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The Last Of Us

The Last of Us is a video game for the Playstation 3 and 4, created by the game company Naughty Dog. It follows the storyline of two characters in a post apocalyptic world. “What is the disaster? ” you ask. A zombie outbreak, once again. However, this one has a new spin on things to keep it fresh: it is based on a real infection called cordyceps created by plants, using fungus spores. The spores infect ants and other bugs that may be threatening the plant ecosystem. The Last of Us is a fantastic zombie survival game with a realistic, linear storyline.

Originally the game came out for the Playstation 3 back in 2013 on June 14, and then a year later, an updated and remastered version for the Playstation 4 was released on July 29th, 2014. This version was retitled as The Last of Us: Remastered. It fixed all of the glitches in the original game. The graphics and audio were updated for the PS4. The Last of Us is one of the most top notch and beautifully looking games that have come out so far. This game pushes the limit of realism in video games and really shows off what the PS4 and even the PS3 can do graphically.

The way the graphics are textured, makes you think you are watching a live action film. The animated cutscenes of the game also match the gameplay, even leading seamlessly into it at times. Everything in the game is rendered in amazing detail. You can see each hair on the character’s heads, and every wrinkle on their skin as if it was in real life. When characters speak the animation of their lips match each word precisely and flow like real mouths do. All the buildings and roads, even signs and vehicles, have real world detail.

You can see the textures of bricks like you would in everyday life. Wildlife acts like it would in the real world too. If you approach a deer suddenly or too fast they will run away and you’ll see birds fly around. Rabbits will also hop along the ground. You can even see individual pieces of bark on trees and individual strands of grass in the outdoor scenes. Even though the game is very realistic you can still tell its a video game. The music in the game is also beautiful and matches the tones of the game very well.

The soundtrack of the game is composed by Argentinian guitarist Gustavo Santaolalla. Each track is soft and mellow with deep acoustic guitars, among other string instruments and drums, creating the mood in each scene. When the game is showing off a beautiful landscape, the soundtrack plays a gentle, light and happy tune. If there’s something bad happening, the mood of the soundtrack will change into dark and unsettling, putting you on edge like the characters on screen. The main theme fits the entire game in a nutshell.

You’ll hear it during the beginning credits and modified versions in some of the major events in the game, or when time progresses through the seasons. The main version starts off light with a couple acoustic guitars and folk instruments playing an emotional melody that are eventually joined by drums and other acoustic instruments, such as the violin, cello, and banjo. As each instrument joins in, you feel a sense of uneasiness and danger. When the melody changes tone, you feel a sense of hope like something good will come out of the bad. The way the tone is presented and changed, you even feel a bit of doubt in the hope.

The soundtrack perfectly encompasses the game and matches the story fully. The storyline is also very good with great character development. It all starts a few hours before the outbreak begins and introduces you to Joel, the main character, and his family. You become connected and emotionally invested in Joel. You meet his eager and happy daughter and Joel’s brother as they live normal lives. When the disaster hits, it does so very realistically with the main characters trying to leave their hometown and the military sweeping in to kill off the infected.

Unfortunately disaster strikes our main character and we are then, through the opening credits and audio bits of the apocalypse, fast-forwarded 20 years where the military runs everything and that there are safe zones for those healthy and non-infected. From here the game follows Joel, where he must protect the only immune girl, Ellie who is 14 years old, throughout traveling across the nation to get a cure created from her. The game does a great job at showing how these two characters dislike each other at first but then learn to communicate and care for one another as they share similar backgrounds and become friends.

The pacing of the game is right at a sweet spot of time flow. Everything is done in enough time that keeps you enthralled without boring you. Each main part of the story is broken up into each of the four seasons. The script for the story is both realistic and imaginative. With what each character has to say to each other is as accurate as the real world would be and even quite sarcastically comical at times. There is one instance where you’ll come across a beautiful scene and Joel will ask Ellie if she thinks its beautiful to look at.

If the characters have to work together to get around an obstacle they will communicate to each other about what to do as you figure it out yourself. The voice acting is superb. Joel is voiced by Troy Baker and Ellie is voiced by Ashley Johnson. The actors really portray what each character feels as they travel through the nation avoiding dangers and fighting both bandits and the infected. The controls of each character are similar in play style. Joel and Ellie control just about the same. The main difference between the two is what weapons they can utilize.

Joel can carry everything from pistols to machine guns, where Ellie can carry just pistols, knives, and bow and arrows. There is a lot of stealth involved as well. There are times where you must sneak through the infected or around armed bandits. During these times you can through bricks or bottles to distract enemies and you have to watch where you step. Stepping in water or on glass can give your position away. Throughout the game you can get small reminders of how to interact with certain items incase you put the game down for a while or need a refresher on how to use some items you may not use often.

One thing many people have enjoyed about the game is that everything is done in real time. If you are injured and need to heal, there is no instant healing. It takes time to make a medical kit and then apply it to you character. If you aren’t careful, when and where you craft it and other items, like Molotov’s, you can be attacked and even killed. This game is also pretty violent at times. You do have to shoot and fight others and the infected as they attack you and the language can be strong at these times. There is blood and gore, but not to the point where its overdone.

The gore is realistic and put only to a certain extent for what is going on in the more violent scenes. This game is meant for more mature audiences like older teens and adults. Even though the language and gore can be strong the game is absolutely wonderful. The game can be beaten in a couple weeks or up to a few months. The story will keep you invested in the characters for however long it takes you to complete the game. With the beautiful music and game play, The Last of Us is my favorite playstation game and I highly recommend that you play it or watch a play through of it on Youtube. It is certainly worth your time.

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