Now, I hadn't heard a lot about The Last of Us, because I've been kissing Resident Evil's backside since RE6 (Just for Kicks) came out. But I heard about it this past week during E3 and I know a lot of people were waiting for a trailer for it, even despite the fact that it came out on Tuesday. Well, that piqued my curiosity a little and I started to look into it, but the guy I usually watch on Youtube had only had the first hour up, on Tuesday and I completely forgot about until Friday night when allviolet asked me about. So after dinner was done, I went upstairs, plugged Yoshihiro to the television and proceeded to watch it. And man did I ever get an eye full!
Just a fair warning. I am going to get rather spoiler-y, so if you're playing The Last Of Us, or want to play it, or thinking about playing it, or just plain don't like spoilers then bail out now, cause I don't want to hear the whining. I'll be placing all this spoiler stuff under cut too, so there's your warning. You don't heed it, it's on you.
Are you gone.....?
So, I was expecting just another run of the mill man vs. zombie-esque/ mutant/ infected monsters game. Something like a prettier and better version of Resident Evil 6. But no. What I got was some man vs mutant, but in The Last of Us, people are also a problem. A MAJOR problem. From the beginning, when the solider accidentally shoots and kills Joel's daughter, right then and there should have been a tip off that the humans in this story were more fucked up than the actual monsters in the game.
Let me see if I can bottom line this wonderful game for you. 20 years after the scene where Joel's daughter dies (which by the way had me crying), society has completely collapsed, non-infected humans are barely surviving on the meager rations the army is handing out and there is this group called The Fireflies who are rebelling against the army. The army is pretty brutal to the people too. Shooting people who fight with the resistance, shooting anyone who shows signs of infection, shooting anyone who disobeys them period, and keeping rations for themselves. It's a pretty desperate situation, but Joel is a smuggler along with Tess and they agree to smuggle this girl Ellie to The Fireflies. Why the resistance group wants the girl is she's immune to the parasite that has people turning into mutants and they want to use her blood or whatever to make a cure.
So along the way Tess gets bit and is now infected, and chooses to have one final blow out fight with army to give Joel and Ellie a chance to escape, but she's killed by the army. Later on Joel and Ellie meet one of Joel's... I won't say friend, but I guess contact and his name is Bill, but he's a little nutzoid and has obvious abandonment issues. They find him because they need a car to get them out west to find The Fireflies (The game starts in Boston). But Bill is all weird because his partner takes off, but you find him hanging from the ceiling in one of the houses. He became infected and chose to kill himself, when Bill sees this he shuts down, but helps Joel and Ellie out, but does not leave with them and chooses to stay in the little empty town he lives in alone and bitter.
From there Joel and Ellie make it to Pittsburgh and there the shit starts to hit the fan. The run into these savage people who are called "Hunters". Their deal is, they've carved out a nice little city for themselves and any normal person they find, they kill and eat. Sounds sorta like Pittsburgh now (So says the Philadelphian)! But they're trying to battle their way out of this new disaster via the Fort Pitt Bridge and they meet Sam and Henry, two brother's (as well as two brothas) who have been hole up in the city trying to avoid the "Hunters", but they are trying to get in touch with the Fireflies as well. Henry says during the day the bridge is heavily guarded, but at night it's pretty lightly guarded, so they plan to escape at night. So they try to escape, but things go bad and Henry and Sam ditch Ellie and Joel, so they have to jump into the river (Ellie can't swim either by the way) and they nearly drown, but are saved by the very people who ditched them on the bridge.
After sometime, Joel and Henry call it a truce while Ellie and Sam become friends and their walking through another abandoned town, but then the "Hunter's" show up and they are super pissed about them killing most of their group, so they want revenge, but in their misguided attempt for revenge and all the shooting that occurred because of it, the mutants show up and they get attacked, just barely managing to escape. So they make it to another mutant and "Hunter" free place and the kids are talking (mostly about death and turning into a mutant) while Joel and Henry stand guard for the night. In the morning Ellie wakes up and goes to get Sam, but when she goes in the room with Sam, he's turned into a mutant. Joel goes to shoot Sam, but is stopped by Henry who kills his kid brother. Shortly there after, Henry goes insane with grief and blames Joel for his brother turning, Joel tries to calm him down, but Henry goes completely nuts and ends up committing suicide (Yet another scene where I'm crying all bad).
The game jumps to fall and Joel and Ellie have made it to Wyoming and are close to meeting up with Joel's younger brother Tommy, because he would know where the Fireflies are because at some point he was one. So after a lot of stuff happens, they find Tommy and his wife... Uhhhhh.... I forgot her name at a power plant that they and several other have cordoned off. They are able to get electricity and they also have horses and are growing food. They are pretty much self contained and happy. But then bandits show up and try to ruin everything (of course). After the bandits are taken care of, Joel asks Tommy to take Ellie to the Fireflies, but she is reluctant to part with Joel, even if he's grouchy and bitter. So after hearing she's going to be pawned off on someone else, she runs away and they follow her and get attacked by more bandits. When that is over, Joel promises to take Ellie to the Fireflies and Tommy gives them a horse to help get them to a college campus in Colorado faster. The campus is the place where the Fireflies are supposed to be trying to find a cure.
