The Last of Us Remastered - PS4 - Review


The Last of Us Remastered

The Last of Us Remastered - PS4 - Review

Most probably, you have already heard about Naughty Dog’s masterpiece The Last of Us, the game that defined the action survival horror games for the better part of the last decade. However, with the release of the sequel, it is time to visit the original again to see if it still holds its own. If you are willing to give The Last of Us a try because the sequel’s release and widespread playthroughs on YouTube have got you excited, check out our review to figure out if it is worth the money in 2020.

Storyline

Set in 2013 in the United States where a fungus has caused a massive outbreak leading the humans who were unlucky enough to become compromised, the Infected, to attack other people, The Last of Us follows the story of an apocalypse-hardened smuggler, Joel, as he tries his best to survive. However, before he became a smuggler, Joel had been a doting father, which can be seen in the opening sequence.

The great thing about The Last of Us is that Naughty Dog shows players how its spin on the tried-and-true formula of the zombie apocalypse came about instead of keeping them speculating. The story helps players understand the rules and limitations of this universe, which is, in our opinion, a smart way of making the narrative more immersive.

Twenty years after the opening sequence, humanity is still in shambles, with smugglers and fighting factions dominating the scene. As he adapts to his new reality, Joel meets Ellie, a fourteen-year-old girl who may be humanity’s last hope. Although Joel and Ellie’s arrangement starts off as a business transaction, they end up forging a strong father-daughter relationship—a bond that pushes Joel to do everything he can to protect Ellie.

Joel’s past trauma shapes a huge part of his personality; while his actions can seem cruel, or downright brutal sometimes, you cannot help but sympathize with him and try to get him out of the sticky situations he finds himself in. Ellie as well is a well fleshed-out character. Through her dialogue and interaction with other characters, you can truly understand her personality; she feels responsible for the survival of humankind and truly believes that her immunity can make a big difference.

Of course, the narrative of The Last of Us does not focus only on Joel and Ellie’s relationship, it also explores the complications that might arise out of the death of central authority as various factions fight for dominance and survival. The storyline contains some political elements since you, as the one controlling Joel, will be responsible for reaching conclusions on where you stand with the police authorities and the Fireflies, the rebel militia fighting the police.

The side characters, including Marlene, the Fireflies’ leader; Tommy, Joel’s brother, and Tess, Joel’s partner, feel pretty much like real people, with their own dreams and agendas. This does not come off as a surprise, considering how the game has been praised time and again for its intricate plot and superb characterization. So, if you want to play a game that is not just about hacking and slashing at enemies, The Last of Us should be right up your alley.


Gameplay and Mechanics

Don’t let the amazing plot of The Last of Us fool you into thinking it is one of those interactive stories that do not involve much gameplay. Quite the opposite, actually, the combat in The Last of Us is well thought out. It forces the player to be strategic and methodical to avoid getting killed. In a nutshell, the game has two types of enemies: humans and the Infected.

Notably, the Infected have a few varieties as well, which prompts you to devise different strategies to deal with each type. Based on your playstyle, you can choose from shotguns, bows, rifles, handguns, and bows. Baseball bats and bricks are available as well for a limited time in some sequences. When it comes to regaining health, you can heal by using health kits.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that ammunition and crafting ingredients are not found in abundance, meaning that you have to think twice before crafting an item or wasting your precious ammunition. Upgrading all Joel’s abilities and maxing out all your weapons is not possible; you have to choose which skills and arms are more important.

The Last of Us does not let you play like an undefeatable god; it makes you presume the role of an apocalypse survivor, which forces you to deal with the limitations of being just a human.

If you are tired of beating stupid enemies that function as mere bullet sponges, then rest assured that The Last of Us is not this type of game. Thanks to its AI system, human enemies act like real people, calling for help when they discover your location. It is also worth mentioning that they hunt in groups, so you will most probably find yourself leaning more towards a stealth-based approach instead of going in guns blazing!

As we’ve mentioned, there is more than one type of the Infected: Runners, Bloaters, and Clickers. Perhaps the easiest type to defeat is the Runners because they are susceptible to weapons of all kinds, including both melee ones and firearms. Nonetheless, Runners are still fast and can easily swarm you if you are not careful. On the other hand, Clickers are blind, but they are still fast.

The best approach here is to use stealth to catch them by surprise or create a diversion by throwing a Molotov cocktail and quickly extract yourself from the situation. Similarly, Bloaters make melee weapons practically useless.

This resilient variety of the Infected attacks the player by spreading spores that reduce their health over time and make visibility extremely low. You will have to use a flamethrower or craft Molotov cocktails to attack from a distance.

Then, you can finish them off with your trusty firearm. Stealth can be easily enhanced by pressing R3 to activate “Listen Mode” which will help you know the locations of nearby enemies. You can also crouch behind barriers, which is important especially when dealing with groups of human enemies.

Furthermore, Ellie proves to be more than just a damsel in distress, as she alerts the player to the location of the enemies and sometimes gets involved in the combat by throwing objects and slashing her knife at them.

The gameplay in The Last of Us is not all about mindlessly killing enemies, though, since it entails some interesting puzzles as well. In some sequences, you may be required to move pallets or manipulate some elements in the environment to solve puzzles and further the plot. There are also some collectibles you can pick up along the way, including comics, maps, and notes.

Visuals and Voice Acting

It is hard to critique the visuals of a previous-gen game, but luckily, The Last of Us has excellent graphics and voice acting. Even though it was first released on PS3, it still looks good today, and the PS4’s remastered version is even more polished.

The locations give you the feeling of being overrun by monsters, the outstanding motion capture makes the characters look real enough, and the voice acting is extremely effective and succeeds in conveying the characters’ emotions.

If you are into survival horror games that have solid storylines, then you are in for a treat! The Last of Us deserves all the praise it continues to receive. It is rare to see a game that was launched almost a decade ago to still excel when compared to modern releases. From its effective plot to diverse gameplay, The Last of Us should certainly be your next purchase!


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Updated 1 year ago