Neil Druckmann’s game transcended the zombie genre, creating an experience that not only had us in tears, but left us yearning for more…
By Katerina Flynn: @KaterinaFlynn1 : Image: © Sony Computer Entertaiment
Writer: Neil Druckmann
Director(s): Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley
Release date: 14 June 2013
Gameplay: 15-16 hours
In a hostile, post-pandemic world, Joel and Ellie, brought together by desperate circumstances, must rely on each other to survive a brutal journey across what remains of the United States. While most people agree that it was George A Romero that bought the zombie genre to life with classic films such as Night Of The Living Dead and Dawn Of The Dead, the release of TV shows like The Walking Dead, iZombie and games such as Left 4 Dead and State Of Decay, the genre has forced its way into mainstream media.
Of all the zombie games to be released in the last decade alone, what makes The Last Of Us so different, so unique? It isn’t just the enhanced graphics, the lengthy world map or even the enjoyment of killing the “infected” (as they are called in the game) in new and creative ways.
Most zombie games are either purely about survival, or have little to no story lines. Those select few that do have a fairly decent story line (Resident Evil, for example) still can’t seem to spark that raw human emotion within that makes you truly feel for the characters. The Last Of Us not only achieved that, but went far beyond what anyone could have expected.
While I’ve never been fond of zombie games, (I much prefer films and TV shows) I couldn’t help but be amazed by The Last Of Us; it ticked every box for me. The connection to the characters was right there from the start, the cut scenes were so real and well made. The emotion behind them is unmatched, there were so few people who didn’t cry at least once while playing the game.
The game featured different variations of infected, allowing players to learn the best methods for killing each one. The blood and gore is certainly entertaining, and takes your mind off things when the story gets a little too dark.
The controls are easy to use, the tutorials walk you through everything and can be easily accessed if you forget. There are four different difficulty levels, ranging from easy to veteran so even those who are completely new to playing these types of games can enjoy it.
With The Last Of Us 2 not that far away, now seemed a great time to revisit this masterpiece. If you haven’t already played it, I would definitely recommend doing so before the sequel release.