The writing, the acting and motion capture, the sound and music, the atmosphere and control scheme, this game quintessentially for adults is without a doubt one of the best I've played let alone watched and witnessed. This game simply based on the story and acting is better than a lot of movies released over the last year. Naughty Dog put a lot of heart, patience, time, and energy into developing something unique as this isn't a common horror action/adventure game, this was something that highlights Sony's attributes in putting money behind talent and letting the developer simply go to work.
It's a classic horror storyline of the world going to ruin over some outbreak causing people to become infected, go crazy, and destroy society...typical essentially. But it's the characters you follow, from where the story opens with Joel to years later after society has officially broken down and he ends up on a journey with Ellie, (the game has been out for over a year though I somehow found the time to play on the PS4 at time streaming through the PSP while working several different jobs throughout the day). As you make your way through the country experiencing different seasons meeting different and very compelling characters along the way, the story is without a doubt extraordinarily heart felt and gives you a way to develop a relationship with the characters.
What makes this more intense is the soundtrack accompanying the game, there's the usual formula of heavy in your face music, here that's not the case at all and it adds to the levity of the story, there's a search for calm in a world full of chaos and as emo or hyperbolic as that may seem it's best not to ignore the intricacies of how the music can add to the gameplay better yet how it can add to the overall game. The soundtrack without a doubt carries an eeriness and beauty all at the same time.
The decisions that are made are very effective to the characters and the ideology behind that of survival versus saving mankind leaves you questioning just about everything. The story is without a doubt intriguing and very well told and acted out through the characters. This was an overall welcome surprise.
The Last of Us Screenplay By: Neil Druckmann
This is where things begin to give a lot of clarity, there's no store to purchase ammo or materials to make shivs or attach objects and items to 2x4's or large bats, you're playing as a character in a world that has fallen apart. So it's essentially upon you to search every corner every cabinet for alcohol, tape, materials all that can be used to make it just a little further. It's truly a survival game and you have to consider since you're limited to the amount of items you can carry what's the most important based on what you've seen so far.
The weapon system is the same, your weapons can only hold a certain amount of ammo, usually it's ideal to reload your weapons to be able to carry more and stock up, but just like other materials, you can't simply purchase ammo anywhere, it's important to search every crevice of an abandoned home or military installation or hospital. Anything abandoned must be searched thoroughly. Again this entire aspect brings more intensity to the game and that is a major bonus.
Outside of some quirks when covering trying to hide from the infected sometimes your "co-pilot" can get in the way almost to the point of standing right in front of a clicker or another infected creature. The cover system is well done as well as the user interface one slight problem could be the aiming solution which can be extremely sporadic and cause precious time. The controls are straightforward as well, there's no lag in learning and understanding how to control Joel through the game. The gameplay was extraordinarily solid overall.
LOOK & FEEL
The game was played on the PS4 and PSP, simply put the game is absolutely gorgeous, there's a substantial amount of detail in every single aspect of the game. From the fine hair strands to the look of abandoned homes and bathrooms.
The decaying landscape adds a lot to the aspect of the game, along with the weapons that the character uses to make their way through. From the character models to the movement throughout the game was well done, the "clickers" were grotesque and it's clear that the infection is meant to deal with the brain and brainstem which also explains the characters who are virulently violent with no motive.
There's also the AI characters those that are not infected rather part of a clandestine group against the government trying to seek order and the other clandestine group of Fireflies, a group that reminds me of the one run by The Governor from The Walking Dead. Though there are a lot of similarities I can see in the tone and character development the last of us does a great job at the overall emotion and development of the characters and environment. This is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and exceptionally well credited games I've ever seen.
As I've stated numerous times this is a beautiful and well crafted game in every sense, aside from a few hiccups (very few) with the companion AI there's nothing bad that can be said about the game. The story is tremendously emotive leaving you with endless thoughts about the decisions made upon finishing the game. I don't foresee Naughty Dog making sequel, though it could be done this game works tremendously well simply as a standalone story.
It's been said a movie is in the works and as far as characters go I could foresee Josh Brolin playing the character of Joel, it was great to see characters of color in the story as well, that brought their own struggle and journey upon meeting Joel and Ellie.