The Last of Us


By: Angus Deacon    On: PlayStation 3
Published: Thursday 6 Jun 2013 10:00 AM
 
 
 
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To say that this game is eagerly anticipated would be the understatement of the year. After three beautifully crafted Uncharted games, all eyes have been on developers Naughty Dog to see if they could replicate their earlier success with a new franchise. The Last of Us, which releases on the 14th June, is a bold affirmation that they can.

The Last of Us, for the few who haven’t heard, is a third-person survival-action game that takes place in the very near future. Humanity is on the brink of extinction due to a parasitic fungus that has wiped out millions. It’s an illustration of what happens when mother nature fights back . . . and wins. Entire cities have been terraformed, leaving vegetation, vines, and moss growing on buildings, cars, and freeways.

Adding to the apocalypse, those infected by the fungus plague becomes mindless, bloodthirsty killers - or to put it crudely, zombies with mushrooms growing out of their head. It sounds comedic, but coming face to face with them engenders the opposite response.

Move forward twenty more years; desperate survivors are holed up in quarantine zones, protected by strict military rule. These “lucky” few are heavily controlled, under curfew, and constantly screened for any sign of infection - often with extreme prejudice. It’s here that we find the two central characters in The Last of Us; Joel and Ellie.

Joel is an obvious father figure and through a harrowing sequence, we find out just what he’s been through. He’s a hardened scoundrel with a heart of gold and a complex past, one that predates the infection and consequent transformation of mankind. The introduction sequence in The Last of Us is one I’ll never forget.

Now in quarantine, Joel becomes involved in an anti-establishment faction and is tasked with escorting fourteen year old Ellie away from the harsh environment. What follows is an epic journey that covers the width of the United States of America.

The Last of Us is a heavy, gritty struggle for survival, as Joel and Ellie trek cross-country avoiding death around every corner. Danger will come not only in the form of the infected, but also in fellow survivors who are so desperate they’ll do anything for food or supplies (including cold-blooded murder.) At other points in the game, you’ll also encounter heavily armed and well organised military units who are out to bring escapees back to the quarantine zone.

What unfolds from here is a superb example of solid storytelling in a video game. We won’t go into any detail to avoid spoilers. But, as fans of Uncharted will expect, the game is full of plot intricacies, deep character development, and there are even a few surprises thrown in. The Last of Us is a tour de force that changes pace alarmingly - a roller-coaster ride that has to be experienced first hand to be fully appreciated.

Complementing the plot, the game delivers everything with the level of polish that we have come to expect of Naughty Dog. The third-person controls are slick and the character animations incredibly fluid. Joel’s movements in particular are nearly faultless, whether he’s engaged in intense violent combat or simply climbing a wall or picking up ammunition. As you explore your environment, your companion Ellie will keep pace and intelligently make observations or stay out of trouble when enemies are nearby.

Continue reading on page 2.




 

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Comments (42)

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nimrod76 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 10:07 AM Posted by nimrod76
Cannot wait for next Friday, the reviews for this have exceeded my expectations. I expected some over inflated scores (mostly from IGN) but to see an endless stream of near perfect scores has me even more hyped for this game than I was before.
 
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sick_wierdo
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 10:08 AM Posted by sick_wierdo
Well this is the first review I've read that isn't a perfect score for The Last Of Us, strange that Tomb Raider got a perfect 10 over this. Still, amazing game and I can't wait
 
 
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Partos NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 10:13 AM Posted by Partos
Sounds great, hopefully nzgameshop doesn't take too long sending me my copy. Pumped for it.
 
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D4nzy NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 10:17 AM Posted by D4nzy
Somebody should sell me a ps3 for like $50 so I can play this ;)
 
 
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supabowl NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 10:20 AM Posted by supabowl
Next Friday cant come soon enough
 
 
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Ron NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 10:23 AM Posted by Ron
Looking forward to picking this up day #1.
 
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AudaciousGnome NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 10:29 AM Posted by AudaciousGnome
This is why you have to consider moving over to Playstation next console cycle, the exclusive games are just amazing.
 
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kiwiatlarge NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 10:31 AM Posted by kiwiatlarge
Skipped straight to the score to see if the trend continues.. lol. Even with no story spoilers I want this game to suprise me as much as possible..
 
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siamese NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 11:03 AM Posted by siamese
First review I have read on this so far, been waiting eagerly like everyone else with a PS3. Stoked that ND hit the nail on the head again!
 
