The post apocalyptic masterpiece achieves a story full of quiet devastation.
Drawing heavily from apocalyptic works across all mediums like the late Cormac McCarthy’s, The Road, Stephen King’s, The Stand and the Fallout series comes a gripping tale of personal loss, grief, resignation and acceptance.
Taking place in 2033 (even though the T.V. program altered the timeline to make the story take place in 2023) the game still stirs up the uneasy feeling of helplessness and military-meets-medical-aid imagery of the COVID pandemic despite being made six years before the pandemic.
The game begins in 2013 in Texas but a bulk of the gameplay and story lies in the bleak and police state future, twenty years after the unnamed outbreak. You play a majority of the game as Joel Miller. Since having lost his only daughter twenty years prior he’s become a jaded and ruthless smuggler with his partner, Tess.
Joel now currently makes his living sneaking things in and out of the Quarantine Zone in Boston, Massachusetts but soon his partner and him are tasked with smuggling much more complicated cargo.
As you acclimate to the crude and violent cesspool the world has become you start to notice the graffiti callsigns of an existing resistance militia named, The Fireflies, who seem intent on overthrowing the Military styled Government who controls everything from rations to curfews. Although you are not a part of the group it doesn’t take long before Joel and Tess find themselves begrudgingly working on behalf of the revolutionaries. Tasking them to chaperone a fourteen year old girl across the country safely.
As the party travels west the real threat begins to be less about the infected, who depending on which stage the infection has ravaged the body determines their tendencies, aggression and difficulty. A fully transformed, “Clicker” is impossible to fight off only using your bare hands. Adding tension and anxiety at every encounter, leaving the player to reflect upon how quickly things can change. One moment the building you’re quietly exploring is dead silent, only to find yourself in a massive face off with some of the most dangerous foes in the game moments later.
Trying to explain the game without giving away plot spoilers is difficult but between those who have still yet to play the game or watch the popular T.V. Series starring the incredible, Pedro Pascal my only advice is to go and buy this game immediately after finishing this sentence.
Don’t even bother finishing the article.
I am serious.
What are you still doing here?
Oh.. you’re on the toilet. I see.
Alright well for the last minute or so I have you – I couldn’t recommend this game enough. It would honestly have scored a perfect 100% if the swimming mechanics weren’t so frustrating at times. Also occasionally Ellie will get in your way and you’ll be spending five to ten minutes just trying to get this stupid kid to move out of the way.
But between the atmosphere, sneak gameplay, shocking violence and lean storytelling The Last of Us is a dark masterpiece that suggests maybe the next great American novel will be a video game instead.
Overall: 98% (PLATINUM)