April 04, 2022 4 min read
For the Gamers The Last of Us (TLOU) is much more than a game, in-fact i will go ahead and say its an emotional experience. As Joel and Ellie, you must shoot and fight your way through infected and bandits. You accompany them through all of their battles and struggles in this chaotic world. You listen to their conversations and observe their interactions, and you fall in love with the "father-daughter" relationship they form throughout the game. You're happy when Joel and Ellie are happy. When they are in pain, you are in it with them. The game forces you to attach your emotions to these two characters, and you do everything you can to protect them.
TLOU not only tests you emotionally, but it also tests you morally. The fact that we can clearly picture ourselves in this fictional world is what makes a "zombie apocalypse" game so exciting. And when it comes down to it, we ask ourselves, "Would I kill this person in this situation?" Would I allow this person to join my group and potentially endanger the people I care about? Could I pull the trigger and end the suffering of my loved ones if they were bitten? When you play TLOU, you don't just play it; you LIVE it.
I dislike referring to The Last of Us as a video game, but for many people, it is still a video game, and every video game has gameplay. Instead, I prefer to use the term "interactive media," as I did earlier, especially since the "videogame" has had such an impact on me.
In terms of gameplay, I believe it would do well to welcome new players. One cab gets right into the middle of the action. This is a critical consideration. For example, if a person has never played a video game before, the person would be relieved not to have to deal with unforgiving gameplay, especially if the person was initially drawn to the story but not the gameplay. It would be a simple and enjoyable process.
What about the players who prefer a more difficult challenge? There are various difficulties in the game (Easy, Normal, Hard, Survivor, and Grounded (which I believe is optional content on the PS3 version, but included in the PS4 version), and you can customise them however you want, such as disabling the HUD, Quick-time button prompts, and so on. The Last of Us welcomes both newcomers and those looking for a challenge.
Back on the PS3, it received rave reviews for its graphics, which it definitely excels at, particularly the cutscenes. To give you an idea of how good the in-game graphics are, when you're in-game and it switches to a cutscene, the differences aren't that noticeable, and it feels very natural.
Of course graphics are important in any game because they affect how we perceive and view the characters, as well as their emotions, it would not have been a disaster if the graphics were toned down slightly. The emphasis on this game is on character development, and the graphics serve to support the story that the developers intend to tell through the game's surroundings and also the facial expressions of the characters, which is very important in a medium like this that deals so closely with how the characters are feeling, as well as the developer's intentions to convey more messages with the characters talking less.
Gustavo Santaolalla's compositions for The Last of Us are masterpieces. One would also appreciate Gustavo's ability to consistently reproduce emotions through sounds, which is the ability to make the majority of audiences feel the emotions that are supposed to be felt during the game. The music that plays at the end of the first chapter, which conveys a very sad and heart-wrenching scene that conveys a theme that will be very important throughout the game, fully complements the scene. Different people may react differently, but I've seen comments from people who said they cried. When that scene played, I got goosebumps all over my upper body and started crying a little.
For the most part, the game's plot revolves around Joel and Ellie, with excellently integrated supporting characters such as Sarah, Tommy, Tess, Marlene, Bill, Henry, Sam, and David.
There are so many themes in this game that it's difficult to choose one to represent the game as a whole. But, if I had to choose at gunpoint, I would say the main theme is of people going through extremely traumatic experiences in his life and has protected himself as a result by refusing to be perceived as emotionally and mentally vulnerable. But, over time, these walls that he has built up to protect himself from being badly hurt again will be torn down by someone he genuinely cares about, but denies during the early stages of their relationship.
The Last of Us also has a lot of small but interesting and important details that add to its overall value. Not everything is grand, as in the protagonists' main story. Emphasis is also placed on the small details that can be found throughout the game. You can initiate optional conversations with your companion/companions in certain parts of the game. Not only that, but there are numerous "artefacts" or small collectibles that can be obtained through varying degrees of exploration throughout the game. When you initiate optional conversations, you get a sense of what the characters are thinking and what they want to convey at the time. This makes them far more human than a fictional AI in interactive media.
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