 
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Timzone NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 1:51 PM Posted by Timzone
Naughty dog continue to amaze!
 
 
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Coddfish NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 3:58 PM Posted by Coddfish
Next Friday can't come soon enough. Got the day off work, I'm ready
 
 
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Deanology NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 4:55 PM Posted by Deanology
I feel scared reading this, just read the start and end to not give away any 'potential spoilers'.

Good final paragraph, makes it seem to be a must buy.
 
 
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FlatPitch
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 4:55 PM Posted by FlatPitch
6 June 2013, 10:07 AM Reply to nimrod76
Cannot wait for next Friday, the reviews for this have exceeded my expectations. I expected some over inflated scores (mostly from IGN) but to see an endless stream of near perfect scores has me even more hyped for this game than I was before.
How could this game have an inflated score? it's damn near perfect
 
 
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Inferis
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 5:56 PM Posted by Inferis
Glad to see it lived up to the hype! Bring on the 14th.
 
 
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Coddfish NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 7:03 PM Posted by Coddfish
Do I want to read the review, or do I want to wait until after I've played it so as not to spoil the atmosphere? Hmm...
 
 
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guido NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 8:09 PM Posted by guido
6 June 2013, 07:03 PM Reply to Coddfish
Do I want to read the review, or do I want to wait until after I've played it so as not to spoil the atmosphere? Hmm...
I'm waiting. I've tried to avoid reading or watching anything to do with this game. Pretty impossible in this day and age.
 
 
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kiwibadboy NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 8:58 PM Posted by kiwibadboy
Nothing bad except AI, gonna enjoy this one :)
 
 
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kiwibadboy NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 9:05 PM Posted by kiwibadboy
It's funny that I had 2 tabs open: This review, and IGN's. Happy to report I closed the IGN tab after reading this :)
 
 
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SpawnSeekSlay NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 6 Jun 2013 11:49 PM Posted by SpawnSeekSlay
Was always going to be a Great game... hells its Naughty Dog, they know how to make a game, esp with a great story.

GOTY contender for sure.
 
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metallicauck
On Friday 7 Jun 2013 12:16 PM Posted by metallicauck
wish this was on xbox :'(

mommy can you please buy me a playstation 3? :)
 
 
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cleggy
On Friday 7 Jun 2013 3:56 PM Posted by cleggy
7 June 2013, 12:16 PM Reply to metallicauck
wish this was on xbox :'(

mommy can you please buy me a playstation 3? :)
As the PS3 is soon to be superceeded by the PS4, I imagine there should be some bargains to be had on it in the months to come. So when you do get it, make sure you also check out Naughty Dogs earlier work in the form of the Uncharted series. Uncharted 2 was the highlight for me, but all three titles are fine games on their own.
 
 
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kiwiatlarge NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 7 Jun 2013 6:17 PM Posted by kiwiatlarge
7 June 2013, 03:56 PM Reply to cleggy
As the PS3 is soon to be superceeded by the PS4, I imagine there should be some bargains to be had on it in the months to come. So when you do get it, make sure you also check out Naughty Dogs earlier work in the form of the Uncharted series. Uncharted 2 was the highlight for me, but all three titles are fine games on their own.
Unless Naughty Dog splits off from Sony Computer Entertainment... I don't like your chances
 
 
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iTry
On Saturday 8 Jun 2013 12:20 PM Posted by iTry
Looking forward to get this ASAP.
 
 
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maceotago NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Sunday 9 Jun 2013 10:51 AM Posted by maceotago
You know it's a good game when people like me who don't play this genre very often at all are excited about the release!
 
 
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sick_wierdo
On Sunday 9 Jun 2013 11:28 PM Posted by sick_wierdo
7 June 2013, 03:56 PM Reply to cleggy
As the PS3 is soon to be superceeded by the PS4, I imagine there should be some bargains to be had on it in the months to come. So when you do get it, make sure you also check out Naughty Dogs earlier work in the form of the Uncharted series. Uncharted 2 was the highlight for me, but all three titles are fine games on their own.
Naughty Dog have said themselves that the PS3 is only current gen console The Last of Us is possible on, for technical reasons, not just because they are now owned by Sony Computer Entertainment. So sorry, aint never gonna happen.
 
 
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ssjroneel NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Monday 10 Jun 2013 1:01 AM Posted by ssjroneel
I cannot contain my excitement for this game:D
 
 
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Slide NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Monday 10 Jun 2013 11:29 AM Posted by Slide
This can't come soon enough!
 
