It’s funny how one thing leads to another. One day, I’m at a holiday party, playing Just Dance 2015 and by the end, I want to go out and buy my own copy. A few days later, I decide to buy a Playstation 4 from a local Wal-Mart with the intention of getting Just Dance from Amazon for a much lower price. Right about when the Wal-Mart associate opens the display case, I set my eyes on a game called The Last of Us: Remastered. I had heard great things about this game from fellow writer, Brian Le and it made his list of Top 5 Games from the past 5 years. While the original game on the Playstation 3 has been out for well over a year, I want to share my thoughts as this game just blew my mind from beginning to end.
*Careful for spoilers*
I thoroughly enjoyed the prologue, primarily because I experienced basic game controls through a minor character, Sarah. What appears to be a cheery birthday turns sour very fast. I don’t pretend to say I’m good at predictions but the amount of feels at the conclusion of the prologue are too much. I was left wondering how the character Joel will live on despite losing his everything in the death of Sarah.
Fast foward 20 years to a future where the federal government provides protection, yet the average citizen struggles to live on rations and a revolutionary group is struggling to fight government control. I’ll admit I died a quite a few times, mainly because I didn’t know what to expect and I like to do a lot of trial and error. I’d say the biggest initial challenge was getting used to scarce ammunition and supplies. Every bullet counts but it’s not always ideal to go full on Rambo at every given moment. Many times, a stealthy approach is much more ideal and I saved supplies for much more dire situations. In fact, my favorite weapon is the Molotov cocktail. Many times, it came in the clutch when outnumbered by enemies.
The life of a teenage girl named Ellie is the primary concern at all times. You can say that at her age, she’s seen and dealt with pretty gruesome situations yet she’s unafraid and always willing to push forward. She’s a source of inspiration and motivation for Joel as he had no true purpose in life after the death of Sarah. Ellie has had no true exposure to the real world but Joel does a great job of helping her assimilate to the grim reality. In the latter stages of the game, Ellie becomes more of a second option on offense rather than luggage for Joel.
This game did a great job at getting my palms to sweat and heart to race. One wrong move led to quick deaths or someone just creeped up from behind to lay the fatal blow. Mix it up with snowy conditions or dimly lit areas to increase the difficulty of progress. Often times, it felt like I completed the checkpoint on the last bit of health. As I progressed through the game, wondering if I was in the clear, I began to pick up the trend of finding supplies. Basically, if all seemed fine and dandy, yet I came across ammunition or supplies, I knew some serious action was about to happen.
The end result of your mission was pretty disheartening. Your journey across the continental U.S. comes to a sudden halt and it’s up to Joel to save the day. In the end, Joel alters the true nature of the long mission to Ellie as she was knocked out cold during Joel’s heroics.
For those who’ve played the game, do you agree with Joel’s actions? I side with him saving the day because he was given the opportunity to find purpose. While those actions didn’t promote the greater good, I feel that the what was left of Ellie’s innocence was spared. In my view, this game leaves plenty of room for a sequel and I would definitely play it in a heartbeat.