The Last of Us, it’s a game that has been hyped for the last week and a half as the ‘game of year’ and even ‘game of the generation’. Yet for all the hype, I’ve yet to see what all the fuss is about. After three hours in this is what I’ve experienced.
The ’10’ is in The Story
Story, characters, and atmosphere…this is where the game shines. I’ve never said this about a game, but I’d rather watch The Last of Us instead of play it. The intro sequence is better than most the games of this generation. The environment reminds of Fallout– crafted with detail to make you feel like the world has ended. While some people will complain about the way the game makes them feel, I enjoy it. When I encountered the clickers for the first time I didn’t speak…matter of fact I was mad at the characters for talking. I didn’t want them to give away my position.
We’ve Yet To Overcome Stealth
We all know the problem with stealth games. As soon as you are caught, the magic is over. The same can be said for this game. Like the Arkham games before it, Joel is equipped with ‘stealth-vision’. According to the story Joel has trained his ears to hear where people are. This means that you can “see” through walls. I’m still torn on my feelings for this feature. On the one hand I have to use it, if I want to Joel to be a stealth based character. However, I’m finding myself tied to the mechanic which takes me out of the atmosphere. It’s a gift and a curse, but the problems don’t happen until you get caught…
Joel Wants To Be Nathan Drake
So The Last of Us let’s you choose between stealth and going in guns blazing. I’ve yet to find the latter appropriate for any situation. Rarely have I encountered a situation where I had the upper hand. I’m usually out-manned and out-gunned. I think I need to dial up the sensitivity for aiming because the default settings seem a little too slow. Which brings me to the second issue…combat isn’t fun. I’ve found myself stumbling around the controls when I’m caught. The revolver shoots too slow, and guns take too long to reload. It’s a frustrating experience that is compounded by various enemy types.
Bad Camera and One Hit Kills
This game suffers from bad camera work. There are times when I sneak up on any enemy and want to strangle them outside of the view of others. However, it isn’t a smooth as you would think as I have to spin the camera around to find where am I going. Some times I think I am headed in one direction when in actuality I’m heading somewhere else. It reminds me of the old Resident Evil games. The camera angles really show their weakness in group settings.
I’m currently stuck in a section of the game where different enemy types are rushing my character. Depending on the way I am running or attacking, certain characters will disappear from view. Only to return dealing major damage or starting a button mashing QTE. Speaking of camera, the worse offender is the clicker. I’m against a character with a one hit kill. It’s so easy to lose track of a clicker for them to suddenly creep up and bite you. And there isn’t any defense against them. If they catch you it’s game over, which sucks.
A Silver Lining
This is one of those games where story and environment are going to have to carry the game mechanics across the finish line. I’ve already been in two frustrating situation where I almost put the controller down for good. The first is when Joel is hanging upside down and must defend himself. The second I’ve mentioned before. I’m on my way to get car parts and Joel and company are ambushed by the infected. The only thing keeping me going are the characters and the story. Hopefully things will change as I continue playing. I may have to put the game on easy mode, turn up the aim sensitivity, or both. It’s still a fun game, but I can see where Naughty Dog tried to marry Uncharted with Arkham City. So far it hasn’t really worked, but you never know.