Everything from the characters to the world are incredibly rich in detail. You'll easily find yourself getting sucked in and wanting to see how this ends.
The gamplay is frankly horrible. It's not that it's unplayable, it's just frustrating beyond belief, having to lose 10 to 20 minutes because you didn't do something correctly.
The Last of Us was considered one of the greatest games of 2013, people love it for its story telling, its characters and the world they created, but I can’t help but dislike The Last of Us. It does so many things well, great in fact, it draws you in and hooks you into this very relatable world it has created. I have my own personal reasons for why I dislike this game, most of which shouldn’t reflect on the game itself, like I tend to play games for fun, and The Last of Us wasn’t meant to be played for fun, it was meant to be experienced, but that isn’t solely why I dislike it as a game.
What you See and What you Hear
Coming from Naughty Dog, anything in this department is gonna be great. As far as graphics go, it does a great job of creating a bleak post apocalyptic world that still retains some resemblance to our own. But at the same time, creating a bleak environment means the aesthetics for it aren’t going to stand out nearly as much. Everything is either brown or grey, it very rarely creates environments or enemies that stand out, and this is intentional as to make it more realistic. As far as the music and sounds, after listening to it again it actually doesn’t sound quite as impressive as I initially remembered. Every song is extremely melancholic, or occasionally is upbeat to make a tense situation even more intense, but it’s definitely appropriate for the themes of the game.
Despite the story being arguably the most popular aspect of The Last of Us, the concept itself is not that impressive. The main characters are survivors of a zombie apocalypse, only to avoid using the term “zombie” they call them infected and it’s a fungus like virus that takes over human bodies, but it’s the same thing as zombies. Also one of The real appeal of this game comes from the characters, and the journey through the story, Joel and Elie are both very relatable characters, ones that you can empathize with extremely easily. Joel is tasked with getting Elie to a hospital across the country because Elie is immune to the infected virus. The story telling is extremely well done, it almost feels like you’re watching in a movie…Actually I probably would have preferred this be a movie over a game.
I recognize that The Last of Us excels at so many things, lots of things many games don’t get right, but my main issue about The Last of Us, the reason I don’t like it as a game, is the single player gameplay. There is essentially 2 gameplay sections the game makes you repeat in different environments, walking around, trying to maneuver around enemies to kill them in the right order. The gameplay in this mode is so frustrating, if you mess up even slightly, you could easily lose 10 or more minutes of progress and have to start all the way over. Crafting different kinds of bombs and items as you gather supplies was kind of interesting, but as you gather supplies or bullets while avoiding enemies, if you mess up even once, you have to start all the way over from the last check point, gather everything again and try not to fail. It’s extremely monotonous and that’s the action part of the game.
Just walking around to your next destination, is annoyingly confusing, a lot of the time I straight up got lost on where I was supposed to go next, there wasn’t an arrow telling me where to go, or a clear path, but it wasn’t giving me freedom to explore, it clearly wanted me to go somewhere, I just couldn’t figure out where that was. During these between destination moments, they try to throw in puzzles, which usually include trying to get Elie a board to float on so she can get across a small gap of water, or trying to place a ladder in the correct spot though that spot is never clearly marked and trying to move it is frustrating as all hell.
The one gameplay aspect I actually loved, was the multiplayer. For whatever reason, The Last of Us multiplayer was incredibly fun, I think because if you actually cooperated as a team, instead of going off on your own, it actually showed results. I loved being able to help out teammates, setting traps and having my wins not just reflect a score, but it also reflects on how my little “encampment” of people are doing. If I win a game, my little village of survivors does better, if I lose, we might lose some people. Honestly if there was just a game of the multiplayer, I’d be giving a much higher score than I did this game.
I honestly think because they put so much effort into everything but the gameplay, it made the gameplay lack. I’m sure many people overlook the sub par gameplay for the rich story telling, but that’s not why I play games. I play games to have fun, to feel like I was succeeding. Not once did it feel like I was winning in The Last of Us single player, not even when I beat the game I just felt like I lost. If this was a movie, and you didn’t have to deal with the endlessly frustrating hiding and maneuvering around enemies I probably would have liked it a lot more, or at least I’d know what I was getting myself into before I watched it.