As tired as I am with post-apocalyptic zombie games, The Last of Us by Jak and Daxter creator Naughty Dog has managed to wow me with its detail, gameplay, and story line.
Story - The lore is dirt simple; a new parasitic fungus is infecting people and turning them into inhumane monsters. The story centers around Joel and his daughter Sarah who seek shelter at the military base from the infected. The soldiers were paranoid about potential infected coming in and fired at Joel. Joel's brother Tommy gunned down the soldier that opened fire, however young Sarah was shot and killed. Jump twenty years into the future and we see Joel as an old man living in a quarantine zone with his lover/partner/boss Tess. A dirt bag named Robert owed guns to Joel and Tess however he was in debt to a rebellious organization called "The Fireflies"
. When Joel and Tess confront Robert the fool tried to have them killed. After telling the truth Robert was executed by a furious Tess. They meet the person who bought the guns, Marlene: the Firefly leader. Marlene was not interested in giving the guns away for free, so she hires Joel and Tess to smuggle something out of the zone. If they succeed Marlene will give them their guns. What they need to smuggle is a fourteen-year-old girl named Ellie, who had been bitten by a zombie three weeks ago and never turned. Marlene suspects Ellie is immune to the disease and wants Ellie delivered to the base of the Fireflies so they can use her DNA to make a vaccine. As Joel you develop a deep bond with Ellie, being very protective of her and she of you. The story is phenomenal and the character development is truly brilliant.
Graphics - Need I say anything? It's a PS3 exclusive, and trust me it fully utilizes the power the platform has. Despite extremely detailed graphics, load screens are very rare as the game renders in real time. The Xbox 360 couldn't dream of handling this game.
Gameplay - The game has one of my least favorite gaming clichés; QTE, Quick Time Event. For those who don't know about QTE, play Resident Evil 4 and 5. They're legendary for being annoying, since they occur on cut-scenes and change what button you have to press every time you fail. Thankfully The Last of Us manages to pull it off. You only have two buttons to press in QTE □ and △. The QTEs tend to be button mashers but get pretty intense as failing one results in gruesome deaths. Aside from that the game plays extremely well with physics, a crafting system, stealth, and melee. Just don't try to melee a Clicker or Bloater. It won't end well.
The video above is extremely graphic and not intended for the squeamish
If you play on easy mode I hope you get hit by a truck
Sorry about that. I have a distaste for easy mode options. This game is best played on Hard or Survivor. It's worth noting the reason why Survivor is harder than Hard is that it uses more realism. For one you can not use listen mode to detect enemy locations.
Best form of play - I purchased The Last of Us on the PSN store so I have no idea how it plays on disc. I do however like the downloaded version a lot and I imagine it'd run better. PS3 discs use Blu-Ray for more storage; unfortunately Blu-Ray also has a slow disc read.
Overall - This game is a MUST TRY! Tell your friends A.J. Bauer highly recommends it.