3 things that make ‘The Last of Us’ amazing!

The Last of Us
Naughty Dog/Courtesy

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After what has felt like forever since it was announced back in 2011, the much anticipated PlayStation3 game by developer “Naughty Dog” known as “The Last of Us” has finally dropped. Some of us at the Clog are pretty avid gamers and were pretty hyped to finally get our hands on the game after the torture of waiting for two years. And now that we’ve played it, we have but one thing to say: Play this game. Like, play it now.

The story of the game is pretty simple. You play as a character named Joel, a survivor living in one of many quarantine zones built after a zombifying fungal outbreak of time past kills off the majority of human civilization. Joel is a man of thin morals, who engages in smuggling deals within the black market of the quarantine zones. However, one day, after a routine deal goes bad, Joel is forced into escorting a 14-year-old girl by the name of Ellie to another quarantine zone. The importance of her exchange remains a mystery. Yet the two must form a desperate bond and journey together while fighting off relentless infected humans and vicious scavengers.

Chances are if you are one of the informed gamer kids, you’re probably already playing it. The game is amazing in what it does right. So let us give you the Clog-style take on the three basic things that make this game as great as it is:

1. A series of goals that are just beyond reach. Any great adventure is marked with multiple goals leading to one huge dramatic goal that encourages the player to push forward to the end. For “The Last of Us,” this particular thing is done incredibly well. You are constantly reminded (by the press of a single button) of your current goal in the environment that sits within an arm’s reach from your player character’s progress. Though a tease, it never stops you from having the feeling of “OH CRAP, I’VE GOT TO GET TO THAT LOCATION. DUDE. THE LOCATION. IT IS SO CLOSE AND YET SO FAR. CRAP. I MUST SURVIVE.” Put that on top of the game’s amazing ability to maximize the tension through a series of encounters with crazy survivors and infected fungal zombie dudes, and you have one of the best-paced set of goals of survival in adventure gaming in the last three years.

2. Immersive soundtrack. The game’s soundtrack is a good mix of a synthesized crawl accompanied by the occasional guitar twang. It has a fitting minimalist tone that makes you really feel the reality of the game’s world, so it definitely speaks more than games that have a full-on symphonic score with Michael Bay explosions and the constant spouting of machine gunfire. But don’t let us convince you of that; just give this one a listen.

3. Nonglorified monsters. A legitimate concern for people in regard to “The Last of Us” is the shock and terror of the aforementioned infected fungal zombie dudes that players desperately want to avoid when they play this game. Sure, they may run at you … and bite you … and stumble around like scary zombie people. BUT this game isn’t as scary as you might think! Part of it comes from the fact that the game focuses on the drama of the characters rather than glorifying the monstrosities that are the roaming creatures within the game’s post-apocalyptic environment. When it comes down to it, there are really only three different kinds of monsters throughout the entire game  — all of which are immensely similar to each other and not too over-the-top grotesque. So if you happen to be on the fence about playing this game because of the monsters, then we totally recommend you give it a second chance! There’s more to it than that! By the time the game ends, you’ll have lost all concerns about the fungal zombies and instead will have become consumed by the emotional feels that is the story of “The Last of Us.”

Ultimately, “The Last of Us” is fantastic. It does those great little things that make us here at the Clog go bombastic crazy. So by all means, go ahead and check out “The Last of Us” as soon as you can. Whether you have to buy a PS3 or go to a friend’s house to play it, we highly recommend it!

Contact Matt Espineli at [email protected]

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