“All great stories begin in two ways: either a person goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.” – Tolstoy
We will examine The Last of Us, released in 2013 by Naughty Dog, which offers the most amazing story experience in a game.
When I come across an impressive and qualified work of art that takes my breath away, it is very difficult for me to start writing a review about it. In academia, they call it “writing block”. I mean, you actually have a lot to tell, but you just don’t know where to start and how to tell what you’ve experienced.
Writing a review for The Last of Us is also really difficult. Those who follow Reviewsofgame know. I think that games are the last stage where art and technology come together, and there is no other branch of art in which mathematics and aesthetics are so intertwined.
As Jason Schreier points out in Blood, Sweat and Pixels, Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart thinks the same:
As he told me: “We are at the edge of technology. We are constantly pushing things forward.” Urquhart says developing a game is like making a movie, but with every new project you have to build a camera from beginning.
I would say that games are the most interactive way of telling stories ever found. I know that since it appeals to many of our senses, including the sense of touch, through vibration, it has no difficulty in inserting the subject into the story and adds a very lasting experience to our memories.
Although it is criticized for aspects such as legitimizing violence, I also closely follow many academic articles on the healing of the human spirit.
The Last Of Us is one of the productions I’ve wanted to play for years. However, since it is a special game designed for Playstation, I could not play it for years. During these years, I have carefully avoided every surprise kidnapper (spoiler) I have seen. Actually, I was a good computer gamer, but for some reason, buying a Playstation seemed like a spoilsport. I couldn’t make the decision to buy either because we couldn’t reach the financial maturity to buy it easily or because the games were too expensive.
When I turned thirty, “Is he more valuable than me!” I thought (people get selfish and mature as they get older, friends). I bought myself a Playstation 4 (Look again, not 5).
I didn’t think of it as an investment in the future. I also knew that Playstation exclusive games would slowly come to the computer and Playstation 4 would no longer receive support after the chip crisis was over. However, I wanted to finish the five or six PlayStation games that I had envied from afar for years and remained in my mind.
For this, I bought myself a second-hand but really clean Playstation. “I play the five or six games I have in mind, and then sell them at their worth. Nothing is depreciating in Turkey right now!” I motivated myself. The person I bought turned out to be the same naive person as me and interested in games. Used it at home. There were two controller and he didn’t even get paid for other V2 controller. We played a lot of platform games with my wife. I solved the game problem even more logically than the computer.
I was going to buy the second-hand boxed game, play it, finish it, and sell it as second-hand. Thus, as it is not possible in a computer game, I would have to play the game officially. That’s what I did. I bought, played and resold boxed games. Thus, in fact, I was playing all the games and selling them and buying a new one by spending only about 200 liras. Not to mention my contribution to recycling.
That’s how I played The Last of Us.
The Story of Last of Us
There is a parasite called ophiocordyceps unilteralis, which, when infected with ants, changes their appearance and makes their behavior more aggressive. In one way or another, this parasite infects humans, causing fungi to appear all over the body of humans with a greater effect than that of an ant, and causing some people to even lose some of their senses. Sick people, caught in a terrible aggression, spread rapidly and cause an pandemic.
We begin the story of The Last of Us with the emergence of this epidemic. After making one of the most shocking beginning in the history of the game, we experience a story set in the post-pandemic world. So The Last of Us has a post apocalyptic story. This made me extremely happy, as I’m already a post-apocalyptic junkie who even watches fifth grade post-apocalyptic movies. The fact that the story was handled like a quality movie made me swim in unbelievable pleasure from start to finish.
In the post-pandemic world, there are aggressive patients, gangs trying to survive, and us on a purpose: Joel and Ellie.
Joel is a man in his 40s, and Ellie is a 14-year-old girl. As you see how the love between them strengthens and deepens throughout the journey, it even feels like having a child, dear reader. Ellie’s jokes and dialogues with Joel even made me say, “It would be nice to have a kid like that.”
Screenwriter Neil Druckmann, whose name we should definitely mention, divided the story into seasons. With each season, the story’s tone, atmosphere, and characters’ behavior towards each other changes. This reminded me of Andre Maurois’ Climates. There, too, the novel was shaped by the progression of the seasons.
The Last of Us General Evaluation
I’ve been playing games for years. I have never seen such a storytelling, dear reader. I can rank it, in no order, among the top three games I’ve ever played. For me, there are many areas where even Red Dead Redemption at its peak surpassed some of the parts that I considered insurmountable years ago. The control scheme is not as complex as Red Dead Redemption, for example.
There was an interactive environment that I was fascinated with in Red Dead Redemption. You could see realistically swaying branches when you rubbed even twigs against the bush. It is possible to say that The Last of Us did this long ago, especially in the remastered version.
Red Dead Redemption promised a game time of almost 30 hours, but in some parts, “Okay, they want to make the environment look very nice, but do we have to go on horseback too much to increase the game time?” I thought. I have never had such a feeling in The Last of Us, and I must say that it promises a game time of around 14 hours.
Interacting with the environment is not only an enjoyable activity, but also an obligation. Because the post-pandemic world is in poverty and you feel it to your bones. Even a single bullet or gauze you find in one of the drawers is of great importance. It is a great pleasure to proceed slowly, enjoying it and exploring the surroundings.
The game progresses with a consistency I’ve never seen before in any digital business. You cannot carry dozens of weapons with you. Certain things fit inside your backpack and they appear consistently even in animations. When you want to change your weapon, if you do not have a holster, you open your backpack and take the other weapon. You cannot carry hundreds of bullets with you.
The only problem is that I think it is a conscious choice to keep the atmosphere of the game high. Not even a bullet comes out when you kill the gang member who fired at you. Okay, not every gang member has a gun, but it’s not a big deal if no bullets come out of the guy who shoots that much.
The characters in the story paint a dark, anti-hero portrait that is not fictionalized with simple American heroism. They are treated as human beings with their faults. Therefore, it is possible for us to establish a better bond. Ellie’s drawing of an image that she enjoys reading, her sarcastic and distorted mouth make the dialogues worth following, so you don’t get bored while walking and you don’t want the conversation to end.
Below, I’m including Naughty Dog’s 30th anniversary documentary, which brought about masterpieces like The Last of Us and Uncharted. If you get the chance, watch it, dear reader.
Take care until we see you at the next review.
The Last of Us Review
Briefly My Opinion
Although The Last of Us will come to PC soon, it is a masterpiece that can make you buy a Playstation alone. It is an ageless piece of work that we will remember the name of even years from now and play updated versions of it.