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Flashback Review: The Last of Us

Written By: Ben Pilaczynski Between the emotional rollercoaster, the outstanding story telling, and the breath-taking visuals this game has to offer, I will tell you right now that The Last of Us is not a waste of time. Its been over 3 years since the game was released, but I haven't gotten around to sinking my teeth into this excellent piece of work until now.

The year is 2033. You play as Joel, someone looking to survive the chaos brought on by the Cordyceps fungus, a disease that turns your “Average Joe” into a mindless human-eating monster. You initially find yourself taking responsibility of young, 14-year-old Ellie, the only known human immune to the virus. Needing to get her to the major militia group known as The Fireflies, Joel and Ellie must make it past the different types of enemies, such as hunters and the Infected in order to find the cure and bring order back to the world.

The controls fit this game well. If you’re into games where it is crucial to stalk your pray and strike at the proper moment, then this is the game for you. It’s not impossible to get past enemies guns blazin’, but it’s not ideal. Joel utilizes his sense of hearing to visualize where enemies will be in order to take them out in a fashion that won’t alert the others around you.  However, if you make a wrong move and they spot you, you can find yourself being surrounded and having to flee the situation. When being attacked by enemies, Ellie is there to jump on their back to help ward them off, but there are a lot of times where you’re  in protecting your allies.

Every game has its issues and The Last of Us is no exception. Some glitches include blood starting to pool two feet away from the dead, or your allies moving randomly throughout the map when you should be sticking together. These are all minor issues and things that can easily be overlooked.

The world itself is visually stimulating. In this post-apocalyptic world, the daytime is beautiful. Vegetation sprouts through the cement streets and out of worn-down buildings, the trees are overgrown, housing is falling apart. You can see the Earth returning back to its natural state. The night makes you weary. The thought of the infected reminds you that you must be quiet and cautious. Any wrong movement or unnecessary sounds could be reason for high alert and the cause of your demise.

From the compelling and touching story between Ellie and Joel, to the survival-based gameplay putting you against the world, The Last of Us will keep you on your toes until the very end. The world feels real and any interaction that you have will bring you right back in and keep you wanting more. If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you go out and pick this one up because sooner than you know, The Last of Us: Part 2 will be out to raise the bar yet again.

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