The Last of Us: Remastered Review

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Posted August 6, 2014 by Bryan Boshart in Video Games

Note: The Last of Us is very story driven, I’ve done my best to avoid as many spoilers as possible. It’s possible that I may have accidentally had one or two stay in, so be careful while reading. Also, the video shown in this review is of a rated M game, so violence abounds.

 

Developer: Naughty Dog

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Release Date: July 29th 2014

Available for PS4

Like me, many of you picked up The Last of Us when it launched on PS3 just over a year ago. You’ve journeyed across the country experiencing one of the best stories ever written in gaming. Sadly though, while Last of Us’ sales were pretty good, people still missed out on the experience. Sony and Naughty Dog have remastered the game and brought it to the PS4.

From the very instant the game starts you know what you’re getting into. The Last of Us pulls no emotional punches and does its best to repeatedly pummel you with them. Much of the heightened emotion comes from the fantastic effort the team put into the facial animations of the characters. Each little smirk, glance, and twitch adds a depth to the dialogue that only a few games can come within arm’s reach of. Thanks to the good writing, you’ll remember not just Ellie and Joel, but also Henry, Sam, Tess, Marlene and the rest long after you put the game down.

The game is a graphical powerhouse. The environments are detailed and there were times when I found myself just stopping for a second to take in a new area. The sound is still fantastic, and even better now that I have the sound coming through headphones. The crunch of fresh snow being trampled underfoot while I attempt to stalk a deer, the fear instilling cry of a clicker, sounds like these help immerse you in the world.

The story isn’t the only part of the game that’s well done. While the core gameplay is fairly simple to grasp, it is surprisingly deep. At times you sneak around low on bullets  trying to take out a few hunters without them catching you. Other times, that ends badly and you have to adapt, grabbing a hunter and using him as a human shield so you can take out his buddy in the other room. The massive amount of unique animations help to make no two encounters the same. A character shot in the leg may stagger allowing you to take him out with a well placed  bat swing, or he may fall to the ground and plead for his life. The cover system the game offers feels natural and intuitive compared to games where you clip up against cover. Each encounter has at least one wrinkle that makes it different than all the rest.

The Cordyceps infested enemies present a different wrinkle to the game that feels more like a traditional survival horror game. One bite is all it takes to quickly end the game and reset the encounter. Luckily the tools you are given help to even the ground. Being able to draw four infected to an area with a thrown bottle, only then to follow up with a molotov taking them all out nearly instantly makes you feel powerful. Then you’re brought back down to earth when a stealth section goes badly and a half dozen enemies are charging at you.

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While Joel is the character you play as for the vast majority of the game, I really feel that Ellie is the star, and Left Behind shines a spotlight on her background. Left Behind takes place simultaneously in the main campaign and the past where you see the events that led to the meeting of Joel and Ellie. It’s the story of Ellie and her best friend Riley breaking into the mall to have a bit of fun. While the premise doesn’t seem like it would be that entertaining, it’s surprisingly good. In the past, you’ll spend time tagging show cars with bricks, playing arcade games, and water gun fights. In the present time, you’ll be searching for medical supplies to help heal an injured Joel. Both stories are well told, and the past story will really tug at your heartstrings.

Oh yeah, on top of everything The Last of Us has a quality multiplayer mode. Factions has you choosing either the Fireflies or the Hunters. Each clan is functionally the same, but puts you through 12 weeks (matches) where you have to gather enough supplies and survive against the opposing faction.  There are a few different modes to keep things fresh. Factions includes one of my favorite ideas Sudden Death. When your team is out of respawns, enemy positions briefly reveal themselves every five seconds or so to prevent camping once a team has the lead.

The Last of Us is one of the best tales you’ll find across any medium. If you happen to have a PS4 and haven’t played The Last of Us, then you need to put your computer down and run (yes run) to the store as quick as possible to pick it up.


About the Author

Bryan Boshart

Hey, I'm Bryan. I write video game reviews here at We The Nerdy. In my spare time I mostly play fighting games, but play almost anything.

 
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