So after some time Ellie and Joel make it to the campus only to find it has been abandoned by the Fireflies and they've gone to a hospital in Utah (I couldn't help but think "Sorry, but your princess is in another castle" during this part). But they are attacked again by more bandits. During a scuffle between Joel and a bandit, Joel and the bandit fall out of a window and Joel lands stomach first on a pole and is impaled. Ellie is trying to keep him alive (and I'm half crying my eyes out at all of this), but he collapses off the horse and the game jumps to winter.
In this part you play as Ellie and she is accosted by two dudes while she is trying to hunt for food. The one creepy dude, David is feeding her a line about how he wants to help her and keep her safe and all this stuff, but Ellie isn't buying it. Along the way, Ellie and David are attacked by mutants and they make it out of that situation. Come to find out that the other dude, who David sent back to their camp, per Ellie's demand for medicine in exchange for the buck she killed, comes in with her medicine and says she's the girl who was with the guy who has been killing people in their group, but David knew this. David let's Ellie go, but you know something sinister is in the works.
Meanwhile, Ellie goes back to a seriously ill Joel and gives him the medicine she got from the creepy dudes. She's waiting for him to get better when the guy who David sent, tracks Ellie to where she's hiding and is looking for her to kill her. Not wanting to put Joel in danger she takes her horse and tries to lead them away from where Joel is. They end up killing her horse (again I'm balling my eyes out here) and she almost manages to get away, but is caught by that creepy David guy and she gets knocked out. When she wakes up, they have her locked in a cell and she sees some guy carving up a dead guy (probably for lunch or something) and David walks in. Pretty much his plan is to rape her and when he grows bored of her, he will probably kill and eat her. Sensing something is majorly wrong with this guy, Ellie fights back. Suddenly, Joel is conscience enough to realize Ellie hasn't come back yet, so he gets up and sets out to look for her, but the "Hunter's" are still out there in this blizzard. The game shifts between Ellie and Joel, which was really cool and in the end Ellie ends up chopping that David guy into confetti. That whole part with her and that guy is SUPER intense, so is the part when Joel captures two guys to find out where she is... Oh those parts were gritty and mega good.
But after that, we cut to spring time and they have finally made it to the hospital in Utah. When you meet up with them, Ellie has become kinda quite and withdrawn while Joel is chatty and cheerful. My guess is Ellie feels sad that she'll have to leave Joel once they get to the hospital and meet up with the Fireflies. But, some stuff happens and Ellie nearly drowns. Joel is trying to save her when a solider comes by and threatens to kill him. Joel tries to plead with the solider saying that Ellie wasn't breathing, but he smacks Joel with the butt of his rifle and he goes unconscious. When he wakes up, the woman who asked him to bring Ellie to the Fireflies meets him and tells him basically in order to find a cure we'll have to kill Ellie. But her death will save everyone, so it's all good.
Joel goes to save Ellie and basically slaughters anyone in his way. When he gets into the operating room, he shoots the surgeon who is going to cut open Ellie's brain to extract the parasite and he takes Ellie. Barely escaping the operating room, he gets on an elevator with an unconscious Ellie and when it opens that woman appears and says pretty much you're being selfish. I pretty much raised her and I was willing to give her up, you don't really know her, so why do you care. The game cuts and you see Joel driving and Ellie wakes up and he tells her, well, they don't need a cure, because there are lots of people who have an immunity to the parasite and they've stopped looking for a cure, which isn't true. The truth was he blew away the woman that started all of this and took Ellie back to Wyoming. When they get there Ellie asks Joel for the truth and Joel says what he told her was the truth and that's how it ends.
The real bottom line here: No matter how many monsters or mutants there are, humans will always be the worst monsters of them all. And when society collapses, people will do any despicable thing to survive. I have to admit the people in this game were pretty messed up; but extreme situations like that one will always bring out the absolute worst in humanity. I mean, there were times I was screaming more when the humans jumped or shot at you than when the monsters jumped at you.
Overall, I have to say, I seriously enjoyed this game, probably far more than I expected to. I was expecting another Dead Space or current Resident Evil where you had a butt load of jump scares and blood to be splattered all over the place, you know, the typical Survival Horror game. But this was really really good. Hats off to the talented people at Naughty Dog! Y'all did a kick ass job with this game and there really was soooo much that could have gone wrong and for me The Last of Us is a flawless story. Bravo good Sirs!
If you are curious here's the walkthrough I watched, but I would recommend you actually play this. I would, but you know how much of a big fat chicken I am when it comes to Survival Horror games. As previously stated, "I only like it when I am pretend scared."