The Last of Us: Nine Ways It's Unforgettable

By Peter Paras in Daily Lists, Video Games
Monday, June 24, 2013 at 6:00 am

6. Clickers Versus Hunters: Humans Are Such Easy Prey

Like in nearly all post-apocalyptic stories, there are many other humans left that want your stuff. All of them have no issue killing you, and would actually prefer it to just a simple surrender. The upside to battles with the hunters is that most takedowns lead to ammo pick-ups. Also, as long as they don't come at you as a group, stealth kills are pretty easy.

Not so with the infected. Without giving too much away, they aren't undead, but have been taken over by a wicked fungus. Over time, their heads swell into cauliflower-like abominations, overtaking the eye sockets. They use the click of their voice to register sound waves. (Like bats.) The creepy clicky sound is always unnerving, but the way they nosh on your neck is worse. The only surefire way to kill them with stealth is using a shiv. Except shivs are hard to come by and can also be used to open doors with loot. What to do? Survive. The answer is survive.

7. DLC Ideas: Let the Ish Fan Fiction Commence!

As you traverse your way from Boston to Colorado and beyond you can pick up and read notes left behind by men and women who previously tried to outlast the infected. Naughty Dog has promised at least one story-driven DLC in the future. Does that mean more adventures with Joel and Ellie? I doubt it. By the game's end, the story feels complete and they don't meet until an hour in to the game. Some have speculated that it might be one of the characters that we meet along the way. Perhaps, but I'm thinking about the one section that gave a glimpse of what life was like right after the infection. A man named Ish is the de facto star of this doomed tale. Everything is in place for great extra content: a guy who because of his circumstance is more optimistic than Joel, a possible love interest and innocent children. This could be great and most assuredly depressing.

If they were to go with a character we actually met, I'd go with Bill, the loudmouth bear of a man whose love life also might be interesting to see in a game. (Especially the way it concludes.) Bill is also funny in that way any drunk uncle is.

8. An Incredible Campaign: Over 12 Hours For Sure.

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Single-player games, the full-priced ones, are a dying breed. Bioshock Infinite had no multiplayer, but that was the exception. The Last of Us does include a very serviceable multiplayer mode that actually expands on the single player timeline. You choose from two factions: the fireflies or hunters. Like Uncharted's MP, the mode is solid. The bigger issue with MP is whether or not gamers will still be playing next year. I doubt it.

The main reason to pick up this tale of two humans after civilization has broken down is the lengthy campaign. How lengthy? Of course, anyone can speed through, but as I previously stated I spent over 15 hours on Normal. My completion time for Survivor mode was 20 hours.

Length isn't everything. The opening prologue is terrific, but the first few hours thereafter form the slowest section of the game. Weapons are limited, as are the crafting options. Really though, that's as bad as it gets. The rest of story, including the heartbreaking finale, exceeded my expectations.

9. One of the Best Moments Has No Fireflies or Clickers, But There Is a Wily Moose.

Among all the shooting, looting, and general mayhem there's one level that knocked my months-old socks off. I seriously will not spoil, but you'll know it when you get there. The only hint I'll give: learn to get all Katniss with the bow and arrows beforehand.

Final thoughts: I've been reading The Walking Dead comic since it debuted. (The show is okay.) For the longest time I felt that the 21st century wouldn't deliver a unique a tale of the apocalypse. By the way, has anyone else noticed how the Resident Evil films got the jump on all these 2000s genre pics? Zombies? (The original Resident Evil.) Post Apocalyptic? (RE: Extinction.) Now, however, we have a great book (The Road), film (Children of Men) and most certainly PS3's The Last of Us. Well, at least until we get the follow-up The First of Them.

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