 
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Seraphim NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Monday 10 Jun 2013 11:30 PM Posted by Seraphim
Would get a PS3 just to play this.
 
 
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Elours
On Tuesday 11 Jun 2013 9:03 AM Posted by Elours
Ugh! The wait is killing me. So many top reviews for this one
 
 
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gerryh
On Tuesday 11 Jun 2013 4:03 PM Posted by gerryh
This game sounds good, lets just hope it lives up to all the hype I have been reading.
 
 
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dark_hadou1 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 13 Jun 2013 9:46 AM Posted by dark_hadou1
Sad to think this may be the last game I have for the PS3, all my funds now are being squirreled away for the next generation :(

Still though, it's due - and I'll still have my trusty PS3 for years to come
 
 
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AlmightyAllan
On Saturday 15 Jun 2013 9:40 PM Posted by AlmightyAllan
Incredible game!!
 
 
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chunky
On Sunday 16 Jun 2013 2:06 AM Posted by chunky
I hope it has a chance to be ported to PC in the future, for such a great game limiting it to one console is a bit disappointing.
 
 
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dark_hadou1 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Monday 17 Jun 2013 9:54 AM Posted by dark_hadou1
I don't have the funds to buy this, so I'm going out to rent it. I hope a week is long enough to make my way through the campaign, I have to stretch every penny for the next 5-6 months!

I absolutely must play this!
 
 
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MrCynical
On Monday 17 Jun 2013 10:36 AM Posted by MrCynical
It is uncharted with zombies. Story is great, but dear god the gameplay is boring as hell. Mine will bug out on nearly every encounter, headshots not connecting, stealth kills clipping out and attracting guards, and oh god the Naughty Dog Boost.

I am at the point where I would rather just sit through a loading screen, than help one more person up a ledge, hold open a door or wedge through a tight space. Even the "move the ladder in to place" is just disk accessing busywork.

A leveling system based on exploring identical ruined rooms every 5 minutes in the hopes of finding some macguffin is completely tacked on.

It is only because of the outstanding characters and plot that hopefully keeps up that I will change the difficulty to easy and try to skip as much "gameplay" as possible.
 
 
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sick_wierdo
On Saturday 22 Jun 2013 4:55 PM Posted by sick_wierdo
17 June 2013, 10:36 AM Reply to MrCynical
It is uncharted with zombies. Story is great, but dear god the gameplay is boring as hell. Mine will bug out on nearly every encounter, headshots not connecting, stealth kills clipping out and attracting guards, and oh god the Naughty Dog Boost.

I am at the point where I would rather just sit through a loading screen, than help one more person up a ledge, hold open a door or wedge through a tight space. Even the "move the ladder in to place" is just disk accessing busywork.

A leveling system based on exploring identical ruined rooms every 5 minutes in the hopes of finding some macguffin is completely tacked on.

It is only because of the outstanding characters and plot that hopefully keeps up that I will change the difficulty to easy and try to skip as much "gameplay" as possible.
You don't know what a masterpiece is obviously. Go play your annual military shooter of choice.
 
 
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Newsboy NZGamer.com VIP VIP
On Monday 24 Jun 2013 12:00 AM Posted by Newsboy
The fact that you need to turn the difficulty down to Easy explains exactly why you're not enjoying the game. You keep dying. It wasn't until I felt at one with the combat that I started enjoying it.
 
 
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Getsum
On Tuesday 25 Jun 2013 3:58 PM Posted by Getsum
Wow a game that seems to have lived up to it's hype. Haven't brought a game for a while, was waiting for something special. By the sounds of it 'The Last of Us ' could be the one.
 
 
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Winger Gee NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 27 Jun 2013 4:26 PM Posted by Winger Gee
After a big time lapse from Uncharted I can't wait- but I will have to .....
 
 
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Winger Gee NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Saturday 29 Jun 2013 5:44 AM Posted by Winger Gee
The real trick here is not if to buy but when ?? How long can I wait ??
 
 
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kiwiatlarge NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Saturday 29 Jun 2013 8:17 PM Posted by kiwiatlarge
Finally remembered and realised it was safe for me to read this review, as I finished the game a few days ago.. :)

Review is pretty much spot on.. The highlight for me is the characterisation of Ellie...
 
 
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Brentos14
On Monday 14 Jul 2014 1:28 PM Posted by Brentos14
after reading this and everyones comments who agree with it makes me want to get it and give it ago !
 
 
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