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Game: The Last Of Us Age Rating: 18+ Genre: Survival................”oh fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck” kind of survival. Developer: Naughty Dog Publisher: Sony Game Directors: Bruce Straley, Neil Druckmann Lead story writer: Neil Druckmann Played on: Playstation 3 Overlook The game is set in an apocalyptic world where a certain fungus has infected human beings and has turned them in into zombie-like creatures. Cities have been quarantined and the government has collapsed resulting in chaos and groups of people, who are willing to do anything, anything to survive, have sprung up which are much worse than hordes of infected. In a world where fighting for your life is an everyday routine, our hero is given a rather talkative package to deliver across the city. STORYLINE AND CHARACTERIZATION (No Spoilers) (4/4) I, as a gamer, believe that video games are a much efficient, effective and beautiful mode of storytelling. And the gaming industry is rapidly realizing the importance of good story telling to make a perfect game. A good story is a very important ingredient to make a good game and the guys at naughty dog seem to understand this very well. The game starts off with such intensity that it will make you stick to the screen and this intensity flows throughout the game. There is never a moment where you feel disconnected or sidelined from the characters or the story. The characterization is amazing and tender. You can feel them living and breathing alongside you. The story motivates you to play the game carefully; it motivates you to keep them alive at every point which is kind of beautiful. Its isn’t about just getting across levels, its about keeping Joel and the amazingly adorable Ellie alive. As I don’t want to spoil much, all I am saying is that this storyline will touch you and its one of the best storylines of 2013. And as far as characterization goes, the protagonist, Joel, is pretty much what you would expect; a rugged ‘almost out of middle age and really tired of the shit thats been going on’ kinda guy. Everything about him, his dressing, movement, dialogue screams it. Coming to the sweet little 14 year old Ellie, well, i have never actually cared for a side character so much since Ghost in COD: MW2. Her characterization is so strong that as you progress along the game, you almost involuntarily start becoming more protective of her. Not only this, but the other characters in the game also done a great job. They all feel important and integrated into the story. You’ll know what I mean when you play the game. So, overall, i am not saying that these are the best characters eve created but they are pretty good and also do a good job of connecting with the player. GAMEPLAY (3/3) I haven’t played any other survival games before this one so I don’t have a milestone to compare this game with but I am gonna say this; Naughty Dog nailed it. They depicted the survival theme in every part of the game play mechanics. The game consists of three simple things; shooting, scavenging and surviving. The game literally wants you to survive its horrifying world. You hardly have any ammunition (which kinda makes sense as you can’t exactly walk into a ‘ammunation’ store in a post apocalyptic world) which forces you to use stealth. Since you are low on bullets, you start looking for other options and thats when the crafting system comes in. Naughty Dog have created a beautiful and sensible crafting system which helps players craft tools which can be used to kill the infected and humans alike. The materials needed for this can be found throughout the levels. And this is the best part. Naughty Dog was clever not to make this a fee roam game because in a free roam game like GTA V, we always feel like there could have been something more in the game. But The Last Of Us has restricted game levels and these levels are completely filled with things to discover. Its like you see a small shelf and think ‘it would be nice if i could open it and find something” and when you do open it, you find something like a letter from a husband to his wife or a comic book left behind by the former residents. The world is filled so many small things that you will always be satisfied by opening doors and drawers. The AI is great and the variety of thugs and the infected are satisfying. The infected aren’t exactly scary but they do a hell of a good job surprising the fuck out of you. The checkpoint system works absolutely fine. So, overall, Naughty Dog nailed the whole survival theme. This game will force you to be patient, it will force you to be stealthy and you will love it for it. Its like bondage; you know its gonna hurt but you also know that you’re gonna love it. GRAPHICS AND ENVIRONMENT (2/2) Nothing much to say on this. We all know the quality of the graphics Naughty Dog produces (Look up Uncharted here). Its amazing and mesmerizing. The environments have been designed beautifully and exceptionally well detailed. They perfectly capture the whole “this world is fucked up but maybe there is still some hope” vibe. You have everything from dark scary basements to beautiful sunsets and eerily calm snowy mountains. You’ll love it. MUSIC (1/1) Probably the best original score I have heard in a videogame in 2013. The music is simple, uncomplicated and amazingly touch. It captures the whole desperation and irony of the storyline. So, on the whole, this game was a beautifully crafted masterpiece. If you haven’t bought it, then buy it now. If you haven’t thought of buying it, well, buy it now. If don’t know anything about this game, then, again, buy it now. This is the kind of game that will please any kind of gamer. My Score: 10/10