Reviews for the Lazy Gamer: The Last of Us

Game: The Last of Us

Platform: PS3

Publisher/Developer: Sony/Naughty Dog

Genre: Survival horror

Describe This Game in Three Words: This will hurt

Plot Synopsis: Twenty years after the world is overrun by a strange fungus that turns people into savage zombies (And worse), the survivors live under dictatorial rule in the few quarantine zones. One such survivor is Joel, who stumbles across a young girl named Ellie that may hold the key to overcoming the disease. Now Joel and Ellie must evade the monsters, both living and undead, as they cross America in the name of hope.

Up Up: We're entering what is obviously the top of what the seventh generation systems are capable of, so whatever we see released for the PS3 between now and Christmas is almost by definition the best that the system can do. Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs, and now The Last of Us stand as immersive artistic masterpieces that blur the little bit of line left between cinema and video game.

The game starts off in classic horror mode, but is so expertly set up that transitions between cut scenes and actual play are almost seamless. The voice acting is top-notch, and brings home the sheer unholy mess that this particular end of the world encompasses in a way that will stop your heart.

Most games of this scope, even Naughty Dog's own Uncharted series, have locations that seem exotic and slightly fantastic. Not Last of Us. Care has been taken to make the ruined towns and cities look exactly how you would expert civilization's rot look. Every minute is terrifying because it is just so real. Even the puzzle mechanics feel organic and unforced, even if the idea of a 14-year-old who can't swim but can drive a manual transmission post-apocalypse takes a little believing.

Last of Us definitely rewards the cautious but brave player. Avoiding enemies while still managing to scrounge for supplies and training manuals to improve your skills feels like an enormous accomplishment. Every single safe point you make it to becomes a badge of honor.

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner