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Set in a post apocalyptic world with virus ridden enemies, one must try and survive as long as possible to uncover what caused this outbreak in the first place. Stop me if you have heard this one before. Where The Last of Us stands apart is the level of care and production gone in to such a game which we have not seen for a very long time. When one of the most highly decorated developers of this generation releases a new IP this late in the cycle and in a somewhat old fashion genre in survival horror, you would be excused in thinking you were not going to get a game as good as Uncharted. Well think again. The Last of Us looks to blow even that incredible franchise out of the water.
Whilst the game shares some obvious similarties with the Uncharted franchise, such as incredible visuals, fantastic character animation, and great voice work make no mistake, this game is not Uncharted 4. Don’t expect funny one-liners, witty banter, and over the top gun battles. This game will have you wondering what you did to Naughty Dog for them to make something this bleak and dark after such happy settings previously. This is straight up survial horror and it has never looked this intriguing.
Enemies consist in many different forms of humans plagued by a fungal virus that turns them into crazy monsters content on killing everything non-infected they come across. You may want to avoid these foes for the most part by creeping about the dark enivironments and try to stay as quiet as you can. Whilst they don’t have the best sight their hearing has been dramatically altered from the virus and if you so much as knock over a bottle you better get ready to fight, or run.
The combat will have you struggling to find ammo for any guns you may be lucky enough to have found and also searching for any object which may cause some damage to your enemy. Finding various items such as duct tape or scissors will let Joel craft new more powerful weapons to help him in his almost impossible quest. Think Dead Rising 2 without making chainsaw motorbikes. This game screams realism and survival at all points throughout.
The sound also is also very different to what you would expect after previous titles from the developer. Perhaps known for using huge orchestral tracks to stun the player whilst traversing huge areas this game strips all that back. Most of the time there will be no sound except the noise of Joel and Ellie’s hushed breathing and the slight groaning of an enemy somewhere nearby. You will have to listen carefully as you turn every corner or you may just run head first into your worst nightmare.
When Resident Evil 4 was released, it was a groundbreaking title for a genre that seems destined to die with its seeminlgy outdated ideology. That was squashed as they proved you can still make a scary game without the use of tank controls and dodgy camera angles. Where Resident Evil 6 went completely away from this direction, it seems like The Last of Us has embarced these horror elements and hopefully will revive the genre once again. Maybe this series will be the linear heir for the Resident Evil games. Or perhaps that is doing this game a disservice. Who knows but all I know is that I cannot wait to get my hands on this game on May 7 2013, exclusively on Playstation 3.