I came late to The Last of Us Remastered having not played the previous PS3 version but not that it actually really matters. This is a game that will stand the test of time. If you like games with great epic narratives and zombies, The Last of Us Remastered is a brilliant and immersive experience and not to be missed title. The remastered version for PS4 pushes this game into one of the best games made with the title winning over 200 game of the year awards in 2014.
The Last of Us follows the story of Ellie and Joel an unlikely pair that make their journey across an apocalyptic world taken over by the “infected” or zombies. Joel is a simple, straight forward man who reminisces about being able to sit on his porch or watching a ball game in the world before the zombie apocalypse hit. His travelling companion, 14 year old Ellie, pulls on our heart strings with her mix of naivety and innocence and teenage cutting wisdom. Joel must smuggle Ellie out of a military compound and deliver her safely to the Fireflies, an anti military group with a big mission.
Ellie is a capable and wise young girl. Through the most part of the game I felt myself drawn to support Ellie, wishing the adults would give her a break and some credit for her capabilities. Joel is a gruff man and not all that likable at times and keeps Ellie at a cold distance but his history makes his behavior understandable. The relationship between Ellie and Joel grows through the many trials they face together. In order for the two to connect, they must both come to terms with their inner demons.
The journey is treacherous as they travel across the post-pandemic wastelands of the U.S, the world ravaged by a Cordyceps fungus infection. The survivors they encounter are desperate. They kill each other for food, weapons and whatever will give them an advantage. The “infected” are everywhere in this game waiting to lunge and bite bringing you to a gruesome end.
The Last of Us is a 3rd person action adventure game with a strong linear narrative that places the player quickly into a desolate and violent world. The game is excellently paced. Last of Us provides plenty of time to soak in the atmosphere of a world gone to hell and to explore everything from abandoned buildings, cafes, hotels and record shops to under ground sewers and to lush green forests. The world is rich in detail with a melancholic beauty. The graphics are amazing, with color, beauty and horror all combined to build an intense mood. Great detail has been given to the soundscape as well. Accidentally stepping on some broken glass might trigger one of the “infected” to come your way.
Interaction in video games is a games most powerful mechanism to create engagement and its one of the strongest points of The Last of Us. A cast of well rounded characters develop the story line. Each character has a strong motive and sense of history. The performances of the cast of characters are brilliant and capture the most subtle human facial expressions and complex emotions.
The Last of Us Combat System.
The game has a solid combat system and a decent selection of weapons to pick up ranging from baseball bats to a semi automatic, a shot gun, pistols and a flamer plus more. There’s a straightforward crafting system for weapons improvements and making bombs and medicine packs. The game often encourages stealth to bypass or take-down both human enemies and the infected. Stopping and crouching and listening for your enemies will make life easier and keep you alive for longer. That said all guns blazing has its place too and makes for some satisfying rampages.
The Last of Us Remastered Enemies.
The enemies in the Last of Us consist of humans and the infected.
The basic variety of the infected are the most recently “turned” humans called runners. They are the easiest to fend off and can be taken down in hand to hand combat. If you have a mix of the standard infected and more nasty varieties, save your ammo for the nasty varieties and take runners down by hand. A crafted melee weapon will take them down in a single hit.
Clickers are distinguishable by the distinct clicking sound they make and their ugly split open fungal heads. They are more difficult to kill. You can take them down with shotguns, flamers, Molotov cocktails, scissor bombs and decent melee weapons. A bow and arrow will work although sometimes it needs 2 shots. Pistols will require several shots and hand to hand won’t work unless its stealth with a shiv weapon and even then its a bit of a risk.
A bigger, fatter and nastier version of the clicker, they are in the worst stage of Cordyceps infection. Don’t even bother with hand to hand. These are the toughest but with the right gear they are easy to take down. You will need a flamer or at least a couple of Molotov cocktails and some follow up shots. If you have more than one to deal with, a flamer is a good choice. Give them a couple of decent hits and stand back and watch as they rage in the fire. A well placed bomb or Molotov cocktail can take down more than one enemy at a time but usually you will have to follow up with a rapid volley of shots.
Hunters & Bandits
The human variety of enemies can be taken down with a range of weapons. The difficulty is based on how well armed and defended they are. Sneaking up behind an enemy and taking down with stealth is often the best tactic as Joel or Ellie are usually significantly out numbered. Enemies can also come from behind so it pays to be aware of the surroundings and make good use of listening skills to pin point the enemies location.
The Last of Us Weapons
There’s a decent selection of weapons in The Last of Us that includes “throwables” such as bricks and bottles that are littered everywhere and “throwables” that can be crafted such as Molotov Cocktails, Nail Bombs and Smoke Bombs. Melee weapons include: a Baseball Bat, Pipe, Machete, Hatchet, Switchblade and the Shiv which can be crafted. Melee weapons can also be improved via crafting. Small firearms include pistols and revolvers. Large firearms include hunting rifles, semi automatic and a shot gun. Again all of which can be improved via crafting.
The crafting mechanism is relatively simple and is similar to the crafting in Lara Croft Rise of the Tomb Raider. Collect gears and other items along the way to improve weapons fire rate and ammo capacity.
Also don’t underestimate the bow as a weapon. This is a really handy weapon for mid range stealth. There’s also a selection of purchasable weapons such as a sniper rifle but you can make do with whats available in the game.
Overall The Last of Us Remastered is an exceptional game. It brings a truly engaging experience to the genre that packs a powerful & emotionally gripping story. The Last of Us almost ruins your gaming world. Once played it leaves other games lacking and you’ll find it hard to believe you’ll play something as good again.
The Last of Us Remastered is available for PS4.
Looking for more Zombie Games? Read the Nerdvana.tv review of Guns, Gore & Cannoli.