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The Gaming Review - The Last of Us

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Star Rating: 
8 out of 10

You’ll never look at cauliflower the same.

The Pitch: Naughty Dog’s shifting gears from the Uncharted series to bring us a post-apocalyptic journey through the mutated remains of humanity. Fight through cauliflower-headed fungal folks and the disgruntled leftover humans who survived the outbreak to escort a little girl to safety. Simple. Right?

What It Really Is: The Last of Us excels in several areas: The environments are bleak and eerie and somberly beautiful. The stealth dynamic allows you to sneak around with more freedom to strategize than in most other games. Even the relationship between Joel, the protector, and Ellie, the protected, has a touching amount of depth that’s typically reserved for movies. All these wonderful attributes combine to make an experience that has more profundity than anything we expect from a video game. Unfortunately, what we do expect from a video game is gameplay, and this is where The Last of Us falls woefully short. While the relationship between Joel and Ellie makes up for the fact that the entire game is basically an escort mission, it’s the monotony of the enemies that inevitably makes the combat feel stale. We didn’t mind the terror associated with taking the time to craft Molotov cocktails, or the fact that taking on a room with two enemies in it could kill an hour if you didn’t exercise some patience and strategy. The Last of Us was disappointing because, after a while, it felt like that’s the only thing you were doing. The slow pacing, the meticulous combat, and the bleak environments were, for lack of a better word, boring, after a little while. If we wanted to be bored in a dreary place, we’d move to Maine. Ready-Made Press Blurb:The Last of Us is the most fun you can have with fungus that isn’t hallucinogenic.”

Fun Fact: Up until Beyond: Two Souls (which officially stars Ellen Page) was shown off at last year’s E3, The Last of Us’ Ellie character also bore a striking resemblance to the pixie-like actress, proving that somebody at Sony was watching Juno entirely too much.

Who It’s For: Anyone with a PS3. High-profile exclusives don’t come around every day and they certainly don’t turn up in June, a time of year typically reserved for casual titles and downloadable gems. Outside of some pickup basketball, The Last of Us is pretty much the best game you’re gonna see this summer.

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