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The Last Of Us review
by Animus_

EXTREME SPOILERS AHEAD.

The opening sequence is great; very memorable and exciting. I enjoyed how the game let you play as Sarah only to take her from you in the most devastating way possible. It was effective at establishing the characters and adding depth to Joel’s personality.

I loved the combat animations for how satisfying they were. It was “DOOM”-esque, which was a pleasant surprise. The combat was fairly simple, but functional and exciting. I found it really satisfying to strategize my attack and conserve as many resources as I could. It was good old-fashioned PvE fun, with some interesting elements of survival mixed in. Where I felt the game lost me was in its level structure. It was pretty common for the gist of a level to be simply routing one area to get to another, sometimes with some enemies sprinkled in. It became formulaic pretty quick. I also felt that the game lacked a waypoint or some form of clue system, as I found myself wasting time by simply taking one wrong turn into a room that didn’t have any significance to progression. There were many instances of unique and well-made levels, though. For instance, the level where you get trapped upside-down is one of the most memorable and unique levels I’ve played in a while! I also enjoyed parts where you would balance across tight ledges on buildings, or find ways to cross water despite Ellie’s inability to swim, or find ways over trucks and such. I wasn’t just looking at my surroundings, but truly interacting with them. I started to feel like I was actually there in the city. There is a real subtlety to The Last of Us with how it immerses you while feeling like a grounded world of real people.

The voice acting did a lot to support this grounded feel. I was thoroughly impressed by Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, but also by the various side characters who added another level to the game.

In terms of story, I felt that the stakes weren’t very high, nor was I given a clear idea of Joel. He’s a smuggler who lost his daughter, but that’s really all I knew for a while. It was clear how his origins with his daughter would tie into his relationship with Ellie, so I was left feeling like a slave to progressing the plot, as I didn’t find myself anticipating his character in many ways. What made this worse was how Joel was not given a very personal motivation to go on the journey he goes on. There isn’t anything in it for him except for a trade of weapons. This made me struggle to stay invested in his journey beyond the sympathy I felt for him after experiencing Sarah’s death. I wanted to see him win, but there wasn’t much on the line. There is something that works there; having the stakes be solely to survive. In a way, it accentuates the apocalyptic experience. But ultimately, strong personal stakes are essential to me, and I felt they were lacking here until Joel started to become attached to Ellie.

With that criticism being said, I thought it was really interesting how as the game went on you started to feel like Ellie was a better person than Joel. While the story wasn’t incredibly complex, and in all honesty, it was fairly generic, it somehow all worked in the end. Somehow despite the predictability of Joel and Ellie’s relationship, the ending doesn’t end up being any less powerful and emotionally resonant.

Ellie Williams is a phenomenal character. She is one of the best child characters I’ve come across, which is owed to the wonderful character design and writing, and Ashley Johnson’s spectacular performance. She is very emotionally mature for her age, but not in a way that feels unnatural or unjustified. She is rebellious, but not stuck-up or unlikable. She isn’t a caricature of a young girl, but she also isn’t very boyish. I love stories like this that are able to strike that balance. Some notable examples of this are the CHERUB books and Rick Riordan’s mythological fantasy books (e.g. Percy Jackson).

The ending— I felt like Marlene being there at the fireflies’ base of operations took away from the feeling of catharsis. It’s like, we just made it all the way here, after starting out on this journey because of her inability to do it herself, and then she ends up in the same place anyways. I guess it works out, because it ultimately did a good job at making me dislike her. Also, when she tried to convince Joel not to take Ellie, her argument was laughably bad.

Overall, it’s a really fun game. It holds up very well a decade later, and even with the somewhat formulaic level design, I found that by the time I had finished the game, I was so invested in the characters that I wanted it to keep going. I’ll definitely be playing Part II at some point in the near future. I’m gonna give The Last of Us an 8/10.
«Can’t stop playing»
«Time-tested»
«That ending!»

Other reviews26

There's a reason this game is labelled as Exceptional by a wide majority. Downright among top 3 the best games I've played in the last decade. The best thing is the story and the realism in everything you see, do, hear, touch, feel.
The graphics, special effects, lighting and shadows, gameplay and fights, game progression, loot and unlocking.. heck there's nothing I can't stop praising about this game.
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
A beautiful story very well told, with fitting gameplay to accompany it
«That ending!»
My favourite game ever <3
«Blew my mind»
«That ending!»
I can’t recommend this game enough i LOVE IT 
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
Exceptional game! A must play. 
Just amazing. Finally got a Playstation, and after years of being excited about this, I finally got the chance to play it. It completely met my expectations. It's writing is about as good as it gets in games, and while I think it follows a few too many zombie tropes, the characters are good enough to overpower that. The sound design, the lighting, the handheld look of the cutscenes; it all works. Could play this five more times.
«Blew my mind»
An engaging story about two interesting characters. Gameplay is ok
Overall: 10/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Story: 10/10
Music: 10/10

Note: You’d think it would have a 9.5/10 based on the way I usually average my scores to find the overall rating. Despite this, I have elected to give it a full, perfect 10/10. Simply put, it is the greatest video game I have ever played, and if there is ever one to give perfect marks to this is it, even if it isn’t perfect in some individual aspect. 

This game is a testament to what games can be. People often talk about how games have yet to develop into an "art form." Even if that were the case in the past, this game has proven that videogames have begun the journey into artistry. The Last of Us is a forceful exploration of guilt, the faults inherent to humanity, and faith in those around you. I've cried during video games before. Usually a stray tear for the death of a character I loved. But this game, not only once but three times, had me genuinely crying. And each time, it was for a different reason. I won't say more lest I spoil the game, but this is a must-play. You will come away shaken, and thankful that you played it. The storyline, the characters, and the mechanics are all phenomenal. The only reason it didn't get a full 10 stars from me is because, at certain points, there are moments that feel mildly repetitive in terms of actual gameplay. Despite this the game NEVER looses site of its strengths, and so the repetition becomes barely noticeable and the strength of the storyline pushes you through any moments where in another game you might get tired. Overall, however, the gameplay is still fun to play. The weapons switching mechanic, the crafting mechanic, and everything else is almost flawless in its execution and intuitive. Even the scenes with the "slow walk" common in many story-driven video games (for some reason your character must walk slowly towards the objective for dramatic effect) are well placed, and don't feel cliched. This game is a masterpiece, and I would not hesitate to rank it among the best games ever made. Play this, if it's the one game you ever play.
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«Blew my mind»
«That ending!»
One of the best stories told in a video game. It's compelling and the voice acting is on point.
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
10/10
What can I say that every legitimate reviewer hasn't already said? This game defined marriage of story + gameplay.
You traverse through beautiful worlds with some of the best written characters you'll ever meet. Biggest problem is that the gameplay is mediocre at best, terrible at worst