to approach combat. For me I preferred not to use guns as I am not a very good shot and because I never knew when a gun would be necessary for surviving a fight in a future, so because of this I was often left with a stealth approach to avoid combat in general and there is nothing wrong with this approach and it is actually a recommended approach.
By further expansion stealth can also be useful as a form of combat, you can carefully sneak around and take opponents out without them ever knowing you are there and I personally always felt this was the best approach given my own weakness. Though stealth even without combat still shares quite a level of importance to the game and often remains as your only choice, against human enemies stealth can be done but it isn't always effective or possible unless you carefully predict their movements. It is when facing the infected that stealth can often be your only option to make it through, infected are more sensitive to sound then sight so rather then trying to make a deadly combat situation carefully moving yourself around these enemies and avoiding noise is important. Infected also further evolve into clickers which are even more important to avoid, Clickers can kill you with one hit so often the only option is to try to sneak around them unless you are willing to get attention from a specialized melee weapon or a gunshot.
Again guns are some of the worst options for combat and it because of this dark hopeless world that ammo is limited, however it goes deeper then just how scarce ammo is, guns are some of the worst options when it comes to getting around and surviving. A single gunshot can lead to your death as it alerts enemies to your location even worse when dealing with infected every enemy in your vicinity will come running and unless you have several bullets to waste or are a really good shot this is never a good option and does really force you to just consider a better approach then guns to keep you alive.
Likewise relying on any weapon is a dangerous thing, just like ammo is scarce melee weapons are also a struggle to find on many occasions, while they are helpful when fighting armies of infected every melee weapon falls apart after a few hits commonly forcing you to rethink your approach on the go. Echoing how fragile items have become and the desperation of this world making use of such items as axes, planks of wood, baseball bats among other items which again could be the only thing that saves you in moments where you are forced to fight. Often this is better then your fists but on many circumstances without a gun or a melee weapon I was forced to take the in your face fist approach.
The Last of Us is a desperate world and this commonly echoed throughout everything that transpires and it because of the brilliant gameplay that we truly see just how tough people are forced to be and how challenging it can be to survive. With this background and the gameplay merged together we truly have found our draw in point in the Last of Us and it is evidenced just how tough it can be for trust and as we see an ever growing bond of our two protagonists in the story we make the rough and tough decisions. A good portion of the enemies seen show just how bad things have gotten and the first time I ever saw a Clicker I was terrified and when it got me I was shocked.
This is the remastered game on the Playstation 4 so how is it any different, well to put it shortly it isn't much different from the original game and most of what we see is just a simple upgrade for a better experience. The Last of Us was one of the best games on the Playstation 3 and was also widely celebrated as one of the best looking games ever made. The Playstation 4 makes the game look ever better, this isn't the easy task or even that easy to notice but trust me it does, those sections that made our mouths water when we first saw them in the Playstation 3 game are just that much better and is often that I would stop and stare with awe while I panned over the view of a town or a series of other views that caught my interest.
As well as this the extra content for the game delivered after the games release is included on the disc of the Last of Us remastered, this means for those who didn't pick up the Left Behind content can experience the full game immediately and trust me it is worth playing just to get a better understanding of the story. No playthrough of the game is complete without this content and the better story helps to further improve future playthrough's, to put it simply I was glad Naughty Dog put this content on the disc for everyone to play.
You know something there is something so sweet hidden in this adventure, it has a certain magic in it's storytelling, it's world, it's beauty and of course it's gameplay that finely mix together and almost immediately as the credits start rolling you just want to play it again because it was that good. To its core the Last of Us is a true Survival game and there is something so great there that has to be one of the best games ever made. Though the question you are probably still asking is should I purchase the Playstation 4 game and that really depends on you, everything about this release seems better and there is a updated system in the game that just screams this is the best place to play the game. Sure I am certain that many of you will not feel that the double dip will be worth it but this is easily the best place to play this amazing game and once you do you will likely never want to go back.